The Bills added five Top-100 players in the past three rounds of the 2018 NFL Draft. We’ve taken a brash, accurate Quarterback, a snowplow Center-Guard, a 3-Tech Defensive Tackle that was a national-champion wrestler, a ballhawk Cornerback for the other side of Tre White, and a OLB with considerable range.
RD1, #21—QB Baker Mayfield
RD1, #22—C-G Billy Price
RD2, #53—DT3T Harrison Phillips
RD2, #55—CB Travares McFadden
RD3, #96—LB Malik Jefferson
At #117 (actually later, due to the NFL’s 2018 compensatory picks announced late in February), the Bills go on the clock. This is where GMs really make their money. Approximately 35% of drafted Round 4 players are still on their team roster after that specific year.
All of the players listed below might be good enough to play in the NFL; Brandon Beane is selecting Day 3 players that (a) can play special teams, and (b) are ideal fits for elements of the scheme Offensive Coordinator Brian Daboll is likely to run.
We think that will incorporate plenty of runs to set up the pass and vice-versa, some jet action, RPO (run/pass option) plays, gap and zone concepts out of the pistol and shotgun formation, and misdirection. (c) Players will need to be football smart to pick up the twists on each play in Daboll’s playbook. (d) Finally, players must fit the culture that Sean McDermott is building in the locker room: team players who know each other well and care about each other, are hard workers, and are community-aware.
Here’s who the Bills have on their board to begin Day 3 after my fellow DraftTek Analysts have done their Grabs. I’ve separated them into offense and defense. Your remaining team needs are
EDGE, G, RB, WR, DL1T, S Depth, and TE.
QB—Kyle Lauletta Richmond- I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bills double-dipped at QB in this deep position. Watching Lauletta at the Senior Bowl was eye-opening; watch these five plays.
RB—Rashad Penny SDSU,or Bo Scarbrough Alabama -Penny is PFF’s #2 RB in missed tackles forced and CFB’s leader in yards. Daboll would know if he’d like Scarbrough, his “thunder” back at ‘Bama.
WR—Dante Pettis Washington–One of my favorite WRs in the draft. He’s not tall, but he’ll be special.
TE—Troy Fumagalli Wisconsin–Fumagalli’s route-running is excellent, he’s confident, and he’s worked in a pro-style offense. The Badgers’ DC helped him a lot; his name is Jim Leonhard, ’05-’06 Bills Safety.
OT—Ike Boettger, Iowa–Moved to LG from RT this year for the team, team-first guy Iowa-moved to LG from RT this year because he’s a team-first guy. Bills need both positions. He and Weathersby (but who weighs 10 lbs less) might be the fastest two Gs at the Combine.
RG/C—Scott Quessenberry UCLA-Helped Paul Perkins gain 1,575 yds in 2014., surgery on both shoulders drops him here. He’s healthy now, stronger and bigger, we’ll see at Combine. He played RG this year in a more physical, run-based attack, and assumed a leadership role. If we hadn’t snared Billy Price, he’d be way up on my radar.
DL3T—Christian LaCouture LSU or Deadrin Senat South Florida, or –McD’s first Panthers’ draft took two DL. LaCouture would be Adolphus’s successor and he’s a culture fit for the Bills, both in locker-room presence and smarts. He’s pursuing a master’s degree. Deadrin Senat will show off his strength at the Combine, and could either play a 0- or 1-tech role or as a 3T rotating with Phillips.
DL1T—Justin Jones NC State, or Joshua Frazier Alabama–These 2 D-Lines were among the best in CFB. Jones #27 and Frazier #69 are good bets as your 2-tech Dareus, but are less likely the 3-tech, so their stock could fall a bit.
EDGE—Joe Ostman Cent Michigan–2nd in the NCAA in sacks this year, 9th in Tackles for Loss, 7th among draftable D-Linemen in career pressures.Nonstop motor helped his numbers.
OLB—Davin Bellamy Georgia–Tall ‘tweener type could be a Lorenzo Alexander with added weight and coached-up skills. Bellamy will be the tallest LB at the Combine at 6’4″, maybe 6’5″.
Whom would you pick?
Like I said in RD3, it’s time to think about the weaponry you’ll give your quarterback. Free Agency or RD5 could be used to fill the interior D-Line with competition for Adolphus Washington or Rickey Hatley.
How about another QB? Lauletta can make a roster as a QB3 and work up from there, but with the number of needs the Bills have, I’d rather they not double-dip for a Spider. I think there are more sure options at QB (even Foles, maybe Bridgewater) that are being explored now.
In addition, there are two or three QBs (Benkert, Barrett, Shimonek) who’ll be drafted late who have skill-sets that would work for Daboll that haven’t been drafted yet. Fumagalli is a possibility here, but the Bills didn’t scout any Wisconsin games this year.
This narrows it down for me to Penny, Scarbrough, and Pettis as options in RD4.
Penny (5-10, 220, 4.52) was able to perform against AP-ranked teams, something you always look for with a player from a smaller school like San Diego State. Over the last two seasons, Penny has put up back-to-back 5.5-yard-per-carry averages against ranked teams. He has the experience McBeane looks for with 51 games played.
He was snubbed for the Doak Walker Award despite being the only player in the country to surpass the 2,000 yard mark this season. He has power (watch this drag) as well as receiving ability. Penny’s stock dropped during Senior Bowl week, so he falls to here a chin-dropping 4,135 career yards from scrimmage.
Scarbrough (6-2, 235, 4.59) has inconsistent stats due to how he was used by Daboll. He went 12 carries for 24 yards against Clemson, but averaged 5.8 ypc against Georgia in the National Championship.
While our DraftTek Scouting Report compares him to a lighter Derrick Henry with more lateral agility, I’m going to guess that Scarbrough’s injury history and his four-game suspension as a freshman (“amateurism”) are enough to cross him off this list. If he’s there in RD5, he would be worth a shot.
If there weren’t so many free agent options for the Bills, Dante Pettis would already be off my list. I like several WR vets who might be free-agent signings. Plus you have Bills FAs Matthews, Tate, and Webb to think about.
However, I like Pettis’s skill-set. It came down to backups. Do I like Mike Tolbert backing up Shady McCoy, better than I like Deonte Thompson backing up Zay Jones and Kelvin Benjamin? I still think Free Agents are signed at both spots, including Jordan Matthews. Rico Dennison was unable to do anything with Mike Tolbert; Deonte Thompson was #1 in receiving with 27 catches, 430 yards, and 15.9 yards per catch.
The Bills go with Rashaad Penny at RB. He’ll give LeSean McCoy added life, and he’s a good receiver out of the backfield, something Daboll likes to do. Adding a FB like Dimitri Flowers (son of Erik Flowers) or Khalid Hill is a UDFA possibility in addition to a RB in RD 3-4.
On to the Bills’ final round, where they have two picks in RD5. >>>>>ROUND 5 LINK
Editor’s babble: Thanks to Dean Kindig for his comprehensive contributions to our blog. You can follow Dean on Twitter @TCBILLS_Astro.
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