1. The Bills rank here on B/R's Top 10 list of Best Draft Hauls in the last 5 years
It's not out of the question to hit a home run on multiple picks in the same NFL Draft. Over the last five years, some teams have been able to change the course of their team based on one draft. Bleacher Report put together a list of the Top 10 Best Draft Hauls of the last five years, and Buffalo made the list at No. 7 for their 2018 draft picks.
7. 2018 Buffalo Bills
Notable Picks: QB Josh Allen, LB Tremaine Edmunds, G Wyatt Teller
Positional value is being gauged here, so the fact that the Buffalo Bills appear to have gotten their franchise quarterback in the 2018 draft is huge. While Josh Allen took a couple of years to develop, he exploded as a viable MVP candidate this past season.
In 2020, Allen passed for 4,544 yards with 37 touchdowns and just 10 interceptions. He also rushed for 421 yards and eight more scores. Perhaps more importantly, he helped guide Buffalo to the AFC Championship Game.
"There's also no question that he has established himself as one of the top young signal-callers in the game," Bleacher Report's Gary Davenport wrote in his recent Top 25 Under 25 list.
Allen isn't the only Buffalo star to come out of the 2018 draft, though. Linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, a two-time Pro Bowler, has established himself as a legitimate defensive cornerstone. Though he was traded to the Cleveland Browns after only one season, guard Wyatt Teller has since emerged as a high-end starter.
Teller was the league's highest-graded guard in 2020, according to Pro Football Focus.
Other players drafted by Buffalo in 2018 include defensive tackle Harrison Phillips and wideout Ray-Ray McCloud.
2. Efe Obada: It came down to a decision between Washington and Buffalo
New Bills defensive end Efe Obada spoke to UK media last week about his decision to play for Buffalo and how he views his role this season. Daily Mail’s Peter Carline detailed Obada choosing Buffalo over several other teams.
But with offers from Dallas, Seattle and Washington also on the table, Obada decided to join a long list of former Carolina staffers in Buffalo.
The Bills landed Obada on a one-year deal.
'I had a few offers, a few teams that were interested. It came down to a decision between Washington and Buffalo,' Obada said.
'Obviously, Washington would've been a connection with Ron Rivera, the fact that he gave me my start and the fact that he's a great man. He makes you not just a better player but a better man.
'Ultimately, I felt like I made the right decision coming to Buffalo, with the fans and the culture.'
Obada comes to Buffalo after spending three years with the Carolina Panthers as a part of their International Player Pathway Program. The defensive end played in all 16 games the last two seasons and recorded 5.5 sacks in 2020. After a breakout season, Obada understands his role with his new team.
With the likes of former team-mates Vernon Butler and Mario Addison on the defensive line, Obada will do all it takes to make plays.
'I'm coming in, I'm going to buy into the process,' he adds. 'I know the standard, I know what's demanded of me and what's required of me.
'I'm here to do whatever it takes to help this team win, whether it's on defense, special teams, whatever. That's been my mentality throughout my whole career.'
Take a look at the Bills newest free agent signings arrival to Buffalo, presented by Imagine Staffing.
3. ESPN identifies the biggest needs for Buffalo in the draft
With the NFL Draft just days away, ESPN released a lengthy look at what every team should do in the draft based on their needs. They identified edge rusher as Buffalo's biggest need.
Biggest need: Edge rusher
Buffalo is in the pleasant spot of not needing much, having re-signed nearly every significant free agent it had coming into the offseason. The needs are more about tweaking an already championship-ready roster to help the Bills get over the final hump; there are no holes big enough to justify reaching for a prospect. With that in mind, it might be helpful to sack Patrick Mahomes on occasion. While Buffalo was fifth in defensive pressure rate last season, the Bills were only 14th in adjusted sack rate -- at times, especially early on in the year, they struggled to convert those pressures into negative plays for the offense. While the defense as a whole was solid enough to not require instant pressure on a week-in, week-out basis to have success, it isn't a coincidence that three of Buffalo's four losses last season saw them record one or zero sacks. In addition, both Jerry Hughes and Mario Addison are on the wrong side of 30, and neither is under contract for 2022.
Prospects who might fit: Jaelan Phillips, Miami; Azeez Ojulari, Georgia
ESPN lists cornerback as another need for Buffalo that can possibly be addressed on Day 2.
Quiet need: Cornerback
While Tre'Davious White remains one of the top corners in the game, the Bills have at least minor question marks both with the starter across from him and with depth in general. Sports Info Solutions charting ranked Levi Wallace 61st out of 80 qualified cornerbacks with a 46.4% success rate in coverage; rumors have last year's seventh-round pick, Dane Jackson, challenging him for the starting role in 2021. In addition, Josh Norman remains unsigned; he was on the field for 344 defensive snaps last season. Adding a Day 2 cornerback to help fill that hole makes a lot of sense, and more competition for Wallace is never a bad thing.
Prospects who might fit: Tyson Campbell, Georgia; Ifeatu Melifonwu, Syracuse