The Bills have a lot of holes in their roster still. But I think this draft has a lot of excellent prospects available, and Buffalo just needs to play their cards right to finally be in playoff position.
Round 1: Whitney Mercilus, DE/OLB, Illinois
Buffalo has many needs, but number one is a pass rusher. Mercilus has great size and talent, and has a non-stop motor. He's versatile enough to stand up as a linebacker, or be the RDE in a 4-3.
Round 2: Donta Hightower, LB, Alabama
This may sound like wishful thinking, but the fact of the matter is that ILBs are not hot commodities in the draft. Only once in the last 10 years has more than 1 ILB been taken in the first round. Hightower has a good chance to drop to us, and if he does, Buffalo should snap him up. If we switch to a 4-3, he can start immediately alongside Nick Barnett and Kelvin Sheppard, and if we stay in a 3-4, he can play any of the LB positions. He's a smart player, a good leader, and played on the same team as Marcell Dareus.
Round 3: Brock Osweiler, QB, Arizona State University
I don't care what Buddy Nix says; even if you think Ryan Fitzpatrick can get you to the "big show," you should always have a young QB prospect with high potential on the roster to develop. Tyler Thigpen has reached his ceiling and Brad Smith is not a quarterback. Brock Osweiler made a rather poor choice coming out early for the draft because he's too raw to be a high pick, but he is enormous (6'8") and has similar athleticism to Ben Roethlisberger (plus a cannon of an arm). Buffalo should take him, let him learn from Fitz, and have a solid backup if Fitz is injured, or have a QB of the future if Fitz doesn't pan out, or have a trade bait QB as we've seen New England and Green Bay develop.
Round 4a: Josh Norman, CB, Coastal Carolina
Right now our CB situation is a muddled mess. We have veterans, a couple rookies, and no real leaders. Next year's probable starters will be Drayton Florence and Aaron Williams. We'll keep Justin Rogers. I think we cut Corner and McGee, and McKelvin gets to stick around for another year because of his late-season special teams work. Josh Norman could continue building our depth with youth at the position. Norman played very well in practices for the East-West Shrine Game, and his height is appealing (6'2").
Round 4b: Ryan Broyles, WR, Oklahoma
Buddy Nix said that he likes the extra dimension a shifty slot receiver gives you, and he did not sound confident that Roscoe Parrish could keep doing it. Ryan Broyles, until his ACL injury, was expected to be a high second rounder due to his speed, hands, and route running. The Oklahoma offense fell apart after his injury. Assuming he is able to get back to 100% afterward, I would love to add Broyles to our receiving corps.
Round 5: George Iloka, S/LB, Boise State
Iloka has been turning some heads at the Senior Bowl after the weigh-in due to his impressive measurables and how he carries them. At 6'3" and 222 pounds, Iloka is a big safety who could step in immediately as a replacement for Bryan Scott as a nickle LB, and he could be a suitable backup for Jairus Byrd.
Round 6: Matt McCants, OT, UAB
McCants is a raw prospect who isn't quite ready for the step up in competition the NFL provides. But he has the size to one day be a good starting tackle, and can be good insurance in case we don't resign Demetrius Bell.
Round 7: Adrian Hamilton, DE/OLB, Prairie View A&M
This is my small-school sleeper pick. Playing in Division I-AA, Adrian Hamilton was at times unblockable getting the most sacks in the nation in college football this year. He has the athleticism to have played in Division I, having committed to Texas Tech until a coaching change made him renege. He can be another depth pass rush specialist in the mold of Danny Batten, who might someday have a bigger role on 3rd downs.
What defense do you think the Bills will run next year?
Primarily 3-4 (23 votes)
Primarily 4-3 (73 votes)
96 total votes