The college football season is over for the teams that are not bowl eligible. That means the next big announcements should be players making their decisions to come out for the draft early or to stay in school.
With that in mind, SB Nation’s NFL draft editor Dan Kadar has released a mock draft with the assumption that USC’s Sam Darnold, one of the two top quarterback prospects by consensus, chooses to return to school for his junior year. That choice has reverberations across the board and creates desperation for teams in need of a signal caller. Similar to his last mock draft, Kadar has the Bills missing out on his top four quarterback prospects, but this time settling on two front seven defensive talents.
The Bills could be another victim of Darnold returning to school. If there isn’t a first-round quarterback who has value, the Bills could start fixing a run defense that has fallen apart since Marcell Dareus was traded.
22. Buffalo Bills - Malik Jefferson, LB, Texas
Preston Brown is a free agent at the end of the season, and the Bills could be in the market for linebacker help even if he’s brought back. Jefferson is finally living up to his blue-chip potential for Texas, and he’s seen his draft stock rise as the season has progressed.
The only quarterbacks I view as worth trading up for at this point are UCLA’s Josh Rosen and Darnold. As Darnold was unavailable, and it’s unlikely the Browns would trade out of the first pick, I agree in standing pat and waiting to draft a quarterback in the second round or later. Players like Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph or Virginia’s Kurt Benkert could be had on the draft’s second day.
As for Kadar’s picks, while I like the positions targeted I don’t necessarily think those two selections are the best fits. Wilkins hasn’t been as disruptive on tape this year as a player like Maurice Hurst out of Michigan, who was available. While Malik Jefferson is an athletic specimen, he hasn’t yet caught up in the mental aspects of the position and there is a fear he never will. Alabama’s Rashaan Evans isn’t the athlete that Jefferson is but is miles ahead of him mentally. Neither Wilkins nor Jefferson are seniors, as McDermott seems to prefer in his prospects.
Your response to this mock draft is...
This poll is closed
I have no complaints.
I don’t mind waiting for a QB, but would’ve preferred reinforcements for the offense.
I would’ve preferred the Bills trade up for one of the three quarterbacks taken after the first pick.