The 11th annual SB Nation writers’ mock draft has begun, and the Buffalo Bills — represented by your favorite blog, Buffalo Rumblings — go on the clock later today. You can follow the mock live right here.
Before we make our pick, Dan and I felt it was appropriate to release the Top 10 of our Bills Big Boards. At least one of these guys is guaranteed to be there when Buffalo picks at 10. Although our top 10s may be different, our selection will be a team effort. No speculation of a rift among the staff at Rumblings.
Dan Lavoie’s Bills Big Board Top 10
1. Myles Garrett, defensive end, Texas A&M
2. Marshon Lattimore, cornerback, Ohio State
3. Malik Hooker, safety, Ohio State
4. Jonathan Allen, defensive tackle, Alabama
5. Solomon Thomas, defensive lineman, Stanford
6. Leonard Fournette, running back, LSU
7. O.J. Howard, tight end, Alabama
8. Jamal Adams, safety, LSU
9. Corey Davis, wide receiver, Western Michigan
10. DeShone Kizer, quarterback, Notre Dame
Myles Garrett - Self explanatory. Almost scary how clean he looks. Elite athlete, elite size, elite production, no injuries, and he's even a genuinely nice and interesting individual.
Marshon Lattimore - I think he's the best man coverage corner to enter the draft since Darrelle Revis. Elite athlete, excellent trail coverage, plays the ball extremely well. Only knock is small hand size.
Malik Hooker - Best coverage safety since Earl Thomas, or maybe Ed Reed. Elite combo of range, size, and ball skills. Tackling angles need work, but so what? Good single high safeties are unicorns.
Jonathan Allen - Thought he was a first round talent last year. By all accounts, has only improved his technique and drive. Main concern is a shoulder that needed surgery.
Solomon Thomas - Just a monstrous presence on the defensive line. The way he ferociously wins one-on-one reminds me at times of Aaron Donald, although he's built more like a defensive end and doesn't have the elite athletic measurements.
Leonard Fournette - Was hampered this season by an ankle injury, which made some doubt his potential. Go back and watch his 2015 tape if you're unsure. Like Derrick Henry with an elite stiff arm and more wiggle. Tackling him is like tackling a locomotive.
O.J. Howard - Players with his size, athletic talent, and ability to both pass block against Myles Garrett and catch 200 yards in the National Championship don't show up more than once every 10 years.
Jamal Adams - Tone setter, leader, hard hitter. Doesn't have elite coverage talent, not the athlete Eric Berry was. But he's smart, has good range, and he's versatile.
Corey Davis - Elite production for four years. Ability to win the ball and run after the catch is reminiscent of Terrell Owens. Size is exactly what you'd want. The only question is his lack of testing numbers.
DeShone Kizer - Seen glimpses of Winston and Garoppolo watching him play. Good pocket movement, good intelligence, capable of some stellar throws. Struggles when pressured, but seems like the closest thing to a franchise QB in this draft.
Chris Trapasso’s Bills Big Board Top 10
1. Mike Williams, wide receiver, Clemson
2. Myles Garrett, defensive end, Texas A&M
3. O.J. Howard, tight end, Alabama
4. Corey Davis, wide receiver, Western Michigan
5. Solomon Thomas, defensive lineman, Stanford
6. Malik Hooker, safety, Ohio State
7. Reuben Foster, linebacker, Alabama
8. Jonathan Allen, defensive tackle, Alabama
9. Obi Melifonwu, safety, UConn
10. Evan Engram, tight end / wide receiver, Ole Miss
Mike Williams - I am a huge advocate of the “go-up-and-get-it” wide receivers, and that’s precisely what Williams is. Back in the 2014 draft class, I had Mike Evans narrowly ahead of Sammy Watkins for that reason. Williams is tall and the best “jump ball / contested catch” wideout I’ve watched since Evans, and he possesses underrated wiggle in the open field to make a few defenders miss. Williams increases a quarterback’s confidence with his ability to come down with catches when he doesn’t appear to be open.
Myles Garrett - This guy is an absolute terror on the edge. He wins with speed, bend, and the occasional pass-rushing move. Oh, and he’s not even 22 years old. I think Garrett is somewhere between Jadeveon Clowney and Joey Bosa as a prospect. With some refinement of his pass-rushing arsenal, he’ll be a perennial 10-plus sack guy. Any team would love to have him on its roster.
O.J. Howard - The complete tight end prospect. Runs like a smaller wide receiver. Blocks amazingly well. He wasn’t given the opportunity to showcase his contested-catch ability much at Alabama, but at 6’6” and 251 pounds with 33 1/4” arms and 10” hands, I’d guess he can win in those situations. Even with Charles Clay in the mix, Howard would add a matchup nightmare to Buffalo’s offense. He’s athletic enough to play in the slot, and will be able to hold is own in-line as a blocker.
Corey Davis — Davis is the consummate West-Coast Offense receiver. He consistently creates separation and is impeccably explosive after the catch. At a shade under 6’3” and 209 pounds, he has nice size and flashed some high-pointing ability. At Western Michigan, he was productive for four-straight years. He’ll be a top-level wideout for a long time in the NFL.
Solomon Thomas — During his time with the Panthers, Carolina dominated up front. In the 2013 draft, they selected back-to-back defensive tackles (Star Lotuleilei and Kawann Short) which paid major dividends. Thomas is a super-polished pass-rusher — he possesses a wide arsenal of moves — and is a twitchy athlete for his size at 6’3” and 273 pounds. He doesn’t lack power either. McDermott could play him anywhere on the defensive line, but Thomas will disrupt many pockets from the interior.
Malik Hooker - Range for days. With the Bills going predominantly to a Cover 3 defense, a speedy center fielder is vital. Hooker has some run-support technique issues, but isn’t unwilling to come down and help the front seven in that area of the field. He thrives on the back end, almost serving as a coverage blanket for any passes made beyond 15 yards. He’s not yet 22 years old.
Reuben Foster — Missile. That’s the one-word label for this Alabama linebacker. He’s not a proficient block-shedder, yet whichever team drafts him shouldn’t be asking him to do that much. He’s the sideline-to-sideline lightning bolt who strikes with authority on a routine basis. He has a concussion history and some off-field issues, which hurt his stock a bit. On the field though, Foster is the off- ball linebacker prototype in today’s NFL.
Jonathan Allen — Allen is the total package at defensive tackle. He flourishes as a pass-rusher due to his highly developed hand usage, springy athleticism, and brute strength. How are his shoulders though? If he didn’t have injury concerns there, he’d be a little higher on this list. Also, he was better in 2015 than he was in 2016... slightly worrisome.
Obi Melifonwu — Everyone in the NFL is a great athlete. Melifonwu will enter the league a clear step above the vast majority of pro players in the athleticism department. At 6’4” and 224 pounds, he exudes unfathomable explosiveness and speed. As a member of the secondary, Melifonwu can play anywhere and got better each year at UConn. He’s the ultimate defensive back chess-piece prospect in this draft class.
Evan Engram — I’m calling Engram a wideout. He’s been nearly impossible to cover for a few years at Ole Miss yet struggles in most instances as a blocker. At 6’3” and 234 pounds with 4.42 speed to go with 33 1/2” arms and 10” hands, he’s a dream come true for a team that wants to accentuate yards after the catch with its tight end. Engram did showcase high-pointing ability in the red zone as well.
Your thoughts on our lists? We want to see your Top 10 Bills Big Board too. Leave it in the comment section below.