Bills ‘Dueling’ Mock Draft

Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images.

The buzz has picked up regarding potential movers in the 2019 NFL Draft. Due to the aggressive nature of Brandon Beane, a potential trade involving the Buffalo Bills is certainly on the table. Early on in the draft process, Buffalo seemed like one of the more likely teams in the draft to try and trade down, but those talks have shifted in recent days.

With a stockpile of day three draft picks, many people are starting to wonder if the front office may try to package some of those selections to move up in the draft instead. Bills fans seem pretty split on these two different draft strategies, but the strategy they choose is far less important than the execution of that strategy. Here’s a look, round by round through the first two days, on how Buffalo could use either one of these strategies to build a team that’s ready to take the next step forward in 2019.

Round 1

Photo of DT Quinnen Williams from NBCsports.com.

Trade up:

Buffalo acquires pick #5 from Tampa Bay in exchange for pick #9, pick #74, and pick #147.

#5 – Bills select Quinnen Williams, defensive tackle, Alabama.

Quinnen Williams is a game wrecker. He would fill an immediate need on the defensive line at the 3T position. His ability to provide inside pressure should free up Jerry Hughes to make more plays in the backfield. This trade makes less sense if you think Ed Oliver offers the same kind of upside, but Williams definitely appears to be the safer option.

Trade Down:

Photo of TE T.J. Hockenson from dailyiowan.com.

Buffalo acquires pick #15 and pick #46 from Washington in exchange for pick #9 and pick #228.

#15 – Bills select T.J. Hockenson, tight end, Iowa.

Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane spoke this offseason about how important it is for a young quarterback’s development to have a reliable tight end. They spoke similarly about the center position before going out and making Mitch Morse they highest paid center in the league. Hockenson absolutely seems like a process-guy and has elite-level upside. The risk of selecting a tight end this early helps Hockenson drop down the board, but Buffalo can absorb the risk by acquiring two additional day two picks.

Round 2

Photo of TE Irv Smith, Jr. from theadvocate.com.

Trade Up:

#40 – Bills select Irv Smith Jr, tight end, Alabama.

Irv Smith Jr is the pick here for all of the same reasons that Buffalo would select T.J. Hockenson at pick #15. Smith doesn’t seem to have the elite upside as Hockenson, but if history tells us anything it’s that there is value in second-round tight ends. There is a chance that he could end up being the best tight end selected in this draft. There’s also the familiarity with his former offensive coordinator in Alabama, Brian Daboll. Fans are already talking this pick up, and for good reason. Josh Allen gets a play maker and a safety net here in the second round.

Trade Down:

Photo of WR Hakeem Butler from pressboxonline.com.

#40 – Bills select Hakeem Butler, wide receiver, Iowa State.

The Bills have already shown that wide receiver is a priority this offseason. They were in trade talks with Pittsburgh to try and acquire Antonio Brown before that whole debacle fell through. From there was the rumored interest in Odell Beckham Jr., which may or may not have been true. Then the Bills went out and signed John Brown and Cole Beasley. The receiving room improved with those two acquisitions, but neither of those two names should preclude Buffalo from adding additional wide receiver help in the draft. Hakeem Butler, at 6’6″, would easily be the Bills tallest threat in the passing game. For a quarterback who struggles with accuracy, having that kind of size on the field could be a huge asset for Josh Allen.

#46 – Bills select Zach Allen, defensive tackle, Boston College.

Allen isn’t going to blow anyone with his athleticism, but he’s described as a high-IQ guy with an extremely high motor. That sounds a lot like one of his former teammates, Matt Milano. Bills need help on the defensive line, and after going with back to back picks on the offensive side of the ball, Allen will provide great value at pick #46.

Round 3:

Trade Up:
No Third Round Selection

Trade Down:

Photo of DT Charles Omenihu from texassports.com.

#74 – Bills select Charles Omenihu, defensive tackle, Texas.

After ignoring defense with their first two picks, Buffalo adds two potential immediate contributors with their next two. Omenihu offers versatility along the defensive line, a trait that Sean McDermott has shown to value in the past. He possesses elite athleticism, but is very raw. In Buffalo, he would have time to develop, while also contributing in a rotational role.

Day Three

Trade Up:

Photo of EDGE Maxx Crosby from althlonsports.com.

Pick #112 – Bills select Maxx Crosby, EDGE, Eastern Michigan.

Pick #131 – Bills select Bobby Evans, offensive tackle, Oklahoma.

Pick #158 – Bills select Stanley Morgan Jr., wide receiver, Nebraska.

Pick #181 – Bills select Bryce Love, running back, Stanford.

Pick #225 – Bills select Hamp Cheevers, cornerback, Boston College.

Pick #228 – Bills select Khalil Hodge, linebacker, Buffalo.

Bills add more depth to their defensive line by drafting Maxx Crosby with their first pick on day three. Bobby Evans could become a starting right tackle and would have some solid veterans in front of him to learn behind. Stanley Morgan Jr. makes sense as a late round wide receiver whether they add one early or not. He is an elite route runner and could develop into a solid secondary receiving option should Zay Jones fail to take a step forward this season.

Bryce Love is an easy selection for Buffalo. They can afford to red shirt him for a season as he recovers from his injury and he can learn behind two veterans who have experienced long-term success at the highest level.

Cheevers and Hodge might be long shots to make the roster, but could earn a spot if they can contribute on special teams.

Trade Down:

Photo of RB Justice Hill by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman.

Pick #112 – Bills select Justice Hill, running back, Iowa State.

Pick #131 – Bills select Bobby Evans, offensive tackle, Oklahoma.

Pick #147 – Bills select Mike Edwards, safety, Kentucky.

Pick #158 – Bills select Joe Jackson, EDGE, Miami.

Pick #181 – Bills select Bryce Love, running back, Stanford.

Pick #225 – Bills select Hamp Cheevers, cornerback, Boston College.

Pick #228 – Bills select Khalil Hodge, linebacker, Buffalo.

By trading down the Bills have some flexibility to address the running back position a little earlier than they would otherwise. Justice Hill could develop into an every down running back as early as 2020.

In 2019, he would be a part of an experienced rotation with Shady McCoy and Frank Gore. The Bills could still draft Bryce Love with the intention of him sitting out in 2019. A running back room made up of Justice Hill and Bryce Love in 2020 could be really exciting. Mike Edwards could play the big nickel in Sean McDermott’s defense and be a contributor on special teams.

Final Outlook

Trade Up:

5 – Quinnen Williams
40 – Irv Smith Jr.
112 – Maxx Crosby
131 – Bobby Evans
158 – Stanley Morgan Jr.
181 – Bryce Love
225 – Hamp Cheevers
228 – Khalil Hodge

Trade Down:

15 – T.J. Hockenson
40 – Hakeem Butler
46 – Zach Allen
74 – Charles Omenihu
112 – Justice Hill
131 – Bobby Evans
147 – Mike Edwards
158 – Joe Jackson
181 – Bryce Love
225 – Hamp Cheevers
228 – Khalil Hodge

There’s no arguing that the Bills could address major needs in either scenario, but which one would you prefer? Sound off on twitter and let me know.

Editor’s babble: I’m a trade down kind of girl in this scenario. UB’s Kahlil Hodge would be a great pick in the last round if he falls that far. Thanks to Joe Geniti for his terrific contributions to our blog. You can find Joe on Twitter @JoeGeniti.

One Reply to “Bills ‘Dueling’ Mock Draft”

  1. I don’t believe the Bills will draft an offensive skill position at all no matter which way it goes because of how they are bringing in players for visits way more on the defensive side of the ball.