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Bills Today: Buffalo's draft positions set


Here's the Bills news of note for Monday Feb. 27th.

1 – Buffalo's draft positions setBuffalo's draft slots are now set in stone.

The league announced compensatory draft picks for the 2017 NFL Draft, but the Bills did not receive any.

Compensatory picks are largely based on whether the NFL club suffered a net loss of free agents as well as the size of the contracts the departing free agents sign. The Bills opted to sign many free agents in the 2016 offseason to one-year, low-cost deals which outnumbered the free agents they lost last offseason.

Denver, Cincinnati and Kansas City received the most compensatory draft picks in the league with four.

Without any additional picks, the Bills are now selecting at:

Round 1—10 overall
Round 2—44 overall
Round 3—75 overall
Round 5—156 overall
Round 5—171 overall (from Dallas)
Round 6—195 overall

Buffalo does not have a fourth round selection this year due to trading up with Chicago last season for Reggie Ragland. Their seventh round pick was sent to Dallas in the Matt Cassel trade two seasons ago in exchange for the additional fifth-round pick they acquired.

2 – NFL Combine set to beginA little over 300 college prospects have one last major opportunity to showcase their talents for NFL scouts and executives this week. 

The 2017 NFL Scouting Combine is set to begin on Tuesday and run for nearly a week. With the Bills having such a high pick, Doug Whaley and Buffalo's front office will be very busy in Indianapolis.

Justis Mosqueda outlined players that each team should be scouting at the combine for Bleacher Report, focusing on the quarterback position for the Bills.

"If they want to run a system, the best plug-and-play option is North Carolina's Mitch Trubisky,"Mosqueda wrote."If they want to field a quarterback who will take shots in a system, the man is Clemson's Deshaun Watson. If they want to develop the next Derek Carr-like passer, it's Texas Tech's Patrick Mahomes. If they want to ride the highs and lows of a quarterback, like Eli Manning, the passer is Notre Dame's DeShone Kizer."

Those four passers threw for a combined 136 touchdowns in 2016, and each are leaving college a year early for the NFL.

Several other mock drafts have linked the Bills to quarterbacks, but there are also several viable safety and wide receiver options Buffalo could go with at the 10 slot.

However, Mosqueda thinks that if one of those four quarterbacks really sticks out at the combine, the Bills could be inclined to trade up to make sure they get their man.

"Sitting at 10th overall, the Bills may have to move up for "their guy," if they want to plug and play a rookie," Mosqueda wrote. "This was a Buffalo front office that traded up from the ninth overall pick to the fourth overall pick for receiver Sammy Watkins in 2014. Imagine what they'd do for a quarterback. If one begins to separate himself at the combine, don't be surprised if you start to hear rumors about Buffalo wanting to move up for him in subsequent weeks."

**3 – Free agency prediction

**The additions and subtractions will be coming soon to the Bills.

Pro Football Focus is the latest media outlet to take a crack at what Buffalo may do once the free agency period opens on March 9th.

Not surprisingly, PFF outlined the Bills biggest positional needs as wide receiver, cornerback, offensive tackle and quarterback. In terms of Buffalo's own free agents, they said that wide receiver Robert Woods was the one player the team most needed to re-sign.

"If we're being completely honest, Woods is not a guy that Buffalo should feel completely obligated to re-sign, but of all of their unrestricted free agents, Woods makes the most sense of anyone to retain," William Moy of PFF said. "Outside of Sammy Watkins, the Bills cupboards are completely bare at the wide receiver position and Woods just enjoyed his best season as a pro, earning a 73.2 overall grade (ranked 59 out of 115 qualified WRs) while posting a career-high 1.73 yards per route run (previous high was 1.25 in 2015)."

Woods has already outlined what factors he is looking for in free agency and has expressed his desire to return to the team he has spent his first four seasons with.

Woods has caught 203 passes for 2,451 yards and 12 touchdowns while being a consistent contributor in 57 games with Buffalo.

Outside of re-signing Woods, PFF also lists some free agency prospects for the Bills, notably defensive lineman Kawann Short, wide receiver Kenny Stills and cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick.

The Bills have just under $20 million in cap space when free agency opens, which is 26th in the NFL.

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