The Buffalo Bills just completed the 2021 NFL Draft, which naturally means draft experts and nerds are turning their attention to the 2022 NFL Draft. With lots of unknowns, it’s just a speculative exercise, but Todd McShay’s pick is not going to happen.
Josh Jobe, CB, Alabama
Jobe started opposite Pat Surtain II last season and was an effective press-man corner with the ability to reroute receivers at the line of scrimmage. He attacks the ball in the air and broke up 11 passes last season, but he has just one interception over three seasons. After Buffalo took care of the edge rushing group during the draft, it will be able to focus on adding to the secondary next offseason.
The Bills aren’t going to pick a cornerback in the first round, even though Levi Wallace, Taron Johnson and Siran Neal will be free agents. I’m done mocking CBs to them until Tre’Davious White retires. If they didn’t take a CB with one of their top four picks this year, they aren’t going to take one next year. They prioritized swing tackle (Spencer Brown) over CB2 in 2021. They picked a fourth tackle before a cornerback last weekend.
Buffalo general manager Brandon Beane has shown over and over again that CB2 is not a priority position for them. They are content with being passable at that position opposite a premiere CB1. A former UDFA and a seventh-round pick are the plan for 2021, so expect a mid-round cornerback a year from now as they replenish the potential loss of Wallace, Johnson, and Neal.
Looking at the projected 2022 roster, the Bills seemingly addressed their need at pass rush (though you can never have enough quality rushers) that I was concerned with earlier this offseason. They have a plan in place at offensive tackle. The positions I am looking at are center, especially drafting at the back end of the first round instead of near the top, 1-tech defensive tackle, and tight end.
The Bills have expensive and average players at guard plus a very large contract with center Mitch Morse. Ike Boettger and Ryan Bates will be free agents and all the guaranteed money will have been paid to both Mitch Morse and Jon Feliciano. The value will be right to grab their center of the future in the late first round, even if he’s at guard in year one. HOFer Bruce Matthews’s son Luke Matthews from Texas A&M is a player that makes some sense, and Alec Lindstrom from Boston College could play his way up draft boards, too.
At tight end, the Bills could go with a toolsy talent to develop in conjunction with Dawson Knox or in replacement of him. That will largely depend on the development of Knox in season three of his NFL career. Jalen Wydermyer from Texas A&M or Will Mallory from the University of Miami could make a lot of sense for Buffalo a year from now.
Star Lotulelei will have his guaranteed money off the books and Harrison Phillips won’t be under contract. The Bills could have a big need at DT. DeMarvin Leal from Texas A&M and Perrion Winfrey from Oklahoma are guys who could fit the enormous bill.