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Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay release final individual 2018 NFL Mock Drafts

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Hours before the draft, the ESPN pair have dueling scenarios for how the Buffalo Bills will approach the first round

With only hours to go before the start of the 2018 NFL Draft, ESPN’s two resident draftniks have come out with their final two first-round mock draft scenarios. Both Mel Kiper and Todd McShay’s predictions incorporate the latest rumors and are likely to prove at least somewhat accurate.

While Kiper foresees the Buffalo Bills staying put at pick 12 and ending up with a talented quarterback, McShay has the team pulling the trigger on a trade, without sacrificing their second of two first-round picks.

Kiper’s Mock

12. Buffalo Bills (from Cincinnati Bengals)

Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA

Buffalo absolutely could move up. In fact, a trade might even be likely. I’ll give them a quarterback, and Rosen could start there quickly.

22. Buffalo Bills (from Kansas City Chiefs)

Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville

Buffalo could grab another first-round corner to play opposite Tre’Davious White, who was great as a rookie last season.

Josh Rosen is the most pro-ready quarterback prospect in the class. He is ready to step in and start immediately for a team, which is exactly what the Bills need. The passer from UCLA would also appear to fit general manager Brandon Beane’s desire for an archetypal pocket passer. To draft Rosen at pick 12 without having to trade up would, in my opinion, likely prove to be one of the steals of the draft.

Jaire Alexander makes sense as a player at a position of need and as an EJ Gaines-type feisty, physical cornerback. However, it’s difficult to award full marks when linebackers Rashaan Evans and Leighton Vander Esch were still on the board when Alexander was chosen.

McShay’s Mock

5. Buffalo Bills (from Denver)*

Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming

This is pretty simple from Buffalo’s side: The Bills have been looking to move up and two QBs went in the top three picks. The Bills can’t afford to be left out when the music stops and no top-tier QBs are left. Denver squeezes two second-round picks (53, 56) and a third-rounder (65) out of the Bills, but Buffalo gets a sturdy, big-handed QB with a huge arm -- a perfect fit for the AFC East.

Denver’s thought process is a bit more complex. At this point, their top two targets -- Mayfield and Chubb -- are gone. Left guard is a significant area of need and Quenton Nelson is an elite prospect, but John Elway hasn’t used a first- or second-round pick on a guard in the past seven draft classes. And Elway’s six first- or second-round offensive picks in his seven-year tenure have been busts. Elway has crushed early-round defensive picks in his tenure and CB Denzel Ward is an elite prospect -- though a notch below Nelson. I keep being told Denver will ask too much from Buffalo, but I think they find a way to get this deal done.

As far as Allen’s tweets that he apologized for, it’s a very sensitive subject. But I have a hard time believing teams that were seriously considering drafting him didn’t have that information at their disposal already. If I’m wrong and teams are just finding out about this now, now they have less than 24 hours to figure out if they’re comfortable with the pick.

22. Buffalo Bills (from Kansas City Chiefs)

Isaiah Wynn, G, Georgia

Buffalo’s second-biggest need is at guard, so now that they have their QB of the future they need to protect him. If Wynn’s medicals check out, he’s a very solid player here.

Josh Allen’s struggles with accuracy, decision-making and apparently, tweeting, have been discussed ad nauseam but let’s not lose sight of his positive qualities. Allen’s overwhelming physical talent would allow new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll to expand what his offense is capable of. He has the same chances of becoming a franchise quarterback as Sam Darnold or Baker Mayfield.

The Bills have dealt with a mass-exodus on their offensive line this offseason and it wouldn’t be surprising to see the team target an interior lineman this early. An undersized left tackle at Georgia in 2017, Wynn has the necessary movement skills to play center or guard, or even offensive tackle in a pinch.

Poll

Which draft would you prefer?

This poll is closed

  • 81%
    Kiper’s
    (838 votes)
  • 18%
    McShay’s
    (186 votes)
1024 votes total Vote Now