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2020 Mock Draft Watch 4.0


No. 22 - EDGE A.J. Epenesa, Iowa

No Big Ten pass rusher had more QB pressures in 2019 than Epenesa with 58, per PFF. Adding youth to this front creates the biggest uptick for Buffalo.

No. 22 - EDGE Curtis Weaver, Boise State

Same pick as a week ago. Weaver tested as one of the best athletes -- who actually participated -- at the edge position at the combine, and adds much-needed youth and pass-rush capabilities to the outside of Buffalo's defensive line.

No. 22 - EDGE A.J. Epenesa, Iowa

The Bills may lose defensive end Shaq Lawson to free agency and would like to add a pass rusher. Epenesa didn't run well at the combine, but he's one of the best edge rushers in this draft.

No. 22 - WIDE RECEIVER Justin Jefferson, LSU

Jefferson has a tall, sinewy frame and boasts elite short-area quickness. He posted incredible production for national-champion LSU in 2019, breaking a program record with 111 catches while finishing second nationally with 18 touchdowns. Lining up primarily in the slot, Jefferson glides off the line of scrimmage and conjures images of Doug Baldwin as a route runner: He varies the pacing of his route stem, lulls defenders to sleep, and then unleashes a devastating series of crossovers and jab-step jukes to create separation and put corners in a blender.

No. 22 - WIDE RECEIVER Tee Higgins, Clemson

Higgins possesses some of the size that Buffalo lacks in its receiving corps, and could pair well with Josh Allen. Considering Allen's accuracy issues, it'd be nice to have a guy who can reach balls that might not be in the best spot. He'd also be an asset in the red zone.

TRADE - No. 22, No. 86 and first fifth-round pick to Dallas for No. 17 pick

No. 17 - EDGE K'Lavon Chaisson, LSU

In the previous version of this mock, I slotted Tee Higgins to the Bills as they could benefit from a receiver with a wide catch radius to complement their smaller-but-productive free-agent additions from last year. With the depth at the position, however, they could target someone like Michael Pittman or Chase Claypool in the second round and use their first-round pick to fill a need at edge. With elite speed off the edge, the 20-year-old Chaisson started 2019 slowly as he returned from a 2018 ACL tear, but he finished the season strong with 4.5 sacks in his final four games.

No. 22 - WIDE RECEIVER Tee Higgins, Clemson

This offense has the slot guy (Cole Beasley) and the speed guy (Smokey Brown) but could really use the big guy – Higgins is 6-4, 215 – to help provide sometimes scattershot QB Josh Allen a target with a large catch radius.

No. 22 - WIDE RECEIVER Justin Jefferson, LSU

Jefferson ticked every box in Indy with a 4.43 40, 37.5-inch vertical and 10-foot-6 broad jump. That's a plus athlete for the position. Jefferson's absurd 12-of-13 contested-catch conversions last season will pair nicely with Josh Allen.

No. 22 - WIDE RECEIVER Tee Higgins, Clemson

Let's find Josh Allen a receiver to pair with John Brown. I thought about Brandon Aiyuk (Arizona State), but his game is very similar to Brown's. What the Bills want instead is a big, strong receiver who can make tough contested catches and create matchup problems in the red zone. Enter Higgins, with his 6-4, 216-pound frame. He will come down with any ball thrown his way and then make defenders miss with his strength. The Bills also will be looking for offensive linemen, but the value isn't right at No. 22. And while they could also use a running back to pair with Devin Singletary, that's a position that can be addressed on Day 2.

No. 22 - WIDE RECEIVER Justin Jefferson, LSU

Wide receiver is a big need for the Buffalo Bills. We've seen Tee Higgins and Laviska Shenault Jr. mocked at No. 22 overall, but I would like to introduce a new name to the mix.

Justin Jefferson was one of the most productive receivers of this college football season. He had the most receptions and receiving yards from the slot, and also had one of the highest contested-catch rates. In Indianapolis, his 4.43-seconds 40-yard dash, 37.5-inch vertical jump and 10-foot-6-inch broad jump solidified him as one of the most athletic receivers in the class.

No. 22 - EDGE Yetur Gross-Matos, Penn State

Gross-Matos is a high-upside edge rusher who has yet to scratch the surface on his potential. The Bills have needs at WR too, and they just missed out on Ruggs, but the class is so deep that they can find weapons later in the draft. Also: Jerry Hughes is 31, Shaq Lawson's contract is up and Trent Murphy's contract is set to expire after next season.

