NFL Draft

NFL Draft

Buffalo Bills Undrafted Free Agent Tracker:

  1. Buffalo RB Jordan Johnson
  2. Tennessee TE Jason Croom
  3. Louisville TE Keith Towbridge
  4. Nebraska WR Brandon Reilly
  5. West Virginia WR Daikiel Shorts
  6. Georgia OL Greg Pyke
  7. New Haven OL Zach Voytek
  8. Virginia Tech DT Nigel Williams
  9. South Carolina DL Marquavius Lewis
  10. West Georgia CB Marcus Sayles
  11. West Virginia S Jeremy Tyler
  12. Nicholas State S BT Sanders
  13. Idaho Punter Austin Rehkow

Rookie Minicamp:

  1. Maine LS Jeremy Salmon
  2. WSSU OL Jac’que Polite
  3. CCU OL Voghens Larrieux

And the Bills Select . . .

It’s officially draft day and I am ecstatic, just like most of you. Yes, it’s that time where we have hope for our beloved team. We hope that the new regime will bring in a new wave of talent, a group of guys that not only bring talent but bring the type of effort, sense of community, and character that new head coach Sean McDermott has been preaching.

The organization only has six picks at the moment, and from what I am hearing from sources within the organization, they are adamantly looking to trade back to acquire picks. This may prove to be difficult, but it’s not impossible. For the sake of my sanity, this Bills mock draft will be based on if they stay at 10.

With the 10th overall pick, I expect the Bills to address the defensive side of the ball. When McDermott was first brought on, he had mentioned that he has been a part of a defensive rebuild. I fully expect that to happen in his first year as a head coach. So I have the Bills selecting LB Haason Reddick from Temple. In their base defense, the starters at this moment are Lorenzo Alexander (Sam), Reggie Ragland (Mike), and Ramon Humber (Will), with Preston Brown on the bench. While they are all respectable players in their own rights, they don’t possess the athleticism that McDermott had in Carolina. Linebacker Shaq Thompson occupied the Sam position, and his versatility goes under-appreciated. Thompson was Pro Football Focus’s (PFF) 13th rated linebacker overall (inside LBs + outside LBs). The former safety does it all for the Panthers. He was 9th in pass rush productivity at 11.8, 10th in run stop percentage at 8.1, and of course excelled in coverage, only allowing 37 receptions for 285 yards, 1 TD and hauling in 1 interception. Luke Kuechly is the best inside linebacker in the game. The perfect blend of leadership, intelligence and athleticism, he’s a stud. At Will LB, Thomas Davis was the kamikaze, a disruptor and playmaker. Another former safety that utilizes his instincts and athleticism to disrupt plays, he was the number one outside linebacker in pass rush productivity at 15.6, and number one in total pressures with 20. Against the run, he posted 19 run stops, which put him at number 10 overall, and was able to pick off opposing QBs three times, which was #1 amongst all outside linebackers.

I think Reddick can excel if put at will LB. He has also has played safety and was shifted to the defensive line. He has experience in two and three-point stances, is able to rush the passer and drop into coverage. The transition to off the ball linebacker isn’t an easy one, but he has the athletic ability to hold his own. I truly believe that behind a good defensive line in Buffalo, he should be kept clean enough to create havoc similar to Davis.

 

In the second round I believe the Bills will pick wide receiver Zay Jones. If you follow me on social media, this should be no surprise, so I will keep it short. Zay projects very well into Rick Dennison’s offense. He can play inside and out, is the best route runner in the short to intermediate area, has arguably the best hands in the draft, and has a knack for finding zone windows. Taylor will continue to see a lot of zone defense to minimize big plays with his legs, so Zay will be able to work those windows and bring those tough catches in. According to my draft, the Bills will need to maximize their offensive selections, given the fact that there are so few. This selection will do just that, because Jones’s wide receivers coach Phil McGeoghan now holds the same position in Buffalo. If there is anyone that knows his ceiling, it’s coach McGeoghan. He coached Jones into several receiving records at East Carolina, and I believe there is a chance in three years that we look back and say that the Jones’s selection provided the most value.

 

The next pick is an easy one. It is a player that I am sure McDermott saw a lot of film on when he was studying for the 2016 NFL Draft, and that defender is Rasul Douglas from West Virginia. McDermott and the Carolina Panthers drafted Daryl Worley  (WVU Alum) last season in the third round. Douglas is a much better corner than Worley. To learn more, check out his scouting report here:

Honorable mention: I am hearing the Bills are really high on Jordan Willis if he were to fall into the third (I have a 2nd round grade on him). Highly unlikely to be there in the third, but Willis has the power and technique that McDermott and Frasier covet.

 

With the first of three 5th round picks I have Buffalo selecting defensive tackle Ryan Glasgow from Michigan. According to Pro Football Focus, Glasgow was third in pass rush productivity, right behind Jonathan Allen. Glasgow compiled 6 sacks, 8 QB hits and 23 QB hurries.

 

When I watch him, I have a hard time not comparing his game to Kyle Williams. He isn’t as well versed with his pass rush moves, but he doesn’t quit fighting until the whistle blows. He can align at nose or as an under tackle in a 4-3 defense and would be a good rotational player in the Bills defense.

The second fifth round pick will be spent on corner Nate Hairston from Temple.

