Todd McShay is an NFL Draft mainstay at ESPN, and he recently published his fourth mock draft of the offseason, expanding it to a second round. In the first round, McShay had the Bills taking Alabama defensive tackle Jarran Reed with the 19th overall pick, making him the second defensive tackle off the board.
"The Bills could use an edge rusher or an off-the-line linebacker, but the top options at those positions are off the board," said McShay. "Reed isn't a bad backup option. The Alabama product is the most dominant interior run-stuffer in this draft class. Reed won't be a high-impact pass-rusher, but he's a better athlete than you'd think, capable of pushing the pocket with his power and surprising closing burst."
"Dominant interior run-stuffer" and "won't be a high-impact pass-rusher" aren't phrases that describe the defensive needs for a team that ranked 31st in sacks last season, making this a somewhat questionable add for the Bills. While linebackers Reggie Ragland and Leonard Floyd were already taken, edge rushers Noah Spence, Emmanuel Ogbah, and Kevin Dodd were still on the board (in fact, those players landed in the second round of McShay's mock), and more athletic tackles like A'Shawn Robinson, Vernon Butler, Chris Jones, and Robert Nkemdiche were later first round picks that could have offered more of a pass rush for Buffalo than Reed.
McShay's second round choice is an idea that has been tossed around on occasion for Buffalo. As McShay notes, "Shepard is a highly instinctive slot WR with good route-running ability and a history of showing up in big moments. His athleticism was readily apparent at the combine (4.48 40, 41-inch vertical)." While the Bills have a long-stated preference for receivers with size, and Ohio State's Michael Thomas (who stands six-foot-three) was still on the board, Shepard is an outstanding route runner who would tear up the underneath routes in the space created by Sammy Watkins.
How would you be feeling if the Bills started their draft class with Reed and Shepard?