The day we've all been waiting for is finally here.
Thursday marks the start of the first day of the 2016 NFL Draft, and the Buffalo Bills will be hoping that one of their main targets makes it down all the way to the 19th overall selection.
How will it all shake out? A look at the first two rounds going up to the Bills pick, and then a full draft look at what the Bills could be looking at throughout the next three days:
1) (from TEN) - QB Jared Goff, Cal
- When it's all said and done, the California kid stays in California for the rebirth of the Los Angeles Rams.
2) (from CLE)? - QB Carson Wentz, North Dakota State
- Give Carson Wentz just a little bit of time on the sidelines to learn the pro game, and then the Eagles could have a special one on their hands.
3) **TRADE (from SD)? - CB Jalen Ramsey, Florida State
- The motivation for this trade is fairly simple: the Chargers could really use someone like Jalen Ramsey for their roster, but have other players that they really like as well. Dallas loves Ramsey, and has been linked to him more than any other team. They are also armed with two fourth-round picks and four sixth-round picks this year, so they use one of each to get the guy they covet most.
Trade Details: Dallas gets 3rd overall. San Diego gets 4th overall, 101st overall, 189th overall, 2017 6th round pick.
4) (from DAL)? - OT Ronnie Stanley, Notre Dame
- The Ronnie Stanley hype has been gaining steam for over the past week, and with such a huge need at offensive tackle, I think the Chargers wouldn't hesitate in pulling the trigger on him here.
5) **TRADE (from JAX) - HB Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State
- If Ezekiel Elliott gets past Dallas, that's when it starts to become more of a possibility for Miami to jump up. Jacksonville is likely trying to get out of the fifth overall pick, and rather than wait around to see if Baltimore (6) or Cleveland (8) takes him, the Dolphins move way up to assure themselves of the player they covet.
Trade Details: Miami gets 5th overall, 181st overall. Jacksonville gets 13th overall, 42nd overall, 107th overall.
6) ? - EDGE Joey Bosa, Ohio State
- The Ravens are getting old at edge rusher and need an infusion of youth, so they get the most well-rounded prospect of them all in Joey Bosa.
7) ? - DL DeForest Buckner, Oregon
- There is at least some temptation to take Paxton Lynch here, but DeForest Buckner safely finding his way down to seventh overall at a major position of need, and into the hands of former Oregon coach Chip Kelly, that's the temptation that they'll be unable to resist.
8) (from MIA via PHI) - OT Laremy Tunsil, Ole Miss
- If you've been tracking mock drafts for months now, this is a bit of a surprise. However, one big name always falls down the list, and the Chargers seeming preference of Ronnie Stanley could mean a mini-tumble for Laremy Tunsil. Drafting him would give them an immediate right tackle, and if they wanted to move Joe Thomas for additional resources, they could.
9) **TRADE (from TB) - OT Jack Conklin, Michigan State
- Feeling the heat with some offensive tackle-hungry teams, the Titans make the move up to land Jack Conklin to start at right tackle this season. The best part for them, they still have two second-round picks to work with.
Trade Details: Tennessee gets 9th overall, 108th overall. Tampa Bay gets 15th overall, 43rd overall.
10) - LB Leonard Floyd, Georgia
- Leonard Floyd over Myles Jack here? Floyd provides that pass rushing threat and tremendous versatility as a linebacker as well. That, and his long-term health, gives him the edge over Jack.
11) - EDGE Shaq Lawson, Clemson
- The Bears need someone on either the defensive line or a pass-rushing outside linebacker. They'd prefer the latter, and take the hard-working Shaq Lawson.
12) - QB Paxton Lynch, Memphis
- At long last, Paxton Lynch finds himself a home and he doesn't have to worry about playing right away, either. Lynch learns from one of the best, and much like the Green Bay Packers did somewhat near the end of Brett Favre's tenure with the team, they get a quarterback to groom for extended success into the future.
13) (from PHI via MIA) - LB Myles Jack, UCLA
- In this scenario, the Jaguars move down from fifth overall, acquire an additional second and fourth-round pick, and get the guy that they probably would have taken had it not been for all the concerns with his knee. As Michael Scott would say, that's a "win-win-win" situation.
