Buffalo Bills NFL Draft Recap/Grade – 2018
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Buffalo Bills Draft Picks (2018)
Key Positional Needs Entering Draft
- Wide Receiver
- Offensive Line
We all knew the Buffalo Bills wanted one of the top quarterbacks in this year’s draft class and they did that in trading up to acquire the 7th overall pick to get their guy in Josh Allen. When you talk about the physical tools it takes to play in a place like Buffalo, Allen has it standing at a 6’5 237 lbs and a Howitzer for an arm. The talent around him is professional caliber compared to his supporting cast at Wyoming but it still lacking by NFL standards. I’d prefer Allen to sit for a year or so but we live in the here and now, so I expect him to play from day one. With their 2nd first round pick, another physically gifted prospect was chosen in LB Tremaine Edmunds. Only 19, Edmunds is almost as raw as some sushi. He looked to be running around on just his raw talent and not so much of what it takes to play the LB position consistently and successfully; instincts and play recognition. His saving graces are two things making him worthy of the selection: his age (again 19) and the coach he is under in Sean McDermott. In the third DT Harrision Phillips who I coin a New England type of player; by that I mean he is going to be where he is suppose to be. I remember writing in my notes while studying his film that he won’t show up on the stat sheet and many fans won’t know him by his second or third year but he will be a vital cog on that defensive line. Buffalo Bills fans know what happened post Marcell Dareus. That run defense got marshmellowy and the way an inexperienced Edmunds plays at the moment requires a clean and clear path to succeed. With their fourth rounder GM Beane and the Buffalo Bills chose a cornerback in Taron Johnson who has impeccable ball skills with no wasted movement in turning and looking for the ball. Smooth and fluid as you’d like in a CB. Johnson is at his best when he is looking at the quarterback to read and react which means he is home in Buffalo (zone concepts). I don’t believe he is a man-to-man press corner but he will stay in the hip pocket of receivers. Johsnon may be a lesser version of the CB1 for the Bills, Tre’Davious White.
So I know the Buffalo Bills went with a physically gifted QB and LB with their first rounders and you would think that one of the two would be my favorite players drafted but that’s not the case here. That title belongs to CB/LB/Nickel/S Siran Neal from Jacksonville State who in my humble opinion is going to be one of the stars of Sean McDermott’s defense sooner rather then later. I do get that he is a 5th round pick but he did so many things for that Jacksonville State defense. Watching what little tape there was, Neal seems to find the football as CPGM Headley would say “quick, fast and in a hurry.” Think of what “The Honeybadger” Tyrann Mathieu was coming out of college and what he meant to that LSU defense. Or how about more recently, Minkah Fitzpatrick, for that Alabama defense. Those players allow defensive coordinators to do what they want with their schemes because of the versatility those defensive backs offer. It opens the door for so many possibilities. McDermott’s scheme is rather straightforward but expect Siran Neal to be a contributor in all aspects of the defense and special teams.
Fantasy Football Implications
LeSean McCoy! LeSean McCoy! LeSean McCoy! From a redraft league standpoint McCoy is the only player worth taking on this team as the QB position is a mystery no matter who is the choice whether it be Allen, Peterman or McCarron. Which in turn affects the WR core of Zay Jones, who struggled last year, Kelvin Benjamin, and Jeremy Kerley. Now I’d like to say that Charles Clay could be a potential target but he can’t stay healthy and has only played 16 games once in his 7-year career. From a dynasty perspective we may have some takers among all that were named except McCoy (funny how that works).