by Bob Gaughan, Buffalo Sports Page
The Bills made four more picks to round out the 2019 NFL Draft. They took three defensive players and a tight end.
The local surprise of the Draft was no UB Bulls being selected. Buffalo Sports Page Draft Expert Bob Gaughan breaks it down.
Vosean Joseph LB Florida
Joseph was a two-year starter on a good Florida defense that even played plenty as a freshman. So he has good experience for a junior entry. He flies around the field and speed is his greatest asset. He had 93 tackles last year including a special 14- tackle game against LSU. He has a good chance to make the team as a back-up outside linebacker to Matt Milano and Lorenzo Alexander. This is Alexander’s last year as he has stated he will retire after this year. This was an under-rated need I felt for the team. People weren’t talking much about the Bills need for an outside linebacker. He needs to add some bulk. He will need to prove himself on special teams as well. But I feel he has a very good chance to make it on the team.
Jaquan Johnson S Miami-Floirda
Manny Diaz the Hurricanes coach raved about Johnson as one of the team leaders of the defense. This is the Hurricanes defense that had a ton of pride with their turnover chain. Diaz called him the “heart and soul” of the defense. He’s another guy much like Joseph that is a little under-sized but very productive in college. I see him needing to make his bones as a standout on special teams. The Bills are solid at safety with the starters of Poyer and Hyde but he could compete with Rafael Bush and Siran Neal for a back-up role.
Darryl Johnson DE North Carolina A&T
Anybody you draft from the MEAC conference you want to see that they dominated their competition. Johnson did just that by being named the defensive player of the year in the conference. He had 19 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks last year. Let’s not discount the MEAC conference. Tarik Cohen the little speedster for the Chicago Bears is from North Carolina A&T and Darius Leonard was an All-Pro as a rookie last year for the Indianapolis Colts, was a two time MEAC defensive player of the year. As mentioned many times before the Bills are in a dilemma next year at defensive end. They haven’t decided on whether to pick-up the option on Shaq Lawson’s contract. Jerry Hughes has been great but is in his last year of his contract. Will the Bills want to pay Hughes next year big bucks when he will be 32 years old? So I see Johnson has having a better chance making the team next year than this year.
Tommy Sweeney TE Boston College
This is a typical Brandon Beane late round pick. Let’s take a guy that is a three-year starter that loves football and was very productive in college. That’s exactly who Sweeney is. If you watched Boston College you realize that they are a run heavy team. They run the ball twice as much as they pass. So you know Sweeney knows how to run block. Sweeney actually led the Eagles in 2017 in receptions and yards. He was invited to the Senior Bowl and proved to be a good safety valve type of tight end for a quarterback. The question will be how many tight ends to the Bills keep. Dawson Knox, Jason Croom and Tyler Croft seemed to be locked in as the top 3. But if they keep four then it will be a blocking tight end of either Sweeney or Jake Fisher the former tackle who converted to TE.
UB Bulls Undrafted Signees
Tyree Jackson QB Buffalo Bills
I was shocked that Tyree went undrafted. He was projected anywhere from a third to a sixth round pick in every mock draft that I saw. He’s got to be kicking himself for coming out now. He would have been better served playing another year with the Bulls. That being said playing with the Bills isn’t a horrible place to land. Brandon Beane stated that he thought he would be drafted and was on their board. He’s coming into a situation where there are two older quarterbacks to mentor him in Derek Anderson and Matt Barkely. His skill set is similar to Josh Allen. He has the big arm that Allen has and he can move as well. I can see him spending a year on the Bills practice squad and staying with the team long term after Anderson retires next year.
Anthony Johnson WR Tampa Bay
Johnson was projected in mock drafts to be a fourth or fifth round pick. Again I was shocked he went undrafted. He was productive the last two years with multiple 1,000-yard seasons. There was a question about his speed but I thought he answered that by running a 4.5 on his pro day with the Bulls. He lands in a good situation with Tampa Bay. Tampa has Mike Evans as their main guy but they lost Desean Jackson to a trade with the Eagles and Adam Humphries left for free agency. The Bucs didn’t draft a WR high. The only receiver they drafted was slot receiver Scott Miller from Bowling Green in the sixth round. I think Johnson landed in a good spot for a team with an offensive coach in Bruce Arians that needs a WR like him.
Other Bulls landing spots:
Cam Lewis CB with the Buffalo Bills- will compete for nickel corner
Chuck Harris DE Chicago Bears -part of a good undrafted signing class of the Bears
James O’Hagan Center NY Giants- center was a revolving door for the Giants last year
Tatum Slack CB Detroit Lions- will compete for team that needed help at back-up corner coming into the draft.
Khalil Hodge LB- hadn’t decided yet at time of article where he will sign