1 - NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah makes this prediction for the No. 9 pick
Daniel Jeremiah released his mock draft 3.0 with some surprising Top-10 picks. Jeremiah mocked Ed Oliver at No. 3 to the Jets and Jawaan Taylor to the Jaguars at No.7. His pick for the Bills at No. 9? Iowa tight end T.J. Hockenson.
“Hockenson the most complete tight end in the NFL draft,” Jeremiah said. “He’ll help the run game as well as be an asset in the passing game for Josh Allen.”
The Bills addressed the tight end position in free agency with the additions of Tyler Kroft and Jake Fisher. Kroft, Fisher and Jason Croom all bring their own skills to the position, but Hockenson could be a player offensive coordinator Brian Daboll turns into a weapon after coaching tight ends in New England.
Hockenson is the top-tier tight end of the NFL draft who can not only be an elite asset in the passing game but hold his blocks in the run as well. The only con about Hockenson is that he might not be available at No. 9.
Jeremiah previously wrote about Hockenson stating that “Hockenson is one of the best blocking tight ends I’ve ever evaluated, and he is dependable in the passing game. He’s a Day one impact player at the next level.”
In two seasons at Iowa, Hockenson was responsible for 73 receptions, 1,080 yards and 10 total touchdowns while only being responsible for two drops.
2 - Bills picked as surprise playoff team for 2019
NFL.com’s Around the NFL crew selected three surprise AFC playoff teams, the Bengals, Broncos and Bills.
“The Buffalo Bills to me, I think they’ve been well coached under Sean McDermott the entire time,” Marc Sessler said. “He took a lesser Bills team to the playoffs a couple of years ago and they’re growing, they’re changing. The coach and the GM are in sync. You’ve got more around Josh Allen this time around, he needs to change and grow as well.”
Buffalo has added new coaches and players to the lineup for next season already and still has 10 draft picks left to use. The culture around Buffalo has been changing and a brand-new practice facility can be the complete difference in development.
3 - B/R Bills’ biggest draft needs
General manager Brandon Beane has maintained the Bills will take the best player available leaving all options open for who will be the next first-round pick in Buffalo.
Still, Bleacher Report identifies the Bills’ biggest needs in the NFL draft as edge, cornerback and tight end.
While the receiving corps looks a lot better than it did a year ago, the Bills could still afford to add another pass-catching tight end to pair with Kroft. This would give Allen the flexibility to run or pass out of most two-tight end sets.
Defensively, Buffalo could use a top-tier cornerback to pair with Tre'Davious White. LSU's Greedy Williams or Washington's Byron Murphy could be an option with the ninth overall selection.
Perhaps the biggest need, however, is edge-rusher. Despite having a strong defense, the Bills managed merely 36 sacks in 2018 (seventh-fewest in the league). Should a top sack artist like Mississippi State's Montez Sweat be available at No. 9, pulling the trigger there would make even more sense.
Buffalo has already added center Mitch Morse, tackle Ty Nsekhe, wide receivers John Brown, Cole Beasley and Andre Roberts and tight end Tyler Kroft to improve the offense this season. Defensively, they’ve brought back corner E.J. Gaines and added another in Kevin Johnson as they look to improve a unit that ranked second in the league last year.