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Draft Coverage

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2023 Mock Draft Watch 8.0

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No. 27 – DB Brian Branch, Alabama

The alarm bells rang after Branch ran an underwhelming 4.58-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine. But the Bills see a stud on tape who makes plays from multiple positions. He's in line to fortify what could be the last run of "The Hyde and Poyer Show" in Buffalo.

No. 27 – WR Jordan Addison, USC

If Diggs stays in Buffalo, this would be a great landing spot for Addison, whose best NFL fit is as a slot receiver and secondary option. Addison is smooth as a route runner and able to find separation with subtle changes of speed and angles, but he's too light to deal with big-bodied cornerbacks outside and struggled with press coverage in college. Here, he can eat up touches on checkdowns and crossing routes anytime Buffalo sees zone coverage.

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 Two.

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 – LB Trenton Simpson, Clemson

I don't love drafting strictly for need, but that's exactly what great teams can do when they don't have many holes. Buffalo let middle linebacker Tremaine Edmunds leave in free agency and this could be a selection to fill that void. Simpson is a really good three-down linebacker who has some coverage traits in the pass game and is a strong blitzer. He ran a blazing 4.43-second 40-yard dash at the combine at 235 pounds. Middle linebackers in today's NFL must have smooth hips and range in coverage, and those are Simpson's strengths.

No. 27 – OL Cody Mauch, North Dakota State

Is there a better match between prospect and fan base than this jovial North Dakota State mauler and the Bills Mafia? Mauch played left tackle for the Bison, but could kick inside to guard and also took center reps at the Senior Bowl, thus providing valuable versatility to the Bills' O-line. Plus, Josh Allen generates many first downs for Mauch to emphatically celebrate.

No. 27 – CB Cam Smith, South Carolina

Cam Smith has first-round talent at cornerback and trails only his teammate Darius Rush in forced incompletion rate over the past two seasons in this draft class (26.5%). He allowed just a 55.4 passer rating into his coverage over that span, a fraction above Devon Witherspoon(55.1).

No. 27 – LB Drew Sanders, Arkansas

Tremaine Edmunds departed for Chicago in free agency, leaving linebacker as one of the Bills' most pressing needs entering the draft. Drew Sanders is perhaps the best linebacker in the class thanks to the variety of ways he can be used in an NFL defense. He can play as a stack backer that can fill gaps and be a physical tackler against the run. On passing downs, Sanders can line up on the edge as an extra pass rusher or drop into zone coverage as well thanks to his quickness, fluidity, and explosiveness. The Arkansas product would fill the need left behind with Edmunds' departure and might even be an upgrade at the position.

TRADE No. 27 and No. 91 to SEATTLE for No. 20 – EDGE Nolan Smith, Georgia

The Bills collect edge rushers, and Smith's size and speed could help him take over for Von Miller if the veteran hangs up his cleats after the season.

No. 27 – WR Jordan Addison, USC

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