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Mock Draft Watch 3.0

Posted Feb 24, 2018

As the NFL Combine gets set to begin on February 27, check out the latest edition of Mock Draft Watch presented by M&T Bank.

February 21: ESPN, Mel Kiper Jr.

No. 21 – CB Mike Hughes, Central Florida

With back-to-back picks here, could the Bills try to package these and move up for a quarterback? It would take both picks -- and more -- to get into the top 10. Hughes fills a big need opposite 2017 first-round pick Tre'Davious White, and he's a great punt and kick returner, too. He had three touchdown returns last season. After playing at North Carolina in 2015 and a junior college in 2016, Hughes doesn't have a ton of experience, but he emerged as a shutdown corner and important player for the Knights in 2017.

No. 22 – C/G James Daniels, Iowa

Michigan defensive tackle Maurice Hurst is a perfect fit in the Bills' 4-3 -- and my top-ranked 4-3 tackle -- but the retirement of Eric Wood opens up a void at center in Buffalo, and the Bills could get the top prospect at a real position of need. Daniels is No. 1 on my board there. At 6-4, 296, he can move his feet and get to the second level as a true athlete. He is perfect as an anchor for today's NFL. I wouldn't be shocked if two centers went in the first round. Ohio State's Billy Price is the other one.

February 21: MMQB, Albert Breer

No. 21 – WR Courtland Sutton, SMU

I’ve had Sutton higher than this. I’ve since heard teams were a tad disappointed in his 2017 season. But he’s got huge potential, and is both Sean McDermott’s kind of receiver and person.

No. 22 – DT Maurice Hurst, Michigan

Marcell Dareus is gone and Kyle Williams is 34 with an expired deal. Yes, Hurst is short, and may not quite look the part. But he produces, and fits the KK Short role in McDermott’s D.

February 20:, Charles Davis

No. 21 – DT Da’Ron Payne, Alabama

Head coach Sean McDermott's background is defense, and Payne helps him continue to build from the inside out. Payne was a force in the CFB Playoff.

No. 22 – C Billy Price, Ohio State

With the unfortunate news that Eric Wood's career is coming to an end due to injury, Price could plug right in and help keep the Bills' ground attack rolling. Ohio State has been cranking out quality centers in recent years.

February 20: CBS Sports, Will Brinson

No. 5 (trade w/ Denver) – QB Josh Rosen, UCLA

This is a case where the chips fall just right for the Bills. The picks in question (see: above) are close enough in value for the two teams to work out a deal and the inherent talent available makes sense too. The Broncos would prefer a top-tier player, obviously, but after making roster cuts they need more help across the board. The Bills desperately need a quarterback and Rosen dropping to five gives them a real option. 

February 19: SB Nation, Dan Kadar

No. 14 (trade with Green Bay) – QB Josh Allen, Wyoming

If there is a slow play on quarterbacks in the free-agent market, the Bills may need to jump the Arizona Cardinals to get the quarterback they want. In this case, it’s Allen. He’s a physically gifted signal caller who needs to refine his game. The natural skills could lead a team to making a big gamble on draft night.

February 19: Bleacher Report, Mike Tanier

No. 21 – QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma

… Mayfield dropping to the Bills may look unlikely on the surface, but once you do the quarterback math and factor in all of the prospects and free agents, it's entirely possible. And if the Bills do manage to keep both this pick and the next one, they can make the changes they want on defense as well as offense.

No. 22 – DT Taven Bryan, Florida

… Taven Bryan is a uniquely talented player with an explosive first step and the quickness to slice into the backfield and cause chaos. He is raw and a little lean, but let's not focus on what he can do. Rotate him at the 3-tech next to Kyle Williams, slide him to the nose in pass-rush situations and let him wreak havoc while the rest of his game develops.

So Bryan can bring an instant upgrade to the front seven, fill a position of need and erase a 2017 mistake. Not a bad way to use a spare first-round pick.

February 14: Draft Wire, Luke Easterling

No. 5 (trade with Denver) – QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma

If the Broncos end up luring Kirk Cousins in free agency, look for them to try and bail out of this pick. They could find a willing partner in the Bills, who are loaded with early selections and desperately need a franchise quarterback to take their playoff-caliber roster to the next level. In return for both first-round picks the Bills have this year, a second-rounder this year and likely another pick in the 2019 draft, Buffalo finds the perfect leader for their mafia.

February 14: Washington Post, John Harris

No. 21 – QB Josh Allen, Wyoming

I don’t imagine Allen will make it to number 21, but if he does, the Bills can hang on to their next pick and still get the quarterback they desire. Allen is as gifted as any draft prospect over the past decade. He has a cannon arm, movement skills, but wild, scattershot accuracy and ball placement.

No. 22 – C Billy Price, Ohio State

The sudden retirement of Pro Bowl center Eric Wood leaves a gaping hole in the middle for the Bills. If there’s a player in this draft that would fit Buffalo hand in glove, though, it’s Price. He played one year at center, but was an outstanding interior offensive lineman for the Buckeyes. The Bills conclude their first round picks with the quarterback-center battery they’ll have for the next decade plus.

February 13:, Charley Casserly

No. 21 – C Billy Price, Ohio State

The first priority for Buffalo should be to trade up to get a QB. If that doesn't work out, then Price can replace Eric Wood at center.

No. 22 – CB Josh Jackson, Iowa

The Bills get a bookend CB to pair with Tre'Davious White.

February 13: CBS Sports, Will Brinson

No. 21 – C Billy Price, Ohio State

The Bills are losing Eric Wood to retirement, which means they need to find some help to replenish the offensive line. Fortunately they can feel comfortable grabbing the top rated center on the board here.

No. 22 – QB Lamar Jackson, Louisville

And why not grab a quarterback too?? Jackson is a controversial prospect, but I can't see him falling out of the first round given his talent. The Bills can't give him starter snaps in his first year unless something goes wrong, but they can develop him for the long haul. 

February 12: SB Nation, Dan Kadar

No. 21 – QB Josh Allen, Wyoming

If the Cardinals and Chargers both pass on a quarterback in the first round, that would greatly benefit Buffalo. Allen has plenty of warts as a quarterback prospect, but he has the size and athleticism combination teams fall in love with during the offseason process.

No. 22 – DT Maurice Hurst, Michigan

Kyle Williams will be 35 when next season starts, and the Bills need help up front on the defensive line. Hurst is a disruptive player up the middle and thrives when he can split gaps and create pressure.

No. 53 – C/G Frank Ragnow, Arkansas

No. 56 – WR Anthony Miller, Memphis

February 12: Rotoworld, Josh Norris

No. 21 – DL Vita Vea, Washington

Interior defensive line and linebacker play are two critical factors in a Sean McDermott defense. Vea is outstanding against the run and would create space for defenders behind him to run free.

No. 22 – OL Isaiah Wynn, Georgia

I absolutely love Wynn’s game. One scout said his future could be at center, and the Bills have a need at one guard spot (potentially another with Richie Incognito aging) and at center with the likely retirement of Eric Wood. Where does that leave the Bills at quarterback? I don’t know, but Kirk Cousins is possible.