Now that the 2018 NFL Draft has come and gone and the Buffalo have selected eight players, it’s time to take a look at where they might fit on the roster going forward. Some are more obvious than others, and we won’t know for sure until minicamps and training camp, but this gives us an idea.
1-7: Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
Several draft analysts have the opinion that Josh Allen should sit for an entire year, a la the Chief’s Patrick Mahomes, and learn the nuances of the position before starting any games. The Bills haven’t made any indication what their plan is with Allen, but Bills general manager Brandon Beane is fond of saying that the team is still in a multi-year rebuilding project. As such, its possible that the team is willing to be patient with Allen and have him back up AJ McCarron for a year.
1-16: Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
Edmunds will be expected to immediately slide into the starting lineup as a middle linebacker. Although Edmunds is young (he turns 20 next week) and lacks experience, he will have to learn on the job. The only competition he would have is nominal starter and fellow new addition Julian Stanford. Stanford may begin training camp taking first team reps, but fans should not expect that situation to last.
3-96: Harrison Phillips, DT, Stanford
It remains to be seen whether Harrison Phillips projects as more of a 3-technique defensive tackle, tasked with getting quick penetration (Kyle Williams), or as a one-technique tackle tasked with taking on blocks (Star Lotulelei). However, its safe to say that he will be a primary backup his rookie year and will likely compete to start after Kyle Williams hangs up his cleats. Most, however, think he will be Star Lotulelei’s primary backup.
4-121: Taron Johnson, CB, Weber State
Johnson will likely be competing for the slot cornerback role with Lafayette Pitts and/or Philip Gaines. While Johnson’s comparative lack of size would preclude him from starting at outside corner for most teams, McDermott’s zone-based scheme could allow him to back up one of the outside corner spots as well.
5-154: Siran Neal, S, Jacksonville State
The type of corner-safety hybrid that Sean McDermott loves in the backend of his defense, Neal will compete with Rafael Bush to be the primary backup at safety. Neal spent his senior year at corner, so he will likely need some time adjusting to his safety role.
5-166: Wyatt Teller, OG, Virginia Tech
Despite being drafted in the fifth round, the Bills depth chart at guard is so completely unsettled that Teller could find himself competing to start at left guard. If Ryan Groy stays at center, it appears that Teller would immediately slide in to a starting role with either Vlad Ducasse or John Miller holding down the right guard spot.
6-187: Ray-Ray McCloud, WR, Clemson
Although he didn’t test well at the combine, McCloud is a speedy wide receiver who will take the top off defenses, similar to Deonte Thompson last year. McCloud will also compete with Jeremy Kerley to be the primary punt returner, as he brings significant experience there.
7-255: Austin Proehl, WR, UNC
If Proehl manages to take to the offense and grow a rapport with whomever is delivering the ball, he may be able to eke out a role as the team’s full-time slot receiver. As it stands however, he will most likely end up being the final receiver left on the depth chart after training camp final cuts.