AFCE

The Bills Draft Plan

The Bills Draft Plan
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This draft for the Bills is crucial in determining what direction they go and whether they are ready for this year or it will be a full rebuild.  I’m leaning more towards win now as Whaley is on thin ice and the Pegulas are not the patient bunch. With many saying the Bills will go QB early I disagree,  I think Whaley knows that Tyrod is a better Alex Smith and will give him time to develop a QB on the bench as insurance as they hopefully make the playoffs this year. Here is what I think they will do.
 
 
1st Round) OJ Howard TE from Rawl Tyde
 
The Bills took a major hit at the skill positions with reliable Robert Woods leaving in Free Agency. They also have Sammy Watkins who at this point can’t be relied on for a full season. They signed some WRs this offseason but all of them are more backup WRs than starting WRs. Right now the only dependable options on offense are LeSean McCoy and Charles “Big Play” Clay who still is underutilized. The Bills need a playmaker at a receiving position and the best answer is versatile OJ Howard. Howard fills two holes on offense; a reliable receiving threat and a blocker to mask the hole at RT. At Bama Howard was a fearsome blocker, shutting down #1 pick Myles Garrett among others. In this new offense I expect a bunch of two TE sets and with Clay also improving as a blocker since leaving Miami, the Bills can open up plenty of holes in the run game. He is also a very good receiver. His numbers don’t show it as Lane Kiffin was obsessed with bubble screens and painfully obvious deep balls but when Howard got the ball he made opponents pay as evident by the 2016 National Title Game. He is a good route runner with size who Tyrod Taylor should have no problem seeing.
 
 
2nd Round) Obi Melifonwu Safety from UCONN
 
The Bills lost both starting safeties from last year and while Corey Graham may come back, they still need to address the position. With Jamal Adams and Malik Hooker the only safeties worth a first round grade, the Bills wait until round 2 to address this position. Obi is a physical freak and like his teammate Byron Jones two years ago, dominated the Combine.  Obi would be the ideal Aaron Williams replacement as he can move sideline to sideline and is a tackling machine. Coverage he is iffy on as he doesn’t trust his reads all the time but as a strong safety which he will be, he will be perfect for this role.
 
 
3rd Round) Jalen Myrick CB from Minnesota
 
With the shift from Sexy Rexy to Sean McDermott, the Bills secondary will shift from primarily press man coverage to a more zone based scheme. This means they won’t address corner with their first two picks instead waiting until the 3rd to get their first man. Jalen is on the small side at 5’10 but is very fast running a 4.28. He has pretty solid instincts which make him a good fit for a zone scheme. He’s not a great tackler and his size will hurt him at times but for a zone scheme he is a pretty good fit and the Bills could use another one as Darby has been terrible when playing zone and Kevin Seymour is still an unknown.
 
 
5th Round) Corey Clement RB from Wisconsin
 
The Bills made the smart decision of letting Mike Gillislee go to the Patriots for a 5th round pick as his production was due more to the offensive line and system and not his actual ability (Los Williams had very similar numbers in 2015). The Bills will need a change of pace back and will yet again draft one in the 5th. Clement is a one cut back who can attack the open hole with authority. If  the offensive line remains the same, expect Bills fans to laugh at the Patriots for overpaying a system back in Gillislee.
 
 
5th Round) Marquel Lee OLB from Wake Forest 
 
Bills LB corp will be having a dramatic change as they will be relied more in coverage compared to how Rex used them. Right now there is Reggie Ragland who is an unknown coming back from injury and isn’t a great fit as an ILB or WLB in the scheme and you have Preston Brown who is serviceable at ILB. With Zach Brown Band gone, the Bills need at least another LB and what Doug Whaley is the best at is finding linebackers. Lee is your typical weakside linebacker as he is ok at many things but not great in any particular thing. Unless the Bills plan to use Micah Hyde as a Box Safety, they will need a linebacker who can cover.
 
 
6th Round)  Chad Kelly QB from Ole Miss
 
With their last pick the Bills go with the nostalgia and draft the best Kelly since Jim Kelly. Chad Kelly is electrifying on the field as he’s not afraid to sling it around and make plays. He has one of the better arms in this draft and can make every throw. He doesn’t have the best decision making as Kelly has the Brett Favre mentality of triple covered means open so there is lots of risk and reward with him. He does have some “concerns” which mainly stem from his days at Clemson where he acted out because he should have been starting over Tajh Boyd.  His uncle Jim Kelly in Buffao could help to mentor him and he already is better than TJ Yates and Cardale Jones. But an ACL injury and wrist injury cause him to fall in the draft where the Bills draft him for ticket sales.

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