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:
DT A’Shawn Robinson, Alabama
Why he’s a fit
- As of right now, the only sure thing on the Bills roster on the defensive line is Marcell Dareus. Kyle Williams is coming off a season-ending knee injury, Corbin Bryant is likely a better rotational player than a starter for a team, and the Bills’ “depth” behind the trio is Lavar Edwards, Jerely Worthy, and T.J. Barnes. So, why would A’Shawn Robinson in particular fit? Robinson can fit basically any defense, and can play several positions for a team. A disruptive player, Robinson used his long arms and plus-movement ability to penetrate the backfield as either a five-technique defensive end, or as a nose tackle for Alabama. With those being the roles he would fill with the Bills, it’s easy to project him as a potential target.
Why the Bills may shy away
- The Bills are likely going to target a defensive player in the first round, but Robinson may not be the best player available to them at the position at 19th overall. He’s still a bit rough around the edges, and needs to work on not surrendering leverage to a blocker to become a dominant player in the league. For that reason, most are placing Louisville’s Sheldon Rankins, and potential players like Mississippi State’s Chris Jones, and Louisiana Tech’s Vernon Butler either on par, or ahead of him. If the Bills are looking for a two-down nose tackle, they’d likely opt for either Baylor’s Andrew Billings, or his college teammate, Jarran Reed.
Joe B. Verdict
- While they are multiple intriguing prospects, Robinson ranks near the top along the defensive line because of both his versatility and what he could become. If he were to be selected by the Bills, it would have to be at 19th overall — and with such a strong class at defensive line, they could look at the position as one they can wait on. However, it’s hard to ignore his potential if he ever puts it all together. He could be a starter for the Bills as soon as training camp opened up, which is why fans should keep him on the short list of players that the Bills may just target on April 28.