14) - CB Vernon Hargreaves III, Florida
- This is a big pick for the Bills' draft hopes and dreams. The Raiders are in the market for a linebacker or an edge rusher, but getting the top cornerback is a big need as well.
15) (from LA via TEN) - DT Sheldon Rankins, Louisville
- Rankins is a player the Bills really like, and if he's on the board at 19 he's a heavy consideration. The trouble is, he probably won't be there. With Tampa Bay, he slots in right next to Gerald McCoy.
16) - OT Taylor Decker, Ohio State
- Offensive or defensive line, that is the question for the Lions. However, with a mid-second round pick and a steep drop-off in talent at offensive tackle around that time, the Lions trust that they can find a defensive tackle later on.
17) - EDGE Kevin Dodd, Clemson
- This is another pick that's quite important for the Bills. They have been linked to linebackers of all kinds, but an edge rusher (despite taking Vic Beasley) remains a huge need. NFL types seem to think Kevin Dodd has tremendous upside, so the Falcons go for a higher value position.
18) - NT Andrew Billings, Baylor
- An offensive lineman is also a consideration here, but Billings could be incredibly disruptive in the middle of the Colts' 3-4 defense. I've loved this pick and this fit for quite some time for both sides.
19) - LB Darron Lee, Ohio State
- And here it is, the Bills land the guy they've had an eye on throughout the draft process. They also really like Shaq Lawson, Sheldon Rankins, Jarran Reed, and even the hard-hitting safety Karl Joseph. However, with a crying need at weakside linebacker and not a lot of depth to the draft class, Lee would come in and be a three-down player immediately for the Bills. Lee is super athletic and has the ability in coverage that the Bills are looking for -- and the type of ability that fits well into Rex Ryan's defensive scheme. Despite the interest in Jarran Reed, defensive line is a deep class and one they can wait on in the second round. If they do miss out on all three of Lawson, Rankins, and Lee, I could certainly see them trading down and taking a defensive lineman, or Karl Joseph with their first pick in the late first round or early second round. It's a fluid situation, but they love Darron Lee.
20) - EDGE Kamalei Correa, Boise State
- The Jets go for an edge rusher that they so desperately need, and Correa reportedly has a lot of fans in the first round. Personally, I like Noah Spence quite a bit more, but Correa can also offer some versatility to 3-4 teams like the Jets.
21) - DL Chris Jones, Mississippi State
22) - WR Corey Coleman, Baylor
23) - DL Robert Nkemdiche, Ole Miss
- The Vikings swing for the fences with Robert Nkemdiche, as Mike Zimmer hopes he can motivate him enough to use all the ability that he has and become a potential Pro Bowl player.
24) - WR Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss
25) - CB Eli Apple, Ohio State
26) **TRADE (from SEA) - CB William Jackson, Houston
- The Titans are on the move... again. With William Jackson still available, the Titans move past some teams with need at cornerback to pick up a potential first-year starter -- and they still keep a second-round pick in the process.
Trade Details: Tennessee gets 26th overall, 2017 7th round pick. Seattle gets 33rd overall, 108th overall, 2017 5th round pick.
27) - NT Jarran Reed, Alabama
28) - S Karl Joseph, West Virginia
29) - C Ryan Kelly, Alabama
30) - EDGE Noah Spence, Easten Kentucky
- I love this fit for a lot of reasons, and I think he could be a star in that Carolina defense. They need some a cornerback, but they should be able to find one in the second round.
31) - LB Reggie Ragland, Alabama
32) - QB Connor Cook, Michigan State
- At the end of the day, Connor Cook just misses the first round and becomes Hue Jackson's project quarterback over the 2016 season. Cook might even push for the starting job at some point, but the Browns will probably want to build up their team first before letting him see the light of day. And, if he doesn't have it, it's only a second-round pick and they can still take a first-round quarterback in 2017.
33) (from TEN) - OT/G Germain Ifedi, Texas A&M
34) - QB Christian Hackenberg, Penn State
- Hackenberg misses the first round barely, and lands in an ideal situation to sit and learn behind Tony Romo.
35) - DL Vernon Butler, Louisiana Tech
36) - WR Josh Doctson, TCU
37) - QB Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
- A bit of a surprise pick here, but Prescott has the type of movement ability that Chip Kelly featured routinely at Oregon, but never found that player in Philadelphia. If they trade Kaepernick, Prescott might even start this season.
