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Buffalo Bills Draft RB James Cook & LB Terrel Bernard Day 2

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After trading back twice in the second round and accumulating two extra sixth-round picks last night, the Buffalo Bills selected Georgia RB James Cook 63rd overall. They then drafted Baylor LB Terrel Bernard in the third round at 89.

I love both picks. I’ve been predicting the Bills to draft both of these players, just back one round. (I had them taking Cook in round three and Bernard in round four.) Regardless, the Bills got two dynamic playmakers, one on each side of the ball.

RB James Cook

Starting with running back, I’m not sure if there was a better fit for the Buffalo Bills than James Cook. They’ve been lacking that speedy, shifty, pass-catching back with home run abilities, and that is exactly what Cook is. In four years at Georgia, he ran 230 times for 1,503 yards (6.5 ypc) and 14 TD, while also catching 67 passes for 730 yards (10.9 ypc) and 6 TD. He split time with many talented backs during his time with the Bulldogs (most notably DeAndre Swift and most recently Zamir White), so sharing backfield duties will be nothing new to him.

Cook said that he has already been training with RB Devin Singletary in Florida and that they are going to create a great 1-2 punch. He also said that he fell in love with the Bills during the pre-draft process and really wanted to play with Josh Allen.

Jon Scott on Twitter: “James Cook was drawn to the #Bills early in the process of the two getting together.”I’m not going to lie, throughout the whole draft process I fell in love with the Bills.”More on why Cook’s where he wants to be. pic.twitter.com/6x6i3bDRFr / Twitter”

James Cook was drawn to the #Bills early in the process of the two getting together.”I’m not going to lie, throughout the whole draft process I fell in love with the Bills.”More on why Cook’s where he wants to be. pic.twitter.com/6x6i3bDRFr

LB Terrel Bernard

As for Terrel Bernard, he won’t be as big of a contributor for the Bills this year, but I think you can slot him in as the third linebacker and as a special teamer. He looks and plays a lot like Matt Milano, who he looks up to, so I would expect him to take more of the A.J. Klein role this year and then develop into a starter.

Maddy Glab on Twitter: “Terrel Bernard says one of his favorite players to study during this process has been Matt Milano #Bills / Twitter”

Terrel Bernard says one of his favorite players to study during this process has been Matt Milano #Bills

Bernard is a very athletic linebacker who is great in coverage – in 983 career coverage snaps, he allowed ZERO touchdowns. Here is what I wrote about him a few weeks ago:

“Bernard is a bit undersized at 6’1”, 225 pounds, but he makes up for it with his athleticism and explosiveness. He has great lateral agility, which helps him find the football and close off running lanes; he has notable gap integrity, something we hear Sean McDermott talk about a lot. He’s also a great coverage linebacker as he has light feet and fluid hips. In addition, he is very smart and versatile as he can play all three linebacker positions while processing plays quickly. Given his size and build, I’d say Bernard is like Milano because he is more of a coverage linebacker but can still defend the run.”

The fact that he can play all three linebacker positions is interesting. I don’t think the Bills will change their defense from nickel to 4-3 to accommodate Bernard, but could he be a potential Tremaine Edmunds replacement at MLB? I see him as more of an outside linebacker, but you never know what the Bills are thinking. For now, Bernard is a solid depth piece and will have a great opportunity to continue to grow and develop in Buffalo.

Day Three

As for today, the Buffalo Bills now have six picks: one in the fifth round, four in the sixth, and one in the seventh. I would be shocked if they don’t move at least one of those four sixth-rounders. One of the trades I’ve been predicting is moving RB Zack Moss and a sixth-round pick for a fourth-round pick. Now that the Bills have Cook, four sixth round picks and zero fourth round picks, that may become a reality.

The Bills could still be looking for another linebacker, more of the prototypical middle linebacker. (I’ve been mocking Texas A&M’s Aaron Hansford, Wisconsin’s Jack Sanborn or Indiana’s Micah McFadden in the sixth round.) However, I would still like to see them find a vertical deep-threat wide receiver, someone to fill the Emmanuel Sanders/John Brown role. In addition, I think they could also use a punter, a safety, an offensive lineman, and (potentially) another cornerback.

One more day for Big Baller Beane to work his magic.

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