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Mel Kiper sends Deshaun Watson to the Bills in first mock draft

Consider this the first salvo in a slew of speculation leading up to the will-they-or-won’t-they with Tyrod Taylor’s contract

Perennial NFL Draft reporter Mel Kiper Jr. has emerged from his hole in the ground, and he didn’t see his shadow - draft season is already underway. He published his first mock draft of the year today, so let’s take a look at who he slotted for the Buffalo Bills.

10. Buffalo Bills

*Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson

I'm a believer in franchises with new head coaches starting fresh with new quarterbacks, and it appears likely the Bills move on from Tyrod Taylor after hiring Sean McDermott. That leaves Buffalo with a huge hole and a top-10 pick to fill it. I wrote last week that I didn't think Watson would get a post-title game draft bounce, but I've heard differently from people around the NFL. Though he had an up-and-down season -- and threw 17 interceptions -- Watson is extremely talented. He's the second quarterback off the board in this projection, ahead of Notre Dame's DeShone Kizer.

I have a feeling this will be a popular pick for the next four months, or at least while Tyrod Taylor’s contract question remains unresolved. If the Bills are preparing to move on from Taylor, drafting a quarterback with their top pick would make a lot of sense.

And yet, if the Bills do drop Taylor, is Watson the type of quarterback they’d want as a replacement?

It’s already trendy to compare Clemson’s Watson to Taylor. Both are dual threat quarterbacks with excellent college careers. Both have shown a knack for locating deep passes into tight windows. While Watson is taller and more amenable to working the middle of the field, they are both nimble in the pocket.

So if the Bills don’t think Taylor is the right fit, why would they select Watson? Sure, his height and passing up the seam could potentially make him an upgrade over Taylor in that respect, but if they’re looking for a different style under center, they would have better luck with DeShone Kizer, Mitch Trubisky, or the freelancing Patrick Mahomes.

Do you think Watson is a possibility for the Bills in April?