 

Buffalo has met with Hairston several times, including a private visit. He is a 6’0″, 196 pound corner with 31″ arms. He is a zone corner that knows how to disrupt receiver’s routes during the release and is efficient at re-routing receivers to his safety help. His backpedal is choppy, so the staff put him in a lot of press bail and taught him the ‘Saban Shuffle’ to make him more effective. His sloppy footwork and average straight line speed (4.52) can get him into trouble when in man coverage. The Owls played a lot of cover 2 shell , sometimes rolling into cover 3, but plenty of two high was also played. This allowed Hairston to keep the ball in front of him. He reads two man routes very quickly and keeps good spacing between the two receivers, making it very difficult for the quarterback to choose.

 

With the final 5th round choice, I believe the Buffalo Bills will bring in Youngstown St. defensive end Avery Moss.

 

This prospect is another player that the Bills met with, and for good reason. Moss began his collegiate career at the University of Nebraska, until 2014 when he was dismissed for exposing himself to another student. Fortunately, he landed on his feet and played opposite DE Derek Rivers. Moss’s ceiling isn’t that high, but his length is something that McDermott and the staff will love to work with.

 

 

Finally, with their sixth and final pick of the draft, the Bills will pick tight end Cole Hikutini.

 

He is 6’4″, 247 pounds and played his ball last season with QB Lamar Jackson at Louisville.

He is a long strider and has 33 1/4 arm length, so he is able to stretch the field AND can give Tyrod Taylor the catch radius he needs. Having played with Jackson, Hikutini ran a lot of bootlegs, seam routes, and is accustomed to getting open during the scramble drill. Hikutini has been used all over the field, including as a slot receiver and as an H-back, often leading run plays. He is an offensive weapon that will take some time to adjust at the next level, but he is definitely worth a late draft pick.

 

I think we can all agree that the Bills should trade back early and often. The team has too many holes and not enough assets. Hope you enjoyed all of our draft coverage here at Cover 1. I know we did.

Enjoy!

 

Check out all of our draft coverage here!

 


Nate Geary’s Top 10 QBs: #2 DeShone Kizer

2. DeShone Kizer (RS-So.) – Notre Dame

Height: 6-4 Weight: 235

40-Yard Dash: 4.83

Career Stats: 

            5,805 passing yards, 47 TDs, 19 INTs, 60.7 comp. %

Player Comparison: Matt Ryan

Projected Draft Round: 1-2

The Lowdown:

When it comes to Kizer, I do admit I have a bit of a bias, being a Notre Dame fan. However, I re-watched all but two of Kizer’s games from 2016 in an attempt to make an objective assessment of him. I watched every game live during the 2016 season, and all of his 2015 starts, as well. His biggest critics will point to a drop off in play in 2016 compared to 2015 when he took over for an injured Malik Zaire. The issue with comparing the two seasons is that there was a significant drop off in talent around him. He has terrific size and was asked to carry the load offensively for Notre Dame. Defensively, the Fighting Irish were one of the worst units [statistically] in the country and put Kizer, still a relatively young quarterback, in difficult positions, often playing from behind. Even though the stats would suggest a step back from 2015 to 2016, maturity-wise I think the adversity helped Kizer grow as a leader.

What They’re Saying:

“Kizer is proficient in processing coverages and making the correct decision on the fly, and he does a good job of keeping his feet active in order to remain ready to throw with proper mechanics as soon as he makes a decision. In many respects, Kizer is the total packages. The concerns with Kizer are that he clearly fell off during the back half of the 2016 season and that he constantly battled head coach Brian Kelly, though the latter issue is not necessarily reflective of Kizer’s inability to receive coaching. Kizer’s draft stock will end up being more dependent on whiteboard sessions and interviews than anything else, but it’s clear that he is a talented player on film.”

 

– Derrik Klassen (Optimum Scouting)

 

“After an impressive Week 1 in which he littered the field with NFL throws, Kizer received No. 1 overall hype though the rest of the season was filled with ups and downs. While he certainly didn’t get much help from a young receiving core and a musical-chairs quarterback controversy, there were many times you expected Kizer to pull his team through to get a win and he failed to do so. Kizer’s traits are as good as any quarterback in the 2017 class, but the inconsistencies with accuracy and decision-making leave a lot of question marks of how he will translate to the next level. The natural instincts for the position and pure arm talent are there, with a coach likely to see those uncoachable traits that and try make him into the player he has the potential to be.”

 

– Pro Football Focus

 

“As Notre Dame’s QB, he really challenged defenses in the window between the second and third levels—some of his best throws, consistently, were up the seam into that gap. He can get it deep and outside the numbers, too, with enough touch to drop those passes into a bucket.”

 

– Chris Burke (Sports Illustrated)

 

My Take:

If you follow me, you know how I feel about Kizer. I think he has the size, talent, and intangibles you want in a franchise quarterback. I also think there’s enough debate over just how good Kizer can be that he might be available for the Bills in the second round. I think he’d be a great fit in Rick Dennison’s offense, and in my mind is a proven over the middle and intermediate thrower already. One of the biggest issues Tyrod Taylor has had over his two seasons as a starter is his ability to beat a defense over the middle of the field. I’ve seen player comparisons to Big Ben, and from a size and arm strength perspective, I can see it. I don’t think he should be an option for the Bills at 10, but if they get lucky, they might get an opportunity day two.

Game Film:

Kizer does a great job moving the defender to clear room over the top to hit the wheel route to his running back out of the backfield. He recognizes the blitz, stands tall, and delivers a basket throw over the shoulder where only his receiver can make a play. I think his deep ball accuracy is a strength of Kizer’s, and you see it on this play.

