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SB Nation mock draft: Buffalo Bills bolster line with Ed Oliver

Buffalo has needs on both sides of the line.

As the 2019 off-season circuit approaches, the Buffalo Bills have a mission: to bolster their play in the trenches and build up a playoff roster. Longtime defensive tackle Kyle Williams, who tallied five sacks in 2018, is retiring. The only other defensive tackles under contract are Star Lotulelei and Harrison Phillips, who combined for zero sacks last year. On the offensive side, essentially the entire unit could see a makeover under newly-signed coach Bobby Johnson.

That’s the mentality SB Nation’s Dan Kadar used when drafting for the Bills in his latest mock draft. Choosing between a few different options, Kadar ultimately went with the best player available in Ed Oliver.

9. Buffalo Bills: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
The Bills need to add talent to both sides of the line, so this pick will likely be a player like Oliver, Mississippi State defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons, or Oklahoma offensive tackle Cody Ford. Oliver gets the highest grade out of the three.


Dan’s take:

Kadar’s not wrong—though offensive line is the more glaring need—a pass rushing three technique defensive tackle is right up there. Factor in that the 2019 draft is laden with talented defensive linemen, and it would be sensible to make such a selection—especially if free agency helps the Bills plug some holes in the roster.

Oliver would be just what the doctor ordered to replace Williams. He’s ludicrously athletic, and has the anchor of a tree trunk despite weighing closer to 280 pounds. He’d give the team a Geno Atkins-esque disrupter in the middle. If a player with his caliber of talent is on the board with the ninth overall pick, Buffalo could afford waiting another day to add some offensive pieces for Josh Allen and Brian Daboll.

Cody Ford is a valid option, but he’s a right tackle that some scouts would rather see playing guard at the next level. That’s hard to justify in the top ten picks. Jeffery Simmons is another talented defensive lineman, with more prototypical size at 6’4” 300 pounds. He managed an impressive 29.0 tackles for loss over the past two seasons, but an incident in his history where Simmons hit a woman during an argument may remove him from Buffalo’s draft board entirely.