Getting the No. 1 cornerback prospect in the NFL Draft with the 10th pick seems like a pretty sweet deal. I don't think the Bills would hesitate to select Marshon Lattimore if he's available. They lost Stephon Gilmore to the Patriots, and they needed cornerback help even before he departed. Lattimore could be chosen much earlier than this, so he provides very good value at No. 10 overall.
*** OTHER 2017 NFL DRAFT POSSIBILITIES: ***
1. Mitchell Trubisky, QB - The Bills have had a major internal struggle about what to do with Tyrod Taylor, and the way the contract is set up, they can part ways with Taylor after this season. Trubisky can sit for a year and learn behind Taylor, which is ideal because he doesn't have the appropriate amount of collegiate experience to play right away.
2. Reuben Foster, LB - The Bills could use another linebacker to play alongside Reggie Ragland, and I don't think Foster's failed drug test will drop him.
Rd. 2, Pk. 12
JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, USC
The Bills need some weapons for Mitchell Trubisky - or Tyrod Taylor - as they have to find another receiver just in case Sammy Watkins gets injured again.
Rd. 3, Pk. 11
Jalen Tabor, CB, Florida
The Bills lost Stephon Gilmore to the Patriots. I imagine their fans are already imagining worst-case scenarios. Buffalo needs a cornerback to replace Gilmore.
Rd. 5, Pk. 12
Roderick Johnson, OT, Florida State
One of Buffalo's greatest needs is at right tackle. Unfortunately, this class is pretty weak at the position.
Rd. 5, Pk. 19
Elijah Hood, RB, North Carolina
The Bills obtained this pick when the Patriots signed Mike Gillislee, so they might as well find a replacement.
Rd. 5, Pk. 27
Tedric Thompson, SS, Colorado
The Bills feel they're set at safety as far as their starters are concerned, but they need to add depth at the position.
Rd. 6, Pk. 11
Artavis Scott, WR, Clemson
It shouldn't surprise anyone if the Bills double up on receivers, given their glaring need at the position.
Buffalo needs to strengthen its defensive backfield, and luckily for the organization, in this mock, Lattimore is available. The Bills need a replacement for Stephon Gilmore.
Lattimore played really well in 2016, recording 41 tackles, four interceptions and nine passes broken up. Scouting sources raved about how Lattimore looked in fall camp before the 2016 season, and during the year, some team sources said they graded him as a top-16 pick. The 6-foot, 192-pounder has good size to go with athletic ability. As a backup in 2015 during his redshirt freshman season, Lattimore recorded three passes broken up and five tackles.
Rd. 2, Pk. 2
JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, USC
Buffalo needs a No. 2 wide receiver to pair with Sammy Watkins. This would be a perfect complement.
In 2016, Smith-Schuster totaled 90 receptions for 914 yards and 10 scores. He was completely shut down in the 2016 season opener by Marlon Humphrey and Minkah Fitzpatrick, two future NFL cornerbacks. In 2015, Smith-Schuster took over as the No. 1 receiver with Nelson Agholor in the NFL and was excellent with 89 receptions for 1,454 yards and 10 touchdowns. The 6-foot-1, 215-pounder had an impressive freshman season in 2014, totaling 54 catches for 724 yards and five touchdowns.
For the NFL, Smith-Schuster is more of a possession receiver, but he runs good routes and has size, generally quality hands, yards-after-the-catch skills, and enough quickness to produce in the short to intermediate part of the field. He is good at winning 50-50 passes and should be valuable in the red zone. Smith-Schuster could be a quality starter quickly in his NFL career, but may never become an elite No. 1 receiver as a pro.
Rd. 3, Pk. 3
Dion Dawkins, G/OT, Temple
Buffalo could use more competition at right tackle.
The 6-foot-3, 317 pound Dawkins has some fans in the NFL scouting community. They feel that Dawkins has some athleticism and could turn into a good functional blocker. The sources that really like Dawkins have him graded in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft and think he has tackle potential for the NFL. Some other teams have him graded a round or two later and think he would be a better fit at guard in the NFL. Still, Dawkins had a fine senior season to put himself in position to get drafted come April.
