DRAFT COVERAGE

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5 things we learned from night two of the Bills 2019 Draft

Tight end Dawson Knox makes a play for Ole Miss.
Tight end Dawson Knox makes a play for Ole Miss.

1. Tried to move up higher with two trades

Bills GM Brandon Beane made a pair of trades on day two, but he was trying to get up even higher than he did to land the likes of Cody Ford and Dawson Knox.

“We had a very good grade on Cody and we even looked into late last night trying to get into the end of the first round, but it was a little rich for us,” said Beane. “We felt like we’d be giving up too many assets to do that. We made some calls and fortunately he was there for us to make that move with Oakland to pick him up.”

So instead of moving up 8-12 spots into the bottom of round one, Buffalo fortunately had to move up just two picks, parting with only a fifth-round selection to do so.

The team’s second trade in round three proved harder to pull off according to Beane. They were trying to get up higher in round three before finally making a deal with Washington for the 96th selection.

“There was a run on tight ends starting,” said Beane. “You’re kind of holding your breath, you start looking, our next pick was 112. He fit the value of where we picked him. We were thinking, ‘There’s enough teams that still could use tight ends.’ So we just didn’t see any way that he would fall.”

He eventually parted with both of his fourth-round selections (112 and 131) to move up 16 spots to take the Ole Miss tight end. In Beane’s eyes it was worth it because after Knox there was a sizable drop off at tight end on their board.

“The next one that we had ranked was starting to be significantly lower,” Beane said. “We just felt this was the time to jump, that was still another position we wanted to address in this draft. It made sense to me to trade up there, because we had that value on Dawson.”

2. Why no receiver on day two?

Many outside observers felt the Bills had to come away with one of the top end receivers in the draft class. After only two receivers came off the board on day one of the draft, there was optimism that the Buffalo would add to their ranks at wideout.

Simply put, it didn’t come to fruition.

“We had some guys, but they were not as high as Cody in the second,” said Beane. “Then I think you saw there was a run on receivers. Our next pick was Devin (Singletary), and by then, there was nothing available that we thought the value fit to what Devin could do for us.”

Among the bigger names left on the board for day three include Iowa State’s Hakeem Butler, Georgia’s Riley Ridley, N.C. State’s Kelvin Harmon and Auburn’s Darius Slayton. But the Bills are unlikely to have a crack at any of those players knowing they no longer hold a fourth-round selection.

3. No concern about crowded positions

After the Bills took OL Cody Ford and RB Devin Singletary it further expanded two position groups that look pretty crowded on paper.

Buffalo currently has 14 offensive linemen and seven running backs, not counting International player allocation Christian Wade.

As far as Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott are concerned the players will ultimately determine the pecking order and who is still around come the end of August.

“It’s competition,” said Beane. “Honestly, as Sean said, we’re going to roll it out. We’re a couple of months away from real football. I don’t know the order of how a lot of these positions, whether it’s O-line, receiver, tight end, running back, I don’t know how it’s going to shake out. In time we’ll figure that out.”

4. Ford to begin at tackle

Bills second-round pick Cody Ford finished his college career as a right tackle for Oklahoma, but he also played guard. For now, Buffalo will line him up on the edge as he begins his pro career.

“He’ll come in here and can play right tackle or guard for us,” said Beane. “I would say position one for us right now would be right tackle, but we do like his versatility to go inside. He’s smart and physical and would be fine in there.”

What coach McDermott likes most about Ford is his playing demeanor, which he saw as a fit for the attitude they want to have up front.

“He is smart and he is tough,” said McDermott. “We’re anxious to get him in here and get him integrated to how we do things. When you look at the way he played, his play style was physical, but under control and he brought some leadership to that football team as well.”

With the 2019 NFL Draft officially underway, follow along with the Buffalo Bills to find out which players the team selects. Bills draft coverage is presented by ECMC.

5. Singletary was the “funnest”

NFL Network draft analysts called Bills third-round pick Devin Singletary a “mini LeSean McCoy” as his elusive running style is similar to that of the Bills vet. Beane agreed with that assessment calling Singletary’s game film among the most entertaining he’s seen.

“Of all the guys that I watched, I still have a note on my little surface (tablet) that I write in. I put down ‘This is the funnest guy I’ve watched all year,’” said Beane. “Even the guys that I watched after him, I didn’t feel like I should erase it.

“The guy has got some amazing vision, rare vision, and lateral quickness. His instincts, if (the highest) is 10, his are up here. They’re very rare. Rare instincts, rare vision for the position. He’s a smaller guy, wouldn’t call him a home run hitter, but he can make guys miss in a phone booth.”

Beane also said because of that elusiveness he’s never ever taken a big shot when tackled. So despite a heavy workload of more than 700 carries in college, the Bills see those as highway miles rather than city.

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