2017 NFL Draft Big Board 1.0 (11-20)

Ohio State well represented

There weren’t too many surprises in my top 10. Prospects 7-13 are guys to really keep your eyes on if you’re a Bills fan, although you definitely can’t rule out a quarterback at 10.

 

There’s no question the Bills will need a serious overhaul in their defensive backfield. You were able to see new Bills head coach Sean McDermott’s defense excel when they had a lockdown corner in Josh Norman. If new reports from the Associated Press are indeed true, and Bills safety Aaron Williams does intend to return in 2017 after yet another scary neck injury last season, the Bills have someone to build around in their secondary.

Doug Whaley and company will have a great group of defensive backs even if the likes of Jamal Adams (LSU) and Jabrill Peppers (Michigan) are already off the board come pick 10. If improvements in their secondary are pushed off until the second or third round, there are a number of other defensive players likely still available.

11.Marshon Lattimore – CB – (RS- So.) Ohio State

Height: 6’1, Weight: 190, 2016 Stats: 13 games, 30 tackles, 4 INT, 1 TD

Lattimore is the best pure corner in the draft. It’s no secret the Bills will likely need a starting caliber corner in free agency or the draft with the expected departure of Stephon Gilmore. If Lattimore were still on the board when the Bills picked at 10, it would be difficult for them to pass on Lattimore who possesses the raw recovery speed and size to matchup with the league’s best receivers.

12. Derek Barnett – DE – (Jr.) Tennessee

Height: 6’3, Weight: 265, 2016 Stats: 13 games, 40 tackles, 19 TFL’s, 13 sacks

Barnett is one of the best pure pass rushers in the draft. He averaged exactly a sack a game his junior season and recorded nine sacks in a six-week span. I’m thinking he’d be a nice 4-3 defensive end BUT the Bills simply don’t need help at the end position. If this draft weren’t so deep at defensive back, Barnett would be a nice find.

13. Malik Hooker – S – (RS – So.) Ohio State

Height: 6’2, Weight: 205, 2016 Stats: 13 games, 43 tackles, 7 INT’s, 3 TD’s

It was difficult to put Hooker’s teammate Marshon Lattimore ahead of him but no matter, Hooker is a tremendous talent. He’s the best ball-hawk center fielder in this draft amongst the other top safety prospects. What I like most about him is he’s willing to get his nose dirty and can be an effective box run defender. He’s sure to move up the boards following the combine and his pro day workout but most Bills fans have already hitched their wagons to the one-year starter.

14. Tim Williams – OLB – (Sr.) Alabama

Height: 6’4, Weight: 250, 2016 Stats: 14 games, 22 tackles, 16 TFL’s, 9 sacks

Williams was one of Alabama’s top pass rushers and his stats back it up. Although he played on the nations’ best defense he stood out on a defense filled with first round talent. He reminds me a lot of Jerry Hughes and likely fits best as a pass rushing OLB but showed well against big, SEC offensive lineman against the run.

15. Taco Charlton – DE – (Sr.) Michigan

Height: 6’6, Weight: 270, 2016 Stats: 11 games, 40 tackles, 13.5 TFL’s, 10 sacks

Taco can be a dominant force. It was hard to watch a Michigan game and not notice Charlton’s freakish size and athleticism. He has a terrific silky smooth inside spin move and utilizes it well. Nearly a sack per game guy, he’ll be a dominant 4-3 defensive end in the right system. I’d love to see him on the opposite side of Shaq Lawson, I don’t see the Bills spending more resources on their front four.

16. DeShone Kizer – QB – (RS – So.) Notre Dame

Height: 6’4, Weight: 230, 2016 Stats: 12 games, 58.7 Completion %, 2,925 Yards, 26 TD’s, 9 INT’s

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What I think I like most about Kizer is even though he’s only a redshirt sophomore, he’s faced significant adversity as he and his Fighting Irish teammates went a disappointing 4-8 and struggled down the stretch. Kizer plays the game in slow motion and plays with a steady, calm confidence. He didn’t play with great talent on offense but put up good passing numbers and ran the ball well, especially in the red zone. His completion percentage took a dip from a season ago, but his inconsistencies with accuracy stem from some footwork and mechanic flaws that can be fixed with good coaching. I like him a lot and think in the right system can play in the league for a long time.

17. Teez Tabor – CB – (Jr.) Florida

Height: 6’0, Weight: 200, 2016 Stats: 12 games, 33 tackles, 3 INT’s, 1 TD

Tabor has been a steady hand in the Gators defensive backfield for some time now. His teammate Vernon Hargreaves went in the top 15 in last years draft and you can make the argument Tabor was a better, more explosive player. At times I saw a willingness to come up and make a difficult tackle, which you have to do if you play in the SEC. He’ll likely be available when the Bills pick 10th, but it may be a bit of a reach coming in at 17th overall.

18. Takkarist McKinley – OLB/DE – (Sr.) UCLA

Height: 6’2, Weight: 265, 2016 Stats: 11 games, 50 tackles, 18 TFL’s, 10 sacks

One word you can use when describing McKinley is motor. But he’s also pretty small and to add, he’s got fairly short arms and I can see him having a problem getting off of blocks against NFL offensive lineman. I can see him as a Melvin Ingram type in the NFL best utilized in an OLB role in a 3-4 scheme.

19. Christian McCaffrey – RB – (Jr.) Stanford

Height: 6’0, Weight: 200, 2016 Stats: 11 games, 253 att, 1,603 yards, 13 TD’s, 38 rec, 317 yards, 3 TD’s

I still think McCaffrey deserved to win the Heisman Trophy in 2015. He’ll make an impact from day one on an NFL roster in the return game. I’ll be interested to see if he ultimately transitions into more of a slot receiver in the NFL or if a team decides to keep him in the backfield. It’d be pretty darn fitting to see him in a New England Patriots jersey; I think Tom Brady would utilize the hell out of McCaffrey. Time will tell, but I think out of the other top backs in this draft, McCaffrey has an opportunity to have the longest, most successful career as a pro.

20. Jarrad Davis – LB – (Sr.) Florida

Height: 6’2, Weight: 240, 2016 Stats: 9 games, 29 tackles, 6 TFL’s, 2 sacks, 1 INT

Davis is an explosive athlete. He hasn’t been able to fully display his potential due to injuries, but he pops out on film. He can certainly play weak side linebacker in a 4-3 and looks like he’ll test well at the combine. I wonder if he climbs draft boards and gets some consideration from the likes of Doug Whaley and Sean McDermott.

 

Follow me on Twitter @NateGearyWGR  for my next edition of my Big Board.

 

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