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What they're saying: Draft analysts speculate on Bills options at the No. 50 pick

50. Buffalo Bills, second round. Bryce Petty, QB, Baylor. The Bills have done a solid job of filling holes on their roster through trades and free agency. The franchise's biggest remaining need – and it's a whopper – is finding the quarterback of the future. Maybe it still can be EJ Manuel, but there's nothing wrong with doubling down at the game's most important position. The best-case scenario is both Manuel and Petty show they're starting material. Then the Bills have significant trade leverage. Petty isn't ready to start right now, but that's OK. He can learn from the bench this year, and then compete for the job in 2016.

81. Buffalo Bills, third round. John Miller, G, Louisville. An experienced (47 career starts) player who could compete to be a Day One starter at left guard.


  1. Buffalo (9-7) - Laken Tomlinson, OG, Duke (6-3 323 lbs)**

Analysis - A late-comer to the game of football.  Tomlinson grew up in Jamaica and didn't start playing until he was in ninth grade.  Then he started 52 straight games at Duke (never missed a start), made All-ACC 1st Team three times, the All-ACC Academic Team four times, and earned the 2014 Orange Bowl Courage Award. Tomlinson is a "short-area guard," meaning he's not going to stray away much from the line of scrimmage, and if he does, he can be overwhelmed by quicker, more athletic players.  But at the snap of the ball, at the line of scrimmage, he's extremely good.  Tough.  Reliable.  Especially in the run game.  He's a mauler.  He's already 23 years-old.  His habits are set, you know what you're getting with him, there shouldn't be any surprises.  From everything said and written about him from people who know him best, he has a tremendous work-ethic.  And he's extremely smart.  In fact, he has a double major in evolutionary anthropology and psychology and is also in the pre-med program at Duke.  That's impressive.  That high-IQ translates well to the football field where he's considered very good at picking up stunts and blitzes by the defense.  He has said he loves to watch film of his opponents to study them and gain any edge he can.

50. Buffalo: Eric Kendricks, LB, UCLA

Comment: Kendricks is instinctive and athletic in coverage. 

No. 50 – S Jarquiski Tartt, Samford

Simms' analysis – "I am a big fan of this kid.  6-2, 221 pounds.  Very good in coverage, You want a strong safety that can play in the box, Tartt is certainly capable of doing that. He's very good in space and a good open field tackler.  And he's a thumper as well.  But what really stands out to me is that he's a really good in coverage.  He's very fluid ... he can break on the ball.  I was shocked by what I saw on film.  He's a talented guy and certainly can play in the Rex Ryan scheme."

No. 81 – LB/DE Nate Orchard, Utah

Simms' analysis – "The Bills are going to continue to re-shape this Rex Ryan defense to fit the 3-4 scheme that he has run the last few years in New York.  That's why I like Nate Orchard from Utah.  I think he can be a defensive end/outside linebacker.  Rex Ryan loves to have those types of guys."

Positions of need: QB, OG, LB, DT, TE

Three options to consider at No. 50

Stephone Anthony, Clemson, LB: Aside from Ryan's obvious ties to the Clemson program, Anthony carries a 6-foot-3, 243-pound build and plays with great speed. Anthony has the ability to drop in coverage and has incredible instincts.

P.J. Williams, Florida State, CB: A DUI arrest and a hit-and-run incident could cause the former Seminole to slide down the board. While Williams is celebrated as one the best bump-and-run corners in this class, teams could question his character. The Bills could strike it rich with Williams.

Bryce Petty, Baylor, QB:Petty has been tied to the Bills quite frequently during the pre-draft process. Whaley recently went on local radio and announced his high regard for the former Baylor quarterback and his ability to come in and compete right away.

