Astro’s BillsMafia Draft – Final Edition

Photo/meme from makeameme.org.

My #ASTRODRAFT consists of 100% Bills Visits, looking at number of contacts, GM involvement, BPA, my War Chart, my “Pick Six” articles, and factored in reported positions of Team Need. But now, I’ve also watched interviews and heard stories of these players, and am ready to make the picks that Brandon Beane will make from his High-Tech Basement Control Center (H-TBCC).

Photo from youtube.com.

RD1
The Pick: Stefon Diggs, WR Vikings

Photo of WR Laviska Shenault from Cleveland.com.

RD2
The Pick: Laviska Shenault, WR Colorado [the story] [interview]
(also considered: Michael Pittman Jr., WR USC; Malik Harrison, ILB Ohio State)
The latest DraftTek Big Board and just-released Mock Draft have a bevy of wideouts still on the board, including Shenault, the first player the Bills visited way back in August. Pittman and Claypool get long looks, too; Pittman brings big-slot size and downfield blocking, and Claypool brings… well…Funchess size and “my ball” attitude –just not as much blocking or catch rate. Shenault’s operation was supposedly a success, but did his RD1 future survive?? I bet no. Jefferson, Higgins, and Mims will likely push him down, as will the run on O-Line. With Diggs already a Buffalo Bill, Beane might take an informed risk with major payoff if he’s right. Fran Duffy called Shenault “Sammy Watkins in a Julio Jones wrapper.” I love that. I think the Bills will get a position-flexible, athletic, aggressive alpha –a real Deandre Hopkins– out of Shenault.

Photo of OT Robert Hunt from russellstreetreport.com.

RD3
The Pick: Robert Hunt, OT Louisiana-Lafayette [the story] [interview]
(also considered: Bryan Edwards, WR South Carolina; Neville Gallimore, DL3T Oklahoma)
Hearing Robert tell his life story brought chills. His spirit and toughness fits in seamlessly with the OL locker room. Be sure to read the story, and listen to the interview (and pretend you’re listening to Dion Dawkins), but be sure to take in Hunt’s blocking. Watch him in the scouted game blasting huge holes for RB Raymond Calais —the OL snowplowed the defense for 316 rush yards vs Arkansas State.

Photo of EDGE Alton Robinson from ESPN.com.

RD4
The Pick: Alton Robinson EDGE Syracuse [the story] [interview]
(also considered: Logan Wilson, ILB Wyoming; Anfernee Jennings, OLB Alabama)
The only way the Bills wait for EDGE is if it’s for Robinson. He’ll be better as a pro than he was at ‘Cuse. Alton finished 2018 with 10.0 sacks and 17.0 TFL, the most of all returning 2019 rushers not named Kendall Coleman. Robinson was the highest-graded edge rusher in the ACC entering 2019. I like his arm length and power. He times the snap perfectly. His bend at that length is impressive, and he’s good vs the run. Everything the Bills need, with upside to take the reins when our aging EDGEs hang it up. Alton has racked up 15 sacks in 2 years at Syracuse to go with 23.5 tackles for loss. Logan Wilson is a very nice fit for the Bills; he’s another WYO-stud who was a converted safety, and he excels in coverage. A+ character.

Photo of OLB/SS Khaleke Hudson from bucsreport.com.

RD5
The Pick: Khaleke Hudson, OLB/SS Michigan [the story] [interview]
(also considered: trade for Fournette, Lavert Hill, CB Michigan)
Beane likes his linebackers and safeties on Day 3, so we’ll get him one of each here, packed into one player. I’ve said before he’s solidly built and solidly grounded. All-Process. Good team guy. Michigan’s secondary has limited opposing offenses to the fewest YAC. He’s slightly out of place in the Wolverines’ defense, and I expect him to shine brighter as a pro. He’s on Michigan’s leadership council, he was on the Bednarik , Nagurski, and Butkus lists, and he’ll be a nice coverage LB/SS, a Kurt Coleman, if you will. His football smarts, gusto, and speed will help prepare us for life after Coleman and Hyde.

Photo of ILB Shaquille Quarterman from draftblaster.com.

RD6A
The Pick: Shaquille Quarterman ILB Miami [the story] [interview] [Matt Waldman]
(also considered: Tanner Muse, S Clemson; Antonio Gibson, WR Memphis)
A FaceTime visit for Quarterman, his LB-leading 52 Games Played, and the confluence of pick and position make this a no-brainer for the Bills. Shaq was the Hurricanes’ first freshman starter at MLB since the Bills’ Director of Player Personnel Dan Morgan in 1998. Watch the highlights, and decide if he can break into the depth chart behind Tremaine Edmunds, Julian Stanford, and Tyrel Dodson. At worst, “New Shaq” will be good on special teams. Quarterman likely got looks last year when the Bills selected teammate Jaquan Johnson. Other considerations: Antonio Gibson is a fun, versatile playing piece for Coach Daboll, and Tanner Muse is another Hyde.

Photo of RB Eno Benjamin from arizonasports.com.

RD6B
The Pick: Eno Benjamin RB Arizona State [interview] [the Eno story] [Waldman]
(also considered: Dane Jackson, CB Pittsburgh; Michael Ojemudia, S Iowa;
Breiden Fehoko, iDL, LSU)
This is another player to tune into any of his interviews. Eno Benjamin leads all RBs in career receptions as well as receptions per game, and is the best blocker you’ll find on Day 3 (possible exception: Artavis Pierce). Hard to pass up Dane Jackson, Ojemudia, and my pet cat, Breiden, but the Eno pick gives the Bills a formidable RB corps.

Photo of EDGE Jessie Lemonier by Leah Seavers.

RD7
The Pick: Jessie Lemonier, EDGE Liberty [interview] [MVP of the Cure Bowl]
(also considered: Adrian Killins Jr., RBC UCF; James Morgan, QB FIU)
Turning down Devin Singletary’s faster UCF teammate Killins should show you how sold I am on “The Liberty Player Not Named Gandy-Golden” in this draft: Lemonier (“Lemon-YAY”) did what both of the Bills’ 30-visits at EDGE did last year: be Top 3 among all EDGE draftables in TFLs per game. The Bills took Daryl Johnson last year with their last pick, and he made the squad of 53. I expect Lemonier to do the same. Jessie’s the younger brother of Corey, drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in RD3 of the 2013 NFL Draft.

Editor’s babble: I would fall over in a fit of joy if Beane has the spheres to draft a WR at 54… especially Shenault. It’s so hard to know who might be available there as players drop out of the first round. Love this mock draft… all of it. If Logan Wilson from WYO makes it to Buffalo, watch out. There aren’t enough thanks I can give to Dean Kindig for all his wonderful contributions to our blog. You can find ‘The Draft Dean’ on Twitter @TCBILLS_Astro. Have a glorious day and stay safe :)