What a draft for the Buffalo Bills who stayed pat at 9 and got one of the best players in the draft that fills a need. From there the Bills continued to get good value and impact players. We could easily see four starters out of this class with the potential for three more to develop into starting roles. I wouldn’t be shocked in three years to be saying that the Bills had the best draft.
1st Round, Pick #9: Ed Oliver DT Houston
Buffalo has plenty of stout run defenders at defensive tackle but they lack the athletic penetrater that Sean McDermott had in Kawann Short while with the Panthers. Ed Oliver was once considered to be a top 3 prospect but teams were scared off because of his size. Their loss is the Bills gain as they get a powerful defensive tackle that runs and moves like a safety. Having him next to Harrison Phillips and Star Lotueleli will be very difficult to double team him. I know Tom Brady didn’t like this pick.
2nd Round, Pick #38: Cody Ford OT Oklahoma
The Bills have been very active this offseason adding pieces to their offensive line and that doesn’t stop here picking up Cody Ford who very well could have been a first round pick. Ford has played both guard and tackle while at Oklahoma and had success at both. Look for Ford to get a first crack at the right tackle position, but he may be even better moving back inside.
3rd Round, Pick #10: Devin Singletary RB Florida Atlantic
It was only fitting that Singletary went to the Bills as he was often compared to LeSean McCoy throughout the draft process. Singletary lacks that top end speed to reel off big runs, but he can make defenders miss with explosive lateral agility. With Frank Gore, McCoy and TJ Yeldon already on the roster Singletary will have to fight for carries as the third running back, but he’ll be able to learn from two legends before eventually taking over.
3rd Round, Pick #74: Dawson Knox TE Mississippi
A tight end can be the quarterbacks best friend and the Bills really don’t have much for weapons, let alone bigger bodies. Knox steps into the position looking to compete with free agent signing Tyler Kroft for the starting spot. Knox is a smooth runner who has a knack for finding soft areas in the coverage and can pick up yards after the catch. Knox may never be a super star, but he’ll be a big contributor to this team.
5th Round, Pick #147: Vosean Joseph LB Florida
Linebackers are a huge part of the Bills defense under Sean McDermott and they are hoping that they got good value here in Joseph who has the athletic ability to go sideline to sideline. Joseph is good against the run moving laterally and finishing but is raw in coverage. At a minimum the Bills are getting a core special teamer who can fit a specific role on their defense with the physical traits to be a starter.
6th Round, Pick #181: Jaquan Johnson S Miami
Buffalo is set at safety but when you are able to get a talent like Johnson sitting here in the 6th round he is hard to pass up. Johnson will make an immediate impact on special teams with his blend of speed and tackling ability. Johnson is limited in coverage but he should be able to fit in well with the Bills scheme that has him playing underneath and in cover two.
7th Round, Pick #225: Darryl Johnson Jr. DE North Carolina A&T
The MEAC Defensive player of the year gives the Bills a tall long defensive end that has the size and athletic traits that Buffalo wants out of their edge defenders. These are the type of guys you go after late in the round as they fit the size requirements and could pay off.
7th Round, Pick #228: Tommy Sweeney TE Boston College
Sweeney is a true blocking tight end who compete to make the roster as the third tight end. What goes for Sweeney is that he can be that blocker who can play inline or as an h-back while Kroft and Knox or more receivers.
Overall Grade: A
Best Pick: Ed Oliver
Upside Pick: Vosean Joseph