This will be the only mock draft I will attempt. A mock is difficult enough without such scattershot evals as I see this year. I used Scout.com (Fox Sports) and NFL Draft Scout (CBS Sports) to attempt to slot these guys. Also, I have tried to guess who the Bills would prefer rather than my favorites. I have tried to fill needed holes on the roster even though not all holes can be filled (that's for you TWISS guys). Here goes.
1. Ryan Nassib, QB. We are caught between a rock and a hard place on this one. Nassib shows up on several draft sites as the 3rd rated QB with a late round 1 grade. He won't be there when we pick in round 2, so I take Buddy Nix at his word and draft him 1 round earlier. The more I watch Nassib the more I like him. His rocket balls will allow him to have better ball placement into tighter windows in the NFL. His pocket presence is outstanding and his deep ball is said to be improving. He is still getting better. And he gives us the best chance to come out of the gate running. I like him better than Barkley and Smith will not be there. Nassib it is.
2. Robert Woods/DeAndre Hopkins, WR. Gossip on other sites says OBD is enamored with Woods. If he is gone, Hopkins is a fine choice too. We fill a gaping hole with a higher rated WR than will be available later. Neither has blazing speed but they both run routes well, have good body control, and can get downfield. I'd be happy with either.
3. Zaviar Gooden, OLB. 6'2, 234, 4.46 40 and 1.52 10 yd split. He's a will LB who can cover 1 on 1 with rare speed at his position. We're into round 3 so prospects are a work in progress, but Gooden has considerable upside. Doesn't shed blockers all that well but few LB's drafted in round 3 do. I like his measureables and upside. He looks to be a good fit for Pettine.
4. TJ McDonald, FS. Safety is on their want list. OBD appears to be looking at both FS and SS. I'm not sure Byrd will be resigned so here's our insurance. He has Nix size and physicality. Attacks the run. He slips to round 4 after a somewhat disappointing year playing for Lane Kiffin. Sounds like the whole USC team. Go play for Kiffin and watch your career slide.
5. AJ Klein, ILB. This could be Klein, Nico Johnson or Kevin Reddick. Depends who's there. We're into round 5 now so every pick is a crapshoot. OBD could go several ways here but I think the best value is at ILB, which we need. Who knows. Could be another safety or CB or interior O lineman. My dart lands on ILB.
6. Dustin Hopkins, PK. I can't believe place kicker hasn't received more attention so far, but it is a crying need to me. We need an upgrade here badly. Hopkins is the best PK in the draft. He's good at FG and kickoffs. And if we take him he's ours without fighting other teams in free agency or watching another team draft him ( which would probably happen). So who would you rather have in the sixth round? The best PK this year or a chump crapshoot roster filler who has little chance of making the roster, let alone becoming a starter?
If the Bills have the opportunity they should trade down whenever possible, especially in round 1. Nassib will be there.
OBD has plugged the leaks pretty well so the guessing game this year is wide open. I'd like to know their plans at CB with one position still up in the air. I think they will get interior offensive linemen outside the draft. Having now done one, I very much appreciate everyone who has taken the time to do a mock. This is not easy. Even if it is pure speculation.