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Bills Today | USA Today makes this mock draft pick for Buffalo


1. USA Today makes this mock draft pick for Buffalo

USA Today released its latest mock draft following the NCAA Championship game and five wide receivers were included in the first 22 picks. The Bills are selecting at No. 22 in the first round and at least one of the top receiver prospects will be theirs.

From Colorado, Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz picked Colorado wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. for the Bills.

If Josh Allen's devil-may-care approach is to be harnessed into a more tenable style of play, the quarterback needs a well-built receiver on the outside. Enter Shenault, a dynamic threat who's tough to bring down in the open field and would be an intriguing piece for offensive coordinator Brian Daboll.

The 2020 draft is littered with wide receiver prospects, allowing Shenault to drop down to No. 22. The wide receivers chosen ahead of him include Alabama's Jerry Jeudy at 11, Oklahoma's CeeDee Lamb at 12, Alabama's Henry Ruggs III at 15, and Clemson's Tee Higgins at 21.

2. Where did Buffalo finish in the season-ending special teams rankings?

The Bills hired a new special teams coordinator, Heath Farwell, for the 2019 season. In Farwell's first season at the helm, the Bills finished 12th in NFL writer Rick Gosselin’s annual rankings of the top special teams units in the NFL.

The Bills finished with 341 points, in the breakdown of the 22 categories. New Orleans was the top team with 256.

Within the rankings the Bills finished inside the top-five in multiple categories

Buffalo finished fifth in kickoff return yards (25.4), first in kickoff starting point (27.6 yard line), fourth in punts inside the 20 (32), first in opponent field goal percentage (63.6%), and were the least penalized unit in the NFL with 10 penalties for 88 yards.

The Bills special teams finished with respectable marks across the board. They were aided by the addition of Andre Roberts as the return man and Stephen Hauschka's return to form over the last half of the season.

3. How well did Bills fans travel in 2019?

It's no secret the Bills fans tuned in to watch the team when they played on the road. Television sets were tuned to the respective stations and broadcast records were set when Buffalo played on a national stage.

Even more importantly, road stadiums almost felt like home some days with the amount of Bills fans travelling. The Bills ranked third in the NFL this past season in road attendance, with an average of 71,579 fans at their eight games away from New Era Field according to Jay Skurski from the Buffalo News.

"You go back to Nashville, Miami and Houston. Nashville, that game, that was like a bowl game," general manager Brandon Beane said. "It was their team does something good, you hear that side of the stadium. Our team does something good – it truly was like a neutral field. To have Bills Mafia, Bills nation support us all season long – it's unmatched. I'm very appreciative, our players, our entire building. I know (owners) Terry and Kim (Pegula) are, as well."

Contrarily, the Bills ranked 16th in home attendance with 68,389 fans but that's because of stadium capacity more than anything else. New Era Field was at 95.8% capacity while road stadiums were at 95.3%.

The two stadiums most impacted by Bills fans were in Tennessee and Pittsburgh. The Titans saw a 3.72% increase in fans while the Steelers saw a 4.43% jump in fans when the Bills played there.

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