As a Bills fan, I’m used to seeing some disappointing drafts but this year I think they did a fantastic job. Usually choosing need over best available but for the most part this year drafting based on both strategies should really pay dividends. Surprisingly, the “experts” gave to the Bills universal praise for their work in the draft but here’s my take on the Bills draft as a homegrown, blue-blooded Buffalo Bills fan. Run Deep…
1st Round: Tre’Davious White (CB) LSU
I’m so glad that the Bills traded back and didn’t try to force a quarterback into the mix in the first round. Enter Tre’Davious White! He was a four-year starter at LSU and in that time he polished his game and will be a solid start across from Darby day one. White can play man but is better suited for zone coverage and that is the system McDermott will expect his defensive-backs to be literate in. Additionally, he doesn’t come with any injury concerns (knock on wood) like Marshon Lattimore did who was still on the board at ten, so I can’t be mad at that. With Stephon Gilmore leaving for the Pats this offseason, cornerback was arguably the Bills biggest need going into the draft.
2nd Round: Zay Jones (WR) East Carolina
There seemed to be a big talent drop-off at wide receiver after Zay Jones in the draft. He was in the mix with the other top receivers in this class (Mike Williams, Cory Davis, and John Ross), according to some scouts (most saying he’d go in the first) so I’m pumped that the Bills traded up to grab him. He’s long, can run routes, and isn’t afraid to block in the run game so he could definitely be an upgrade over Robert Woods who left this offseason. Sammy Watkins at the one and Jones at the two… again, can’t be mad at that.
2nd Round: Dion Dawkins (OG) Temple
It was good to see the Bills address another huge need on their roster by drafting an offensive lineman. Dion Dawkins played tackle at Temple but he’s projected as a guard in the pros, which isn’t terrible because Incognito is getting up there in age, so worse-comes-to-worst he is the heir to the left guard position. What I would like to see happen is Dawkins compete for the right tackle spot because Jordan Mills proved last year that he isn’t the answer – but only time will tell I suppose.
5th Round: Matt Milano (OLB) Boston College
Didn’t know much about this kid before the draft but we needed a weak side linebacker and he might prove himself in training camp to warrant some time on the field because if McDermott knows anything, it’s how to get the most out of his linebackers. Matt Milano is a good tackler and can excel at defending the run in the right system but he’ll make more of an impact on special teams right away.
5th Round: Nathan Peterman (QB) Pittsburgh
I was really surprised to see Nathan Peterman on the board in the 5th Round, let alone day three, but kudos to the Bills for snatching him up. Considered by a lot of scouts to be the most game ready out of all the quarterbacks in the draft; Peterman played in a pro style system at Pitt. His ability to throw on the run, make accurate throws on all three levels of the field, and quick decision making makes him an intriguing prospect for Dennison’s offense. I don’t expect him to challenge Tyrod Taylor (I for one think Tyrod will make more strides this year and deserves more time to develop) for the starting gig any time soon, but unless they want to keep four QB’s on the roster this year (ahem…Jets) one will have to go. Between T.J. Yates and Cardale Jones I say Jones will get the ax; this regime didn’t draft Jones but they did sign Yates this offseason.
6th Round: Tanner Vallejo (OLB) Boise State
With their last pick the Bills took another linebacker and it appeared to be a good pick. Tanner Vallejo will make a significant impact on special teams from day one, as that is where he really excelled at Boise State. As with Milano, Vallejo could find his way on the field because Ramon Humber is slated at the starter on the weak side and he is more of a special teams contributor honestly, but hey – stranger things have happened!
Another New York team getting six new faces to the roster that Spaghetti Cam certainly seems to be excited about. Not too many, “Oh shit, we drafted THIS guy like idiots!!” so in Buffalove, maybe we’ll be seeing something different out of this roster – like dare I say the end of that 17 year playoff drought?
Circle the Wagons,