Out with the old, in with the new. After just two seasons with the Rex Ryan circus in town, the Buffalo Bills quickly decided to turn away from his media antics, and focus more on the business facet of football. In turn, they hired Sean McDermott as the new head coach of the team, after previously serving as the defensive coordinator for the Carolina Panthers and Philadelphia Eagles. McDermott is all business, he will look to instill some toughness and competitiveness into this football team, and basically try to model what we’ve seen from Carolina’s defense over the past couple seasons.
The Bills haven’t made the playoffs in nearly two decades, but they are hoping McDermott can be that guy to lead them back. He has his work cut out for him, however, as the AFC East remains New England’s to lose, along with the fact that the AFC continues to get strong each year. A strong draft is crucial in McDermott’s debut season, take a look below at what we expect him to do.
Are you a Bills fan? Who would you prefer for your team to draft in 2017? Let us know in the comments below!
Round 1 (Pick 10): Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
The Bills are desperate for weapons alongside Sammy Watkins in that passing game – signing all these mediocre receivers to fill roster spots isn’t going to cut it. Corey Davis presents a tremendous compliment alongside Watkins. We all know Watkins has the speed to stretch the field and win deep. Davis provides that weapon in the short-intermediate range due to slick route running and ability to rack up yards after the catch.
Round 2 (Pick 44): Raekwon McMillan, LB, Ohio State
As they transition into a 4-3 scheme after the hiring of Sean McDermott, a lot of mis-fits will come to fruition in the new system. Rangy, speedy linebackers are pivotal to the success of a 4-3 defense, and McDermott knows that – as guys like Kuechly and Thomas Davis proved in Carolina. Raekwon McMillan has gained a lot of buzz as of late after a good posting at the Combine. While I’m not particularly high on him as a player, he fits what McDermott looks for due to his speed and range to get sideline-to-sideline.
Round 3 (Pick 75): Howard Wilson, CB, Houston
After Ronald Darby, the CB unit for Buffalo is a black hole. Luckily, 2017 has presented the deepest corner class in recent memory. Wilson excels as a zone corner who plays well with the play in front of him due to his ability to react and attack. He also brings height, length and ball skills. A tad similar to Josh Norman – whom McDermott had with the Panthers.
BUF: 5th RD (#179), 6th RD (#197)
AZ: 5th RD (#156), 2018 7th RD
Already with an extra 5th round pick, the Bills decide to work a trade down with the Arizona Cardinals in order to pick up an extra pick late in the draft in hopes of filling another need on their list.
Round 5 (Pick 171): Avery Moss, EDGE, Youngstown State
In moving to a 4-3, Jerry Hughes and Lorenzo Alexander will likely be the new starters off the edge. While Alexander was 3rd in the league last year in sacks, McDermott will welcome more depth to add with last year’s 1st round pick, Shaq Lawson. Avery Moss comes from Youngstown State, but was formerly of the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Moss is long with great closing burst who posted production at both levels in college. At the very least, a rotational defensive end.
Round 5 (Pick 179): David Sharpe, OT, Florida
While Cordy Glenn is a sturdy presence at the blindside, Jordan Mills is only serviceable on the right side. Mix that in with the fact that both backup tackles (Kouandjio, Henderson) are both set to hit the free agent market in 2018, the Bills are going to be looking for some depth. David Sharpe is a monster of a man at 6’6”/343 with enormous arm length measuring out to 35 3/8”. If he doesn’t workout on the exterior of the line due to inflexibility, a move to the interior could be in the cards with his monstrous frame.
Round 6 (Pick 195): Jadar Johnson, S, Clemson
After signing both Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer to be the starters at safety in 2017, a big hole remains at that unit with none to limited depth behind the free agent acquisitions. Jadar Johnson is an intriguing prospect – he started only one season at Clemson, but flashed some serious ability. A H/W/S specimen, if anyone can untap his potential, McDermott is the coach for the job.
Round 6 (Pick 197): Marcus Oliver, LB, Indiana
Every year we see a few players who aren’t particularly in the eyes of draft media get selected in the 6th-7th round range. I strongly believe the Bills will take two linebackers this year. After going with McMillan earlier, now they take Marcus Oliver – another Big Ten guy. Oliver was extremely productive as a Hoosier – racking up 96 tackles while leading the Big Ten in forced fumbles with 5. Oliver provides leadership, productivity and heart whether he’s starting, coming off the bench or playing on special teams.