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Mel Kiper Jr. mock: Buffalo Bills draft cornerback, center, not quarterback

The latest Mel Kiper mock draft has the Bills addressing perceived holes at center and cornerback

With the 2018 NFL Combine fast approaching, the NFL Draft community has been rushing to produce new mock drafts and big boards. ESPN draft aficionado Mel Kiper Jr.’s mock draft that came out Wednesday, includes some unique draft choices for the Buffalo Bills.

21. Buffalo Bills
*Mike Hughes, CB, Central Florida

With back-to-back picks here, could the Bills try to package these and move up for a quarterback? It would take both picks -- and more -- to get into the top 10. Hughes fills a big need opposite 2017 first-round pick Tre’Davious White, and he’s a great punt and kick returner, too. He had three touchdown returns last season. After playing at North Carolina in 2015 and a junior college in 2016, Hughes doesn’t have a ton of experience, but he emerged as a shutdown corner and important player for the Knights in 2017.

22. Buffalo Bills (from Kansas City Chiefs)
*James Daniels, C/G, Iowa

Michigan defensive tackle Maurice Hurst is a perfect fit in the Bills’ 4-3 -- and my top-ranked 4-3 tackle -- but the retirement of Eric Wood opens up a void at center in Buffalo, and the Bills could get the top prospect at a real position of need. Daniels is No. 1 on my board there. At 6-4, 296, he can move his feet and get to the second level as a true athlete. He is perfect as an anchor for today’s NFL. I wouldn’t be shocked if two centers went in the first round. Ohio State’s Billy Price is the other one.

Grif’s take:

Both prospects are solid values at pick Nos. 21 and 22, I just question the team fit and overall need.

In many ways, Central Florida’s Mike Hughes is the anti-Tre’Davious White. Whereas White was experienced, technically refined, and lacked high-end athleticism Hughes is raw, unrefined, and likely one of the fastest players in the draft. A safer pick may have been cornerback Josh Jackson that went a few picks later to the Los Angeles Rams. Another option for this pick was linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, who was drafted 28th to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

With the Bills losing Eric Wood to retirement, Bills fans should expect centers to be mocked to the team all spring, ignoring popular in-house replacement candidate Ryan Groy.

James Daniels, with his elite movement skills, may have been a perfect fit for previous offensive coordinator Rick Dennison’s zone-based attack. With new offensive coordinator Brian Dabboll’s tendency to feature gap schemes however, Daniels’ lack of power at 290 pounds presents a problem. Former Ohio State center Billy Price would have been a more suitable pick, although it would be hard not to draft speedy defensive tackle Maurice Hurst.

This mock specifically did not include any trades, but Kiper had quarterback Sam Darnold dropping to the Denver Broncos at pick number five, as well as Josh Rosen dropping all the way down to the Miami Dolphins at the eleventh pick. If that scenario were to come to pass, a Bills trade up would not only be possible, but I would think highly likely. Kiper also passed on Mason Rudolph for the Bills.


Your response to this mock is...

This poll is closed

  • 5%
    I love both picks!
    (45 votes)
  • 3%
    I like the Hughes pick, not the Daniels pick
    (31 votes)
  • 6%
    I like the Daniels pick, not the Hughes pick
    (57 votes)
  • 67%
    I hate both picks
    (594 votes)
  • 17%
    Mason Rudolph exists
    (154 votes)
881 votes total Vote Now