In just eight days the 2017 NFL Draft will, at long last, give us all the answers we've been craving about which prospects are going where, and which of these rumors we should have been believing all along.
What will the Buffalo Bills do in the first round of the draft? The rumors about their interest in taking a quarterback have persisted into this week, so, would they actually do it?
My next set of projections, going all the way through the Bills last second-round pick:
(*Note: Mock Drafts are, and always should be, for entertainment purposes only.)
1) - EDGE Myles Garrett, Texas A&M
- Cooler heads have seemed to prevailed, and the Browns will get the top defender in the draft.
2) - RB Leonard Fournette, LSU
- Of all the needs the 49ers have, the one that they don't have is the position that provides the next best value in the draft. They've used high selections on defensive linemen frequently, which doesn't make Solomon Thomas or Jonathan Allen a slam dunk at this spot. They'd probably like to move down, but if they can't, they go after Fournette and have him define the offense until a quarterback is in place. If Fournette can go 4th, he can certainly go 2nd.
3) - DL Jonathan Allen, Alabama
4) - DE Solomon Thomas, Stanford
5) **TRADE (from LAR via TEN) - QB Mitchell Trubisky, North Carolina
- With the ammo to move up, a willing partner to move down that amasses picks, and still having a second-round pick, the Browns take no chances and take the quarterback that is atop their board. Even if the Jets, Chargers, or Bills had no intention of taking a quarterback, with that position, it's best to not take the risk and secure the guy you feel the most strongly about.
Trade Details: Cleveland gets 5th overall, 100th overall. Tennessee gets 12th overall, 33rd overall, 175th overall.
6) - CB Marshon Lattimore, Ohio State
7) - S Malik Hooker, Ohio State
8) - TE O.J. Howard, Alabama
9) - S Jamal Adams, LSU
- A bit of an unusual pairing here, but Adams would be a huge addition to a team in need of a starter at strong safety.
10) **TRADE - LB/EDGE Haason Reddick, Temple
- As we get closer to the draft, I continue to believe that the Bills primary objective should be to move out of their first round selection at 10th overall. With this trade, the Bills upgrade two of their selections and it would give them four picks out of the first 81 selections -- which should yield them at least three starters, if not all four. Considering all the needs they have, and the depth in this draft at some of those positions of need, trading down remains a strong possibility. Now, Washington taking Reddick here is a player that I could easily see the Bills sitting at 10th overall and selecting because of how much he can do on the field. However, the offer to improve a third-round pick to a second, and a fifth-round pick to a third, is just too good to pass up.
Trade Details: Washington gets 10th overall, 75th overall, 156th overall. Buffalo gets 17th overall, 49th overall, 81st overall.
11) - EDGE Charles Harris, Missouri
12) (from PHI via CLE) - WR Mike Williams, Clemson
13) - QB Patrick Mahomes, Texas Tech
- Mahomes is a fascinating name in the draft and the Cardinals need to start planning on life after Carson Palmer. Although not an immediate need for the 2017 season, it's an immediate need to start training and grooming the next quarterback once Palmer is done with the NFL for good.
14) (from MIN) - RB Christian McCaffery, Stanford
15) - LB Reuben Foster, Alabama
16) - EDGE Derek Barnett, Tennessee
17) (from WAS) - OT Garrett Bolles, Utah
- The Bills move down, improve some picks, and get the best-fitting offensive lineman for their blocking scheme. Plus, with the offensive linemen, the position essentially falls off a cliff at offensive tackle after the top five, and there is certainly no guarantee that one will be there at 44th overall. No, this isn't a sexy pick, but getting an extremely strong fit at a major position of need, while waiting on some other needs that are deeper in this draft is a realistic scenario. Bolles moves like a tight end, and he looks to bury people. He's still getting bigger, and he's still learning the technique of the position, but there is so much raw ability there that he's worth it at this point in the draft. Especially considering the fact that the Bills are a run-first team once again, they reportedly targeted the biggest free agent right tackle this offseason, and the impending contract/aging situations of Eric Wood and Richie Incognito, figuring out the right tackle spot now is a pressing need. Plus, the interest is there, because the Bills reportedly had Bolles in for a pre-draft visit, according to ESPN. He's certainly intriguing because I could seem him developing into a franchise left tackle in this scheme one day, but at this point, he's not quite there in fulfilling that potential. The good thing, at 17th overall, finding that much upside is big.
