Now that the 2018 NFL Draft is over, and the Buffalo Bills have finalized their eight selections, it’s time to read pundits’ immediate thoughts on the job they did. As if the exercise of mock drafting isn’t exhausting enough, the round-up of instant draft grades assaults us in the immediate aftermath of any draft.
Take these with a grain of salt, of course, but it appears that most draftniks felt that the Bills had a good weekend overall.
ESPN/Mel Kiper Jr.: A
The Bills topped Kiper’s list of teams in terms of overall draft success. He noted that the Bills were able to snag two of his top-11 players in the first round with quarterback Josh Allen and linebacker Tremaine Edmunds. While acknowledging the value they gave up in moving up for each selection (and that the real success of the whole draft hinges on Allen’s development at the game’s most important position), Kiper noted that the Bills were able to find pieces that are ready to contribute immediately in round 3 (defensive tackle Harrison Phillips), round 4 (cornerback Taron Johnson), and round 6 (wide receiver/return man Ray-Ray McCloud).
Chad Reuter was high on Buffalo’s draft overall, giving them praise for finding contributors in each and every round. He mentioned the risk in drafting Allen, noting his “inaccuracy as a thrower against marginal competition,” but he also stated that Allen has improved throughout the draft process. He referred to Edmunds as “exceptional,” and also called Johnson and defensive back Siran Neal, the first of Buffalo’s two fifth-round picks, players who are more than mere roster-filler.
USA Today: B+
Nate Davis wrote that the Bills and general manager Brandon Beane should be commended for their aggressiveness this weekend in selecting Allen and Edmunds. He asks a valid question about Buffalo’s interior offensive line (“Will Beane regret not doing more to replace retired linemen Richie Incognito and Eric Wood?”), but makes no mention of guard Wyatt Teller, Buffalo’s second selection in round 5. Teller obviously can’t replace both, but he is expected to compete for the starting left guard job in training camp.
Pete Prisco gave the Bills high praise for selecting Allen, noting that the Bills did the right thing. He also said that the team has finally found Jim Kelly’s replacement. Other selections he thought were strong were Edmunds and Phillips. He said that waiting until round 6 to finally address the receiver position was a “questionable” decision.
Dan Kadar did not like the Josh Allen pick, saying that he “questions whether or not [Allen] will become a more accurate passer in the NFL.” Other than that, however, he called Buffalo’s draft “a delight,” calling Tremaine Edmunds a top-ten talent, Harrison Phillips a steal, and Wyatt Teller a player who could push for a starting job early on in his career.
Sporting News: D
Not everything is sunshine and rainbows, Bills fans. Vinnie Iyer really disliked the Josh Allen pick, saying that the Wyoming product is likely to be “a big-armed bust.” While he really liked Tremaine Edmunds and Harrison Phillips, his feeling was that Buffalo gave up too much to move up for a quarterback who won’t live up to the hype.