The 2016 NFL Draft is under a month away and the Buffalo Bills -- unlike last year -- have a first round selection to try and find themselves an impact starter. With a pair of selections on Day Two, the Bills could even two more starters to the roster.
General manager Doug Whaley has continued to say the Bills will look for the best player available and won't draft based on need, which makes them fairly unpredictable up until they make a selection on April 28. With so many positions that they could go after, the Bills have a great deal of names to keep an eye on -- as long as you know what you're looking for.
Leading up to the start of the draft, WKBW.com will be going through potential names that the Buffalo Bills could select in the 2016 NFL Draft:
CB Eli Apple, Ohio State
Why he’s a fit
- There’s a general rule of thumb in the NFL — a team can never have too many cornerbacks. Even though the Bills have two good starting cornerbacks on the roster in Stephon Gilmore and Ronald Darby, injuries and turnover at that position are quite prevalent. Gilmore is entering the final year of his contract with the Bills, and until a long-term deal is agreed upon, the possibility of him leaving after 2016 exists. Even if he is locked up, depth at the position in the form of younger players could be a priority, given that both backups Sterling Moore and Corey White are signed to one-year deals with the Bills. Eli Apple is a long-limbed, smooth-moving press cornerback that would fit right into Rex Ryan’s mold of player.
Why the Bills may shy away
- Even though it would make perfect sense for the Bills to add a cornerback, picking one at the time in the draft necessary to get a player like Eli Apple could be a tad earlier, considering their needs. Apple will likely be off the board at some point in the first or early second round. Unless they were to trade up in the second round, Apple may not be available by the time the Bills are selecting at 49th overall. Even if he were available at 49th overall, Apple likely would have a low impact on the 2016 season unless an injury occurred to either Gilmore or Darby.
Joe B. Verdict
- Apple seems to be an interesting target for the Bills because he would fit Rex Ryan’s scheme extremely well. If he’s there at 49th overall, the temptation might just be too great to pass on. However, the likelihood that he’s there at that stage of the draft isn’t particularly good which means they’d likely need to select him at 19 to get him. That early in the draft, and with what already exists on the roster for the Bills, it likely doesn’t equate to Apple being a major consideration in the first round. It would seem there is likely to be a defensive lineman, edge rusher, or linebacker available at 19 that would better suit what the Bills could use this season.