A wide receiver is no longer a huge need for the Buffalo Bills. After acquiring Pro Bowl wide receiver Stefon Diggs from the Vikings for this year’s first, fifth, and sixth-round picks, and next year’s fourth-round pick. General manager Brandon Beane filled arguably Buffalo’s biggest need coming into this offseason, finding quarterback Josh Allen a true number one receiver. Although the Bills have a quality three-headed monster at wideout with Diggs, Cole Beasley, and John Brown, they could still use one more weapon.
Buffalo will likely add another receiver through the draft, as many draft experts have deemed this year’s wide receiver class to be one of the deepest in recent memory. With Diggs now on the roster and with some larger needs remaining, just when should Buffalo draft a receiver? This week’s Thursday Thought: When should the Bills look to draft a receiver?
Brandon Beane has repeated throughout the offseason the Bills will draft the best player available on their board. They can do this due to the roster having essentially no real holes to fill. However, it seems unlikely that Bills would use their first pick (54th overall) on a wide receiver with other needs like edge rusher or big nickel, to fill. On top of that, with such a deep receiver class the Bills can easily wait until later in the draft to get a quality player.
With using a second-round selection on a wide receiver unlikely, would the Bills use their third-round pick (86th overall) to take a wide receiver? At this point in the draft, I believe that the idea of drafting a receiver is on the table. Depending on how the board falls and what grades the Bills have on certain players, this could be the time where Beane adds another pass catcher to the offense. However, while fans might be taking guys like Chase Claypool, Michael Pittman Jr., or Bryan Edwards in mock drafts with this pick, I don’t believe the Bills will be using this pick on a wide receiver. The main reasoning being that in last year’s draft, bigger receivers fell.
Players like D.K. Metcalf and A.J. Brown were supposed to be locks for the first round yet fell to the end of the second round. Kelvin Harmon, a receiver that was mocked to the Bills in the third and fourth round last year, fell to Washington in the sixth round. For the Bills, this works in their favor. They need some size in their receiving core and could likely get a player that fits this mold later in the draft. My prediction is that the Bills use this pick on an edge rusher or big nickel, and maybe even a running back. Ultimately, those are Buffalo’s biggest needs, so it makes sense to use their first two picks on these positions.
Day three is where Buffalo find another receiver to add to their offense. I think either one of Pittman Jr., Edwards or Claypool may fall to this point in the draft. My bet would be Edwards as he was injured during the Senior Bowl and Combine. Even if these players are all gone by the fourth round, players like Antonio Gandy-Golden from Liberty or Florida’s Van Jefferson will likely be available early in day three.
Wide receiver is still a need for the Bills, but a different need. Rather than contributing to the offense in a big role immediately, the Bills could use a receiver for depth and development on a more limited role in 2020. Sure, taking a receiver early in the draft maybe a sexier pick, but the Bills have a talented group of receivers now with Diggs, making other positions more of a priority in the draft.
Mitch Broder is a contributor for The Buffalo Fanatics. To contact him, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @mitchell_broder