First and foremost, congratulations Sammy Watkins. It’s not every day that a player gets drafted by his favorite childhood team.
There’s no denying that Watkins was the best offensive play-maker in this draft class. Adding Sammy Watkins makes sense as it gives Buffalo their first number one wide receiver since Eric Moulds. However, the price of trading up was steep. The Bills gave up their 1st round pick in 2015 as well as their 2015 fourth round pick. If Buffalo struggles this season, the sting of losing those picks will really be felt. The silver lining with the draft picks moved? Buffalo kept their remaining five picks.
With five picks remaining in the 2014 NFL draft, here’s a few story lines to keep an eye on in rounds 2 and 3.
Not necessarily in round two or three, but at some point Buffalo will try to trade down to gain an extra late round pick. The Bills don’t have many pressing needs, but they’d certainly like to add depth in a few key areas. Nothing shocking here, but Doug Whaley obviously wants to add as much talent as possible as the team is already looking at five draft picks in 2015.
Running Backs Fall Down the Draft Board
Buffalo met with a lot of day two, early day three running backs, but the position may get pushed to the back burner. Simply put, the Bills need to add as many starters as possible in the next 2-3 rounds. That means offensive tackle, offensive guard, linebacker and defensive end may rise up Buffalo’s draft board as they’re more pressing needs for the team. With Buffalo trying to fill these holes, running backs may have to wait until round 5 or 7.
Tight End May No Longer Be Targeted on Day Two
Many believed that if the Bills passed on Eric Ebron, the team would go tight end in round two or three. I’d be very surprised if the team went tight end tonight.
Doug Whaley wants to give EJ Manuel as many weapons as possible, but the team has 5 solid wide receivers, two excellent running backs and they’re five deep at the tight end position. There are certainly intriguing tight ends like Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Jace Amaro and Troy Niklas on the board, but if Whaley really wants to help Manuel, their next offensive draft pick should be a lineman. There are still some very good offensive linemen like Morgan Moses and Cyrus Kouandjio on the board that the team could target this evening in round two. There will even be starters in round three at tackle if Buffalo goes after a defensive end like Scott Crichton or linebacker Kyle Van Noy.
The Bills may prove me wrong, but I doubt we see the team take a tight end today. Buffalo will already have its hands full getting the ball to all of their playmakers. That’s a pretty good problem to have though.
Best Bets for Day 2:
Here are some of the best remaining options for the Bills at a few positions the Bills may be targeting in Round 2 and 3.
Round 2 Targets
TE: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Jace Amaro
OT: Morgan Moses, Cyrus Kouandjio
OG: Xavier Su’a Filo, Joel Bitonio
DE: Scott Crichton, Demarcus Lawrence, Kony Ealy (DE/DT), Jeremiah Attaochu
DT: Louis Nix III, Ra’Shede Hageman
LB: Kyle Van Noy, Carl Bradford, Preston Brown
CB: Lamarcus Joyner, Pierre Desir
S: Terrence Brooks
Round 3 Targets
TE: Troy Niklas
OT: Antonio “Tiny” Richardson, Jack Mewhort, Billy Turner, Cameron Fleming
OG: Gabe Jackson, Dakota Dozier, Trai Turner, Cyril Richardson
DE: Kareem Martin, Trent Murphy
LB: Telvin Smith, Christian Jones, Chris Borland, Shayne Skov
CB: Stanley-Jean Baptiste, Walt Aikens
S: Marqueston Huff
Buffalo keeps their pick in round two and adds Morgan Moses. A lot of mock drafts had Moses going in the first round. He’s a talented OT who would form a monstrous duo with Cordy Glenn. Buffalo would then have two bookend tackles. More help for EJ Manuel.
In round three, the Bills trade back and gain a late round pick. In the third round, the team selects Telvin Smith. Kareem Martin is a personal favorite of mine in the third round and if he’s there, I hope they pull the trigger. That said, Keith Rivers isn’t a starting quality linebacker. Smith can come in immediately and compete for the starting job.
BillsMafia, who do you think the Bills select in rounds two and three? Leave your predictions in the comment section.