Rd. 5, Pk. 5
Tedric Thompson, SS, Colorado
The Bills grab a safety competitor.
Rd. 5, Pk. 5
Josh Malone, WR, Tennessee
The Bills add more wide receiver depth.
Rd. 5, Pk. 5
Nate Hairston, CB, Temple
The Bills could target a couple of corners given the strength at the position.
Rd. 6, Pk. 6
Carlos Henderson, WR, Louisiana Tech
The Bills could use multiple wide receivers around Sammy Watkins.
The Bills badly need a wide receiver upgrade across from Sammy Watkins. Here's a good fit. <br> <br>
In 2016, Williams hauled in 98 receptions for 1,361 yards and 11 touchdowns. It was an impressive return to college football after missing most of 2015 due to injury. In that season's opener, Williams fractured his neck when he ran into the goalpost while catching a touchdown. That ended his year. <br> <br>
With Sammy Watkins in the NFL, Williams took over as Clemson's lead receiver in 2014 and caught 57 passes for 1,030 yards and six touchdowns. In his freshman season, he had 20 catches for 316 yards and three scores. <br> <br>
Williams is a dynamic big receiver who is tremendous at using his size and leaping ability to make catches over defensive backs. He is a phenomenal red-zone weapon and is superb on back-shoulder sideline throws. While Williams made a lot of excellent leaping grabs, he does need to cut down on some dropped passes. The 6-foot-3, 205-pounder had the potential to be the top wide receiver prospect in the 2016 NFL Draft as he has a real combination of size and speed.
1) Aaron Williams neck injury is unfortunate. He's an NFL talent that should have quite a few years left of play. But, it's possible he doesn't recover from this in time for next season. He may even consider retirement at just 26 years old. The Bills may have to find a replacement, and Malik Hooker happens to still be on the board in this mock.
2) It's undeniable the Bills want to move on from Tyrod Taylor. It's even part of the reason Rex Ryan got fired. Plus, cutting him as a June 1st cut saves the Bills $12 million. Reports state they are asking him to stay on a reduced contract, but I think even Taylor is ready to move on because of the cold shoulder they've given him. So, this creates a need at quarterback.
3) Deshaun Watson gets mocked all over the place from draft evaluators. You see him anywhere between the 1st and 45th pick. But, I think new head coach Sean McDermott will see Watson as his Cam Newton. Cam was more polished coming out of college, but Watson has both the playmaking ability and leadership qualities. New offensive coordinator Rick Dennison has to create game plans to help him succeed as Scott Linehan did for Dak Prescott. Watson did just defeat college football's best NFL type defenses back to back in Ohio State and Alabama. He's got the heart of a champion. Tyrod Taylor is efficient, but he's not going to take over games to get the Bills past the Patriots in the AFC East. It will take a lot of development to get Watson to that level, but he has the ceiling Taylor doesn't have.
Doug Whaley has added impressive pieces during his tenure, and I like them grabbing Micah Hyde in FA, and re-signing Tyrod Taylor. But it's so hard to know what the hell is going on with this team. I would like to still mock them Watson, but I'll go with a need here on defense. I have had Lattimore much further down the board since the beginning, because he is not my top rated corner, and he has major medical issues. I think the Bills will go with his upside here after losing Stephon Gilmore. I am not down on Lattimore at all, but he is just outside of a Top 10 player for me.
** Update ** Reports keep coming in that teams (you know, the people who actually select players), are very skittish about Lattimore's injury history. I guess mock drafters ignore medical red flags because they talk to low level scouts who are not part of the actual process of putting together a draft board? Additionally, there are reports that some teams don't believe Lattimore is some generational talent that he would have to be as a Top 5 selection. I wouldn't be surprised to see him fall quite a bit, possibly to the end of this round, where I had him in my original mock to the Packers.