18) - CB Gareon Conley, Ohio State
19) - RB Dalvin Cook, Florida State
20) **TRADE (from DEN) - LB Jarrad Davis, Florida
- Without it costing too much, the Dolphins move ahead of the Lions -- who are also in need of a linebacker -- to secure the recently-rising-in-media-circles Jarrad Davis.
Trade Details: Miami gets 20th overall, 126th overall. Denver gets 22nd overall, 97th overall.
21) - S/LB Jabrill Peppers, Michigan
22) (from MIA) - OT Ryan Ramczyk, Wisconsin
23) - TE David Njoku, Miami (FL)
24) - EDGE Tyus Bowser, Houston
25) - TE Evan Engram, Ole Miss
- After missing out on Mahomes, the Texans go for Engram and hope he becomes their Jordan Reed with the type of speed that he brings to the table.
26) - CB/S Obi Melifonwu, Connecticut
27) - G Forrest Lamp, Western Kentucky
28) - CB Kevin King, Washington
29) **TRADE (from GB) - WR Corey Davis, Western Michigan
- There have been recent rumblings that the wide receivers might drop in this draft, and that's probably due to the talent in this class more than anything. In this scenario, the Rams -- who lack a true number one receiver -- move up a few spots to get a player that could become that type of asset for them. That would shift Robert Woods back into a much more natural number two role.
Trade Details: Los Angeles Rams get 29th overall, 93rd overall. Green Bay gets 37th overall, 69th overall.
30) - EDGE Takk McKinley, UCLA
31) **TRADE (from ATL) - WR John Ross, Washington
- A minimal cost to get a potential game-breaking wide receiver. Plus, the speedy Ross will allow Mike Glennon to take advantage of that huge arm of his.
Trade Details: Chicago gets 31st overall. Atlanta gets 36th overall, 117th overall.
32) (from NE) - G Dion Dawkins, Temple
33) (from CLE) - S Budda Baker, Washington
34) - EDGE T.J. Watt, Wisconsin
35) - QB Deshaun Watson, Clemson
- After falling out of the first round completely, Watson lands with a Jaguars team that needs to give themselves options if the struggles of Blake Bortles continues. If Watson lasts until the 44th selection, I believe the Bills would think long and hard about drafting him.
36) (from CHI) - EDGE Jordan Willis, Kansas State
37) (from LAR) - CB/S Chidobe Awuzie, Colorado
38) - OT/G Taylor Moton, Western Michigan
39) - OT Cam Robinson, Alabama
40) - EDGE Taco Charlton, Michigan
41) - ILB Zach Cunningham, Vanderbilt
42) - RB/WR Curtis Samuel, Ohio State
43) - CB Tre'Davious White, LSU
44) - WR Zay Jones, East Carolina
- This is the second time around that I've paired the Bills with Zay Jones, but I think this is right around the time of the draft that he'll go off the board, the need at wide receiver for the Bills is obvious, as is the connection with Bills wide receivers coach Phil McGeoghan. Jones would give the Bills an immediate upgrade at the number two receiver position. Jones provides size, the ability to bring in contested catches, and it seems like he can make an early impact. While his ability to separate might not be ideal, there is a lot to like about Jones.
45) - CB Marlon Humphrey, Alabama
46) - RB Alvin Kamara, Tennessee
47) - WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, USC
48) - DT Dalvin Tomlinson, Alabama
49) (from WAS) - S Marcus Maye, Florida
- With the upgraded pick from Washington, the Bills address the secondary with a versatile safety. Maye can do a little bit of everything at the safety position and would give the Bills another versatile defender to work with. Ideally, he would be on the base defense at safety with Micah Hyde, and then when they go into sub-packages, the Bills have a lot of different options. They could bring in Jordan Poyer to pair with Maye while Hyde goes to play nickel corner. Or, they can shift Maye down into the box as a smaller linebacker and cover man, while Hyde and Poyer play the back-end at safety. Most importantly, he'd likely be ready to play right away for a Bills defense that needs immediate contributions.