(WKBW) — After a flurry of activity for the Buffalo Bills in free agency, the focus of the offseason has shifted almost completely to the 2019 NFL Draft in late April. The Bills hold the ninth overall selection, and have done enough in free agency to at least have the appearance of being a wild card team that can address any position they choose.
Even with all the additions, the Bills still have some holes on the roster. How will they address them all?
My first look at how the draft could shake out, which extends all the way to the Bills' pick in the second round:
1) - QB Kyler Murray, Oklahoma
- I don't know if this is a long con by the Arizona Cardinals to get Oakland to give up the goods to move up to first overall, but it's as though Murray going atop the draft is a foregone conclusion -- at least as of March 20. If the Cardinals hang on to him, you have to wonder who trades for Josh Rosen. It would be a cheap deal, and there is still plenty to work with. Everyone talks about Washington or the New York Giants, but I wonder if a team like Green Bay or New England might be inclined to swing a deal to develop a good, young quarterback.
2) - DT Quinnen Williams, Alabama
- After taking a big swing to bring in Dee Ford, the 49ers have the opportunity to pair Williams with DeForest Buckner and be a headache for all those going up against them. They need a top wide receiver, but the value is better for them to find that player with their second round selection.
3) - EDGE Nick Bosa, Ohio State
- The Jets thought they were getting Anthony Barr, until he left them in the dust to re-sign with Minnesota. Instead, they get the brother of one of the best edge rushers in the league, and a dynamite prospect in his own right.
4) - EDGE Josh Allen, Kentucky
- Ah, there's nothing quite like trading away one of the most dominant players in the game in his prime years, only to take a player that you hope to become as good as him the next draft. At least he'll be on his rookie contract, though.
5) - LB Devin White, LSU
- Wisely not spending all that money on Kwon Alexander, the Buccaneers might even have an upgrade down the line in Devin White.
6) - OT Jawaan Taylor, Florida
- I truly have no idea what the Giants' plan is for the offseason -- and at quarterback. But the Golden Tate signing could signal that they want to win now and give Eli Manning one last run, as crazy as that might be.
7) - WR D.K. Metcalf, Ole Miss
- Nick Foles is going to need a receiver that can develop into his top option, and with rare physical traits, the Jaguars hope Metcalf can be that guy.
8) - EDGE Montez Sweat, Mississippi State
- The Lions signed Trey Flowers, but they could use another edge rusher to round out their attack in the way that Matt Patricia wants.
9) - DT Ed Oliver, Houston
- This pairing is gaining steam, and for good reason. Bills general manager Brandon Beane views pass rushers, both from the edge and from the interior, to be premium positions. The defensive system used by head coach Sean McDermott craves a three-tecnhique defensive tackle that initiates pressure up the middle to help thwart a play before the offensive players can settle in. The Bills currently do not have a player at this position that is of starting caliber. Only Jordan Phillips is there, and he's likely best utilized as a rotational piece to maximize his reps. The Bills, under Beane and McDermott, have also yet to invest a substantial draft selection in a player that specializes in creating pressure on the defensive line. Enter Ed Oliver, who to me, is a true potential impact player. He moves around like a linebacker, he shows the strength of a player that outweighs him by 30 pounds, and he's got an array of moves to get into the backfield even against double teams. Heck, there was one rep that I watched where he split a double-team, and then a third and fourth blocker tried to get him and by that point, he was already in the backfield -- and that was on a three-man rush. The only concern that I have with Oliver is with his arm length in being able to keep offensive linemen off his pads. In many cases, it makes teams want to shy away from that defender, but with Oliver, you see him use it to his advantage by getting into the lineman's pads and then pushing him out of the way. He needs to clean up against the run a bit, but there is no substitute for pressure from that position in McDermott's defense. If he's available at ninth overall, all logic points to Oliver being a tremendous fit.
10) - QB Drew Lock, Missouri
- With one bad move at quarterback after another, John Elway must do something to help that perception along with helping his team for the long-term -- and a young rookie to develop will do the trick.
11) - QB Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State
- Haskins falls out of the top ten, but it's time for Cincinnati to start planning for life after Andy Dalton. He's had a good run, but the Bengals have new faces all over the organization, they hired a young coach that specializes in working with the quarterback, and they are in dire need for a new identity now that Marvin Lewis has moved on. Haskins represents all of that, along with some hope for the future in Cincinnati.
12) - T/G Jonah Williams, Alabama
- The Packers need to maximize their window with quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and they need to help him stay upright. Jonah Williams is an accomplished player, and one that can step in immediately to help out the problems along the line. He'll be a guard in Green Bay.
13) - EDGE Rashan Gary, Michigan
- A super-twitchy player with a 'tweener body, the Dolphins and new head coach Brian Flores can line up Gary a little bit of everywhere along the defensive line. With Robert Quinn about to exit, they'll need some pass rush help.
14) - EDGE Brian Burns, Florida State
- Long, lean, and explosive. Burns isn't quite polished yet, but he has potential to be a great player.
15) - C Garrett Bradbury, NC State
16) - EDGE Clelin Ferrell, Clemson
17) (from CLE) - DT Christian Wilkins, Clemson
18) - T Andre Dillard, Washington State
19) - G Cody Ford, Oklahoma
20) - TE Noah Fant, Iowa
21) - T Kaleb McGary, Washington
22) - WR Marquise Brown, Oklahoma
23) - TE TJ Hockenson, Iowa
24) (from CHI) - LB Devin Bush, Michigan
25) - WR N'Keal Harry, Arizona State
26) - CB Greedy Williams, LSU
27) (from DAL) - DT Jeffery Simmons, Mississippi State
28) - IOL Erik McCoy, Texas A&M
29) - CB Byron Murphy, Washington
30) (from NO) - TE Irv Smith, Jr., Alabama
31) - CB Deandre Baker, Georgia
32) - WR AJ Brown, Ole Miss
33) - DT Jerry Tillery, Notre Dame
34) (from NYJ) - WR Parris Campbell, Ohio State
35) - CB Julian Love, Notre Dame
36) - S Nassir Adderley, Delaware
37) - QB Daniel Jones, Duke
38) - T Greg Little, Ole Miss
39) - S Taylor Rapp, Washington
40) - T/G Dalton Risner, Kansas State
- There were a couple of things to monitor with this pick. If one of the three top tight ends were available, I think the Bills would have to have a long consideration at this spot. At wide receiver, if there is a run on receivers earlier than expected, perhaps they go after one in the second round. And at edge rusher, you have to see if someone falls down the board that was a fringe first round pick. However, with all of those not factoring into the equation, the chance to add a potential starter along the offensive line that brings you some versatility is a tough thing to pass up -- even after they added five offensive linemen in free agency. In Dalton Risner, they're getting a high-intensity player that fits all the prototypes you look for, and when he gets his hands on a player he can control at the point of attack. He consistently looks to finish his blocks and plays with the type of edge that has been lacking on the offensive line. He's a strong run blocker, he plays with power, and he's the type of person the Bills usually look to add to their locker room. He played right tackle at Kansas State, and also has the versatility to flip inside to guard. He'll have to earn a starting job, but he could wind up in the lineup to start the 2019 season.