No. 22 - WIDE RECEIVER Justin Jefferson, LSU

After running a 4.43 40 in Indianapolis, any talk of Justin Jefferson falling in the draft is officially over.

The LSU star receiver was already billed as one of the best route-runners in the class, but after showing home run speed, it's easy to see teams lining up to fall in love with him. The Buffalo Bills, a team with a desperate need for a game-changer at wide receiver, should be first in that line.

Jefferson doesn't have the elite size some would like to see Buffalo add, but his routes and agility are a quarterback's best friend. With big-play potential after the catch and the speed to stretch the field, Jefferson is what quarterback Josh Allen needs.

No. 54 - SAFETY Kyle Dugger, Lenoir-Rhyne

No. 86 - EDGE Curtis Weaver, Boise State

No. 22 - EDGE Yetur Goss-Matos, Penn State

The Bills could go WR here, but Gross-Matos is a big-upside player at a position of need.

No. 22 - EDGE K'Lavon Chaisson

Interesting decision by Chaisson this week to not participate in the combine, but wait instead of LSU's Pro Day. The comparisons to another athletic LSU edge rusher will emerge -- Barkevious Mingo, who went 6th overall in 2013 - but those seem unfounded.

No. 22 - WIDE RECEIVER Tee Higgins, Clemson

The Bills hit on outside threat John Brown and slot man Cole Beasley in last year's free agency to boost Josh Allen and the offense as a whole. Higgins working the perimeter would a perfect complement. The Clemson product is a dangerous, all-around playmaker who can be a force in the red zone. At 6-4, 215 pounds, he posted 59 receptions for 1,167 yards and 13 TDs in 15 games last season. He also rushed for a 36-yard score against LSU in the title game.

No. 22 - WIDE RECEIVER Tee Higgins, Clemson

The Bills signed a pair of smaller receivers—John Brown and Cole Beasley—last offseason and the duo was highly productive in their first season in Buffalo, as they combined for 139 catches for 1,838 yards and 12 touchdowns. Complementing Brown and Beasley well, Higgins has strong hands and a large catch radius, and wins as a vertical receiver.

No. 22 - EDGE A.J. Epenesa, Iowa

Hard-hat-and-lunch-pail player with enough pass-rush skills to make immediate contributions as a rookie starter.

No. 22 - WIDE RECEIVER Tee Higgins, Clemson

Higgins should surprise some NFL talent evaluators with his straight-line speed at the Combine. The 6-foot-4, 210-pound Clemson product is coveted for his ball skills and contested-catch ability, but don't let his size convince you that he's a slow mover. He is currently PFF's fifth-ranked receiver and the 25th-best overall player in the class.

TRADE - No. 22, No. 54, No. 118 picks to Carolina for No. 13

No. 13 - WIDE RECEIVER Henry Ruggs III, Alabama

With world-class speed, there is an egregious narrative forming that Ruggs is just a fast guy. Yes, he is going to test with rare speed this week at the Combine and present a weapon that very few - if any - players on opposing defenses can keep pace with. But Ruggs isn't just a fast guy, his football skills are present at a high level. He wins through contact and features excellent ball skills.

Ruggs also fills Buffalo's need for an alpha target in the receiving corps. While many perceive "alpha receivers' as big-bodied receivers that can win in jump ball situations, Ruggs proves his alpha qualities without having defensive backs parked in his hip pocket when trying to run routes and draped all over him at the catch point. I love the way he competes as a blocker, route runner and with the ball in his hands.

Boasting a top-three defense in each of the past two seasons, Buffalo is also armed with over $80 million in available salary-cap space this offseason while hitting on draft picks at a rare clip in recent years. That creates the flexibility Beane needs to "get his guy" to improve the offensive consistency in Buffalo and help his promising young quarterback. In two drafts as the Bills' general manager, Beane has traded up four different times.

No. 22 - EDGE K'Lavon Chaisson, LSU

Offseason needs: Pass rusher, big wide receiver, interior defensive lineman, cornerback

It's tempting to pair Buffalo with Clemson wide receiver Tee Higgins. However, Buffalo needs pass rush help more than anything. Chaisson didn't have a ton of production in college — just 9.5 sacks in three seasons — but teams love edge players with his athleticism and first step.