By Bob Gaughan, Buffalo Sports Page

The Buffalo Bills made four picks in the first three rounds of the NFL Draft.  One was a defensive tackle, one was an offensive tackle, another a tight end and surprisingly, a running back.  Buffalo Sports Page Draft Expert Bob Gaughan takes you through the picks.

Round One

Ed Oliver Defensive Tackle Houston
Hope you were able to come to the Grill at the Dome in Tonawanda to hear Paul Peck, Kevin Sylvester and myself do the running commentary of the first round. It was packed and we had a great time. Things fell perfect for the Bills. With Oakland shocking all by taking Clelin Ferrell, the Bills were left with Jonah Williams and Oliver on the board at their pick. Everyone was happy that the Bills didn’t trade up. They got their man and didn’t have to give anything up. The Bills get Oliver, who could have gone as high as three to the Jets. Nice value here. Oliver was miss-used in college as a nose tackle. The Bills will use him as a three-technique tackle. He burst onto the scene from year one at Houston. The Cougars upset Oklahoma and he was a beast as a freshman. He’s the only three-time All-American in school history for the Cougars. The Bills needed to help their pass rush. Oliver will help the pass rush up the middle. This is the type of pass rush that gives teams and guys like Tom Brady trouble. It’s hard to get away from the Aaron Donald or Fletcher Cox type of guys that are coming right up the gut.

Oliver is going to give the Bills that element to the pass rush. And above all did he do a great job of becoming a huge fan for the Bills Mafia from Day one. How excited was he to be drafted by the Bills? The wearing of the Bills Zubaz at the draft was a hit on Twitter. The nice comments he made about Kyle Williams and how he hopes to learn from him and be half the player he was. He did a great job from day one getting the mafia behind him.

Round Two

Cody Ford Tackle Oklahoma
The Bills trade up a few spots to get Cody Ford in Rund Two. Most draft experts saw Ford as a day one pick. Again the Bills get nice value by getting him in Round Two. The only problem is half the people thought he was a guard and not a tackle. The Bills are obviously in the group that thinks he can play right tackle. He starts from day one as the Bills right tackle. Ford was part of the unsung heroes of the Oklahoma offense the last two years. All will remember that Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray won back-to-back Heisman trophies. But the unsung heroes of the offense were the great offensive line that the Sooners put out there for the last two years. Oklahoma won the Joe Moore award for having the best offensive line in football last year. Ford was part of that line as a guard two years ago and as tackle last year. He’s massive player at over 330 lbs. But for a, man this big he holds his weight well. Oklahoma was great at running the ball the last two years and Ford was a big part of it. No doubt he is an asset in the Bills running game. He was by all accounts the most physical, nasty lineman in the draft. I say this as a positive. He’s big and mean. This means to me the Bills might have five new starters on the offensive line. This better be a wake up call to Dion Dawkins. Dawkins will fight with Ty Nsekhe for the left tackle spot. Mitch Morse is the center and I expect Quinton Spain and Spencer Long to be the favorites at guard.

Round Three

Devin Singletary RB Florida Atlantic
I’ve been a fan of Singletary since I saw him rush for 156 yards and three touchdowns two years ago against UB. The Bulls pulled out a tough win 34-31. In fact it was the last loss for Florida Atlantic that year. In late February I picked Singletary as the Bills pick in the fourth round. I was one round off as the Bills take him in Round three. The reason I liked him is because I saw him as a poor man’s Shady McCoy. He is very elusive. Brandon Beane said he could make someone miss in a phone booth. Singletary put up huge numbers in college with almost 4300 yards rushing and 66 touchdowns. Beane all so made a point to say that this doesn’t mean that McCoy isn’t the starting running back. The Bills have a crowded backfield now with McCoy, Frank Gore, TJ Yeldon and Singletary. Beane made a point to say that McCoy is still the starter. The Bills struggled running the ball this past year. With the added offensive line help and running backs that shouldn’t be as big of a problem this year.

Dawson Knox TE Ole Miss
The Bills shocked me by trading back into the third round and getting Knox. There was a run going on tight ends. I was hoping that Kahale Warring or Josh Oliver would be there for the Bills to take in Round four. Those guys started flying off the board. The Bills felt that Knox was the last tight end that had value and needed to trade up to get him. After Knox there was a huge drop off at the position. Knox isn’t the typical Beane pick. Most Beane players have a huge track record and you know what you are getting. Knox has great upside but wasn’t used much in the Ole Miss offense. Now remember this offense had DK Metcalf and AJ Brown to throw to last year as well. By drafting Knox you are going on his potential. He only had 39 catches in his college career and zero touchdowns. Knox blocks well and the Bills felt he wasn’t used as much as he could have been in the passing game. The reason they feel this way is because he ran an impressive 4.51 at his pro day. That tpe of speed can stretch a defense. He is a natural athlete that was a quarterback in high school and a walk-on at Ole Miss that made the move to tight end. So he has the work ethic of a guy that loves football enough to walk-on and work his way up. That says a lot about the type of individual you are getting.

At the end of the day the Bills help the offense in Day 2 of the draft by taking three players on that side of the ball. A tight end is only as good as his quarterback. The Bills admitted they didn’t surround Josh Allen with enough help last year. By revamping the offensive line and helping the running game they have helped him this year. Bills fans may have wanted a receiver earlier in this draft but the free agent pick-ups of Cole Beasley and John Brown look like the help Allen is going to get this year at that position.

Bob Gaughan

Bob Gaughan has worked in Buffalo media for over 25 years. He spent 15 of those years as a staple on WGR radio as a talk show host and sports director. Currently, Bob works for UB Athletics on the radio broadcast of football and women’s basketball. Off the air, he has been an adjunct professor for over 20 years at Buffalo State College where he developed and has taught a class on how to be a talk show host.

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