38) - S Vonn Bell, Ohio State
39) - CB Mackensie Alexander, Clemson
40) - WR Will Fuller, Notre Dame
- The Giants get a second wide receiver to pair with Odell Beckham, Jr., and they find Will Fuller here with great value in the second round.
41) - DL A'Shawn Robinson, Alabama
- The slide ends here for Robinson, but he lands with a 3-4 team that he can start for immediately. It's a great fit for both sides.
42) (from MIA) - EDGE Emmanuel Ogbah, Oklahoma State
43) (from PHI via LA and TEN) - S T.J. Green, Clemson
44) - LB/S Su'a Cravens, USC
- A hybrid player in a hybrid league, some team will hope Cravens can do a little bit of everything -- much like Deonne Bucannon of Arizona.
45) (from LA) - WR Braxton Miller, Ohio State
46) - DT Sheldon Day, Notre Dame
47) - DT Kenny Clark, UCLA
48) - OT Jason Spriggs, Indiana
49) - DL Bronson Kaufusi, BYU
- With the second wave of quarterbacks gone, the Bills take a player in Bronson Kaufusi who screams "versatility" -- and that's just what they're after. Kaufusi can rush the passer, he can play five-technique defensive end, he can play a little outside linebacker in the Manny Lawson role that they have set up... he can do a little bit of everything. He's a bit of an older prospect (turning 25), but is seemingly one who can contribute right away. He plays a bit too high at times, but the combination of size (6-foot-6, 285-pounds), length, strength, speed, and movement ability makes him a great addition. And, the Bills are interested in him, having had him in for a pre-draft visit. See for yourself:
Later Bills picks:
3rd Round, 80th overall - QB Cardale Jones, Ohio State
- I continue to believe that the third round is the sweet spot for the Bills to take a quarterback, and with Dak Prescott off the board, it comes down to two players: Cardale Jones and Kevin Hogan. Of the two, one is swinging for the fences, and the other is safe. However, they really like both of those players, and of the choice between the two, I believe the normally big-swinging Doug Whaley will opt for Cardale Jones if given the opportunity. It's the perfect situation for Jones, who doesn't even have to be a backup this season. Let him learn, let him grow, and re-assess the situation in 2017. A 6-foot-5, 253-pound quarterback should not be able to move like this:
4th Round, 117th overall - LB Joe Schobert, Wisconsin
- I absolutely love the idea of Joe Schobert in Rex Ryan's defense. He would normally be an inside linebacker, but he played outside linebacker/edge rusher at Wisconsin quite a bit. At best, he can develop into an asset on the defense and provide depth where it's sorely needed. At worst, he can be one of the better special teams players the Bills have -- and they need to replenish. A former walk-on player at Wisconsin, and I firmly believes that walk-on's never forget that feeling.
4th Round, 139th overall - WR Kolby Listenbee, TCU
- The Bills need to add something to the wide receiver position, and so they go for Josh Doctson's running mate Kolby Listenbee, whom they had in for a visit. His speed stands out the most, as does his ability to win contested catches. He needs to get stronger, but he's got some potential.
5th Round, 156th overall - CB/S Deiondre' Hall, Northern Iowa
- A long, lanky cornerback with great athleticism, Hall likely best projects as a hybrid corner/safety, or as just a regular safety. He would come in and compete for a roster spot with Duke Williams, Jonathan Meeks, and company.
6th Round, 192nd overall - OT Kyle Murphy, Stanford
- There isn't a ton of versatility to Murphy along the offensive line, which is why he drops down a bit. However, he's quite familiar with the Greg Roman style of offensive line play, and, could provide some depth at offensive tackle should they need to go down that far. He's likely best fit at right tackle. Here he is at left tackle at Stanford, up against likely Top 10 pick DeForest Buckner, and doing just enough to help his team get the first down:
6th Round, 218th overall - LB Antonio Morrison, Florida
- Another linebacker? Another linebacker. Unlike Lee and Schobert, Morrison is more of a fit at middle linebacker, and would compete to be Preston Brown's immediate backup. After all, the Bills have only three linebackers on the roster at the moment, and only one guaranteed starter in Preston Brown. In the meantime, Morrison would be quite an addition to special teams, which is what the Bills will be after on Day Three of the draft.