The Buffalo Bills have three picks remaining in the 2017 NFL Draft: two in the fifth round, and one in the sixth round. Wondering who the Bills might want to pick today? Here are a number of names with intriguing connections to Buffalo.
Desmond King, CB/S, Iowa
We can expect King to come off the board very soon, but then, it’s a bit of a surprise that he lasted until round four. The five-foot-ten, 201 pound King was a four-year starter for Iowa who played nearly every defensive snap over that span, with 14 interceptions, 33 pass breakups, and 9.5 tackles for loss in his career. King’s experience and dedication to finishing his degree would make him a welcome presence in the locker room, although his arms are a bit shorter than McDermott’s preferences. He could play zone corner or safety for the team.
Eddie Jackson, S, Alabama
The Bills held a private workout with Jackson, who was looking like one of the draft’s top safeties before a broken leg ended his season prematurely. Jackson converted from cornerback to safety, and has the range to play single-high in the NFL, assuming his leg heals cleanly. In the last two seasons, Jackson has seven interceptions (three returned for touchdowns) and two punt returns for touchdowns.
Tedric Thompson, S, Colorado
Buffalo brought Thompson in for a pre-draft visit at One Bills Drive. Thompson had a great season for the Buffaloes, but was overshadowed somewhat by his teammates, cornerbacks Ahkello Witherspoon and Chidobe Awuzie.
Still, don’t ignore his production. In his senior season, he had seven interceptions and 16 passes broken up. For his career, those numbers are 13 and 26. Not only are his college stats similar to Jairus Byrd’s, his athleticism measures pretty closely as well.
Malik Golden, S, Penn State
The Bills invited Golden on a pre-draft visit with the team. At 6’0” 201 pounds, Golden has typical safety size and good athleticism for the position. He was a reliable box safety for Penn State, but didn’t have much of an impact on the passing game.
Xavier Woods, S, Louisiana Tech
Buffalo kept a line of communication open with Woods, meeting him at the East-West Shrine Game and attending his pro day. Woods was a versatile playmaker for LA Tech during his four year career, accumulating 14 interceptions and 20.5 tackles for loss. He played both safety positions as well as slot cornerback for the team.
Josh Harvey-Clemons, S/LB, Louisville
Harvey-Clemons is a massive 6’4” 217 pounds, with 35 inch arms. He had multiple drug issues during his college career that resulted in suspensions. While he’s not a great athlete, he was capable of some game-changing plays when he played with confidence within his system. The Bills privately worked him out pre-draft, and they might be targeting him as a WILL linebacker a la Shaq Thompson.
Ryan Switzer, WR, North Carolina
The Bills already added a playmaker with East Carolina’s Zay Jones. Could Sean McDermott reach back to the Carolinas for another one? The team held a private workout with Switzer catching passes from Mitchell Trubisky earlier this year. Switzer is a small slot receiver, but his dynamic agility made him an extremely dangerous punt returner. In the fifth round, that’s a pick with upside, assuming the Bills think he fits their West Coast offense.
Brisly Estime, WR, Syracuse
Estime was another punt returner who worked out for the Bills. He led the nation in yards per punt return this season.
Brandon Barnes, TE, Alabama State
The Bills had a private workout with Barnes, who has prototypical tight end size at 6’5” 255 pounds, with 35 inch arms and nearly 11 inch hands. With a 35.5 inch vertical leap, 7.01 three cone drill, and 4.69 forty yard dash, Barnes is a good project athlete who didn’t accumulate a lot of stats in college.
Jordan Morgan, OG, Kutztown
Could the Bills take another swing at a college left tackle for their offensive line? Morgan played in Division II, a nasty run blocker with great strength. At 6’3” 309, though, his NFL destination is on the inside. Buffalo privately worked out Morgan prior to the draft.
Grover Stewart, DL, Albany State
The Bills had a pre-draft visit with this massive defensive lineman. At 6’4” 347 pounds, Stewart is a classic two-gap player, capable of stuffing the middle as a nose tackle or containing the edge as a five-technique defensive end. He was an excellent run stopper in college, and with a 7.71 three cone drill at his size, there’s a bit of pass rushing upside to project to the NFL.
Blair Brown, LB, Ohio
Brown is one of our editor-in-chief’s favorites, a tackling machine for Ohio. This year he had 128 tackles, 15 for a loss, with 4.5 sacks. Brown is undersized at 5’11” 238 pounds, but an excellent athlete. His 4.65 forty yard dash, 37 inch vertical, 123 inch broad jump, and 6.92 three cone drill are all great results.
The Bills didn’t hold a private workout with Brown (that we know of), but they did attend his pro day.
Marquel Lee, LB, Wake Forest
The 6’3” 240 pound Lee was a two-time team captain for Wake Forest. In the last three seasons, he has 277 tackles, 42 for loss, 14.5 sacks. He would probably project as a backup middle linebacker for the Bills, but they’d definitely love his football character. The team worked him out privately before the draft.
Marcus Sayles, CB, West Georgia.
Sayles is undersized but a great athlete with a fantastic motor. He blocked a ridiculous 17 kicks during his college career. That caught the Bills’ eye, and they had him on a pre-draft visit.
Jeremy Cutrer, CB, Middle Tennessee State
While we don’t know Cutrer’s arm length, the 6’2” cornerback seems to have it in spades. He does need to bulk up, only weighing 170 pounds at the moment. Cutrer was a two-way player in community college before transferring to MTSU, where he played corner. In the two seasons he spent there, Cutrer had six interceptions and 23 pass breakups. He also blocked two kicks and made 4.5 tackles for loss. The Bills attended the Middle Tennessee State pro day earlier this year.
Nate Hairston, CB, Temple
Might the Bills revisit Temple and revisit cornerback in this draft? They showed a lot of interest in Hairston pre-draft, meeting with him at the East-West shrine game and inviting him to an early visit to One Bills Drive.
The 6’0” 196 pound Hairston was a reserve receiver for his first three college football seasons, then converted to cornerback in his junior year. As a senior, he became a full-time starter. He demonstrated some ball skills that year, but has only faced 36 targets in his entire career.
Oh, and some guy named Chad Kelly is still on the board too.
Who do you think the Bills will draft?