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:
LB Darron Lee, Ohio State
Another super athletic linebacker in this draft class: Ohio State LB Darron Lee. pic.twitter.com/V0oCIGZ7YA
— Joe Buscaglia (@JoeBuscaglia) February 19, 2016
Why he’s a fit
- Sure, the Bills signed Zach Brown in free agency to help out the linebacker room, and while he could even start for the Bills at weakside linebacker, at this point it should only be viewed as a short-term fix. Brown only signed a one-year deal, so the Bills aren’t necessarily married to having him be the starting linebacker next to Preston Brown. That’s why an option like Darron Lee, an extremely athletic linebacker, remains a possibility at 19th overall. Lee would be able to stay on the field all three downs and can also have an impact in coverage. His closing speed and blitzing ability also makes him an intriguing option.
Why the Bills may shy away
- On the flip side, the Bills did just sign Zach Brown to what will likely be a “prove it” deal for the relatively young linebacker. Like Lee, he’s got plenty of athleticism for the position, starting experience to go along with it, and he’s played in a 3-4 scheme the past two seasons. With the existence of Brown on the roster, there is question about whether taking an inside linebacker would be worth it at 19th overall, when perhaps a higher impact position (defensive line, pass rusher, safety) could be had at the same spot. And with Lee in particular, is he well-versed and instinctive enough as a linebacker to make an immediate impact for the Bills? These are all things they must weigh.
Joe B. Verdict
- If Darron Lee is actually there at 19th overall, which is no real guarantee due to his athleticism, they’ll think long and hard about adding him into the mix. Although I wouldn’t necessarily pull the trigger on a linebacker in the first round of the draft, because productive players can seemingly be found at all points of the draft, the Bills could look at Lee as a surefire option to start and play a lot of snaps in the first year of his career. Along with a few other defensive players, put him on the short list of who the Bills might pick, and don’t look back.