This is a simple option route to his tight end breaking to the sideline. What you want to see is Kizer quickly identify the coverage (which he does), get the ball out as his receiver makes his break (he does), and deliver an accurate ball leading him to the sideline and away from trouble. It’s a simple play he’ll have to continue to make at the next level, but these in-rhythm plays are what you want to see.

The defense confused Kizer almost immediately off the snap of the ball. He gets happy feet, panics, and throws a poor ball to an open receiver. What you do like, however, is that he makes it to his last read on the play. This means he was able to go through his progressions, diagnose the defense, and check it down to the crossing route. He could have completed this pass had he remained balanced in the pocket, but his footwork failed him.

Nate Geary’s Top 10 QBs: #3 Mitchell Trubisky

3. Mitchell Trubisky (Jr.) – North Carolina

Height: 6-2 Weight: 220

40-Yard Dash: 4.67

Career Stats:

            4,762 passing yards, 41 TDs, 10 INTs, 67.5 comp. %

Player Comparison: Kirk Cousins

Projected Draft Round: 1

 

The Lowdown:

Trubisky is such an interesting prospect to me. He only has 14 collegiate starts under his belt, but he wasn’t a transfer who only got one year to start. He sat behind a pair of players who didn’t end up being drafted, much less play in the NFL. So questions about just how good or ready Trubisky is are absolutely fair. I believe that had Trubisky gone back to school for his senior season, he could have put a lot of those experience doubts in a number of pro scouts’ heads in the trash. But here we are, about 24 hours from draft day, and I still don’t know what I see in Trubisky. He’s got great size, adequate arm strength, fairly good pocket mechanics and accuracy over the middle of the field. What I saw a lot on film, though, was inaccurate deep throws to wide open receivers. I also saw a lot of throws off of his back foot when pressured. Trubisky will likely be the first quarterback taken in the draft, but that doesn’t mean he’s the most polished.

 

What They’re Saying:

“Trubisky’s struggles most often show up when throwing vertically, which hinders his ability to create big plays for his offense and threaten defenses. As a presence in the pocket, Trubisky is average. He shows some level of awareness and mobility, but he more commonly displays discomfort and questionable post-snap vision. Trubisky has the tools and skills to be a serviceable NFL starter who predicates his game around short game efficiency and extending plays when need be.”

 

– Derrik Klassen (Optimum Scouting)

 

“Trubisky is a high-end quarterback prospect who possesses NFL size, a big arm and the ability to throw with accuracy from the pocket or on the move. Despite playing in a spread-based offense, he’s a full-field reader who does a very good job of getting an early read on the safeties before crafting his course of action. Trubisky will have to become much more pocket aware and do a better job of recognizing and attacking blitzes to back NFL defensive coordinators off. He hasn’t put all the pieces together yet, but the puzzle is all right in front. Trubisky projects as a good starting quarterback with a high floor and the potential to be great.”

 

– Lance Zierlein (NFL.com)

 

“Despite being a one-year starter, Trubisky is very polished as a passer playing with good balance and consistent mechanics, which leads him to throw with great accuracy in the short/intermediate passing game. Although he comes from a version of the spread in his college offense, he was asked to do many full field progressions and showed he can click from receiver to receiver quickly and efficiently. Has very good pocket instincts and ability to keep eye level up to see receivers down the field while moving within the pocket. His three-quarters release may lead to more batted balls at the LOS but is likely not a huge issue at the next level. Will need to work on hitting his deep shots with more consistent accuracy to keep defenses from sitting at the break point. Shows all of the tools to develop into a very solid NFL starting quarterback and appears to be the safest option of the 2017 quarterback draft class.”

 

– Pro Football Focus

 

My Take:

I’m not as sold on Trubisky as others are. Admittedly, he’s the prospect out of this list of ten of whom I’ve watched the least amount of film. Watching four full games, I got a pretty good read on his strengths and weaknesses. Am I willing to spend a first round pick on the guy? Tough call. However, I do believe he has the potential to be a good NFL quarterback. I also see a little Blaine Gabbert in him, which scares me to death. His issue throwing the long ball with accuracy is probably the thing that scares me the most about Trubisky. Ultimately, if he somehow made into the second round (he won’t), then I’d be really interested in taking him if I were the Bills. But since that likely won’t be the case, then I just don’t see a scenario in which Trubisky is playing at New Era Field in the immediate future.

 

Game Film:

 

Great ball placement on the move here from Trubisky. He seems to be pretty comfortable on the move, getting downhill and following through. This ball was a bit wobbly and didn’t have the sort of zip I’m used to seeing from Trubisky on many of his intermediate throws, but it’s thrown with great accuracy, just out of the reach of the sprawling defender.

 

 

This is a throw I need Trubisky, or any quarterback, for that matter, to make on a regular basis. Hell, I need my quarterback to make this play 10 times out of 10. He looked comfortable in his drop, identified the coverage, and threw to the right place, but the throw wasn’t even close. He displayed good ball trajectory, but had he put just a bit more air on it, we’re likely talking about six points.

 

 

Here you see another wide open receiver that he just misses. This time, awful footwork that leads to the inaccurate ball. I’m sure Trubisky was chewed out by his coaches on this play for falling away from his throw. What worried me slightly more was that he sort of got the yips when he felt slight pressure. There’s no reason he should have drifted into trouble. Rather, he should have stepped up and delivered the football for six points.

