There’s no such thing as a perfect mock draft. Even if I miraculously picked all six of Buffalo’s draft picks correctly today, some of you would hate it and that’s okay.
Buffalo’s roster has really improved over the last few seasons and the team’s pressing needs are minimal. The Bills are truly in a position where they can take the best player available with all six of their picks. That means the team could target a player at a position you may not be expecting (See: Round 2). With that said, here is my first BillsMafia Buffalo Bills Mock Draft for 2014!
Round 1-Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
I don’t buy the hoopla of quarterback needy teams ahead of Buffalo passing on signal callers. Houston probably can’t pass on Jadeveon Clowney, but Jacksonville, Cleveland and Minnesota are just some of the teams in the top eight that need quarterbacks. I’m thinking at least two quarterbacks go before Buffalo picks and players such as Clowney, Khalil Mack, Greg Robinson, Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans go. That’s seven players right there and generally you see a surprise pick, perhaps Aaron Donald or Eric Ebron going earlier than expected. It’ll take some luck for Matthews to fall to Buffalo, but if he’s there the Bills need to take him.
Right tackle is one of Buffalo’s biggest holes. I hope Chris Hairston is ready to play this season and contribute, but you can’t risk depending on him. Matthews is NFL ready. He plays with good leverage and gets into position quickly off of the snap. A combination of Matthews and Cordy Glenn would be one of the best young tackle duos in the league.
Round 2- Dominique Easley, DT, Florida
Even in a deep draft class, Easley stands out from the crowd.
There’s some risk involved in taking Easley as he’s suffered from two ACL injuries, but he’s a special talent on the field. You’ll be hard pressed to find a more explosive defensive tackle in this draft class, including Aaron Donald who is rising quickly on draft boards. Easley has been compared to Geno Atkins, one of the best defensive players in the league.
Why Easley? Kyle Williams is entering his 9th season in 2014 and while a Marcell Dareus extension seems to be a priority, there’s no guarantee that a deal will get done. Defensive end should be considered more of a priority, but in a weak class it’s important that the team doesn’t reach.
Round 3- C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE, Iowa
Personally, I’m not sure that a tight end is needed, but Buffalo has brought a few players in for pre-draft visits. Fiedorowicz is a strong value pick for the Bills in round three as he’s a terrific blocker and pass catcher. The tight end would add a physical presence at the position and at 6’6″, Fiedorowicz would be a large target for EJ Manuel. Adding any tight end in this draft class should signal the end of Lee Smith and Mike Caussin as Buffalo Bills.
Interesting sidenote: If the Bills draft Fiedorowicz, the team would have three tight ends from Iowa on their roster. Both Scott Chandler and Tony Moeaki played their college ball at Iowa.
Round 4- Christian Jones, ILB, Florida State
At Florida State, Jones played strongside, weakside and inside linebacker. His ability to play in multiple positions should attract many teams to Jones in the middle rounds of the draft. Buffalo may not need Jones at ILB in 2014, but they can use him as an outside linebacker this season and then move him inside if Brandon Spikes leaves after the season.
Round 5- Charles Sims, RB, West Virginia
Buffalo has looked at a lot of running backs during pre-draft visits, so it’s clear they’re looking to add to their backfield. Charles Sims would be a solid addition to the roster as he’s a talented runner, receiver and pass blocker. Unless the team sees injuries to C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson in 2014, his carries will likely be limited. However, a year in Buffalo’s system would benefit Sims. If both Spiller and Jackson leave in free agency, Sims will be ready to carry the load in 2015.
Round 7- Aaron Colvin, CB, Oklahoma
Buffalo has taken a look at plenty of cornerbacks during their pre-draft visits, but Colvin may be better than any players the team has brought in. Unfortunately, Colvin won’t be able to contribute in 2014 after tearing his ACL at a Senior Bowl practice. Colvin started 36 games at Oklahoma and is strong in coverage and run support. Buffalo’s secondary is in good shape for 2014, so taking a flier on a corner with a very high ceiling in round seven isn’t a terrible idea.
Post Mock Draft Thoughts
No wide receivers drafted?! This mock draft stinks!
I know that will be many of your thoughts upon reading this, but after the team traded a sixth round pick for Mike Williams, their need for wide receiver disappeared. Buffalo know has Williams and Woods on the outside with Stevie Johnson in the slot. When you want to stretch the field, Marquise Goodwin and T.J. Graham can be brought in. Marcus Easley should be considered a favorite to make the roster as well after his strong special teams play. Buffalo has a lot of other warm bodies at the position who will fight for a roster spot in 2014. Adding a red zone threat would be nice, but how many snaps could the rookie realistically see in his first year?
Also, I tend not to make trades in mock drafts. I wouldn’t be surprised if Buffalo trades back at some point and picks up another mid-round pick or two. I’m sure Doug Whaley would love to get seven or eight picks in this deep draft class.
Love the mock draft? Hate it? Share your thoughts in the comments below. There’s nothing I love more than a good discussion.