BBD Assistant Editor: Ryan Talbot
With version 1.0 of my Buffalo Bills mock draft being more than one month old, it’s time for another look at how Buffalo’s draft could stack up. It’s early February, so it’s safe to say there’s still plenty of uncertainty when it comes to the 2014 NFL draft. In general, teams will have a better ideas of how their draft boards stack up after some of their roster holes get filled via free agency.
For the sake of this mock draft, I’ll make a few free agency predictions. First, I think the Bills will resign Jairus Byrd long-term or replace him with a fellow free agent (T.J. Ward and Chris Clemons are two solid options that come to mind). Buffalo could also add a left guard in free agency along with a veteran defensive lineman.
If they can address those needs with veteran signings, here’s one way they could continue building their roster with their seven picks in this year’s draft.
Round 1: Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
Greg Robinson is starting to gain momentum as the top offensive tackle of the 2014 class, but Matthews would be one heck of a consolation prize. Matthews would fill a big hole at right tackle for the Bills, and his value at the No. 9 overall pick would be too good to pass up. Coming from excellent bloodlines, Matthews and left tackle Glenn could develop into one of the NFL’s best sets of offensive line bookends.
The addition of Jake Matthews in Round 1 would help keep quarterback EJ Manuel clean; in Round 2, Seferian-Jenkins would give Manuel a new weapon. Seferian-Jenkins does not have the speed of projected first-round pick Eric Ebron, but he is a strong route-runner who is hard to bring down with the ball in his hands. The Washington tight end has excellent hands and creates mismatches with his size.
Round 3: Shayne Skov, ILB, Stanford
If you watched any Stanford football, you were sure to notice Skov. The inside linebacker is great at shedding blockers and getting to the ballcarrier. Skov has great instincts and is a sure tackler. Buffalo’s front seven would be even more dangerous with Skov in the lineup.
Round 4: Donte Moncrief, WR, Ole Miss
The Bills get their big wide receiver a little later than some fans would like, but Moncrief would be tremendous value in round four. The 6’3″ wide receiver has good speed and is a terrific route-runner. Moncrief comes out of his breaks well and is able to gain separation on cornerbacks.
Round 5: Marion Grice, RB, Arizona State
Many don’t think of running back as a need for the Bills, but C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson are both free agents in 2015. Grice, a second-team all-Pac 12 running back, would get a season to learn under Spiller and Jackson in 2014 and depending on what happens next year in free agency, could take on an expanded role in 2015. Grice runs well, is a strong blocker and also catches the ball well out of the backfield.
Round 6: Aaron Colvin, CB, Oklahoma
In the late rounds, Buffalo can take a flier on a cornerback like Colvin. The talented and aggressive cornerback was projected to be drafted much higher before he tore his ACL in a Senior Bowl practice. Buffalo is rather young at cornerback, but adding someone as talented as Colvin this late would benefit the Bills come 2015.
Round 7: Taylor Hart, DE, Oregon
Listed at 6’6″ and 287 pounds by Oregon’s official athletics website, Hart is a large defensive end. The former Oregon Duck is a very good athlete for his size who can be moved along the defensive line. Hart played very well against the run at Oregon, but he is unlikely to be an instant contributor in the NFL. He is a project who the Bills could slowly develop behind the talent they already possess on the defensive line.