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Bills Today: Will every team in the AFC East draft a QB?

Posted Apr 12, 2018

Here's the Bills news of note for April 12th.

1 - Will every team in the AFC East draft a QB?
For the NFL’s Roster Reset, analysts try to predict what’s the next move for each team in the AFC East, and quarterback is the spot on all of their minds.

According to Judy Battista, the only team in the division that may not draft a QB this draft is the Miami Dolphins.

“The other three teams, I think no question,” said Battista. “Including the person who will probably be the heir to Tom Brady.”

Currently, the Bills have an open competition at the QB spot between A.J. McCarron and Nathan Peterman, but a rookie could be thrown into the mix come April 26th.

The Patriots have Tom Brady, but with him turning 41 before the 2018 campaign, the next starting QB for the Pats may be selected this year.

The Jets have Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater as viable starting QB options, but after trading to third overall pick in the draft, it’s likely they add a third option.

That leaves the Dolphins who, despite the question mark that is Ryan Tannehill’s health, have holes at wide receiver and defensive tackle after the culture purge earlier this offseason.

On whether the moves made this offseason will mean the demise of the Patriots monopoly on division titles, Kimberly Jones said she “needs to see it to believe it,” but with a nod to what the Bills have done so far.

“I think Buffalo looks very much on the right path with Sean McDermott, A.J. McCarron the quarterback there, we’ll see what they do about getting a younger quarterback, a rookie quarterback,” said Jones.

Jones said she won’t rule out a team overtaking the Pats, but she doesn’t think it will happen.

Battista gave little to no chance, barring a Tom Brady injury/retirement.

2 - Kiper’s Grade-A draft picks for the Bills

Mel Kiper released what he believes would happen if the Bills stayed put with every pick they have through the first three rounds in this year’s draft. That is part of the rules of a Grade-A draft.

The ground rules:

  • At each slot, I make a pick in the best interest of only the team with the pick
  • No trades. I try to address team needs, but as with the actual draft, value can supersede need.
  • I'm not projecting picks. This is more of a look at where I see value up and down the board, based on my rankings.

Here are Kiper’s projected selections based on where the Bills current picks fall:

Round 1 (12): Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
Round 1 (22): Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
Round 2 (53): Anthony Miller, WR, Memphis
Round 2 (56): Billy Price, C/G, Ohio State
Round 3 (65): Carlton Davis, CB, Auburn
Round 3 (96): Daurice Fountain, WR, Northern Iowa

Kiper doesn’t believe this is what the Bills draft haul will look like, believing a trade is on the horizon for the team, but in his mock draft, not trading up doesn’t hurt the Bills too much as Lamar Jackson falls to Beane and company at the 22nd pick. Also, the Bills retain their capital and have a lot of opportunities to plug holes in their roster.

In this scenario, the Bills get two of the draft's best athletes with their first two picks. Edmunds and Jackson are both raw, but they have the upside to be Pro Bowl players. And with AJ McCarron on the roster, Jackson wouldn't have to start in Week 1. Miller and Price could step in and play immediately. Buffalo added Vontae Davis on a one-year deal but needs another corner opposite Tre'Davious White. Fountain is an under-the-radar big-play threat who had 12 touchdowns as a senior in 2017.

3 - Underrated players to look for in the NFL draft
CBS Sports' Chris Trapasso has ranked the top 100 players in the upcoming NFL draft, but he wants to shed light on who are, in his opinion, some of the best underrated draft prospects.

Mike Gesicki may not be the best tight-end when it comes to blocking, but the 6-5 big-man out of Penn State can make some noise catching passes. In the nine games Gesicki played, and started in, he pulled in four touchdowns in his 52 targets.

Gesicki is entering the NFL at the perfect time, when tight ends have gradually shifted away from the line of scrimmage and are mainly utilized as matchup nightmares in the slot and even on the perimeter at times. Gesicki plays like a big wide receiver with impressive speed. Also, because of his phenomenal leaping ability and strong hands, he's always open a few feet over his head.

Martinas Rankin out of Mississipi State is an offensive tackle capable of playing anywhere along the offensive line. At 6-5, 305 lbs. Trapasso has high hopes for Bulldog from Mendenhall, MS.

Rankin might be the most fundamentally sound offensive tackle in this class. He's quick and balanced in his kick slide, times his punches well and has light feet to mirror pass-rushers. With a bit more strength, he can handle power-rushers slightly better than he does now. The former Mississippi State is one of the Day Two gems in this class.

Skai Moore is an outside linebacker out of South Carolina, and even though NFL.com has him projected to go in the seventh round, Trapasso sees a career for 6-2 LB. He ranked Moore 76th overall in the upcoming draft.

An athletic linebacker with jagged instead of smooth movements, Moore is arguably the best zone coverage linebacker in this class. A super-experienced player, Moore has seen every type of route combination behind him and has the speed, quickness and ball skills to make plays while sinking into coverage. He snagged 14 interceptions in his four-year career at South Carolina and was seemingly always around the football against the run too. With more upper body strength, he'd get better at shedding blocks, which he already does on occasion.

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