Tyrod Taylor had a solid opening-week performance against the Jets, but it appears as though the Bills are going to move on from him after this season. Nathan Peterman showed some promise, but not nearly enough yet to prevent Buffalo from selecting a quarterback in the opening round of the 2018 NFL Draft.
Josh Rosen was once the projected No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, but he's been passed by Sam Darnold, and maybe even Lamar Jackson. NFL coaches and owners are wary of the sort of things Rosen has discussed to the media, and his open views could hurt him. Scouts have told us that his teammates don't like him either, so that's a major strike against him. And for the cherry on top, even if his high school coach criticized him. However, Rosen's epic comeback against Texas A&M almost certainly has helped repair his draft stock a bit.
Pick change; previously Lamar Jackson, QB
Rd. 1, Pk. 30
Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma
It was shocking to me that the Bills didn't address their woeful right tackle situation this offseason; Dion Dawkins was drafted, but he's more of a guard. That's something they'll have to do next spring.
Pick change; previously Parris Campbell, WR
Rd. 2, Pk. 10
Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
The Bills should trade LeSean McCoy; by the time they're ready to compete for a playoff spot with their new quarterback, McCoy will be on a sharp decline. Regardless, Buffalo should select a running back on the second day of the draft.
Pick change; previously Orlando Brown, OT
Rd. 2, Pk. 11
Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina
The Bills will want to pair their new quarterback with an offensive weapon. Deebo Samuel makes sense as someone who could start across from Zay Jones.
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 grab their future franchise quarterback. <br> <br>
Rosen had a legendary performance in UCLA's 2017 season opener, leading one of the greatest comeback wins in college football history. The Bruins were down 44-10 in the third quarter before Rosen led them back to a 45-44 victory over Texas A&M. Rosen completed 35-of-58 passes for 491 yards with four touchdowns on the evening. Of the top quarterback prospects, Rosen has the best mechanics and is most natural pocket passer. He throws a tremendous ball and can really spin it. Rosen's tight spiral helps him to get his passes through tight windows and beat good coverage. Rosen has serious arm talent with field vision and pocket presence. <br /><br />
Rosen completed 59 percent of his passes for 1,915 yards with 10 touchdowns and five interceptions in his six games of 2016 before being sidelined by shoulder surgery. The 6-foot-4, 210-pounder has a strong arm with pocket-passing skills, yet could stand to improve his decision-making and accuracy. Scouts who have done advance work on the 2018 prospects have told me that Rosen is disliked by his teammates and lacks leadership skills for the NFL. That could cause him to slide. <br> <br>
Rosen had an impressive debut as a freshman in 2015, completing 60 percent of his passes for 3,670 yards with 23 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He showed off a powerful arm and the ability to be an NFL pocket passer.
The Bills could use a safety upgrade, and James is one of the best players in this draft class. <br> <br>
James totaled 11 tackles and an interception through two games in 2016 before sustaining a season-ending knee injury. He had been playing well for Florida State. Entering last season, there was a lot of hype that James was an elite player and perhaps the best defensive player in college football. As a freshman in 2015, he had a strong debut with 91 tackles, 9.5 tackles for a loss, 4.5 sacks, four passes broken up and two forced fumbles, but zero interceptions. <br> <br>
The 6-foot-3, 211-pounder has a great athletic skill set with tremendous speed, instincts, and strength to hit. He shows the ability to do everything a NFL safety is needed to do. James is fast, long, with coverage skills in the deep middle of the field. He also is strong to be the eighth man in the box and tackle.
This is the Chiefs' first-round pick traded to Buffalo when Kansas City moved into the top-10 for Pat Mahomes. The Bills may move on from Sammy Watkins after this season, and if they do, they will need a No. 1 receiver to pair with Zay Jones. <br> <br>
Kirk played well in 2016 despite inconsistent quarterback play from the Aggies. He had 83 receptions for 928 yards with nine touchdowns while splitting targets with wideouts like Josh Reynolds and Ricky Seals-Jones. Kirk is a fast, explosive play-maker. Some scouting sources have said their nickname for Kirk is "Baby Beckham" in reference to Odell Beckham Jr. <br> <br>
Kirk (5-11, 200) had an outstanding freshman debut for Texas A&M and earned playing time over more veteran receivers who had previously produced for the Aggies. In 2015, Kirk caught 80 passes for 1,009 yards with seven touchdowns. He averaged only 19.3 yards per kick return, but averaged 24.4 yards per punt returns with two touchdowns.
The Bills grab a potential replacement for Sammy Watkins. <br> <br>
In 2016, Sutton totaled 76 receptions for 1,246 yards - 16.5 yard average - with 10 touchdowns. The 6-foot-4, 215-pounder has size to him, and in 2015, he showed big-play ability by averaging 17.6 yards per catch. For the year, the redshirt freshman totaled 862 yards and nine touchdowns on 49 receptions. <br> <br>
Scouting sources really like Sutton and think he is a mismatch weapon. One playoff general manager said they loved Sutton and thought he could end up becoming the best receiver from his draft class. Another scouting director told WalterFootball.com that, in studying up on players before hitting the road for college training camps before the 2016 season, Sutton's tape really stood out, and he continued to impress them in 2016. Sutton is a long-strider, and sources say his speed is comparable to TCU's Josh Docton, who the Redskins took in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft.
The Bills grab their future franchise quarterback. <br> <br>
Thus far this season, Allen has completed 56 percent of his passes for 566 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions. He struggled other than against FCS competition.<br> <br>
Allen was running for his life all day against Iowa in Week 1. The Wyoming offensive line was dominated, and Allen got no help from his supporting cast. He also made mistakes of his own, including two ugly interceptions, and there easily could have been at least one more interception that was dropped by Iowa linebacker Josey Jewell. Allen ended up completing 23-of-40 passes for 174 yards with two interceptions and zero touchdowns. Overall, Allen showed his big skill set with size, toughness, athleticism, and a strong arm. There were plays where he looked like a young Ben Roethlisberger. There were other plays where Allen showed bad decision-making and inaccuracy. Allen was also disappointing against Oregon. <br> <br>
Allen will probably be a high pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, but his 2017 season opener indicates that he could be a work in progress who will need some developmental time. His completion percentage and interception total from 2016 provide evidence for that assessment. He completed 56 percent of his passes for 3,203 yards with 28 touchdowns and 15 interceptions last year.<br> <br>
Allen (6-5, 222) became a discussed prospect late in the 2016 season, but he wisely decided to return to Wyoming. He has a special skill set, and some draft analysts were projecting him high in the first round, but one general manager told WalterFootball.com that he had Allen as a third-day prospect and thought Allen should improve before going pro. Other team sources that did advance work for National Scouting for the 2018 prospects really liked Allen and compared him to Ben Roethlisberger, so don't be surprised if he is a polarizing prospect. Still, Allen has a great skill set with tons of upside.