** Previous Pick ** QB Deshaun Watson
The Bills shocked a lot of people this year by retaining the wildly inconsistent Tyrod Taylor instead of releasing him. He has shown he has lost a lot of his confidence and accuracy over the past calendar year, and nothing quite fixes confidence issues like a having a big safety valve to check down to. It has been nearly two decades since a tight end was taken in the top 10 of a NFL Draft, especially since the position has been continuously devalued over the years. But Howard isn't a prototypical tight end. With hands like a receiver and the blocking ability of a smaller guard, Howard is the perfect hybrid of a blocking/receiving tight end. Adding him will be a huge help for Taylor, especially because of Howard's familiarity with mobile quarterbacks and their need for him to be open, even if the route he's on doesn't call for him to break off.
You could make an argument for CB at this point but I think the Bills can get by waiting in the later rounds to pick up a CB. I don’t get why Tyrod Taylor is being run out of town (stupid Bills). Oh wait..yes I do: Doug Whaley. Reading the tea leaves the Bills GM Doug Whaley see’s EJ Manuel as the next Big Ben (rolls eyes)…so you know who is going to be the QB in Buffalo next year. That reminds me next time I meet Doug Whaley I need to know who he buys his pot from – because he is obviously high as a kite. How y’all doing #BillsMafia?
What is more of a dire position in Buffalo is the WR position. If it’s not bad enough Sammy Watkins is seemingly always dealing with some injury, the Bills have Robert Woods, Marquise Goodwin, Justin Hunter, and Brandon Tate all entering free agency. Let me state that again for emphasis: FOUR STARTING WIDE RECEIEVERS COULD BE OFF THE BILLS TEAM BY FREE AGENCY – FOUR!!!?!?!?! It’s got to be DEFCON 1 in the Bills war room – full on desperation mode to draft WR bodies, cause if all four leave the roster that only leaves an oft injured Sammy Watkins as your starting WR depth - yikes! Thankfully, though in this mock draft Corey Davis is still available. And while possibility remains they could retain some of that talent listed above none of them are as good as or compliments Sammy Watkins like Corey Davis will.
Show/Hide Other Mocks with Corey Davis Going to Bills
Rd. 1, Pk. 27
Tre'Davious White, CB
As with the Cleveland pick at No. 25, I'm factoring the trade in a little bit, and I'm going to grade each draft trade. As for this actual selection, it's a solid one. Tre'Davious White was slotted to go in this range even though I had him dropping in my mock draft. White is a solid cornerback who will fill a big need for the Bills, as they needed to replace Stephon Gilmore, who defected for New England.
Rd. 2, Pk. 5
Zay Jones, WR
I think this mirrors the Cardinals' pick of Budda Baker. I have Baker and Zay Jones rated about the same, and like Arizona, Buffalo moved up for him. I like Jones, but there are some solid receivers available in the second round, so I'm not sure he was worth swapping third- and fifth-round picks for, even though he may not have fallen to their spot. Still, it's a decent choice, as Jones finally gives the Bills a solid second receiver.
Rd. 2, Pk. 31
Dion Dawkins, G/OT
The Bills dealt two fifth-round picks (149, 156) to move up into the back end of the second round. Dion Dawkins is a solid blocker who can play both guard and tackle, but is probably best at the former position. The Bills have such a huge need at right tackle, so I wonder he'll be used there. Regardless, Buffalo is getting a quality offensive lineman who could've been taken earlier in the second round.
Rd. 5, Pk. 19
Matt Milano, OLB
Matt Milano is a reach here, but not as an egregious one, as I thought his ceiling was the sixth round. Matt Milano is too undersized to be on the field very often, and he wasn't even that great in college. He projects to be a quality special-teams player, but the fifth round is too early for him.
Rd. 5, Pk. 27
Nathan Peterman, QB
The Bills aren't big fans of Tyrod Taylor, so even though they already had Cardale Jones, it's not a surprise that they selected Nathan Peterman. They have no direct successor for Taylor, but Peterman and Jones can battle it out. It's not an ideal situation, but perhaps one of them will step up. I like this pick, as Peterman was slotted in the third round.
Rd. 6, Pk. 11
Tanner Vallejo, ILB
I projected Tanner Vallejo to be chosen near the end of the fifth round, so there's a bit of value here for him. The Bills wanted to add another linebacker, and they found one who is a speedy player. This is a solid pick.