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2023 Mock Draft Watch 7.0


No. 27 – LB Jack Campbell, Iowa

It came down to Campbell or Zay Flowers here for the Bills, but Buffalo likes the depth at receiver more than linebacker on Day 2.

No. 27 – LB Drew Sanders, Arkansas

The Bills lost a key piece of their defense in free agency when Tremaine Edmunds signed with the Bears. Sanders would be a fine replacement to complement Matt Milano as a great upfield player with his rare combination of flying around to tackle vs. the run and rushing the passer.

No. 27 – RB Bijan Robinson, Texas

Buffalo would be thrilled to get a top-five prospect in the back end of the first round. Yes, Robinson would be something of a luxury pick. But given how the Bills' rushing attack has struggled, particularly in the red zone, I'm a fan of Buffalo pulling the trigger on this particular RB in Round 1. The running-backs-don't-matter axiom has its applications. Robinson is an exception. He could change the complexion of the Bills offense — and probably add a few years to Josh Allen's career. That alone is worth the money and draft capital. – Henry McKenna

TRADE No. 27 to MINNESOTA for No. 23 – RB Bijan Robinson, Texas

Buffalo can smell the Super Bowl, and the best way to get there might be to jump up and lock in a three-down back who can take pressure off QB Josh Allen and help the Bills control games more efficiently.

No. 27 – WR Jordan Addison, USC

Addison uses his speed, route-running savviness and high-end instincts to separate from coverage, and he'd fit nicely with this Buffalo offense. Despite a 5-11 frame, he can make tough catches down the field. And while Stefon Diggs is here to stay for a bit, the Bills need to find more pass-catchers. Gabe Davis is under contract for only one more year, and the depth chart beyond those two is lackluster. Addison had 159 catches for 2,468 yards and 25 touchdowns over the past two seasons (the first of which was at Pitt).

No. 27 – LB Drew Sanders, Arkansas

They lost Tremaine Edmunds in free agency, so replacing him with a player who has a similar skillset would make sense. Sanders can run, and he's also shown he can rush the passer if needed.

No. 27 – DT Bryan Bresee, Clemson

General manager Brandon Beane isn't going to stop investing in his defensive line anytime soon. Bresee was a former No. 1 overall recruit but never quite bounced back in 2022 after tearing his ACL the year before. Still, his tools are undeniable.

No. 27 – LB Daiyan Henley, Washington

Buffalo lost linebacker Tremaine Edmunds to the Bears in free agency, and as the Bills play as much nickel as any NFL team, there's a need for another linebacker who can cover half a field in the run game, in coverage, and as a pass-rusher. Henley, who started his college career as a receiver at Nevada, transitioned to defensive back and then linebacker, transitioning his route understanding to coverage (four interceptions in 2021), and adding blitz ability and run defense at a new level upon his transfer to Washington State in 2022. He's not the biggest name at his position in this class, but when you watch Henley's tape, it's clear that he has the potential to be the kind of 'backer the Bills prefer.

No. 27 – WR Jordan Addison, USC

Making life easier for Josh Allen is the throughline for all of Buffalo's offseason plans. A dynamic slot receiver who can threaten defenses at all three levels and lessen the quarterback's reliance on Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis would certainly align with that mission, and Addison fits the bill.

No. 27 – OT Darnell Wright, Tennessee

The Buffalo Bills need to protect their franchise quarterback Josh Allen and this pick is a big step in that direction. Darnell Wright (scouting report) has outstanding strength and toughness. Once he gets his hands on defenders, he has shown the ability to punish them until the whistle.

No. 27 – LB Drew Sanders, Arkansas

Losing Tremaine Edmunds is difficult at the linebacker position, but they replace him in this NFL mock draft with another athletic and coachable ball of clay for Sean McDermott to mold in his vision. Drew Sanders can play off-ball and rush off the edge. I believe that is his best trait, attacking the quarterback downhill. This addition gives Buffalo pass-rush flexibility.

No. 27 – DL Bryan Bresse, Clemson

With DaQuan Jones, Ed Oliver and Tim Settle all set to become free agents after the 2023 season, the Bills plan ahead by taking Bryan Bresee. While he did not have the year many were hoping for at Clemson, he has all the tools to be a consistent disruptor on the interior.

No. 27 – LB Drew Sanders, Arkansas

Sanders is a former five-star who transferred from Alabama after the 2021 season and all he did was show out for the Razorbacks. He was an edge rusher for the Crimson Tide but he lined up all over the defense for Arkansas and he's been a one-man wrecking crew when he's on the field.

No. 27 – WR Jordan Addison, USC

The Buffalo Bills must reach the point where quarterback Josh Allen isn't asked to complete Herculean tasks week in and week out for the offense to operate properly.

At this juncture, the goal should be to make everything easier on him so he doesn't take the same types of hits or needs to make rare throws on the regular. In order for that happen, those around the quarterback must win their matchups consistently.

"Outside of Stefon Diggs, the entire Bills receiving corps struggled to get open during one-on-one situations last season, from speed threat Gabe Davis to gadget player Isaiah McKenzie to the briefly re-signed Cole Beasley," Klassen said. "Another receiver besides Diggs who can win one-on-ones is a must this offseason, and USC's Jordan Addison fills the need.

"Though undersized (5'11", 173 lbs) and somewhat underwhelming with his athletic testing, Addison's film is as dynamic as anyone's. His stop/start athleticism on film is unrivaled, and he is a tight, snappy route-runner who will consistently give Josh Allen an open target. Sprinkle his YAC skills on top of everything, and the Bills should be very happy to have Addison as their second option in their offense."

The fact that Buffalo resorted to bringing back Beasley last year showed how necessary a move like this is for the offense to go from very good to great.

No. 27 – DT Mazi Smith, Michigan

The Bills could help their O-line by adding Oklahoma's Anton Harrison or give Josh Allen another playmaker by adding speedy Tennessee WR Jalin Hyatt, but instead they shore up the middle of their defense (all of Buffalo's interior guys will be free agents after this season) with Smith, a 6 feet 3, 323-pound powerhouse who anchored the Michigan defense. Smith (48 tackles in 2022) didn't run at the combine, but folks inside the Michigan program gush about his strength and agility. Last offseason, Smith did 22 reps on the bench press, repping 325 pounds (not 225). He also clocked a 6.95 second 3-cone time that would've been by far the fastest among defensive tackles in Indianapolis last year. One NFL coach I spoke with compared him to former Washington first-rounder Daron Payne, who made his first Pro Bowl in 2022. Smith's vertical was a bit better than Payne's, and the broad jump was the same, despite weighing almost 10 pounds more.

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