We’re close to two weeks away from the 2019 NFL draft, and draft media continues to attempt various draft permutations centered around various themes. The latest comes from ESPN’s Todd McShay, where each team finds themselves in a “best-case scenario” for three straight rounds. As McShay points out, this is a draft based on needs, value, and availability.
This strategy nets the Buffalo Bills immediate contributors at three positions of need. This includes one hyped defensive-line prospect who most fans are hoping falls to ninth overall, a versatile and agile interior offensive lineman, and a pass-catching tight end who just needs to learn how to block well.
Round 1 (9): Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
Round 2 (40): Erik McCoy, C/G, Texas A&M
Round 3 (74): Kahale Warring, TE, San Diego State
These first two Buffalo selections are about taking the best available player. Oliver is a beast inside, and Kyle Williams’s retirement means the Bills could use a reliable run-stopper. McCoy could slide in at guard with Mitch Morse at center, taking steps toward protecting the team’s franchise quarterback, Josh Allen. For the team’s third pick, we go back to the areas of need and take a pass-catching tight end for Allen to target.
Post-free agency, Oliver has become the vogue choice for the Buffalo Bills in the first round. If he were to last that long, the team will be hard-pressed to select any other player. Oliver’s ceiling is similar to Aaron Donald or Geno Atkins.
If the Bills were to draft McCoy, you’d have to believe that Brandon Beane is serious about upgrading the interior of the offensive line. Bringing McCoy into the fold would provide greater competition, sure, but it would also mean cutting one of the team’s recent signings at guard. If McCoy were to win a starting spot at guard, that would be surprising as he only started a couple games at guard in his college career. Projecting him at guard is just that, a projection.
Warring finally has teams noticing him after he performed exceptionally at the NFL Combine, and taking him with 74th pick doesn’t seem like a reach. His athletic traits are enviable even if he needs to really learn how to be a complete player at the position.