I am approaching these mocks as though I am Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott. Meaning, as the days and weeks progress, I will try and “read the tea leaves” in predicting trades and player selections. It is a little bit tougher this year as pre-draft visits and pro days have mostly been called off due to the coronavirus epidemic.
As of this writing, the Buffalo Bills have traded for Stefon Diggs (WR), signed Taiwan Jones (RB, SPT), Mario Addison (DE), Quinton Jefferson (DE/DT), Vernon Butler (DT), AJ Klein (SLB), Tyler Matakevich (LB/SPT), Josh Norman (CB) , Ej Gaines (CB), Daryl Williams (G/T), and re-signed Quinton Spain (OG) and Dean Marlowe (S).
Last week, I took a “Big Nickel” defender with pick #54. This week, I will select an edge defender with the pick. Next week, I will take a traditional boundary cornerback, and the week after that a running back, and I will conclude my mock draft series taking a wide receiver in the second round. Each week, the draft philosophy changes due to the ramifications of taking a different position group with the top pick.
Major Needs: None
Moderate Needs: Complimentary RB, Edge Defender competition.
Minor Needs: Developmental WR, Developmental OL, Secondary Competition, Punter
Jonathan Greenard, Edge Defender, Florida – 6’4″, 262 lbs.
The Draft Network has his NFL comparison as Jabaal Sheard, and if that is the type of player he becomes, sign me up. Many may see this as a reach for the Bills at pick #54, but this is exactly the type of player Sean McDermott would fall in love with. In fact, the Bills met with Greenard at the combine, so you know he is on their radar. He doesn’t have a bevy of pass rush moves, and his physical upside is limited. He just isn’t a bendy athlete. However, he is stout against the run, powerful, has long arms, and can be coached up to add some more moves to his arsenal. He projects as the #3 edge defender in the rotation behind the more pass rush savvy players in Addison and Hughes with upside to be the starting left defensive end by year two.
Zack Moss, Running Back, Utah – 5’10”, 222 lbs.
Moss may be a physical presence as his highlight reel will show, but he is also very crafty for his size. He has great vision, contact balance, and soft hands. He will immediately be a 10-12 carry a game back for the Buffalo Bills. He fills the Frank Gore role in short distance situations but can do more than just that. Meaning the Bills won’t be tipping their hand when he is on the field.
Harrison Hand, Cornerback, Temple – 6’0″, 192 lbs.
Hand has the size you look for and is an absolute ballhawk in short zone coverage. He will struggle in man and adjusting his hips downfield. He projects as a special teamer early who can work onto the field as boundary competition in the near future if he takes to the coaching provided to him in Buffalo. If he can’t learn to loosen the hips, he still projects as a core special teamer who can transition to safety ala Jairus Byrd and could have a future behind Micah Hyde.
Tanner Muse, Hybrid Defender, Clemson – 6’2, 230
Tanner Muse is a do it all defender. He played centerfield at Clemson but McDermott could use him in a number of ways: in centerfield, as a box safety, as a nickel defender, and even at linebacker. The Bills had a huge presence at the Clemson Pro Day, and our own linebackers coach Bob Babich was personally running through the linebacker drills with Muse.
Antonio Gandy-Golden, Wide Receiver, Liberty – 6’4″, 222 lbs.
Golden immediately comes in and competes with Duke Williams for the role of “big slot”. Adjusting from Liberty to the NFL will be hard, so a niche role is in store him early but he has more upside than other bigger targets still on the board at this time.
Alex Taylor, Offensive Tackle, South Carolina St. – 6’9″, 315 lbs.
If you are going to take an offensive lineman late, you look for two things: versatility or upside. In the case of Taylor, the upside is endless. 6’9″, 315-pound small schooler with 36″ arms. You can “Ike Boettger” him as the 9th man on your offensive line for a year or two, and he could develop into a starting Right Tackle for you. He has those traits.
Joe Reed, Wide Receiver, Virginia – 6’1″, 215 lbs.
Joe Reed could be the steal of this season’s draft. I want to personally thank Joe Marino of The Draft Network for turning Bills Mafia onto this guy. He’s an electric receiver with great bulk. He immediately comes in and challenges both Foster as a gunner and Roberts as a return man, and he can replicate the gadget role that Isaiah McKenzie has played the past couple years with bigger size.