For the first time in two decades, the winner of the AFC East division isn’t already penciled in. For twenty years, the New England Patriots’ empire has laid waste to the competition on the eastern seaboard, but with Tom Brady heading to Tampa Bay, Bill Belichick’s greatest general has left him, and weakness has been revealed. The Buffalo Bills, who made the playoffs as a wild card team in 2019, are in a position to sack the Patriots’ empire once and for all and establish a new order in the AFC East. With a strong 2020 NFL Draft performance, a changing of the guard is almost certain to follow. This updated Buffalo Bills 7-round mock draft attempts to seize this huge opportunity that has been presented.[sv slug=mocksim]
Writing a “team needs” section almost feels unnecessary for the Buffalo Bills, who’ve done a great job filling holes and rounding out the rough edges of their roster in the early goings of 2020. After trading for Stefon Diggs, wide receiver is no longer a pressing issue. The team’s top needs include cornerback, edge rusher, running back, and defensive line, but at all of those positions, the Bills have placeholders who could carry out the 2020 season.
It’s always good to look for upgrades and long-term starting potential, and depth is also something the Bills could use more of at positions like wide receiver and offensive line. But the Bills have done a great job of preserving their flexibility in the 2020 NFL Draft, as you’ll see in the mock below!
Round 2, Pick 54: JK Dobbins, RB, Ohio State
The Bills have some very solid pieces at running back in Devin Singletary and TJ Yeldon. Singletary provides very good contact balance and vision, and Yeldon is a plus receiving threat out of the backfield. But the Bills could add a more complete weapon to their running back room, and at #54, with subpar value at cornerback and edge on the board, JK Dobbins is very good consolation value.
Dobbins is a dynamic threat who produced on a massive scale for the Buckeyes in 2019, amassing 2,003 rushing yards and 21 scores on 301 carries, while also logging 247 receiving yards and two scores on 23 receptions. Dobbins is a good athlete, and while he doesn’t necessarily have breakaway speed, he has very good acceleration through holes, as well as the vision and elusiveness to maximize the space he’s given. Combine all that with his strong, compact frame, and you have a potential feature back in Buffalo.
Round 3, Pick 86: Khalid Kareem, DE, Notre Dame
There’s some immediate security on the edge in Buffalo, where Jerry Hughes and Trent Murphy will presumably retain the starting slots for another season. Mario Addison also provides solid depth and rotational ability, but all three of those players will be over 30 years old by the end of 2020. The Bills, at the very least, need some young depth, and if it’s a player with upside to hone, even better.
Khalid Kareem doesn’t have the most athletic potential in the 2020 class, but he possesses a very good physical foundation and enough burst off the line to utilize at the NFL level. Kareem is a massive player, standing at 6-foot-4, 268lbs, with an 84-inch wingspan. He offers great power at the point of attack with his length, and he shows flashes of fluidity and burst off the edge. On an NFL training regimen, with Buffalo’s coaches and veterans mentoring him, Kareem could unlock more of that upside, and turn into an eventual starter down the road.
Round 4, Pick 128: Michael Ojemudia, CB, Iowa
This is an upside pick for Buffalo, who can afford to indulge with this kind of selection after signing EJ Gaines and Josh Norman in free agency. Michael Ojemudia’s tape is up-and-down, but the flashes are bright for the former Iowa Hawkeye. Ojemudia is a long, athletic cornerback, possessing a 6-foot-1, 200lb frame, 4.45 speed, a 36-inch vertical, and a 78-inch wingspan. He has the traits to be disruptive, and while his play speed on tape doesn’t always match up with his measurables, the Bills’ coaching staff is one of the few who deserves trust in maximizing Ojemudia’s potential.
Round 5, Pick 167: McTelvin Agim, DL, Arkansas
The Bills have a good foundation on the interior defensive line, with 2019 first-round pick Ed Oliver leading the way. They were also proactive in free agency, adding former Seahawks lineman Quinton Jefferson to bolster the line. All this said, they could stand to add depth in the 2020 NFL Draft, and McTelvin Agim provides that and more. He’s a long, athletic interior lineman, standing at 6-foot-3, 309lbs, with an 80-inch reach, and his explosiveness off the line is easy to see on tape. As a rotational player in Year 1, he could be a good spark plug, and as veterans age past their primes, he could eventually fill a larger role.
Round 6, Pick 188: Ben Bredeson, OG, Michigan
In my last Buffalo Bills mock draft found on page 2, I selected Ben Bredeson in the third round. Part of that was due to the uncertainty surrounding Quinton Spain, but Bredeson, in my eyes, warranted the pick. But as the draft season wanes, some prospects see their stars dim, for reasons beyond their control. The hype around Bredeson isn’t as loud as it was in the past, but the Michigan guard still has starting upside with some development. He’s a huge blocker at 6-foot-5, 315lbs, who brings a good combination of size and mobility, and while he needs polish, he’s a good investment for a team with guards on the older side.
Round 6, Pick 207: Stephen Guidry, WR, Mississippi State
The Bills ensured that they’ll enter the season with a seasoned receiving core by trading for Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs. Their starting unit now consists of Diggs and John Brown on the outside, with Cole Beasley in the slot. That’s a good group, but Diggs is the tallest of the bunch at 6-foot-0. The Bills could use more height in their receiving core, and at this pick, Mississippi State’s Stephen Guidry provides that, along with impressive coinciding athleticism. At the NFL Combine, Guidry logged a 4.47 40-yard dash, a 34-inch vertical, and a 125-inch broad jump at 6-foot-3, 201lbs. His wingspan is one of the longest in the class, and with his athletic traits, he could wind up being an exciting match for Josh Allen’s skill set.
Round 7, Pick 239: Stanford Samuels III, CB, Florida State
At this point in the draft, the Bills have comfortably addressed any needs they might have had at the start. Now, all that’s left to do is add more potential upside at positions of value. Stanford Samuels III is a good get this late, as he has a long frame with disruptive potential on the outside. He’s not the most athletic cornerback, and his long speed is lacking in pursuit situations, but he could learn from a veteran like Josh Norman in Year 1, and potentially hone his length and physicality in a similar role to the former All-Pro.