Now that the final chapter of the 2018 football season has closed and the 2019 NFL Draft order is mostly set—with the exception of supplemental picks—SB Nation’s draft guru Dan Kadar has thrust a two-round mock draft upon us. In it, Kadar has the Buffalo Bills and general manager Brandon Beane deciding to strengthen the team’s trenches with the combination of a pass rushing defensive tackle in the first round and a dominant run-blocking guard in the second.
9. Buffalo Bills: Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson
This may appear a little early for Wilkins, but he could be the three-technique the Bills need. Don’t file this away as a reach because Wilkins is the fourth interior defensive lineman taken already. The position is far and away the top group in the 2019 draft. NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah ranks Wilkins as the seventh-best player in the draft, mainly for his ability as a pass rusher.
40. Buffalo Bills: Chris Lindstrom, G, Boston College
The Bills need an offensive tackle, but it’s hard to find one in this range. There are some interior linemen, though, including Lindstrom, a four-year starter at Boston College.
Upgrading the offensive and defensive lines are always solid strategies around draft time. I don’t take issue with the strategy, I object to the tactics. With three defensive tackles going in the first round, taking the player he considers to be fourth-best, is a reach. Kadar admits as much in his write-up. With offensive linemen Jawaan Taylor and Cody Ford still on the board, targeting the offensive line in the first round may have been the better way to go. As for the players, Lindstrom is very-much deserving of pick 40, while Wilkins’s upside is somewhat limited given that he’s a four-year starter at Clemson and will be 24 during his rookie season. Additionally, there are still questions about his ability to stand up to defensive lines at the point of attack.