With the Buffalo Bills headed to the playoffs in a little over two weeks, it’s difficult for fans to even consider the upcoming NFL Draft. Having said that, ESPN’s Todd McShay just released his first mock draft of the season, and we should talk about who he has mocked to the team. With the Bills projected to have the 23rd pick in the first round, Mel Kiper’s younger counterpart has the Bills selecting Arizona State receiver, Brandon Aiyuk. Here’s what McShay had to say regarding the choice:
23. Buffalo Bills
Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State
Yes, John Brown and Cole Beasley have been a big part of the Bills’ offense in quarterback Josh Allen’s second season, but that doesn’t mean the team doesn’t need more help on the offensive side of the ball. Aiyuk improves Buffalo’s receiving corps with his versatility and speed. But don’t be surprised if the Bills consider an edge rusher or cornerback here, either.
I agree with McShay’s assertion that the Bills’ offense is in need of more help on the offensive side of the ball, specifically at the wide receiver position. However, I question if Aiyuk is the player who fits exactly what the team is looking for.
One of the more notable wideout prospects to emerge from this most recent college season, the 6’1”, 206-lb Aiyuk emerged out of N’Keal Harry’s shadow to post 1,192 yards and eight touchdowns. He put up those numbers thanks to his very good speed, solid hands and open-field play style similar to Dallas Cowboys receiver Michael Gallup. There’s no doubt that Aiyuk is an accomplished receiver—one apt to rise the closer we get to draft day.
Having said that, it’s become apparent throughout this season that the Bills’ receiving corps lacks size and contested catch ability—two things that aren’t necessarily in Aiyuk’s wheelhouse. McShay’s mock had an early run taking place at the position, so perhaps it would have been better to take a pass rusher, such as Iowa’s A.J. Epenesa or Penn State’s Yetur Gross-Matos instead.
For those interested in seeing the Sun Devils’ receiver in action, Arizona State’s bowl game against Florida State will be played on New Year’s Eve.