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Bills Today | These two Bills cracked Mel Kiper's top 10 list of highest-graded NFL QB prospects

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1. These two Bills cracked Mel Kiper's top 10 list of highest-graded NFL QB prospects

ESPN's Mel Kiper has been following the NFL Draft since 1979 and has evaluated a lot of players at every single position. He put together a list of his top 10 highest graded quarterback prospects with Jim Kelly and Josh Allen both being mentioned.

5. Jim Kelly, Miami

Draft class: 1983

Pick: No. 14 overall, Buffalo Bills

What I wrote at the time: "Kelly amassed impressive statistics during his career and like John Elway played against very strong competition (six bowl teams in 1981). Outside of Elway, Kelly is the most gifted of the QBs to come out of the college ranks this season. The transition to pro football should be a smooth one. He would have been one of the first five players drafted had he not been injured, but he still should go in the middle of the first round, depending on the outcome of tests on the shoulder close to draft day. It is my feeling that within three years Kelly will rate as one of the top QBs in the NFL."

Career notes: Kelly spurned the Bills for the upstart USFL, playing two seasons for the Houston Gamblers. He joined Buffalo in 1986 and played 11 seasons for the Bills, guiding them to four straight Super Bowls. He was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 2002.

10. Josh Allen, Wyoming

Draft class: 2018

Pick: No. 7 overall, Buffalo Bills

What I wrote at the time: "Allen has crushed the pre-draft process and is in the mix to be the No. 1 overall pick. He has shown improvement at the Senior Bowl and at the combine, and he has a high ceiling. Allen is super raw but can really sling it. His numbers weren't great in 2016 (28 touchdown passes, 15 interceptions while completing 56 percent of his passes), and his numbers weren't great in 2017 (16 touchdown passes, six interceptions while completing 56.3 percent of his passes), but NFL teams will take into account the talent around him. The Wyoming offense lost 47 touchdowns from the 2016 team, along with its center. I think Allen's numbers will be much better in an NFL offense with NFL players. He put some strong film together in the Cowboys' bowl win, throwing three touchdown passes in the first half, even while recovering from a shoulder injury."

Career notes: Allen broke out in Year 3 in Buffalo, completing 69.2% of his passes and throwing 37 touchdown passes with only 10 picks. He finished second in the MVP voting while leading the Bills to the AFC title game. Allen, who turns 25 this summer, has inserted himself into the top tier of NFL signal-callers.

2. The Bills select this defensive end in CBS Sports' free agent mock draft

What if the veteran free agent market was set up like the NFL Draft? CBS Sports NFL writer Cody Benjamin showed us and put together a mock draft for the current players scheduled to hit free agency on March 17. With the 30th selection, he had the Bills taking defensive end Romeo Okwara who has spent his last three seasons playing for the Lions. During that time, he racked up 19 sacks, 42 QB hits, five forced fumbles and 111 combined tackles.

30. Buffalo Bills: DE Romeo Okwara

There are splashier names on the board, but Okwara fits the Bills' 4-3 DE opening after touting career marks for Detroit in 2020.

Scroll through to view photos of some of the top prospects that some draft analysts have projected the Bills to take in the 2021 NFL Draft.

3. PFF thinks that Jonnu Smith would be a good fit on the Bills

General Manager Brandon Beane noted in late January the need to add competition to the tight end room either through free agency or the draft. PFF's NFL Analyst Seth Galina put out a list of his perfect free agent matches for all 32 teams. He thinks tight end Jonnu Smith would add that needed competition and he would be a good fit in Buffalo.

Buffalo Bills: TE Jonnu Smith

2020 team: Titans | Age entering 2021 season: 26

The Bills did not get a lot of production from their tight ends in the passing game last season, so bringing in Smith would complete what would be a marvelous receiving corps. The rising fifth-year tight end is a capable blocker, but his usefulness truly comes when the ball is in his hands. Among tight ends with at least 25 targets over the past three seasons, Smith is fourth in yards after the catch per reception at 7.1.

As a second or third threat, this is the type of player you want; someone who can play a limited role yet still create extra yards when his number is called.

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