Should we take a wide receiver? A defensive end? Offensive linemen? What player do we want representing New York (Yeah, I said it, and I meant it!) over the next four to five years?
I polled over 630 Bills fans to get their opinion on what position they would like to see drafted at the 22nd pick, giving them the options of wide receiver, defensive end, and tight end.
Bills General Manager, Brandon Beane, said in interviews at the combine that they want to find “playmakers.” This overarching term can be put for any position if you think about it, but the team and front office has said that the biggest problem this past season was that the Bills just “didn’t score enough points.” This leaves many people to believe that we are going to draft a wide receiver from what could arguably be the best class for the position, ever.
The majority (68%) of those polled seemed to think the same. I don’t blame them either. This upcoming draft is LOADED with elite receiver talent. Lots of mock drafts have been predicting Buffalo to sign Henry Ruggs III, Tee Higgins, or Leviskus Shenault Jr. in the first round of the draft; add the fact that Beane & McDermott interviewed eleven receivers including those three… we might be getting a big playmaker coming to Buffalo!!
Others seem to think that we should spend the 22nd overall pick on a star defensive end. This makes a lot of sense, considering our DEs are either getting up in age, possibly becoming free agents, or just have been underproducing to our standards. Head Coach, Sean McDermott, does run a tight ship on the defense, and if you introduce a young buck defensive end who is a sack-happy monster to “The Process,” the sky is the limit on how much better this top-3 defense can get.
Around a quarter of those surveyed (23%) thought that a defensive end is the better move for the Bills in the first round. There were some impressive DEs at the combine too. A mock draft favorite for the Bills, A.J. Epenesa from Iowa, is a perfect fit in my opinion. He underperformed in the combine compared to others, but he is a very “high-floor” player who can only get better in the NFL.
Tight End was an underwhelming choice for Bills fans that were polled. Only 2 percent thought that we should draft one in the first round, and I completely get their logic for it, but I do feel that if we can’t get something done in free agency, drafting a TE this year could be the right move.
As of right now, I would grade our Tight Ends group a C+. Our star, Dawson Knox, is going to be a major problem in the NFL. Tyler Kroft still has potential if he can get past his injuries. I am very much an advocate for #FreeTommySweeney, and then we have the holding penalty King… Lee Smith. (In all honesty, I like Smith’s veteran presence, but he’s got to get his shit together.) The Bills had talks with veteran free agent Greg Olsen before he signed with the Seattle Seahawks, so one could say that they are somewhat open to getting another man in the room to either breed competition or replace someone or maybe both! If the front office still has this mindset and cannot sign anyone in free agency, they should look to the draft.
Best Player Available
Lastly, a tying 2 percent of Bills fans in this survey thought that we should take the best player available. Which is kind of a cop-out to not answer my question, but to each his own. Most likely, the best player available at 22 will be either a wide receiver or a defensive end, but that completely depends on how you, the fan, draw up your mock draft board.
But time will tell, Bills Mafia! The future is in our front office’s hands now, and I think that it’s safe to say that we all have faith in Brandon Beane to make the right decisions. Let’s hope for a speedy and drama-free offseason, and let’s get to the 2020 season already!
Let’s go Buffalo!
P.S. Welcome to the family, Josh Norman!