Nate Geary’s Top 10 QBs: #4 Deshaun Watson

4. Deshaun Watson (Jr.) – Clemson

Height: 6-2 Weight: 225

40-Yard Dash: 4.66

Career Stats:

            10,168 passing yards, 90 TDs, 32 INTs, 67.4 comp. %

Player Comparison: Dak Prescott

Projected Draft Round: 1

 

The Lowdown:

Deshaun Watson enjoyed a tremendous career at Clemson University. He beat out Chad Kelly early in each of their careers at Clemson and never looked back. When you look at the stats (over 4,000 yards and completed over 65% of his passes), you’d wonder why Watson is showing up at the fourth spot and not at number one. In my personal opinion, there just isn’t a lot separating any of the top four quarterbacks in this class. What does separate Watson from his peers is winning. He single handedly torched the Crimson Tide in back-to-back National Championship games. In those games, he faced a lot of guys he’ll be playing against at the next level. What I enjoy most about Watson’s game is his athletic ability. He has a touch of Cam Newton in his game and accounted for a large portion of Clemson’s offense. I think what you get in Watson is a steady hand who’s seen a lot on the field at the college level, but concerns about his pocket presence and accuracy on intermediate routes worry scouts in the NFL. Like most quarterbacks coming from college, Watson mostly operated out of the shotgun and got his signals from the sideline. He’s not a finished product, but I believe if he gets an opportunity to play in an offense similar to the one being run in Carolina with Cam Newton, then Watson can have success in the NFL.

 

What They’re Saying:

“Teams will have to weigh the inconsistent field vision and decision-making against his size, athleticism, leadership and production. While not perfect, teams can add checks to both arm and accuracy boxes for Watson. However, discussions about whether or not his areas of improvement can be corrected will likely determine whether a team will view him as a high-upside prospect or a franchise quarterback. Watson’s transition from Clemson’s offense to a pro-style attack will obviously take time, but his combination of intangibles and athletic ability make him worth a first-round selection.”

 

– Lance Zierlein (NFL.com)

 

“He consistently identifies the best route for success before the ball is snapped. When forced off of his initial read, Watson shows great rythym in moving to his next progressions and firing on time. Watson’s ball placement is impressive, both on first read throws and on later developing passes. He does not possess great arm strength, but he knows how to carefully place passes where they need to be in a timely manner. Watson is a timing and anticipation based passer through and through. Watson is a strong field general, too. He does not falter in key situations, such as third downs and the fourth quarter, and he does not negatively snowball after making mistakes.”

 

– Derrik Klassen (Optimum Scouting)

 

“There are a lot of growth issues that Watson will need development for in the NFL – aside from his passing skills. Watson is also going to need to learn how to work under center, call plays in a huddle, and develop his footwork to make drops from being under center. His college offense has a lot of quick throws, screens, and designed runs that inflated his numbers but don’t translate to the NFL. Some NFL sources believe that Watson is going to need his pro offense to be catered to him and that he could have issues fitting a NFL system.”

 

-WalterFootball.com

 

My Take:

I like Watson a lot. I think he possesses the traits needed to be a team’s franchise quarterback. Obviously, concerns about his arm strength and overall accuracy on intermediate and deep throws are drawbacks, but Watson possesses a quality none of the other prospects in this draft have: he’s a winner. If the Bills could use anything, it’s an injection of a winning attitude, and Watson will bring that. A majority of his throws were at or around the line of scrimmage, which has been a big negative against him. But if the Bills were to draft Watson, then he wouldn’t be asked to start right away. This would be key to his eventual development into a starter. I like any of the top four quarterbacks that will potentially be available for the Bills at the tenth pick, but I think the guy who makes the most sense may end up being Watson.

 

Game Film:

 

This is one of my favorite plays on film I’ve seen from Watson. His performance in last year’s national championship game against Alabama was nothing short of spectacular. This is a throw he’ll have to make with consistency in the NFL, and I think he possesses the tools to do just that. What impresses me the most about this play is the fact that he climbs the pocket and delivers the ball with velocity and accuracy, and most importantly, he delivers it on time.

 

 

What. A. Throw.

This is another example of a throw Watson will have to continue to show he can make. There’s simply no margin for error on this play, and he puts it literally where only his receiver has an opportunity to make the play. This may be one of the most impressive throws I’ve seen him make.

 

 

Here’s a great example of a play that scares a lot of scouts across the league. It’s something you see from time to time when you put on Watson’s film. He struggles to scale the pocket while simultaneously keeping his eyes down field. His eyes have a tendency to drop, and he’ll run around and find himself in trouble. He has a lot of in-pocket issues that current Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor has also struggled with. I’m not convinced it’s an issue that can’t be corrected, but it’s certainly an area of concern moving to the next level.

Prospect Grades: Rounds 1-7

Nothing fancy here; no commentary. Here are my full rankings, rounds 1-7. Enjoy.