  1. BUFFALO BILLS (9-7)

LAST SEASON: Dominating defense which led NFL with 54 sacks and was third with 30 takeaways was unable to overcome sputtering offense and questions at QB. Enjoyed first winning season since 2004, yet extended league's longest active playoff drought to 15 years. Second-year coach Doug Marrone used opt-out clause in contract to step down Dec. 31, leading new owners Terry and Kim Pegula to hire Rex Ryan two weeks later. Bills traded 2015 first-round pick last year to move up five spots and select WR Sammy Watkins fourth overall.



POSSIBLE FIRST PICK: Florida State CBs Ronald Darby or P.J. Williams, Duke G Laken Tomlinson, Utah DB Eric Rowe.

OUTLOOK: Ryan has brought swagger to Buffalo, and vowed to build a bully. Front office has followed through by making numerous bold moves, starting with acquiring RB LeSean McCoy from Philadelphia. Defense returns mostly intact, giving Bills best chance to become playoff contender despite lingering questions at QB.

Brett Hundley, quarterback, UCLA

Why he makes sense for the Bills: Hundley has become a polarizing prospect, and based on Bills general manager Doug Whaley's comments Tuesday, he may be a long shot. That said, Hundley is a gifted passer who has shown flashes of putting it all together. He also has a natural feel for running with the football, adding to his value. Will the Bills be willing to take a swing on a quarterback who may take some time to develop? Will he even be there at 50?

A.J. Cann, guard, South Carolina

Why he makes sense for the Bills: The Bills failed to address the offensive line during the offseason, adding only Richie Incognito to a group that underperformed in 2014. A.J. Cann from South Carolina is considered by some to be the top guard in this class and looks ready to start from day one. Not only is he strong at the point of attack, but he has the athleticism to get out in space and engage linebackers at the second level. He's a nice fit in Greg Roman's offense, but there's no guarantee he will be on the board.

Laken Tomlinson, guard, Duke

Why he makes sense for the Bills: Tomlinson may not be as athletic as Cann, but he does have the technique and strength to be an immediate starter for the Bills. Whaley has insisted that Buffalo won't draft for need, but if Tomlinson is still on the board, need would certainly meet value.

Preston Smith, defensive lineman, Mississippi State

Why he makes sense for the Bills: Smith was one of the top performers in a handful of drills at the NFL Scouting Combine and has the skillset to play multiple positions in Rex Ryan's defense. He figures to be a handful off the edge in the NFL, and the Bills could use some depth at pass rusher.

Clive Walford, tight end, Miami

Why he makes sense for the Bills: Throughout the offseason, the Bills have mentioned wanting to use more than one tight end on offense. After signing Charles Clay in free agency, they could use some depth. MarQueis Gray and Chris Gragg are both high-upside players, but Walford would add a different dimension to the offense.

Carl Davis, defensive lineman, Iowa

Why he makes sense for the Bills: Davis fits the mold of what Ryan has typically looked for in defensive lineman. Buffalo could use some depth along the defensive line, and Davis would be quite a bargain at 50.

Garrett Grayson, quarterback, Colorado State

Why he makes sense for the Bills: The Bills obviously need a quarterback, and a case could be made that Garrett Grayson is as pro-ready as any quarterback in this draft not named Jameis Winston. While the second round may seem high, it would be worth it if Grayson pushed for the starting job in training camp.

Nate Orchard, pass rusher, Utah

Why he makes sense for the Bills: The Bills have reportedly hosted Utah pass rusher Nate Orchard on a visit, and given their need for pass rush depth it makes some sense. He still needs some seasoning, but he won't be pressured to play right away.

Quinten Rollins, defensive back, Miami (Ohio)

Why he makes sense for the Bills: Whaley has mentioned defensive back as a need for the Bills. While it's not a priority, a player like Quinten Rollins would be tough to pass up. He could play both cornerback and safety and make an impact from day one in Buffalo's secondary. 

Bryce Petty, quarterback, Baylor Why he makes sense for the Bills: Petty would be a reach in the second round, but he's starting to pick up steam as a prospect, so he's worth including on this list. Whaley mentioned him as a member of the second tier of quarterbacks, and it will be interesting if the Bills feel he's worth the value at 50.

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