With the NFL draft just weeks away, I decided to take a stab at my first official mock draft. Using Fanspeak.com On The Clock Premium, I set up a four round mock draft as the Buffalo Bills using the Fanspeak draft board, as well as their team needs setting. Here are my results:
I didn’t start out trying to make any trades. In fact, I went into this simulation not even wanting to trade. However, sometimes the board forces your hand. Sam Darnold went first to the Browns, followed by Josh Allen to the Giants. Knowing that realistically the Jets aren’t trading out of the pick they already moved up for, and rumors are the Browns are likely to stay at the 4th overall pick, I decided to wait until the 5th pick held by the Denver Broncos before I would even consider attempting any trade scenarios. The Jets took Lamar Jackson with the 3rd pick in the simulation, opening the door for me to consider trying to make a trade with Denver for the 5th overall pick. The Browns selected Mike McGlinchey with the 4th pick, and then was my chance to pounce.
I was able to secure the 5th pick in the draft by offering the Broncos both 2018 first rounders (12th and 22nd). With my newly acquired pick, the Buffalo Bills select:
Round 1 Pick 5 Josh Rosen, QB UCLA.
For me, making this selection was a no-brainer considering the value here. While it’s unlikely things will play out like this on draft day, it’s fun to think of getting my top-rated QB with the 5th overall pick and only having to give up 2 picks to get in position to draft the future of the franchise.
Rosen is a polished passer who is considered by many to be the most pro-ready QB of the class. Brandon Beane would be ecstatic to be able to land such a talent to continue to build his team around.
Simple concept but into the boundary, the decision making has to be quick. Reads low to high. Hawaii brings pressure, Rosen finds the flats defender post snap, route is covered so he moves on. Stands tall and is able to deliver the pass prior to the pressure getting home. pic.twitter.com/uIPkvvfnAL
— Cover 1 (@Cover_1_) April 4, 2018
Here was the remainder of my picks in this 4 round simulation.
Round 2 Pick 21: Leighton Vander Esch, LB Boise State
The former walk-on at Boise State is sure to get Sean McDermott excited as he looks to build out his young linebacking corps of the future. There is a lot to like about Vander Esch and his long-term potential. A great value in the second round, if he makes it that far.
LB Leighton Vander Esch specializes in shutting run games down. His ability to maneuver in tight spaces, avoid trash & make tackles will be effective day 1. He also has the ability to pattern match & patrol the middle of the field. #Draft
— Cover 1 (@Cover_1_) February 17, 2018
Round 2 Pick 24: Mike Hughes, CB UCF
I was surprised to see Hughes available this late in the second round. However, there seem to be mixed feelings on Hughes and where he should go in this draft. Many Bills fans don’t want to see the team address the DB position this early in the draft, but I believe it’s more of a need than many realize. If a player like Hughes is sitting there this late in the second round, then the value is there to add him to the DB unit. He can play inside or out and offers McDermott the added versatility and depth that the unit needs. Vontae Davis isn’t a long-term solution, and with Phillip Gaines on a minimum deal, this pick makes sense.
Could Mike Hughes solve Jets issues at cornerback, returner? | NFL Draft scouting report https://t.co/nAaKXh00RC
— Cover 1 (@Cover_1_) February 19, 2018
Round 3 Pick 1: Frank Ragnow, C Arkansas
This one was tough for me to select. With Ryan Groy likely to step in and replace Eric Wood this season I was hesitant to pick a center in this spot. With that in mind, I couldn’t pass on the potential to add depth and versatility to this position. While he is primarily a center, Ragnow could play some guard if he wasn’t able to beat out Groy for the center position, or vice-versa. Competition and versatility on the interior line is a good thing, and I think Beane and McDermott welcome it.
Round 3 Pick 32: Anthony Miller, WR Memphis
This is probably my favorite pick, and what I think is the steal of the draft. The Bills need to add talent to the wide receiver room. I don’t believe that there are any “stud” WR’s in this draft class, but the group of receivers projected in the 3rd to 5th round range is a really nice group. This gives the Bills a number of options to easily add nice value to a current position of weakness. I believe that Anthony Miller is one of the more underrated players in this draft class, and he would add a dynamic to the passing game that the Bills desperately need.
WR Anthony Miller – Memphis
Round 4 Pick 21: Kalen Ballage, RB Arizona State
Ballage would be a nice addition late in the 4th round. While the team’s running back room is currently pretty full, it’s doubtful that players without versatility make it past camp. Ballage is a nice option because he can provide special teams help, and could be a nice 3rd string running back option behind LeSean McCoy and Chris Ivory. If he develops over the next couple of years he could be a really nice piece of a post-Shady McCoy backfield in the future.
“Ballage is a really exciting runner who still has potential to develop as a big play threat. He also has experience as a kick returner and I like him as a change-of-pace back.” @DanRLavoie
— Cover 1 (@Cover_1_) March 10, 2018
Let us know what you think of this mock. We will have more mocks as we get closer to the actual draft.
Mayfield scouting report drops tomorrow for premium subscribers. @NateGearyWGR and I were really excited to do this video breakdown. Very happy with the way it turned out. https://t.co/TToluknly0 pic.twitter.com/crOKpufqjA
— Cover 1 (@Cover_1_) April 4, 2018