 

1st Round Grade

QB

DeShone Kizer, ND

Mitch Trubisky, UNC

 

RB

Joe Mixon, OKL

Christian McCaffrey, STAN

 

WR

Corey Davis, WMU

John Ross, WAS

Mike Williams, CLEM

 

TE

OJ Howard, BAMA

David Njoku, MIA

 

OT

Garrett Bolles, UTAH

Cam Robinson, BAMA

Ryan Ramczyk, WIS

 

OG/C

Forrest Lamp, WKU

 

EDGE

Myles Garrett, TAMU

Solomon Thomas, STAN

Charles Harris, MIZZ

Tim Williams, BAMA

Takkarist McKinley, UCLA

 

DT

Malik McDowell, MSU

Jonathan Allen, BAMA

Chris Wormley, MICH

 

LB

Reuben Foster, BAMA

Haasan Reddick, TEMP

Jarrad Davis, FLA

 

CB

Marshon Lattimore, OSU

Gareon Conley, OSU

Marlon Humphrey, BAMA

Chidobe Awuzie, COL

 

S

Malik Hooker, OSU

 

2nd Round Grades

QB

 

RB

Leonard Fournette, LSU

Dalvin Cook, FSU

Alvin Kamara, TENN

 

WR

Carlos Henderson, LTU

Taywan Taylor, WKU

Chris Godwin, PSU

Zay Jones, ECU

ArDarius Stewart, BAMA

Curtis Samuel, OSU

 

TE

Evan Engram, MISS

Bucky Hodges, VT

Gerald Everett, SOBAMA

 

OT

Roderick Johnson, FSU

Antonio Garcia, TROY

 

OG/C

Dion Dawkins, TEMP

Pat Elflein, OSU

Dan Feeney, IND

Dorian Johnson, PIT

 

EDGE

Derek Rivers, YST

Tyus Bowser, HOU

Taco Charlton, MICH

Derek Barnett, TENN

Jordan Willis, KSU

Tanoh Kpassagnon, VILL

Demarcus Walker, FSU

 

DT

Caleb Brantley, FLA

Jaleel Johnson, IOWA

 

LB

Zach Cunningham, VAN

Raekwon McMillan, OSU

Vince Biegel, WIS

 

CB

Sidney Jones, WASH

Tre’davious White, LSU

Teez Tabor, FLA

Kevin King, WASH

Fabian Moreau, UCLA

Quincy Wilson, FLA

 

S

Jamal Adams, LSU

Marcus Williams, UTAH

Obi Melifonwu, UCONN

Desmond King, IOWA

Budda Baker, WASH

Jabrill Peppers, MICH

 

3rd Round Grades

QB

Deshaun Watson, CLE

Patrick Mahomes, TTU

Brad Kaaya, MIA

Josh Dobbs, TENN

 

RB

Jeremy McNichols, BSU

D’onta Foreman, TEX

Joe Williams, UTAH

 

WR

JuJu Smith-Schuster, USC

Malachi Dupree, LSU

Amara Darboh, MICH

Josh Reynolds, TAMU

Chad Hansen, CAL

Noah Brown, OSU

 

TE

Adam Shaheen, ASH

Jake Butt, MICH

Jordan Leggett, CLEM

 

OT

Taylor Moton, WMU

Will Holden, VAND

David Sharpe, FLA

 

OG/C

Isaac Asiata, UTAH

Ethan Pocic, LSU

Jordan Morgan, KUTZ

Danny Isidora, MIA

 

EDGE

TJ Watt, WIS

Tarell Basham, OHIO

Daeshon Hall, TAMU

Trey Hendrickson, FAU

 

DT

Dalvin Tomlinson, BAMA

Larry Ogunjobi, CHAR

Montravious Adams, AUB

Carlos Watkins, CLEM

Nazair Jones, UNC

Davon Godchaux, LSU

 

LB

Duke Riley, LSU

Alex Anzalone, FLA

 

CB

Jourdan Lewis, MICH

Adoree Jackson, USC

Cordrea Tankersley, CLEM

Rasul Douglas, WVU

Cameron Sutton, TENN

 

S

Justin Evans, TAMU

Marcus Maye, FLA

Eddie Jackson, BAMA

Josh Jones, NCST

 

4th round grades

QB

Chad Kelly, MISS

Davis Webb, CAL

 

RB

Kareem Hunt, TOL

James Connor, PIT

Samajae Perine, OKL

Donnel Pumphrey, SDST

 

WR

Dede Westbrook, OKL

Isaiah Ford, VT

Connor Kupp, EWU

 

TE

George Kittle, IOWA

 

OT

Adam Bisnowaty, PITT

Julie’n Davenport, BUCK

Conor McDermott, UCLA

 

OG/C

Nico Siragusa, SDST

Zach Banner, USC

Damien Mama, USC

Tyler Orlosky, WVU

Jessaman Dunker, TENNST

 

EDGE

Ryan Anderson, BAMA

Deatrich Wise Jr., ARK

 

DT

Eddie Vanderdoes, UCLA

Grover Stewart, ALB

Vincent Taylor, OKST

Elijah Qualls, WASH

 

LB

Jalen Reeves-Maybin, TENN

Elijah Lee, KSU

Anthony Walker Jr., NWST

Kendall Beckwith, LSU

Jayon Brown, UCLA

 

CB

Nate Hairston, TEMP

Jalen Myrick, MINN

Howard Wilson, HOU

Brian Allen, UTAH

Ahkello Witherspoon, COL

Shaquil Griffin, UCF

Corn Elder, MIA

 

S

Delano Hill, MICH

Xavier Woods, LTU

 

5th round grades

QB

Jerod Evans, VT

Nate Peterman, PIT

 

RB

Wayne Gallman, CLE

Marlon Mack, USF

TJ Logan, UNC

Jamaal Williams, BYU

Corey Clement, WIS

 

WR

Isaiah McKenzie, UGA

Kenny Golladay, NIU

Shelton Gibson, WVU

Artavis Scott, CLEM

 

TE

Jeremy Sprinkle, ARK

Jonnu Smith, FIU

Jason Croom, TENN

 

