From January (when the East-West Shrine Game was first kicking off) through the final days of pre-draft visits, the Buffalo Bills have been steadily meeting with and interviewing prospects for the 2016 NFL Draft.
While we place special emphasis on the players who actually visit the team, knowing Buffalo's tendency to draft those names, it's also helpful to pay attention to any other connections we can find. They provide valuable insight into the positions, traits, and schools that Buffalo is interested in this year.
Here are all the prospects we've found who both haven't visited the team in Buffalo (to our knowledge), and have been connected with them in some fashion this spring.
Sean Davis, DB, Maryland
We know that the Bills met with Davis in some capacity thanks to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, but we don't know if that was a pre-draft visit or just a private meeting. Davis is an athletic safety who has been producing big plays for the Terrapins over the last few years.
Yannick Ngakoue, ER, Maryland
Davis isn't the only Terp that has the Bills paying attention. According to draft insider Tony Pauline, Ngakoue met privately with the Bills at his pro day. The outside linebacker outperformed expectations in his Combine workouts, and there is some thought that he could end up rising higher than originally expected in the draft.
Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
The Bills never brought Lynch in for a pre-draft visit, but they did take him out to dinner and interview him the night before his pro day. Does that signify serious interest? Or were they taking the same approach they took last year when they went out for dinner with Bryce Petty, only to ignore him in the draft?
Kevin Hogan, QB, Stanford
While Hogan never actually visited the Bills (to our knowledge), they talked extensively with him at the Senior Bowl and the Combine, as well as his pro day. When Greg Roman was still working at Stanford, he recruited Hogan out of high school. Also notably, Pauline has repeatedly stated that the Bills like Hogan a great deal.
Christian Hackenberg, QB, Penn State
We don't know if Hackenberg visited the Bills, but we do know that they met with him privately the evening after his pro day had concluded. Terry Pegula likely paid close attention to Hackenberg's development, being a Penn State booster.
Noah Spence, ER, Eastern Kentucky
Common sense would suggest that Spence should be on Buffalo's short list of draft options as one of the draft's best pass rushers, given Buffalo's anemic depth chart. Yet, outside of an interview at the Combine, the lines have been curiously silent between these two parties. Are the Bills hoping to conceal some interest and see if they can trade back to snag him, perhaps?
Charles Tapper, ER, Oklahoma
Tapper, who ran the fastest 40-yard dash among all defensive linemen at the Combine, interviewed with the Bills at that event. They reportedly asked him about his comfort with playing as a 3-4 defensive end, something they also asked of Oklahoma State's Emmanuel Ogbah.
Kamalei Correa, ER, Boise State
This outside linebacker has been considered a hot name in draft circles for a month or so now, due in part to his 4.69-second 40-yard dash and versatility on the edge. He interviewed with the team at the Combine.
Josh Doctson, WR, TCU
Generally considered a first-round prospect, this big-bodied receiver interviewed with the team at the Combine. Although receiver may not factor into Buffalo's Round 1 plans this year, they also brought his teammate Kolby Listenbee in for a pre-draft visit. The Bills may be targeting one of these two receivers (or perhaps their quarterback, Trevone Boykin).
Roberto Aguayo, K, Florida State
To our knowledge, the Bills are the only team to be explicitly connected with Aguayo, whom they interviewed at the Combine. Given their potential need for a kicker, this bears watching beginning on Friday.
Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State
Outside of Jared Goff and Carson Wentz (whose fates are apparently already decided), Ramsey was the only highly-rated draft prospect that the Bills have checked on, when they interviewed him at the Combine. If there were a chance that the team traded up in this draft, it would probably only happen because of Ramsey.
Rashawn Scott, WR, Miami (FL)
This 6'2" receiver didn't have a particularly strong season, but he managed to collect six passes for 108 yards and a touchdown against Ramsey and Florida State, which must have intrigued the Bills. They interviewed him at the East-West Shrine game.
Tyler Higbee, TE, Western Kentucky
The 6'6", 248-pound tight end had a lot of NFL evaluators excited about his potential in a passing offense, assuming he could overcome a few injuries from his college career. The Bills interviewed him at the Combine. Then, he was subsequently arrested in an ugly assault case involving a bar and an Arabic man Higbee punched, just a month before the draft. Higbee is pleading not guilty and taking the case to court, but it's a major black mark on his character.
Victor Ochi, ER, Stony Brook
The small-school pass rusher was the star of the East-West Shrine practices. Buffalo had representatives at Stony Brook's pro day, where he was working out.
Anthony Zettel, DL, Penn State
Most famous for a video in which he uprooted a tree by tackling it, the 6'4", 280-pound Zettel is undersized, but a solid athlete with a strong motor. He could play a role as a defensive tackle or end in Buffalo's defense, depending on how they want to manage his weight. They interviewed him at the East-West Shrine game.
Sebastian Tretola, OG, Arkansas
Tretola, at 6'4" and 314 pounds, is one of the least athletic offensive guard prospects available in this year's draft, but he was a road-grading run blocker who helped pave the way for three 1,000-yard rushers in the last two seasons at Arkansas. The Bills interviewed him at the Combine.
Moritz Boehringer, WR, Germany
The German uber-athlete wowed scouts with an incredible workout at Florida Atlantic. Coming from an amateur league in Europe which has a comparable skill level to American high school or Division III football, Boehringer's game has potential, but will likely require significant adjustment. He scheduled a couple additional pro days, and the Bills were one of a few teams that attended a supplemental pro day.
Pretty much every Clemson prospect
As far as we're aware, no Clemson player has visited or met with the Bills in a private fashion. That said, the team interviewed every one of them at the Combine, Rex Ryan was a major presence at their pro day, and the team has a lot of players who would fit Buffalo's needs, including nose tackle D.J. Reader, edge rushers Shaq Lawson and Kevin Dodd, and linebacker B.J. Goodson.
That's every player we've been able to dig up and corroborate with a report in draft season, not counting the 22 names in our draft prospect tracker. Have you found any additional players who were connected to the Bills? Share them in the comments!