I love the NFL Draft, every bit of it. The film, the workouts, the combine, the prospects, the backstories, the pro days. The annual smokescreens and anonymous scouts that have concerns over such and such prospect’s work ethic. The unethical leaking of medical data, failed drug tests and Wonderlic scores. I consume mock drafts, and assemble my own while trying to sift through the hype, hyperbole, stats and lies. I love the draft almost as much as my Buffalo Bills. So while it pains me that the Bills don’t have a first round pick, I’m more than happy and stoked with adding Stephan Diggs into the fold. Was the trade worth it? Hell yeah. The additional picks the Bills threw in only amount to enough draft capital to move up 4 to 5 spots in the first round. That would have got them to No. 17-18. The top three wideouts (Jeudy, Ruggs and Lamb) are all likely to be gone….(they were in mine and GK’s latest mocks). Plus, while those guys (and others in the draft) may be great, Diggs IS great. There’s no praying and hoping. The dude is a legit BEAST.
But alas, I can’t let the mocking season go by without making a few fake selections for the hometown team. So here is my 7-round mock (courtesy of the Draft Networks Draft Simulator). I selected for the Bills (no trades) and the sim (TDNs predictive board) picked the rest. To the picks….
#54 Trevon Diggs, CB Alabama
Ya Digg? The Bills don’t go on the clock until late Friday evening. As Tom Petty (RIP) says, The Waiting is the Hardest Part. But there are plenty of prospect to choose from, and I ranked them (for the Bills) in this order: Ross Blacklock (DT, TCU), Kyle Dugger (S, Lenior-Rhyne), Tee Higgins (WR, Clemson), Laviska Shenault Jr. (WR, Colorado), Jalen Reagor (WR, TCU), Curtis Weaver (DE, Boise State).
The pairing of Blacklock and Ed Oliver is tempting to say the least. Dugger could fill the role of “big nickel” that the Bills have been trying to develop since Sean McDermott’s arrival. But in the end, it was too hard to add a productive CB that should develop alongside Tre White for years to come. The secondary was a strength that just got stronger. Who’s ready for an all Diggs training camp?!
#86 Bryan Edwards, WR South Carolina
The debate for this selection was between Edwards and Darrell Taylor (EDGE, Tennessee). The Bills don’t have many (any?) long term options at defensive end. Getting some pressure of the edge would take this defense to another level….and pass rushers are hard to find beyond this point in the draft. But this season, and this team will be defined by Josh Allen. Edwards gives the Bills something they don’t have much of at receiver: size (6’3”, 215 lbs.) and physicality. The Bills have the luxury of developing and bringing him along slowly while at the same time having a physical weapon to deploy in the redzone. Yes please!
#128 Kenny Willekes, DE Michigan State
I just said it’s hard to find push rushers later in the draft, so when Kenny Willekes was available in the 4-round I pounced. Probably a better run defender (edge-setter) than pure pass-rusher, but that should remind Bills fans of Shaq Lawson. Similar production at a fraction of the cost = smart team-building.
#167 Geno Stone, S Iowa
I passed up Kyle Dugger in the 2nd round, so take Stone here as a developmental safety/big-nickel defender. At 5’10”, 210 lbs. he lacks the length the Bills covet in their DBs, but he is a excellent zone defender who can contribute on special teams.
#188 Patrick Taylor Jr., RB Memphis
I’m not convinced the Bills are settled with their backfield; seems like they’ll add someone to compliment Singletary. Not thrilled with Taylor Jr. as a prospect, but he is a load at 6’3”, 227 lbs. and should be able to carve out a short yardage role.
#207 Brandon Mann, P Texas A&M
Dude, I can’t take another year of Corey Bojorquez….
#239 Kendall Coleman, EDGE Syracuse
Taking a chance on the SU product and his relentless motor. Also considered another dart throw at WR or OT.