Bills fans should be excited after the first two days of the 2019 NFL Draft. Buffalo managed to draft one of the premier talents in this year’s draft when Ed Oliver dropped into Brandon Beane’s lap. They moved up to secure a potential day one starter on the offensive line, Cody Ford. The oldest running back room in the NFL got a little younger when Buffalo added Devin Singletary, the dynamic running back out of Florida Atlantic. Then, somewhat surprisingly, the Bills moved back into the third round to snag their developmental tight end of the future, Dawson Knox.
The Bills did well to address needs on both sides of the ball, while still drafting for value. Where does that leave Brandon Beane and company on Day 3? The team has four picks in rounds 4-7. The trade to get Dawson Knox cost them both of their fourth rounders, so they are left with picks 147, 181, 225, and 228. Unless Buffalo makes a trade up the board (which you can’t ever rule out), it will be a little while before they are on the clock. So who might the Bills target with those four day 3 picks? Let’s look at it by position group.
Dru Samia (G), Ben Powers (G), Alex Bars (G)
The Oklahoma offensive line was one of the best in the country last season. Either of the two guards could come in and compete for a depth spot along the offensive line with the potential to develop into a long-term starter. There’s plenty of veterans to learn behind on that offensive line, but it’s fair to wonder if there would be enough room on the roster to try to keep any of these guys. Still, there’s nothing wrong with creating more competition if the value lines up later in the draft.
Hakeem Butler, Kelvin Harmon, Riley Ridley, Stanley Morgan Jr., DaMarkus Lodge, Antoine Wesley, Jakobi Meyers, Anthony Johnson
Wide receiver is perceived as one of the biggest needs on the roster, but I don’t know that that is the case. The Bills have two years worth of development invested in Zay Jones and were starting to see some progress towards the second half of last season. Robert Foster showed flashes of brilliance. Brandon Beane also brought in Cole Beasley and John Brown, two guys who are going to command a lot of targets this season.
With that being said, I think it’s important that Buffalo adds a big wide receiver who can win jump balls or a developmental guy that Sean McDermott can stash and bring along slowly without stealing reps from guys like Jones and Foster. Hakeem Butler and Kelvin Harmon were once thought of as first-round talents, so either of those guys present fantastic value at any point on day three. The other two names that I find the most intriguing are Jakobi Meyers and Antoine Wesley.
Meyers presents as a big-slot type receiver. This is becoming a more valuable role in NFL offenses as teams continue to look to exploit mismatches on the field. That is one position that is currently lacking in the Bills offense.
Wesley is a 6’5″ “my-ball” type of receiver who can go up and high point a pass. Josh Allen, a quarterback who is known for his accuracy struggles, would probably love to have a guy with Wesley’s catch radius. If Robert Foster was nothing more than a flash in the pan, then Wesley becomes his eventual replacement.
Charles Omenihu (edge), Maxx Crosby (edge), Anthony Nelson (edge), Christian Miller (edge), D’Andre Walker (edge), Renell Wren (DT), Daniel Wise (DT), Kingsley Keke (DT), Sutton Smith (edge)
Charles Omenihu should have been selected in the first two days. He offers versatility and has all the raw tools that guy like Sean McDermott would love to work with. It would require some movement to get their hands on either of him or Maxx Crosby, but they could consider moving a 2020 pick to try and get up to do just that. Adding another defensive tackle would probably be an embarrassment of riches after selecting Ed Oliver with the ninth pick, but they’ve shown an interest in some of these guys. Anybody from the list would have an opportunity to earn a spot on the team. At the very least any of them could be a practice squad stash to replace Jordan Phillips if he leaves after next season.
Mack Wilson (ILB), Porter Gustin (OLB), Blake Cashman (ILB), Drue Tranquill( ILB), Ben Burr-Kirven (ILB), T.J. Edwards (ILB), Khalil Hodge (ILB)
The Bills are mostly looking for special teams contributions from these players. They certainly need to be considering a long-term replacement for Lorenzo Alexander so it’ll be interesting to see if they identify anyone has a potential project. Porter Gustin is player that Erik Turner has been raving about over on the Cover 1 twitter feed. That might be the most interesting name to watch on day three. Fans are probably hoping to see Khalil Hodge get an opportunity with the Bills either in the 7th round or as an undrafted free agent, so that could be another linebacker to keep in mind.
Julian Love (CB), Amani Oruwariye (CB), Isaiah Johnson (CB), Mark Fields (CB), Michael Jackson (CB), Chauncey Gardner-Johnson (safety), Amani Hooker (safety), Deionte Thompson (safety), Sheldrick Redwine (safety), Saquan Hampton (safety)
There are plenty of options available in the secondary on day three. Julian Love and Amani Oruwariye appeared to be second-round prospects based on the analysis of most draft experts. Again, acquiring either of those two players would probably require a move back up the board. The same can be said for Gardner-Johnson, Hooker, and Thompson. Regardless, expect a defensive back to come off the board on Saturday and don’t be surprised if a safety, not a cornerback, is the pick when Buffalo is on the clock.
If Beane is willing to part with a 2020 draft pick, then he may find himself back in the fourth round. With that being said, Bills fans will probably be patiently waiting for the Bills to be on the clock in the fifth round. When that happens, who are you hoping will be available? Which positions do you think are most important for the staff to target as the draft comes to a close? Send me your thoughts on twitter (@JoeGeniti).
Editor’s babble: It will be interesting to see how Beane & Co. move around the board today. No EDGE yet makes me wonder if a trade for Clowney is still in the cards, especially with LeSean McCoy’s $6.5M cap hit and now FOUR potential starting RBs on the roster. Thanks to Joe Geniti for his terrific contributions to our blog.