It’s draft week AFC East fam! This Thursday, starting at 8pm, the future fates of the Dolphins, Patriots & Jets will begin to take form. For Buffalo fans, it sounds like you’ll be waiting til Friday per Beane. That being said it’s high time The Sideline Report release it’s own, AFC East Mock Draft. Using the draft simulator over at PFF, I compiled a full 7 round draft that even includes a few trades. Are you excited to convert your first round pick into 6 future 4th rounders Pats fans!? Joking aside, picks were based on your input here, as well as outside sites assessments of team needs and player values. Today we’ll look at the Buffalo Bills selections with a team draft grade & assessments of why specific players were chosen through the first 3 rounds. Enjoy and wear your masks you filthy animals!
Complete draft can be found on google sheets, here.
Buffalo Bills: 7 picks, 7 players selected. Grade: A+
Needs: Pass Rush, RB, CB, OL
At draft time, the Bills are the 2020 AFC East favorites by a slight margin. Realistically, this is the best roster in the AFC East and firmly in the top half of the league, potentially top 10. Beane has already completed most of his work, turning this year’s 1st (22), 5th and 6th round picks as well as their 2021 4th into Stefon Diggs. Diggs is the most established wide receiver in the AFC East and effectively completes this wide receiver unit for the Bills. Buffalo should also feel comfortable at LB, S, QB, DL, and TE, with picks at these positions quantified as luxuries. With their first selection not coming until day 2 at #54 the Bills are unlikely to find a player that would be a lock to start so in this mock, Buffalo adds developmental prospects and depth pieces at Edge, RB, CB, & OL. Uche can contribute from day one as a sub linebacker while he develops his pass rushing skills, easing the loss of Lorenzo Alexander. Akers is likely to contribute right away and could push “Motor” for the starting role, especially if Singletary continues to struggle with ball security. Meanwhile, Hill and Robinson add youth to some more aged position groups in Buffalo. With a strong roster, don’t expect a ton of 2020 contributions from this draft class, this is the Bills year to push for an AFC East & AFC title and this draft class protects against injury setbacks along the way.
Heavy 2020 Contributors/possible starters: Uche (54, Edge), Akers (86, RB)
Future Starters: Simpson (128, OG)
Depth: Hill (167, CB), Reed (188, WR), Robinson (207, Edge)
ST/Practice Squad/Cut:Johnston (239, LB)
Round 2, 54: Josh Uche, Edge Michigan
-Edge/Defensive end is possibly the oldest position group for the Bills and Uche adds an infusion of athleticism and ability as both a rusher and off ball linebacker. He’s got the talent to become a big time contributor if he can refine his pass rush skills and Buffalo will be a great place for him to ease into a prominent role. Beane will be looking heavily at the top group of running backs here, as well as another flexible piece for the secondary.
Options: Taylor/Dobbins/Edwards-Helaire (RB), T Lewis (Edge), Dugger/Arnette/Pride Jr. (DB)
Round 3, 86: Cam Akers, RB FSU
The depth of this running back class is what allowed Beane to skip over prospects like Jonathan Taylor and JK Dobbins at 54. The best player on a series of bad Florida State teams, Akers will likely have better counting stats in the NFL than college. Bills fans can expect more than just “Motor” insurance with this pick, Akers would push for a split carry backfield, keeping both backs fresh for a long playoff run.
Alternatives: Moss (RB), Robinson/Scott/Holmes (CB), Niang/Tega Wanogho (OL)
4/128: John Simposon, G Clemson
5/167: Lavert Hill, CB Michigan
6/188: Joe Reed, WR Virginia
6/207: Alton Robinson, Edge Syracuse
7/239: Clay Johnston, LB Baylor