BillsMafia Draft Board includes all of the players scouted by credentialed Bills scouts who then performed well in their scouted game(s). I’ve added the players that the Bills talked with during Shrine Week and Senior Bowl Week, then placed them on our Draft Board fusing FanSpeak and DraftTek Big Boards. I’ve also cued up a defining play for each player for you.
In RD1, there are 9 players on offense and 12 on defense. There are no QBs or RBs, but there are plenty of Big Uglies on both sides of the ball. Some will be gone by the time #9 rolls around: Jonah Williams, Ed Oliver, Quinnen Williams, Josh Allen, and Clelin Ferrell.
If they drop, they’re value picks. Those players clustered around the Bills’ pick at #9, should they stay at #9, are WR D.K. Metcalf(you’ve all gasped at the abs picture by now), TE T.J. Hockenson (not as fast as Irv Smith but a more reliable target at 74% catch rate), OT Greg Little (playing LT here, a one-man jumbo package with the most athleticism for his size), iDL Rashan Gary (#3 playing RDE here, the lightest of my top 15 DLs, but very versatile), some ILBs (not happening), and two CBs (Greedy Williams, who idolized Tre White as both grew up in Shreveport, and Byron Murphy, who’s arguably the best fit for the Bills’ backfield).
Should the Bills be offered a deal they can’t refuse, there are some nice trade-down targets in later RD1 and RD2 that would make the Bills better sooner, and you’d get to pick at least two: WRs Arcega-Whiteside and N’Keal Harry (they’ll like how Riley Ridley makes bad throws look good and Marquise Brown’s electricity, too), RB Josh Jacobs (count the RBs on the Bills pushing age 30), TE Irv Smith, iDL Montez Sweat (averaged over 1 TFL per game), and a sneaky need in OLB-ILB Te’Von Coney, who at worst can back up Edmunds and Milano and at best can be the Bills’ third linebacker.
In RD2, the Bills could end up with two playmakers. Ridley and Hollywood Brown could still be there, and both have higher catch rates than Metcalf. The other playmaker could be Irv Smith, Daboll’s TE at ‘Bama, whose height and speed combo makes him unique and dangerous. If the Bills have already loaded up on playmakers in FA and RD1, the O-Line protection in RD2 and pick 4A should jump out at you. The Bills talked to Dalton Risner (who could win the Combine forty for OL and could play 4 line positions) and C Elgton Jenkins (our top Center not named Bradbury) at the Senior Bowl. Two very adaptable players on defense will get a look: ILB-OLB Khalil Hodge from the Buffalo Bulls (textbook tackler) and FS-CB-PR-KR Nasir Adderley. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
RD3 has a salmagundi of players that could help the Bills round out Day Two very nicely. Two of my favorite WRs can drop to the Bills at #74, Miles Boykin (specialty, size, and upside) and Anthony Johnson, again of the Bulls. His pedigree (3 cousins in the NFL, including Jadeveon Clowney) and his specialties (corner routes and hitches) gave Tyree Jackson a 124.2 passer rating when targeted. There are RBs later in the draft I prefer to Damien Harris, but Daboll knows Harris’s fit better than anyone. Guard Chris Lindstrom had talks with the Bills at the Senior Bowl, and NFL.com analysts loved his fit with the Bills due to his quickness and experience. He’ll likely drift into the RD2#40 conversation with good bench reps and interview. LT Tyree St. Louis (shown here vs #99 Brian Burns) could be a RT right out of the gate with quicker feet than Millstone, and his pass protection is light years better. He did astonishingly well against speed rusher Burns, so I’m a believer. EDGE Anthony Nelson of Iowa and CB Isaiah Johnsonare my two favorite players on the defense at this pick.
