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Mock Draft Watch 1.0


21. DT Da'Ron Payne, Alabama

The Bills traded away Marcell Dareus in the fall and they need to add another difference-maker to their defensive front.

22. CB Josh Jackson, Iowa

There is some concern about Jackson's deep speed, but he has the best ball skills in the entire draft class.

21. LB Roquan Smith, Georgia

The first linebacker off the board, Smith flies to the football against both the run and in coverage. He also has a knack for finishing plays, as he's been one of the surest tacklers in the country over the last two-plus years (only 16 missed tackles on 251 career attempts). He's a perfect fit for Buffalo's zone-heavy defensive scheme.

22. Edge Marcus Davenport, UTSA

The Bills go defense once again, adding Davenport, who projects as a classic base defensive end in a 4-3 scheme. He uses his massive 6-foot-7 frame well and finished fourth overall among edge defenders with an 89.8 grade. He can move blockers in the run game and picked up nine sacks, six QB hits and 34 hurries on only 257 rushes last season.

21.Mike Hughes, CB, Central Florida

Buffalo got a great rookie season out of first-round pick Tre'Davious White, but there's a hole on the other side because E.J. Gaines, who was part of the Sammy Watkins trade, is a free agent. The Bills could bring back Gaines, but they could also target another corner on Day 1. The arrow is pointing way up on Hughes, who emerged as a shutdown corner in 2017. He could also help on special teams as a returner.

22.Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan

The Bills picked up this extra pick when the Chiefs traded up to draft Patrick Mahomes last year, and they ended up with back-to-back picks after a surprise playoff season. Hurst is a 3-technique penetrator who gets into the backfield and gets after quarterbacks. He's a perfect fit for a 4-3 team, and the Bills need pass-rushers. They had only 27 sacks in 2017, which ranked 29th in the league.

21. Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame

... McGlinchey has experience on both sides of the offensive line and could help inside at guard if needed with his power as a run blocker.

22. Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M

The Bills traded for Kelvin Benjamin and drafted Zay Jones in the second round last year, but there is still a need for a playmaker like Kirk. The former Texas A&M receiver would also be an immediate upgrade as a return man.

21. LB Rashaan Evans, Alabama; 22. OT Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame

Thanks to last year's draft-day trade with the Kansas City Chiefs, the Buffalo Bills own back-to-back picks in the first round. The Bills could package the two selections (and others) to move up and grab the franchise quarterback they so badly need. In this mock draft—with no trades predicted—here's what makes sense.

The offensive line needs to be addressed. Rookie left tackle Dion Dawkins did a solid job, but the right side needs an upgrade. Notre Dame's Mike McGlinchey played left tackle for the last two seasons but has the athleticism of a right tackle and the experience to play there. He would be a rookie starter.

The Bills linebacker corps is solid, but it's missing a true middle linebacker with range and the ability to make major stops against the run. Rashaan Evans has the football IQ, athleticism and instincts to be a game-changer on defense.

21. Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State. The Bills need a signal caller and Rudolph is a big pocket quarterback who will need time to mature a bit but is an experienced passer. He'll be fun in Brian Daboll's offense that'll feature some collegiate run-pass option wrinkles.

22. Harrison Phillips, DT, Stanford. Phillips is more effective against the run than he is getting after the quarterback, but his low center of gravity and excellent hand use will help him generate pressure up the middle for the Bills defense.

21. DL Vita Vea, Washington - Brute strength. Vea can halt and toss offensive linemen. Clogging the middle and allowing linebackers room to run is important in Sean McDermott's defense, which brings me to…

22. LB Rashaan Evans, Alabama - … McDermott's scheme, at its best, features linebackers with range and speed, both against the run and pass. Evans has that speed.


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