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Draft Analysis

NFL Draft Needs: Bills

by Evan Silva
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Evan Silva (@EvanSilva) is the Senior Football Editor for Rotoworld's NFL Page, and Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) leads Rotoworld's college football and NFL draft coverage. Together, they're breaking down every team's biggest needs and offering potential draft-day solutions.

For a breakdown on every team, check out the team-by-team draft preview schedule.

No. 1 Team Need: Edge Rusher

Silva's Analysis

The 2015 Bills finished last in the AFC in sacks (21), and salary cap limitations prevented GM Doug Whaley from pursuing this year's top free agent edge defenders. Following Mario Williams' release, the Bills' in­ house options to book end RE Jerry Hughes are IK Enemkpali, Jarius Wynn, and LaVar Edwards. Enemkpali and Edwards have combined for zero sacks across 29 career games, while Wynn is an eighth­ year journeyman coming off a torn ACL.

No. 2 Team Need: Linebacker

Silva's Analysis

Although the Bills are maintaining high hopes for third­ year ILB Preston Brown, Brown is coming off a miserable sophomore season wherein he ranked dead last in Pro Football Focus' inside linebacker grades and had defensive playcalling duties stripped by coach Rex Ryan late in the year. WLB Manny Lawson is entering his age ­32 season as well as his contract year, and SLB Nigel Bradham left for Philadelphia in free agency.

No. 3 Team Need: Offensive Line

Silva's Analysis

No. 2 wide receiver could also be argued as a Bills weakness, while Whaley seems intent on using a middle­ or late­ round draft pick at quarterback. Offensive line is a more pressing need with ineffective RT Seantrel Henderson fighting Crohn's Disease, LT Cordy Glenn signed only for 2016, and RG John Miller coming off a sub­par rookie campaign. Under OC Greg Roman, the Bills emphasize people movers in a power­ based running scheme.

Norris' Mock Draft

Round 1 (19): LB Reggie Ragland. Alabama - With Evan mentioning Preston Brown’s poor season and his play calling responsibilities being stripped, my mind immediately went to Ragland. The Alabama captain is an outstanding run defender who anticipates and gets in proper positioning in short zone drops. Rex Ryan could see Ragland as his next David Harris or Bart Scott.


Round 2 (49): T Germain Ifedi, Texas A&M - Ifedi possesses some of the same positives and negatives of both Seantrel Henderson and Cyrus Kouandjio on the field. The Bills seem to have a type at the position. Ifedi is more highly regarded by other evaluators than how I view him.


Round 3 (80): DE Charles Tapper, Oklahoma - Tapper might be the most athletic edge rusher in the class. However, his impact was partially limited due to Oklahoma’s scheme that frequently asked him to be reactive rather than aggressive off the snap.


Round 4 (117): DT D.J. Reader, Clemson - Rex seems to add at least one Clemson player each season. At the very least, Reader is a great run defender who flashes pushing the pocket with outstanding strength. His momentum is difficult to anchor against.


Round 4 (139): QB Kevin Hogan, Stanford - Friend of the site Tony Pauline has reported for months that the Bills love Hogan’s game. As Matt Waldman puts it, Hogan is the ugly duckling of the quarterback group, but he has definitely improved throughout his 12 year career at Stanford.


Round 5 (156): WR Aaron Burbridge, Michigan State - One of the best receivers at winning contested catches, especially back shoulder throws. Burbridge projects as a possession receiver and is a poor athlete when compared to the average NFL receiver.


Round 6 (192): G Denver Kirkland, Arkansas - Kirkland declared early, but I still expect him to be a late round pick. He played left tackle this past season and certainly fits the power blocker Evan outlined, albeit likely along the interior.


Round 6 (218): LB Beniquez Brown, Mississippi State - More linebacker depth. Played over 80 percent of the Bulldogs’ defensive snaps this season.




Bills Current Offensive Depth Chart


QB: Tyrod Taylor


RB: LeSean McCoy


FB: Jerome Felton


WR: Sammy Watkins


WR: Robert Woods


LT: Cordy Glenn


LG: Richie Incognito


C: Eric Wood


RG: John Miller


RT: Seantrel Henderson


Bills Current Defensive Depth Chart


RE: Jerry Hughes


LE: IK Enemkpali


NT: Kyle Williams


DT: Marcell Dareus


MLB: Preston Brown


WLB: Manny Lawson


SLB: A.J. Tarpley


LCB: Ronald Darby


RCB: Stephon Gilmore


FS: Aaron Williams


SS: Corey Graham

Evan Silva
Evan Silva is a senior football editor for Rotoworld.com. He can be found on Twitter .