OT

JJ Dielman, UTAH

Avery Gennesy, TAMU

Erik Magnuson, MICH

 

OG/C

Ben Braden, MICH

Kyle Fuller, BAY

Sean Harlow, ORST

Kyle Kalis, MICH

 

EDGE

Devonte Fields, LOU

Dawuane Smoot, ILL

Garrett Sickles, PSU

Joe Mathis, WASH

 

DT

Ryan Glasgow, MICH

Charles Walker, OKL

Tanzel Smart, TUL

Jarron Jones, ND

 

LB

Carol Phillips, ILL

Blair Brown, OHIO

Ben Gideon, MICH

Taylor Vallejo, BSU

 

CB

Marquez White, FSU

Jeremy Cutrer, MTS

Damontae Kazee, SDST

 

S

John Johnson, BC

Rayshawn Jenkins, MIA

Lorenzo Jerome, STFRAN

Montae Nicholson, MSU

Jadar Johnson, CLEM

 

6th-7th round grades

QB

Trevor Knight, TAMU

Seth Russell, BAY

 

RB

Aaron Jones, TEXEP

Elijah Hood, UNC

Matthew Dayes, NCST

Brian Hill, WYO

Deangelo Henderson, CCAR

 

WR

Ryan Switzer, UNC

Stacy Coley, MIA

Mack Hollins, UNC

Travis Rudolph, FSU

Josh Malone, TENN

KD Cannon, BAY

Ishmael Zamora, BAY

Damore’ea Stringfellow,, OLE

 

TE

Eric Saubert, DRAKE

Michael Roberts, TOL

Cole Hikutini, LOU

 

OT

Sam Tevi, UTAH

Dan Skipper, ARK

Chad Wheeler, USC

Justin Senior, MISS

 

OG/C

Cameron Tom, SMISS

Jon Toth, UK

Jermaine Eluemunor, TAMU

Aviante Collins, TCU

Nathan Theaker, WAYNE

 

EDGE

Pat O’Connor, EMU

Hunter Dimick, UTAH

Keionta Davis, CHAT

Josh Carraway, TCU

Bryan Cox, FLA

Isaac Rochelle, ND

 

DT

Deangelo Brown, LOU

Treyvon Hester, TOL

Jeremiah Ledbetter, ARK

DJ Jones, MISS

Stevie Tu’ikolovato, USC

Josh Tupou, COL

 

LB

Connor Harris, LIND

Matt Milano, BC

Marquel Lee, WF

Ejaun Price, PITT

Jordan Evans, OKL

Dylan Donahue, WGU

 

CB

Jeremy Clark, MICH

William Likely, MARY

Aarion Penton, MIZZ

Brandon Wilson, HOU

Ezra Robinson, TENNST

Brendan Langley, LAMAR

Channing Stribling, MICH

Greg Mabin, IOWA

 

S

Jordan Sterns, OKST

Josh Harvey-Clemons, LOU

Tedric Thompson, COL

Dante Barnett, KSU

Update: Bills Draft LB Tanner Vallejo

Head coach Sean McDermott is about to undergo his first draft in Buffalo and there is no doubt that he has many holes to fill on both sides of the ball. In his introductory press conference, McDermott mentioned that he has been part of rebuilding a defense from the ground up, and he has his work cut out for him due to the transition to a 4-3. Luckily, the depth of this year’s draft lies on the defensive side of the ball. For that reason, it wouldn’t surprise me to see the Bills to go offense early and defense in the mid rounds.

There are holes in the secondary, but McDermott can scheme to protect them. Athleticism, play making, and most importantly depth needs to be injected at the linebacker level. According to McDermott, the current starting linebackers are 33 year old Lorenzo Alexander, Reggie Ragland, who is coming off a surgically repaired knee and has yet to take a snap in the NFL, and finally journeyman and special teams standout Ramon Humber, who has appeared in 108 games but only started 19.

The Bills will likely target a starting outside linebacker like Reuben Foster or Haason Reddick in the first round. If they don’t select one of those LBs, then Boise State linebacker Tanner Vallejo has many of the traits that will translate into McDermott’s cover 3 defense. Vallejo will most likely be available with one of their 5th round picks, which may be why the organization sent the Bills’ linebacker coaches to the Boise State pro day to get a closer look at the prospect.

 

When you look at the stats and turn on the film, Vallejo looks very similar to former Carolina Panther AJ Klein. Coming out of college Klein was 20 pounds heavier, which makes sense, considering Klein played inside linebacker. Vallejo projects as an outside linebacker early, but like Klein, could be used in a pinch at any of the linebacker positions in McDermott’s defense. In fact, Vallejo played inside linebacker at Boise State in 2015.

Vallejo is a good match in McDermott’s defense because of his athleticism. He has the speed (4.67 forty yard dash) and fluidity to be an asset versus the pass in McDermott’s cover 3 scheme. According to Pro Football Focus, his average yards per catch surrendered was under 6.0 in seven of nine games in which he was targeted. He gave up just one grab over 20 yds (43 targets) and none over 10 in all but two games.

He doesn’t just let receivers run through his area; he gets physical with them.

His abilities in zone coverage are very good. He reads route combos well, covers a lot of ground with his backpedal, and ultimately takes options away from the QB.

On this play, Vallejo is the force defender to the field, and the offense tries baiting the defense to bite on the WR screen.

 

On the snap, the QB fakes the screen and is attempting to get the ball to the vertical route. Vallejo reads the QB and the receiver and senses that he will not be the primary target.

