Today, April 29th is the coveted NFL Draft Day (at least for the first round) for the Buffalo Bills. Throughout months of mocks and reports, we know roughly where the team will go throughout the draft. Edge Rusher and Cornerback are the biggest holes to fill. Meanwhile, positions such as Running Back, Offensive Line, Tight End, and Safety could all use improvements. However, the most intriguing position of need to me is Wide Receiver.
With the current receiving core being as it is with players such as “Stefflon Don” Diggs, Emmanuel Sanders, Cole Beasley, Gabe Davis, and Isaiah McKenzie, it doesn’t seem like such a hole that would need to be filled. However, Beasley is 32, Sanders is 34 and on a one-year deal, and McKenzie is a gadget guy. That leaves the Bills with only two long-term options at wideout, and Josh needs his weapons.
So, tying the two together, I went to the community via a Twitter poll to see what Bills Mafia thinks they should do in this situation. Should Beane & Co. take one early? Late? In the middle rounds? Let’s look at the results.
Round 1 (14.3%)
With all the open spots defensively that are needed and the lack thereof at receiver for this upcoming season, Bills Mafia seems to agree that spending a first-round pick on a guy who probably wouldn’t play would be an unwise decision. However, there will be a bevy of guys worth their long-term value available at 30 (or in that range).
First, is one of my favorite guys in the whole draft in Elijah Moore. Moore reminds me a lot of Antonio Brown and has drawn comparisons to the former first-team All-Pro and serial nutcase in the past couple of weeks. He has elite route-running coupled with great deep-ball tracking dolloped on top with elite physicals displayed by his 40 time and cone drills. He was an elite producer at Ole Miss, even with shaky quarterback play. To me, Moore is what you would get if you were to combine Cole Beasley and former Bill John Brown together.
Two other guys that should be available at pick 30 are fellow Moore Rondale and LSU receiver Terrace Marshall. Rondale Moore, despite having the hands of a child, displays elite run-after-the-catch ability and would translate into a terrific slot, gadget, and RPO guy. Marshall on the other hand is different from the two Moore’s. He’s your prototypical big-bodied, route-running possession guy who could give opposing teams nightmares if coupled with Stefon Diggs. Despite there being great value at 30, it is unlikely that Buffalo will look at receiver in round one, and should look to add a receiver to study under Diggs, Beasley, and Sanders later in the draft.
Rounds 2-3 (26.5%)
Day two of the NFL draft got some more attention from Bills Mafia in terms of drafting a receiver. Hypothetically, let’s say Buffalo decides to go defense with their first (and/or second) round pick. I personally think that the third round would be a great spot for Beane & Co. to look for a receiver.
Some guys that will be in and around this range are D’Wayne Eskridge, Tylan Wallace, Sage Surratt, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Dazz Newsome, and the Clemson duo of Cornell Powell and Amari Rodgers. All bring traits such as big-play ability, route-running, and deep-ball ability. There should be a slew of these guys available at either 61 or 93. Personally, I would love Tylan Wallace as a future Bill as he has first-round talent, but due to an ACL injury in 2019 and sitting out most of the most recent college season, has been dubbed as a third- or fourth-round pick.
Rounds 4-5 (53.1%)
Rounds four and five were the most popular amongst Bills Mafia, and I would have to agree. Picking up a receiver at the start of day three would be a great idea. Some previously mentioned names such as Dazz Newsome and Tylan. Sage Surratt should be available in the fourth but other guys such as Ihmir Smith-Marsette, Dez Fitzpatrick, Cade Johnson, Shi Smith, and speedster Anthony Schwartz should be in play as well. There are a ton of options, and as Brandon Beane made clear: the front office is looking to add speed and strength this off-season, and nearly all of these guys are burners.
Dazz Newsome has become a popular name for Bills fans as his punt-returning ability, deep-ball route-running, and twitchy running style are all things that the Mafia would love to add to the core. However, if we are looking at this long-term, I think ISM would be an excellent selection as he too has spectacular return ability and has the frame, toughness, and speed to blossom into an amazing WR2 in the future.
Schwartz is another interesting prospect as well, especially if you miss Marquise Goodwin. I find myself daydreaming about Allen throwing a 70-yard bomb downfield to a guy who runs a 4.26. All-in-all, there should be a ton of options available in rounds four and five. And Bills Mafia would love to see Beane pull the trigger on one at this point in the draft.
Rounds 6-7 (6.1%)
The later rounds of the draft didn’t seem to garner much attention from Bills Mafia, probably due to it being the tail-end of the draft. But I believe there could be some true diamonds in the rough laying about.
Josh Imatorbhebhe out of Illinois went viral a couple of years back for recording a 47.1’ vertical in high school. Despite measuring at 46.5’ at his pro-day, it is impossible to not think about the jump-ball ability with him. He also possesses the ability to run as a big slot with his improved (but still shaky) route-running ability.
Another interesting guy that should be lying about in the later rounds is North Texas’ Jaelon Darden. Darden is a quick, explosive multi-threat tool that Daboll could implement on gadget plays, bubble screens, touch passes, and quick slants.
One other receiver that sparks my interest is Tamorrion Terry. He’s your prototypical height-weight-speed guy but due to a lack of production has slid from a day two pick to a day three pick. No one that tracks as a late-round guy seems to have any long-term ability. However, with other pressing needs on the defensive side of the ball and in the trenches, we could see Beane & Co. wait until the 200s to take a receiver.
Make sure to follow @SemiAverageRigs on Twitter to be apart of the polling process.