Who are the Bills linked to as the draft approaches?
By: Caleb Holfoth (@cmhfilm)
We are nearing every football fan’s most exciting moment of the offseason. The NFL Draft is set to take place from Thursday, April 29th to Saturday, May 1st. The Buffalo Bills hold seven picks in the draft with one choice in every round except the 4th round pick which was given to Minnesota in the trade for Stefon Diggs. To make up for that lost 4th round choice Buffalo has an extra 5th round selection acquired from the Las Vegas Raiders. There have been a ton of rumors surrounding the Bills and what they do not only at pick number 30 but the whole draft and possibly trading down or up. Here are three of the most prominent rumors and whether or not they will turn into reality.
Rumor: Buffalo will take Caleb Farley at 30th overall
Caleb Farley was widely regarded as one of the best corners in this season’s draft heading into the college football season. A superior athlete with the desired physical traits for the cornerback position. Farley has experienced a fall down draft boards from being in the top fifteen range to now a late first-round pick. This is due to a microdiscectomy which is a back procedure that was announced at Farley’s pro day. A big part of scouting and drafting is looking at players’ durability and health. We often see teams shy away from players because of past injuries or surgeries. Farley is likely to fall a little on draft day just because some teams will be wary of his recent procedure. Farley is the best cornerback in this draft but due to these injuries, he could be the third or even fourth corner taken. If Farley drops to the thirtieth pick, then Buffalo will likely take him. A high-risk high-reward pick Farley would give Tre’Davious White a partner who has all-pro potential and could even be better than White one day. At the same time, the NFL game could be too physical for Farley and he could struggle to stay healthy and improve if he is hurt significantly or often. Farley has some of the best tapes of any player in this draft class and is very similar to NFL corner Richard Sherman. Both Farley and Sherman were converted from wide receiver to cornerback in their college careers. Farley is already one of the best cornerbacks in the draft and he has only played two seasons of the position. Farley has the potential to be a great player and that is why Farley going to the Bills is a rumor to buy.
Will it Happen? Yes, if he is available.
If Farley falls to 30, this should be a no brainer for the Bills*
*as long as they are happy with his medical situation
Rumor: Buffalo will take a Defensive End in the first round.
There has been plenty of speculation about what the Buffalo Bills will do at the Defensive End position this offseason. Buffalo was originally one of the teams in the JJ Watt sweepstakes, so it is clear that they are looking to improve the position. In addition to that, seeing Shaq Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul wreck the Chief’s offense with superior pass-rushing showed that the Chiefs can be stopped. Buffalo brings back Jerry Hughes, Mario Addison, AJ Epenesa, and Darryl Johnson while adding former Carolina Panther Efe Obada. Buffalo carried five defensive ends this past season and has five solid players at the spot currently. While Buffalo certainly does need to improve their pass-rushing room the first-round pick may not be the best avenue. This season there are pass rushers who have elite athleticism however not many of them have elite skill. Every year some players become busts because they are drafted just on their physical traits and not much more is taken to account. We do see some of these freak athletes meet or exceed their potential. However, more often than not these players do not make it in the NFL. There are plenty of defensive ends that could go at the end of the first round. Kwity Paye, Jaelan Phillips, Greg Rousseau, Jayson Oweh, or Azeez Ojulari. While all of those players have solid potential, they also will not get a ton of snaps their first season just like AJ Epenesa last season. Buffalo needs to use their first-round pick on a player who will have a stronger immediate impact such as a cornerback or an offensive lineman who could win the guard job over Cody Ford. While you can probably guarantee that Buffalo will draft a pass rusher at some points do not buy it happening in the first round.
Will it Happen? No.
Buffalo can get better value players than the defensive ends that will be available at 40.
Rumor: Buffalo will trade down from the 1st round to acquire more 2nd and 3rd round draft picks
One of the most popular rumors amongst Bills fans is if Buffalo is going to trade out of the first round. I think that you can always know that General Manager Brandon Beane is looking to make deals to move up and down. Beane has shown he likes draft movement and will not hesitate to make deals on or before draft night. Beane does value having a fifth-year option for players he drafts. If Buffalo were to move out of the first round, they would lose having the fifth-year option on a player. However, because Buffalo was so well last season and looks to be that good again, so they pick at the end of each round where the talent pool is less strong every round. A position Buffalo has not been in a ton Beane could trade down from the first round to acquire multiple picks in later rounds. While the fifth-year option is valuable to Buffalo they have handed out plenty of contract extensions in the past two years. With limited cap space going forward Brandon Beane could value have more rookies who can develop and learn while also having an impact instead of getting one or two players who have higher potential or ability.
Buffalo is going to make a trade or two in this draft it just depends on if they trade their first-round pick.
Will it Happen? Yes.
Buffalo will trade down and stock up on some combination of picks in rounds two-four. Buffalo does not have many holes however they could use some youth at several positions to play special teams and develop behind the starters.