We will be receiving another great distraction from the madness of the world this week as we have finally reached draft week. The Buffalo Bills are one of the few teams that is not expected to participate on day one of the draft. It will be the first time since the arrival of Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane that the Bills do not have a first round pick, which was traded for Stefon Diggs. If the Bills do attempt to trade up into the first round, which they should not, they will begin their work in the second round.
The Bills’ biggest need heading into this draft was a wide receiver, but they decided to trade for a proven play maker rather than a potential one. Coming off a 10-6 season with a playoff berth for the second time in three years, the Bills are much closer to contenders than rebuilding, but they still have to put the pieces together on the field and go after the AFC East.
The Bills do not have any major holes to fill other than possibly depth. I would make a case that the team needs to solidify the second cornerback position, unless Josh Norman or Levi Wallace are believed to be the answer. Although, the Bills biggest draft need is depth at different positions.
It has been a long time since the Bills did not need to fulfill multiple positions throughout the draft. If they play it smart, the team will be able to solidify the back end of each position and bring in plenty of competition before the start of the season.
Potential Mock Draft
In the first mock draft for the FPC Bills, there were no trades and the Bills stuck to their original picks. In this draft, the Bills found themselves taking mainly depth players, along with players who can fulfill holes that could be opening up in the next year or two. A major key was versatility, which is what McDermott preaches to his team. The mock draft can be found below:
The Perfect Draft Weekend
There have been rumors of the Bills potentially trading up for number 54 overall, but there is no consistent answer on what player it would be for. If the Bills do not trade up unless someone falls, that is the start of a great draft for the organization. The Bills already traded somewhat big capital for Diggs, which they should get a great return on their investment. Last year, the team traded up twice in the second and third round to grab Cody Ford and Dawson Knox. Both players are coming off slowly productive seasons but still have major development to attack.
Along with not trading up, the Bills may want to consider acquiring more draft picks for next year. They are projected to open up next offseason with about $56 million in cap space and if they can gain extra draft picks, that will lead to yet another period of inflicting damage in both free agency and the draft next year.
Worst Case Scenario
The worst case scenario for the Bills would not be trading up, but trading up for a player at a position that they have solidified. I do not see Beane making this kind of move. His history is too trustworthy to believe he would pull off this type of move. Some would argue that the Bills should definitely avoid trading up for a running back. If the Bills have the chance to grab someone like Jonathan Taylor from Wisconsin in the second round, or A.J. Dillon in the fifth round, utilize the opportunity to grab offensive help.
Unless the team see’s a player fall that shouldn’t be, they need to avoid trading up and giving away assets.
Questions Surrounding the Team
Up until 2019, the Bills seemed to always be in the conversation of grabbing a quarterback early. They got their guy they think can lead this franchise in Allen and it has paid off so far based on his development from 2018 to 2019. They found their replacement for Kyle Williams by stealing Ed Oliver at number nine overall last year. The holes that opened up on their team from free agent players, were filled immediately. There is not too much to worry about the Bills heading into 2020, other than can they fulfill their season expectations based off a strong offseason?
Other than that, it’s fair to question their plan for a second running back to Singletary. Who fill fit Brian Daboll’s scheme in the running game? You could also raise concern about bringing in another defensive tackle to help stop the run. It all comes down to fulfilling depth rather than looking for an immediate starter.
Key Players To Watch
Once the Bills are on the clock, anything is possible. Whether there is a trade up or if the Bills stick to their original picks, there will be debates on who the Bills will target. It’s clear as day that the Bills have extra room for depth which plays to their advantage. Who could the team take for not just extra competition, but also compete for a starting spot later down the road?
1.) Bradlee Anae, DE/Utah
-He brings versatility, leadership and a strong run stop game. The Bills were in the middle of the pack when it came stopping the run, and it was brutal when the runs were to the outside. He is a rotational player that can become a starter once Jerry Hughes and/or Trent Murphy exit the door within the next two years.
2.) A.J. Dillon, RB/Boston College
-A down the hill hard runner who isn’t afraid to lower his shoulder, Dillon is a back that the Bills do not have on the roster. Singletary is not afraid to take a hit, but he cannot overpower a linebacker. Dillon has that kind of strength where at full speed, he can truck a defender. He would serve as a great complimentary back for Singletary and an extra factor to like him, is that he can play in the cold.
3.) Aloha Gilman, FS/Notre Dame
-He may not see the field from a defensive perspective for awhile with Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer in town, but he would be a special team ace which is important for the Bills culture. He plays with aggression so he isn’t afraid of contact, but there are red flags to his game so the earliest he could go is the sixth round potentially.