RD4 has a choice of two –unless Brandon Beane combines them. This is a time to think about the looming hole that Lor-Ax will leave when he hangs up his pads. Terrill Hanks is a pet cat at 4A. Like Hodge in RD3, Hanks can back up OLB and ILB and be a terror on special teams. He has tremendous length and reflexes that he uses to disrupt plays. On the OL, you have to develop a Center if you didn’t land Paradis in Free Agency, and 4A has the last two viable options with any starter potential: Daboll’s own OG-OC Ross Pierschbacher (here against Josh Simmons) and C Lamont Gaillard (say “GILL-yard”). At 4B, Beane will consider reliable WR Hunter Renfrow’s 78.9% catch rate, despite his lacking size or speed. He’ll also rush to the podium to hand in EDGE Joe Jackson’s name. What? You don’t have a big TE yet? Is 6’8” Zach Gentry (lined up here in 5-wide like Metzelaars used to do) a target Josh Allen can find?
RD5 nets two more players, maybe a RB and a SS, with upside and special teams potential. BetweenTravis Homer and Dexter Williams at RB –or a surprise reach for speedy Bryce Love (watch these 3 plays), Nico Evans (watch these 2 plays) or Karan Higdon (these 2 plays). I think the Bills’ three contacts with Notre Dame and his 8.9 ypc against AP-ranked teams give the edge to Dexter Williams.
However, Dexter had a bad game against Pitt (Darrin Hall won that battle), so there’s that. Williams was excellent in a later-season victory vs USC The SS I think the Bills have at the top at 5B is between Andrew Wingard and the versatile Mike Edwards from Kentucky, who I list at FS-SS-PR-KR. The credentialed Bills scout saw Edwards make 11 tackles, 8 of them solo, plus 1 PBU against Georgia. Yes, the scout saw The Other Josh Allen and one of my favorite iDLs, #13, Jonathan Ledbetter, excel in that game! I’ll do a happy dance if the Bills take Ledbetter, no matter what round, on Day 3.
RD6 should get Beane one player with upside, hopefully for depth and eventual playing time. The Bills have talked with LT William Sweet, the ACC’s top run-blocking OT (80.4 for offense, 85.7 for pass-blocking, and 72.8 run-blocking). He had only 1 sack and 1 penalty in 398 total snaps. Sweet has potential, as shown here…Watch #51. One of my other pet cats is CB Iman Marshall, who drops here only because he’s far better at zone than man. I like Marshall’s sideline-to-sideline coverage. He’s effective as a blitzer, too. Marshall could be Beane’s “DB find on Day 3” this year, and with Taron Johnson and Levi Wallace, give the Bills an impressive quartet.
RD7 and PFA is where Brandon Beane and his scouts have made some money. I’ll give you my best guesses, 3 on offense and 2 on defense, before the Combine: WR Gary Jennings (6-1, 210, 4.49) is the most sure-handed receiver on Day 3, and could vault all the way up to RD4. This year at WVU, he was 12 for 12 in red-zone catches. RB Bryce Love could also leap up, having already posted a 4.36 forty time, but there’s less of a premium placed on RBs, so his vault might be shorter—RD5B-6 range (see RD5 above). The last offensive player is C-OG Alex Bars, an ideal fit for the Bills in DraftTek OL Analyst Longball’s opinion. Utah OLB Chase Hansen was the best player in a Bills-scouted game against Oregon. He had 8 tackles, 5 assists, and a sack in that win. He’s what McDermott will see as the hybrid SS-LB he had in Carolina, and if he doesn’t go after Thomas Davis (which I’d recommend against), he’ll get a hybrid 10 years younger (Hansen is age 25). The last player worth mentioning is FS Chris Johnson, whose coaches received a visit from the Bills. Expect to see DBs at the end of all McBeane drafts. Blace Brown (RD6-7) and Jamel Dean (RD6-PFA) are CBs in whom the Bills have shown interest.
Editor’s babble: Thanks again to Dean Kindig for his tireless work cranking out these draft boards. Dean is a blessing! You can find Dean on Twitter @TCBILLS_Astro.