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2022 SB Nation Writers NFL Mock Draft: Buffalo Bills take Andrew Booth Jr.

The Clemson CB was our target and he fell to us

NCAA Football: Florida State at Clemson Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Bills have made their pick in the 2022 NFL Writers Mock at SB Nation. (We made the pick on April 11, for the record.) We had a really great mix of need and player land in our laps and we feel incredibly fortunate to run up with our draft card and make the selection.

As always I had my trusty triumvirate of NFL Draft experts at my side—Dan Lavoie, Andrew Griffin, and Bruce Nolan—to advise me on all things relating to the NFL’s annual selection meeting.

Here is how the top 24 picks shook out in the mock with no trades allowed:

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars/Big Cat Country: Aiden Hutchinson, DE, Michigan
  2. Detroit Lions/Pride of Detroit: Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon
  3. Houston Texans/Battle Red Blog: Kyle Hamilton, Safety, Notre Dame
  4. New York Jets/Gang Green Nation: Ikem Ekwonu, OT, NC State
  5. New York Giants/Big Blue View: Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
  6. Carolina Panthers/Cat Scratch Reader: Malik Willis, QB, Liberty
  7. New York Giants (via CHI)/Big Blue View: Sauce Gardner, CB, Cincinnati
  8. Atlanta Falcons/The Falcoholic: Jermaine Johnson, EDGE, Florida State
  9. Seattle Seahawks (via DEN)/Field Gulls: Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa
  10. New York Jets (via SEA)/Gang Green Nation: Drake London, WR USC
  11. Washington Commanders/Hogs Haven: Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU
  12. Minnesota Vikings/Daily Norseman - Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington
  13. Houston Texans (via CLE)/Battle Red Blog: Travon Walker, DE, Georgia
  14. Baltimore Ravens/Baltimore Beatdown: Charles Cross, OT, Miss. State
  15. Philadelphia Eagles (via MIA)/Bleeding Green Nation: Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia
  16. New Orleans Saints (via IND/PHI)/Canal Street Chronicles: Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh
  17. Los Angeles Chargers/Bolts From the Blue: Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama
  18. Philadelphia Eagles (via NO)/Bleeding Green Nation: Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
  19. New Orleans Saints (via PHI)/Canal Street Chronicles: Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State
  20. Pittsburgh Steelers/Behind the Steel Curtain: Devonte Wyatt, DL, Georgia
  21. New England Patriots/Pats Pulpit: Bernhard Raimann, OT, Central Michigan
  22. Green Bay Packers (via LV)/Acme Packing Company: George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue
  23. Arizona Cardinals/Revenge of the Birds: Zion Johnson, IOL, Boston College
  24. Dallas Cowboys/Blogging the Boys: Kenyon Green, IOL, Texas A&M

Once we got to pick 10, I was consistently in contact with my advisors about potential trade up options. All three felt comfortable we would get a good player at 25 and didn’t need to trade up. Even after the late-teens run on receivers, they were still confident one of the top guys would be on the board.

At pick 20, I asked for their Big Boards for remaining players.

Andrew Griffin
Devin Lloyd (LB) - Utah
Jahan Dotson (WR) - Penn State
Kyler Gordon (CB) - Washington
David Ojabo (EDGE) - Michigan
Andrew Booth Jr. (CB) - Clemson

Dan Lavoie
Andrew Booth Jr. (CB) - Clemson
Devin Lloyd (LB) - Utah
Zion Johnson (OL) - Boston College
Daxton Hill (S) - Michigan
Treylon Burks (WR) - Arkansas

Bruce Nolan
Andrew Booth Jr. (CB) - Clemson
Zion Johnson (OL) - Boston College
Treylon Burks (WR) - Arkansas
Jahan Dotson (WR) - Penn State
Kyler Gordon (CB) - Washington

My combined big board
CB Andrew Booth: Only guy on all three lists
OG Zion Johnson: Top 3 for two guys, but off the third list (Drafted by Cardinals)
LB Devin Lloyd: Top player for two guys, not on third list because of position
WR Treylon Burks
WR Jahan Dotson
CB Kyler Gordon

I went into pick 20 with six guys I was comfortable taking at 25 and only one was off the board by the time 25 rolled around (Johnson). Luckily, the one player all three of my advisors agreed on was still there and the Bills get the second cornerback on the board.

Pick 25 Buffalo Bills/Buffalo Rumblings:
Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson

Booth solidifies the CB2 position for the next several years and can help Tre’Davious White return from injury at his own pace in 2022. He can push Dane Jackson for that second CB role and even if he stays as the third cornerback, the Bills will have a cost-controlled option to start at CB if someone gets hurt. Especially with the age of the safeties and the cost of the rest of the back-seven starters, having Jackson and Booth at cornerback for the next few years is huge.

I promised that I wouldn’t pick a cornerback for the Bills anymore after last year. I think it makes too much sense, though. White’s contract is up in four years when Booth is set to hit free agency (or the fifth-year option pay bump). The most obvious hole for a starting spot or even top depth on the roster is at cornerback. Even if you believe in Dane Jackson as a long-term cornerback on this team, this is still a need pick.

I probably would have skipped over Lloyd and gone with one of the two wide receivers as my next option. The Bills have rolled three-deep at outside receiver over the last two years with Stefon Diggs, Gabe Davis, and John Brown/Emmanuel Sanders all receiving more than 40% of the snaps. With Sanders and Brown gone, it’s not a knock on Davis for the Bills to add another wide receiver. Especially when the Diggs extension comes into play, adding a top receiver every two years so that when Davis is hitting free agency, the Bills have another receiver capable of playing the starter role is critical for roster continuity in the salary cap world. Similar to the way having a cost-controlled option opposite Tre White is important at CB, having a cost-controlled WR or two opposite the big contract of Diggs is also important.

Looking forward into Day 2 of the Draft, I will be focused on adding a pass-catching offensive weapon at WR/TE/RB and solidifying the offensive line before Day 3, when I’m looking for linebacker, safety, and punter help and some BPA picks.