Since Buddy Nix took over as GM of the Buffalo Bills prior to the 2010 NFL Draft, the team has drafted at least two players they brought in for a pre-draft visit in each year. Last year they selected four players, tying a previous high within the past five years. This offseason, the Bills brought in ten players for a closer look. The Bills currently hold six picks in the upcoming draft, and it shouldn’t be surprising for anyone if some of these names highlighted were called.
Below is list of players that the Bills drafted after having them in for a private visit in the last five years.
2010- CJ Spiller, Torrell Troup, Arthur Moats, Levi Brown
2011- Marcel Dareus & Kelvin Sheppard
2012- Stephon Gilmore, Cordy Glenn, & Tank Carder
2013- EJ Manuel & Jodie Meeks
2014- Sammy Watkins, Cryus Kouandijio, Preston Brown, & Ross Crockell
2015 Pre-Draft Visitors
QB Bryce Petty, Baylor
QB Garrett Grayson, Colorado State
OG John Miller, Louisville
OT Tyler Sambrailo, Colorado State
OT Chaz Green, Florida
WR Chris Dunkley, South Florida
RB Karlos Williams, Florida State
DL Carl Davis, Iowa
DE Nate Orchard, Utah
NT Darius Kilgo, Maryland
The Bills first pick the each of the last five years, as well as three of their last five second-round selections, have come from a player who has visited the team. Of this year’s pre-draft visitors, there are some interesting options that the Bills may be targeting in the second and third round of the 2015 NFL Draft.
The Most Likely: Nate Orchard, Bryce Petty, Carl Davis
According to most draft outlets, the highest rated prospects are Utah defensive end, Nate Orchard, Baylor quarterback, Bryce Petty, and Iowa defensive tackle, Carl Davis. Each player seems to make sense for the Bills to target in round two.
Of those three it seems beefing up the defensive line with either Nate Orchard as a stand-up pass rusher for the 3-4 defense, or Carl Davis as a rotational lineman would be the plan. If Petty is the choice, then in my opinion, it’s a clear indication the Bills don’t expect EJ Manuel, or any quarterback on the roster, to be the starter next year. A dark horse would be John Miller from Louisville. He has a reputation as a power blocking guard that would seem to fit new offensive coordinator Greg Roman’s scheme.
The Mid Rounders: (John Miller, Ty Sambrailo, & Garrett Grayson)
Along with the above mentioned Miller, Sambrailo, and Grayson all fall with projections in the third to fifth rounds. Each player carries flaws, but Sambrailo has experience, as he started most of his collegiate games and performed well, but lacks refinement in pass protection. With the Bills lacking depth at the tackle position, (Cordy Glenn, Cyrus Kouanjdjio and Sentral Henderson are the only true tackles on the roster) taking one of the two in either the third-or-fifth round would go a long way to bolster the line and even serve as a potential backup plan if they fail to resign Glenn this offseason.
The Dice Rolls: (Karlos Williams, Chaz Green, Chris Dunkley, & Darius Kilgo)
Karlos Williams has played a total of 26 games as running back at Florida State the past two seasons, which is a good number considering he played safety his first two on campus. When Williams made the move he did showed he was effective and potentially talented.
Williams is still learning as a running back as he was originally recruited as a safety and has even played linebacker for a game. He’s a developmental player at either position, so taking a gamble on him with one of the two sixth round picks make sense. He could provide immediate special teams potential with either being relocated to safety, asked to add bulk as a linebacker, or continue his development as a running back. Florida tackle Chaz Green is a player that exudes potential as a starting tackle in the NFL, but multiple injuries and questions about his conditioning leave a lot to be desired.
The most likely option for the Bills later on in the draft is Maryland’s Darius Kilgo. If the Bills can’t get Davis in the second round, then selecting Kilgo as defensive line depth could potentially be a backup plan to address that issue. Kilgo is made in the mold of current Bill Marcel Dareus, but is raw as a technical football player.Taking Kilgo later on is a best case scenario, but don’t be surprised if he starts moving up draft boards especially with the Dolphins and Patriots also apparently showing interest.
For Dunkley he appears to be a free agent signing more than a draft pick with so-so production and a history of issues at South Florida. He possess interesting athleticism, but this could be the Bills just doing their due diligence and looking to bring him in as a camp body with the hopes of making an impact on special teams.