Only two weeks remain in Buffalo’s season, which means the NFL off-season stove is preheating. At 5-9, clustered with four other teams who share the same record, the Buffalo Bills could face a top-ten draft pick in April, and NFL draft conversation is already familiar to fans of the team.
SB Nation just published its first mock draft of the season, penned as always by Dan Kadar. His projection for the Bills steers in a different direction than most fans have been thinking.
10. Buffalo Bills: Rashan Gary, DL, Michigan
For the Bills, Gary is a player who can line up on the outside and on the inside. The former No. 1 overall high school recruit was banged up for much of this season, but when he’s healthy he can make an impact.
In Kadar’s mock, offensive tackles Jonah Williams and Greg Little were already off the board by the time Buffalo picked. He gave the Bills the fourth defensive lineman of the draft, with Nick Bosa, Quinnen Williams, and Ed Oliver taken before Gary. The first offensive skill position, wide receiver D.K. Metcalf, was chosen seven picks later by Washington.
As Kadar says, Gary’s a talented athlete with the versatility to play inside at 3-technique or flex outside. He could begin to fill Kyle Williams’s shoes and give the Bills a strong defensive line rotation. Still, this feels like a luxury pick, especially since the Bills aren’t coming away with one of the Tier 1 defensive linemen from the expected crop of prospects.
Robert Foster’s recent emergence makes Buffalo’s crying need for talented receivers a little less desperate, but the team is still on pace to have no one cross 600 receiving yards in 2018. Perhaps Metcalf could be the alpha dog for the group. Almost more pressing is the need for upgrades at practically every position on the offensive line. With two tackles already selected, it might feel more like a reach, but Oklahoma’s Cody Ford and Kansas State’s Dalton Risner, both selected in the next ten picks, would probably help Josh Allen’s career a lot more than another defensive piece.