The 2015 NFL Draft is just over one week away, and without a first-round selection, Buffalo Bills General Manager Doug Whaley made it clear in the team’s Pre-Draft Luncheon that it’s more likely for him to move down that it is for them to move up into the first. Using first-pick.com’s draft simulator game, I take a look at how the Bills could attack the draft this year by moving up and down to acquire the best value.
Current Draft Picks
Round Two, Pick No. 18 (50th overall)
Round Three, Pick No. 17 (81st overall)
Round Five, Pick No. 19 (155th overall)
Round Six, Pick No. 12 (188th overall) From MIN
Round Six, Pick No. 18 (194th overall)
Round Seven, Pick No. 17 (234th overall)
Round Two, Pick No. 50
TRADE Pick No. 50 to Pittsburgh for Picks No. 56, No. 87
When the Bills finally got on the clock at the No. 50 overall pick, there were several of my targets (Carl Davis, Laken Tomlinson, Clive Walford, Donovan Smith) still available. Without one glaring need on the roster that absolutely had to be filled, coupled with the depth at key positions I was targeting, I decided to send the pick to the Steelers, moving down six spots and picking up their third rounder in the process.
TRADE Pick No. 56 to Green Bay for Picks No. 60, No. 94
While waiting to arrive at the No. 56 pick, Carl Davis was the only target of mine that was selected. Clive Walford, Donovan Smith and Cedric Ogbuehi were still on the board, so I felt confident moving down another four slots and acquiring another third round pick from the Packers.
TE Clive Walford, Miami
After trading down twice and picking up two third round picks in the process, the Bills select Miami TE Clive Walford with the No. 60 overall pick. Walford is a complete tight end; he can split the seam, he can block, he can win in contested catch situations and he’s athletic. He knows how to control his body and track the ball, while displaying strong, reliable hands. Walford’s experience lining up attached to the offensive line as well as split out wide makes him an attractive candidate for Greg Roman’s multiple offense that asks a lot out of the tight end.
Round 3, Pick No. 81 overall
OT Cedrick Ogbuehi, Texas A&M
Cedric Ogbuehi saw his stock fall after tearing his ACL late in the season, but he’s a young and athletic tackle with a high ceiling. He’s effective in both the run and pass and does a good job mirroring defenders in pass protection, while showing good movement skills on outside runs. Ogbuehi needs to get stronger at the point of attack, but he’s an absolute steal in the third round.
Round Three, Pick No. 87 overall
DE/OLB Za’Darius Smith, Kentucky
The Bills need to bolster the depth along their front seven, as you can never have enough pass rushers. With the pick acquired from the Steelers, the Bills select Za’Darius Smith, a 6’4” 275 pound edge defender out of Kentucky. Smith is raw, having only played organized football for a couple of years, but he’s a big, powerful force player that can defend the run well and is coming into his own as a pass rusher.
Round Three Pick No. 94 overall (From GB)
TRADE to Philadelphia for Picks No. 101 (4th), No. 145 (5th), No. 196 (6th)
On the clock at the end of the third round with the pick acquired from Green Bay, my primary target, QB Garrett Grayson was gone, leaving several players that I’d be content with still available. So, I traded the No. 94 pick to Philadelphia in exchange for the second pick in the fourth round, as well as their fifth and sixth-round selections.
Round Four, Pick No. 101
TE Jeff Heuerman, Ohio State
Another tight end? Greg Roman’s offense uses multiple tight ends on the line of scrimmage as blockers in the run game, so with the “Best Available Player” philosophy, I decided to add Jeff Heuerman, a 6’5” 255-pounder that’s a dominant force as a run blocker and is underrated as a receiver. Marquies Gray and Chris Gragg haven’t done much to make the coaching staff confident in their abilities as blockers, so Heuerman will join Charles Clay and Walford as the primary tight ends.
TRADE Picks No. 145 (5th), No. 188 (6th) to Seattle for Pick No. 121 (4th)
As the fourth round progressed, several defensive linemen flew off the board, so using the fifth-round pick acquired from Philadelphia, along with one of the sixth-round picks, I moved up to the end of the fourth round to make sure I could acquire one of my targets.
Round Four, Pick No. 131
DL Gabe Wright, Auburn
The Bills need depth behind Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams at the defensive tackle position and Gabe Wright, a 6’3” 300-pounder out of Auburn makes sense. A disruptive player that projects to the three-technique, Wright racked up 20 tackles for loss and 29 quarterback hurries during his collegiate career.
Round Five, Pick No. 155
S Tevin McDonald, Eastern Washington
In the fifth round, the Bills select Tevin McDonald, a versatile safety prospect that recorded 130 tackles, five interceptions and 17 pass breakups at UCLA before transferring to Eastern Washington. In his two years with the Eagles, Washington dealt with various injuries, but racked up 128 tackles, four interceptions and six pass breakups. McDonald has good speed and instincts and would be serviceable as a reserve at either free or strong safety.
Round Six, Pick No. 194
OT Sean Hickey, Syracuse
In the sixth round, the Bills bolster their offensive line with Syracuse’s Sean Hickey. At 6’5” 309 pounds, Hickey projects to guard in the NFL, but will need to prove that he’s over some injuries that were flagged at the NFL Combine.
Round Six, Pick No. 196
CB Ladarius Gunter, Miami
In the sixth round, the Bills select 6’1” 200 pound cornerback Ladarius Gunter. He’s got a big, long frame that teams are looking for at the position, and while he had an inconsistent career with the Hurricanes, he’s shown the potential to be a solid cover corner at the next level. He uses his length well by get by getting hands on opposing wide receivers and making plays on the ball in contested situations. For his career, Gunter has recorded six interceptions and 23 pass break ups. Gunter is an attractive defender for Rex Ryan’s aggressive scheme that requires physical cornerbacks that can play man coverage, and he has the tools to be a quality player with good coaching.
Round Seven, Pick No. 234
DE/OLB Max Valles, Virginia
In the seventh round, the Bills select Max Valles, a raw, but athletic pass rusher with prototypical size (6’4” 250 lbs). He’s a great athlete that racked up 78 tackles, 18 tackles for loss, 12 sacks, 12 pass breakups and three forced fumbles in two seasons at Virginia, but he needs a lot of coaching to improve his technique. He’s got a high ceiling and could be a steal in the seventh round.