Despite ending the season much sooner than anyone would have wanted, it is now time to turn our attention to most fans second most favorite time of year. The NFL Draft. For the Buffalo Bills, this will also be the first big strikes for the team’s new head coach, even if Doug Whaley remains in control of the roster.
In need of help on both sides of the football, the Buffalo Bills first round draft pick could be anyone’s guess at the moment. Will it be a quarterback? A wide receiver? How about a cornerback or a defensive lineman? At this point, you could almost throw a dart and hit a positional group the Bills need help at.
With the Draft now four and a half months away, I know it may be a little early to be looking towards the draft. But with the college football season now over, all that remains in the evaluation process is the combine and senior bowl for certain players. After that, individual workouts and before you know it, draft day. So without further ado, here is our first of the now weekly “Buffalo Bills potential first round draft picks.”
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3. Patrick Mahomes — Quarterback — Texas Tech
Unless the Buffalo Bills are set on finding a mobile quarterback, Patrick Mahomes could be the pick of this team. A true gunslinger due to his playing at Texas Tech, Mahomes is the type of player that can throw the football 40-50 times per game without issue. Thanks to the Bills strong running game, he won’t have to do that but could if asked.
Given the shortage of first round quarterbacks this year, Mahomes is a player that has been on the rise. While players like Brad Kaaya and Deshaun Watson have all fallen this season, Mahomes ability to just throw the ball has attracted his share of suitors. With Sammy Watkins out wide, Mahomes will immediately have someone to throw to.
However, this pick would cause an instant reshuffle in the Bills play-calling and style. While the team was used to having a mobile quarterback like Tyrod Taylor, Mahomes would be a Drew Brees type of player. If that’s a direction Buffalo is okay heading in, then this pick could make sense.
2. Derek Barnett — Defensive End — Tennessee
Should the Buffalo Bills go with Sean McDermott as their head coach, the team will be moving from a 3-4 defense to a 4-3 unit. Under that system, they will need a player to lineup across from Shaq Lawson next season. While the team did have some solid patchwork along the defensive line this season, they need a permanent fixture to play across from Lawson.
Enter Tennessee’s Derek Barnett. With the jury out on where he will fall in the top ten, there is a shot that Barnett could fall to when the Bills pick at number 10. If he does, Buffalo may be tempted to draft Barnett in order to begin helping it’s defensive unit for next season.
While there are other positions that could use the help first, pairing Barnett with Lawson would give Buffalo a formidable pass rush for years to come. Should Sean McDermott value talent over need in his first draft, don’t be shocked to see a pick like this occur.
1. Jamal Adams — Safety — LSU
Given the uncertain future of Aaron Williams for the Buffalo Bills, the biggest position of need along the defense remains at safety. With Jamal Adams just happening to fall within wheelhouse of Buffalo’s pick, this could be a match made in heaven for both parties.
Having a nose for the ball, Adams pairs his ball hawk ability with his size and speed for the position. Playing in the SEC, Adams has also faced his fair share of quarterbacks and running backs making him a tried and true player. With that being a rare commodity, Adams would be the perfect fit for Buffalo while providing the first round talent needed to justify the pick.
Even if Aaron Williams does return to the Buffalo Bills next season, Adams is likely to remain the favorite unless something drastic changes.