This weekend is kind of low-key when it comes to big-time college football matchups. Only one game features both teams in the Top 25, as 12 Auburn takes on 13 Texas A&M.
Our regular NFL Draft contributor, Andrew Griffin, is off this week, so we won’t have a glut of analysis and prospects for you to watch, but we still wanted to provide you with a space to chat college football.
I do want to re-focus the Bills’ 2022 NFL Draft needs. Here’s my list from September with a few updated notes:
1-tech defensive tackle
Vernon Butler and Harrison Phillips are likely to be gone in 2022, and while Star Lotulelei has played well in 2021, he carries a $9+ million cap hit next season. Even if Lotulelei returns, Buffalo should draft a stud 1-tech to prepare for Lotulelei’s eventual departure and replace Phillips.
Cody Ford ain’t it. Ike Boettger ain’t it. Daryl Williams was able to stabilize the right side, but he has a $9 million cap hit. Jon Feliciano has been average. Drafting a guard in the first or second round could give them an immediate starter or they could go the Eric Wood route and draft a center replacement for Mitch Morse to start at guard for a year and learn the ropes. Morse has played well, but also carries an $11 million cap hit in 2022. In my opinion, they should draft at least two this year like they did at offensive tackle last offseason.
Those first two positions are in a different tier, in my opinion, where the Bills value the position and will need an upgrade or replacement. CB2 is a little strange because the Bills have clearly shown they don’t want to upgrade this position, content with an All-Pro CB1 and a strong safety tandem. Levi Wallace is once again going to be a free agent, leaving Dane Jackson as the only outside CB on the roster beyond 2021, so it’s a definite need even if they address it in free agency.
Buffalo re-signed Taron Johnson during the season and they have several depth options on their practice squad.
Buffalo probably doesn’t need a starter after the beginning to 2021 that Dawson Knox had, but they could certainly improve their depth here. It’s been a bit dicey since Knox broke his hand.
It wouldn’t surprise me at all to see the Bills go as high as the third round for their replacement for Mitchell Trubisky. They would get a cost-controlled backup QB for three seasons behind their veteran signal-caller. Especially if you see Allen continue to take some bigger hits in 2021, this is a sneaky need for the Bills beyond the current season.
Game of the Week
LSA at No. 3 Alabama
As far as NFL Draft prospects go, you can’t get much better than LSU vs ‘Bama. Even with Derek Stingley out, the Tigers have a few names to watch in starting left guard Ed Ingram. He’s a mid-round prospect with a significant off-field concern dating back a few years, so background due diligence will be required. For Alabama, cornerback Josh Jobe and defensive tackle Phidarian Mathis are good player at positions of need for the Bills.
Who are you watching Saturday?