Just a few minutes ago, our selection for the Buffalo Bills in the 2017 NFL mock draft put together by the NFL bloggers of SB Nation went live. With the No. 10 overall pick in the first round, we drafted Western Michigan wide receiver Corey Davis.
Who was on our short list?
As many astute commenters realized, Corey Davis, Jonathan Allen, Reuben Foster, and Mike Williams were the prospects available on my Big Board and Dan’s Big Board, so they were among the prospects we discussed.
Why not [this other guy]?
Allen wasn’t mentioned much, mostly due to presence of Marcell Dareus, Kyle Williams, a few solid role players at defensive tackle and blatant needs at other positions. If Dan and I both viewed Allen as the clear-cut top prospect available, we would have pushed for him for “Best Player Available” reasons, but that wasn’t the case. Allen’s injury issues hurt his stock with us a bit too.
Reuben Foster was considered, but his injury issues sent him to the background.
Davis vs. Williams
The main focus of our staff deliberation was whether we should pick Williams or Davis.
Williams would have been my pick had I been making it alone, but I trust the football knowledge of the Rumblings staff, and there was much more collective support for Davis.
Just because I would have gone with Williams does not mean I think he’s light years ahead of Davis as a prospect. I actually view them to be extremely similar value-wise, but as I wrote in my Big Board analysis, I’m a proponent of the “go-up-and-get-it” receivers, and Williams is more of that than Davis is.
However, Davis is one of the most dynamic yards-after-the-catch wideout prospects we’ve seen in quite some time, and that alone makes him an ideal fit for Buffalo’s West Coast Offense. At Western Michigan, he created plenty of huge plays on a variety of short, horizontal passes. Rick Dennison is giddy.
Add his size 6’3”, 209, remarkable four-year production, and flashes of high-pointing ability, and this was a pick in which we all felt confident. Everything about his game — route running, fluid athleticism, strong hands — and everything he accomplished in college provide strong indications Davis can be a legitimate game-changer in his rookie year and will be a reliable pass-catcher with All-Pro upside as he matures even more in the NFL.
With Sammy Watkins and Corey Davis leading the wideout group, the Bills have two explosive yards-after-the-catch threats who’ve also shown they can win when passes are above their heads. Davis also represents a clear step up from former No. 2 wideout Robert Woods by way of his size, burst, and wiggle in the open field.
Tyrod Taylor will be thrilled.
That's why we went with Davis. Williams may have a more dominant “trump card,” but there aren’t any legitimate holes in Davis’ game, and he has high-pointing ability as well. He’s an instant starter and should see upwards of 80 or 90 targets in his first year in Buffalo. We think we made a logical and didn’t “reach” for need. How about you?