 

He gets his eyes back on the QB, transitions to his backpedal, and takes away the secondary option.

Here’s the play in full:

 

He has good feet and change of direction skills, whether at outside linebacker or inside linebacker, something Klein also showed.

 

The offense runs a snag concept versus this cover 2 look by Boise State. He is able to flip his hips and gain depth while in zone.

 

Vallejo is the inside linebacker and responsible for the deep middle. He opens his hips to the field, then gains depth while continuously checking for threats that may enter his zone. As the ball is thrown underneath, he plants and drives to bring the receiver down.

 

His style of play is very similar to Klein. Check out both in the same role as force defenders. They utilize their feet and change of direction skills to make plays on the ball.

 

 

Against the pass he shows really good awareness of the down and distance, in conjunction with how the offense wants to attack. On third down, Vallejo recognizes the sprint out and takes away the primary option. Such a heady play to force fourth down.

 

He does not fall for ‘eye candy’ because he displays good discipline and awareness when in zone coverage. On this two point attempt late in the game, Wyoming tries getting horizontal movement with the fake jet sweep.

 

He doesn’t fall for the jet sweep action, stays home, finds the threat entering his area, and forces the QB to go to a different receiver. That is all you can ask for from a zone defender!

 

The Bills’ defense definitely needs to add some range to it’s linebacking corps, and I think Vallejo is a mid-round target who fits.

 

Range isn’t the only dimension that the Bills need from their linebackers, though. They also need to add the ability to blitz. According to PFF, Vallejo had the 6th highest pass rush productivity rating for all outside linebackers (24.4). He registered 14 total pressures last season. Vallejo has the timing and speed to create pressure on the QB, and from pretty deep in his set.

 

The 2016 campaign for Vallejo was overall disappointing to witness, in terms of his tackling ability. I would chalk most of it up to the fact that he played with a broken wrist for several games. His tackling was pretty bad, missing nine, but his inability to wrap up was usually paired with a tendency to over pursue.

 

Vallejo comes in too hot at times and doesn’t wrap up when in pursuit. These are things you would expect from a mid-to-late round prospect. Angles and tackling technique can be improved with the proper coaching.

 

But overall, his athleticism will give him opportunities to avoid blocks along the perimeter or to shoot gaps versus the run. His ceiling as an NFL player will hinge on his tackling.

 

Potential Bills Fit:

According to Tony Pauline, the Bills “think highly” of this linebacker prospect. Why wouldn’t they, especially considering where he projects on day 3?

 

Initially, I don’t believe that Vallejo is a starter, but I think that he can play all three of the positions in McDermott’s defense. That will make him a fantastic depth player to have. He has the range that you want in a pass happy league and good enough instincts versus the run to create chaos at or behind the line of scrimmage.

His below average size and bulk will hinder his ability to win versus most guards and tackles one on one. But if stacked behind a strong defensive line that can keep him clean, I believe he will be more than just effective.

His tackling was pretty bad last season, but I do believe a lot of that had to do with his wrist injury and his inability to properly wrap up.

If drafted in the 5th round (like AJ Klein was), then I could see him entering the game in nickel and dime packages. If Vallejo can stay healthy and steal some snaps here and there, then he is the type of player that 2-3 years from now could be considered a starter for Sean McDermott and Leslie Frazier.

Overall Grade 68.182-5th round

Other Scouting Breakdowns:

Scouting Report | CB Rasul Douglas

Scouting Profile | S Jabrill Peppers vs. S Delano Hill

Scouting Report | CB Marlon Humphrey

Scouting Report | WR Ryan Switzer

Scouting Report | LB Haason Reddick

Scouting Report | WR John Ross

Scouting Report | LB Raekwon McMillan

2017 NFL Draft Profile | LB Zach Cunningham

2017 NFL Draft Profile | WR JuJu Smith-Schuster

 


Kevin Massare’s Top 2017 NFL Draft Prospects

 

After ranking 400 players, here is the list of top players at each position.

Scores:

  • 1.0 – 2.0 = Day 1 Starter
  • 2.0 – 3.9 = 1st Round Pick
  • 4.0 – 7.0 = 2nd Round Pick
  • 7.0 – 9.0 = 3rd Round Pick
  • 9.0 – 11.0 = 4th Round Pick
  • 11.0 – 14.0 = 5th Round Pick
  • 14.0 – 17.0 = 6th Round Pick
  • 17.0 – 21.0 = 7th Round Pick
  • 21.0 + = Priority UFA

 

QB:

RB:

 

WR:

Mike Williams

 

 

TE:

 

OT:

 

OG:

 

C:

DT:

 

DE:

 

OLB:

ILB:

 

CB:

 

S:

 


Scouting Reports:

Scouting Report | WR Zay Jones

Scouting Profile | S Jabrill Peppers vs. S Delano Hill

2017 NFL Draft Profile | LB Zach Cunningham

2017 NFL Draft Profile | WR JuJu Smith-Schuster

Scouting Report | WR Ryan Switzer

 

Scouting Report | WR Zay Jones

Many evaluators and fans have Wide Receiver Zay Jones linked to the Buffalo Bills. Receivers coach Phil Mcgeoghan coached Zay into a record breaking season in 2016 and is now on the Bills staff. But I put that aside, and studied what offensive coordinator Tony Peterson asked of Jones in his offense last season and discovered many traits that lead me to believe that he would be a great fit in Rick Dennison’s offense. 

