With the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft in the books, the board is set for the Buffalo Bills' first two selections, scheduled to be made this evening. We're once again running a Bills mock draft projection with the help of the Fanspeak On the Clock draft simulator, which now features updated draft order and available players.
I decided to approach this mock like I expect the Bills to approach the real deal tonight. These were my guiding principles, based on the information we've heard from general manager Doug Whaley over the course of the offseason:
- Find a contributor: There's still talent on the board in Round 2, and it's imperative that a good contributor is added to improve depth - or, perhaps, to start.
- Accumulate future picks: Since later picks don't have as much use for this team, which is fairly deep and veteran-laden, if I'm going to trade back, I'd like to acquire picks for next year's draft, if teams will offer them.
- Package picks for valuable contributors: Again, if the late-round picks aren't going to make the team, I'd like to use them as currency to pick a more talented prospect earlier in the draft.
With those tenets in mind, here's what the team ended up doing in our mock draft:
Bills trade Round 2 pick to Panthers for Rounds 2, 3 picks
With a trade down offer on the table, most of the easy choices gone, and several good options still available, it was easy to accept this trade, which netted Buffalo an extra pick in the third round. My plan was to watch the board and trade up if I felt like I wouldn't land a contributor otherwise.
Bills trade Rounds 2, 5 picks to Cardinals for Round 2 pick
As it so happened, the board quickly lost some viable options. With two picks remaining before I drafted, I gave up a fifth-round pick to move up slightly and ensure I could select a player I wanted.
Bills pick Owamagbe Odighizuwa, ER, UCLA
After all that waiting, the Bills ended up with a great edge-rushing prospect to slot in behind Jerry Hughes. Odighizuwa is an explosive, powerful defensive end who had a strong season at UCLA after missing the 2013 season with two hip surgeries. He drops because of those concerns about his injury history, but he hasn't had issues with his hips since recovering, and I think he was the best player available on the board.
Bills trade Round 3 (f/CAR) pick to Rams for Rounds 4, 6, 7, and 2016 Round 3 picks
This was exactly what I was hoping for. St. Louis wanted to trade up, and they were offering 2016 picks for it. I took this trade without hesitation. My goal was to use the rest of those extra picks to make two selections in the third round anyway, assuming the right players were on the board.
Bills pick P.J. Williams, CB, Florida State
I considered trading up in the third round, possibly to select an offensive lineman like Ali Marpet or Tre' Jackson, but both players were selected rather early. Instead, I waited, grabbing the Florida State cornerback prospect. Williams had a rocky last couple weeks after being charged with a DUI, but those charges were recently dropped when video evidence failed to support the claims the officer made. Williams is a solid cornerback prospect, with good fundamentals and the athleticism to play inside or outside. He'd be a great addition to the secondary, as well as add to the team's Williams quota.
Bills trade Rounds 4 (f/STL), 6 (f/MIN), 6 (f/STL) picks to Patriots for Round 3 pick
I wasn't done yet, with one player of interest to Buffalo still on the board and an abundance of late picks. I packaged a few of them to move back up and snag that player.
Bills pick Bryce Petty, QB, Baylor
Now, the roster is complete.
What do you think? Here are the full results of the two-round mock draft. The Bills ended up with contributors at edge rusher and cornerback, and grabbed a developmental quarterback prospect they're high on. They also still have a sixth-round pick, two seventh-round picks, and an extra third-round pick in next year's draft. Would you like to see Buffalo exit day two of the draft with this type of haul?