Besides his versatility to play inside our outside, Jones is the best route runner in this draft in the short to intermediate area. He uses sharp cuts to gain leverage on defenders, reads coverages well and knows how to find zone windows. Especially over the middle of the field, this is a trait that I am sure the organization and Tyrod Taylor will love. His hands are also the best in this draft. He is a natural hands catcher and can catch through contact. He will need to continue to improve his play strength, especially in his lower body so that he can work through press coverage.

I expect him to be drafted in the early 2nd round,  but don’t be surprised if he slips into the first especially if WR John Ross‘ medical evaluations are as bad as reported.

He has all of the tools to develop into a reliable target at the next level.

Check out my scouting video below.

 

Overall Grade: 83.333 2nd round grade

 

Other Scouting Reports:

Scouting Report | CB Rasul Douglas

Scouting Profile | S Jabrill Peppers vs. S Delano Hill

Scouting Report | CB Marlon Humphrey

Scouting Report | WR Ryan Switzer

Scouting Report | LB Haason Reddick

Scouting Report | WR John Ross

Scouting Report | LB Raekwon McMillan

Scouting Reports | WR Cooper Kupp

2017 NFL Draft Profile | WR JuJu Smith-Schuster

2017 NFL Draft Profile | LB Zach Cunningham


Nate Geary’s Top 10 QBs: #5 Brad Kaaya

5. Brad Kaaya (Jr.) – Miami

Height: 6-4 Weight: 215

40-Yard Dash: n/a

Career Stats:

            9,968 passing yards, 69 TDs, 24 INTs, 60.6 comp. %

Player Comparison: Trevor Siemian

Projected Draft Round: 2-4

 

The Lowdown:

Kaaya moved up my board the more I watched him. Along with Pittsburgh’s Nathan Peterman, Kaaya is one of a select few who will have an easier transition from a mostly shotgun, no huddle offense in college to a more traditional NFL offense. Mechanically speaking, he’s sound. Sometimes, however, he relies on his arm too much on throws to the sideline. He doesn’t put his whole body into some throws, and that’s when you see under-throws. I see him aiming the football at times on throws over the middle of the field. He’s not going to wow people when he throws the ball. He’s not a gunslinger, but he’s steady and never seems to get too high or too low. He played early on in his collegiate career and has faced virtually every situation. I think he’ll go earlier than other people think because he’s a steady, calming presence, and he’s got great size and throws (when he’s in rhythm) with above average anticipation.

 

What They’re Saying:

“I think he’s a talented kid. He’s got the prototypical size. He makes three to five throws per game that are awesome. You sit back and go, ‘Yup, that’s it, that’s it, that’s NFL. But then you watch the pocket mechanics break down and I think he starts to panic a little bit when he starts to see a flash of color from the other team.”

 

– Mike Mayock

 

”Groomed to be a quarterback from an early age, Kaaya flashes the mechanics and intelligence of a player who has spent hours in quarterback camps. However, he can be too mechanical and thinks too much rather than just flowing and responding to what the field offers him. Kaaya could have used another year of college, but he has the tools and intangibles to become an NFL starter. While he can work around his average arm strength, he must improve his accuracy and anticipation if he is to make a mark in the NFL.”

 

– Lance Zierlein (NFL.com)

 

“Continuing to develop into a top-tier passer, Kaaya decided to turn pro a year early receiving enough good news from the NFL Advisory Committee to make the jump as a junior. Kaaya has been coached to be a star at the position since he was eight years old as he oozes with instincts. His mechanics are NFL ready but his accuracy is of concern. Though he doesn’t make a basketful of errant throws, there are enough in his history to grade it as a weakness.”

 

– Christian Page (Optimum Scouting)

 

My Take:

Kaaya is an interesting name for the Bills on day two. He’s certainly not the most prolific passer in the draft, but he may be the most steady. I do worry about his accuracy in the middle of the field and deep outside the numbers, but I think Kaaya posseses the things you want in guy to eventually lead your franchise. He’s not ready to play in the NFL next season, which is why Buffalo could make some sense for him. He has at least a year to sit and watch. He can run Rick Dennison’s offense, and there’s certainly, in my opinion, room on the roster to add another young quarterback. I do worry about Kaaya’s overall arm strength when the weather gets cold in Buffalo, though. He played his college ball in South Beach; there’s a big difference between Christmas games in sunny South Florida and Christmas in Western New York. I’m still really high on DeShone Kizer for the Bills early on day two, but if they don’t take Kizer, then Kaaya could be a potential fit.

 

Game Film:

 

I’m not going to lie; this play really excites me. It’s what I truly believe the Bills need to do to add to their offense in 2017 if they’re going to take the next step. Where the game has gone today you absolutely need to execute the back shoulder throw consistently. It was one of the many shortcomings of the Bills’ pass game last season and one of the many factors that doomed them defensively, as well. Kaaya’s arm strength and anticipation in this respect are tremendous. His receiver is well covered, but Kaaya places it where only his receiver can make a play. I’m comfortable saying that when healthy, Sammy Watkins can make that sort of play regularly.

 

 

Here’s an example of Kaaya staring down his receiver. This Notre Dame defense he was playing against was not good, and this is the sort of stuff he can expect to see at the next level. He simply doesn’t have the arm strength to out-throw the defender on this play. This ball has to be thrown as his receiver makes the break or it can’t be thrown at all. It certainly can’t be thrown behind him; it’s an easy play for the defender.

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