With the 2020 NFL Combine finished in Indianapolis and the draft quickly approaching, it’s time for my second Bills mock of the year. I was really stunned with the way that the first one developed each round, but despite not achieving the same feeling this time, I still think it would be a nice scenario for Buffalo. So here it is, Bills Mafia:
Round 1, Pick 22: Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
It looks like Buffalo is going to have a really nice option available at 22. I was surprised to see two guys who could easily be gone in the top-ten still available when the Bills were on the clock, edge rusher K’Lavon Chaison from LSU, and wide receiver Henry Ruggs III from Alabama. I felt tempted to go with the pass rusher and grab my receiver in the second round — after all, it’s a pretty loaded class. However, Ruggs was too much to pass on.
Finalized 2020 #NFLDraft WR rankings
— Top 12
1. Henry Ruggs III
2. CeeDee Lamb
3. Jerry Jeudy
— 1st Round, Top 24
4. Justin Jefferson
5. Denzel Mims
— 2nd Round
6. Laviska Shenault
7. Jalen Reagor
8. KJ Hamler
9. Tee Higgins
— 3rd Round
10. Michael Pittman Jr.
— Brad Kelly (@CoachBKelly) March 7, 2020
The former Crimson Tide has all it takes to become a force in the league. He matches good production (98 receptions, 1716 yards and 24 TDs in three years) with exceptional athleticism for the position. At 5-foot-11 and 188 pounds, he is a small-ish guy, but his 4.27 40-yard dash combined with a 42.0 vertical and a 131.0 broad jump, guarantees you an explosive player every time he touches the ball.
Ruggs reportedly met the Bills’ brass in Indianapolis, and if he’s available at 22, I don’t see any way Brandon Beane passes on him.
Round 2, Pick 54: Joshua Uche, EDGE/LB, Michigan
With the wide receiver need solved in the first round, I strongly considered two players available on the board with this pick: Leonir-Rhyne’s safety, Kyle Dugger, and Michigan’s pass rusher, Joshua Uche. Both would have a shot at replacing Lorenzo Alexander in base 4-3 and receive an important role in passing downs, but the need for a promising pass rusher being bigger than for a backup nickel LB and backup safety made me pick Uche.
He’s another guy who interviewed with Buffalo in Indy. Also, we’re talking about an explosive threat off the edge (7.5 sacks in 2019), where his ability to bend, turn the corner, and finish would fit really well opposite Jerry Hughes on clear passing downs. He lacks the size to hold his own against the run on the edge for now (6-foot-1, 245 pounds, 33 5/8″ arms), but remember, Hughes wasn’t exactly an edge setter when he first came to Buffalo. In time, I believe he can get bigger and better at it. For now, though, he can be used as a downhill run stopper in base when needed and as situational pass rusher, where he can really become a force.
Round 3, Pick 86: Cam Akers, RB, Florida State
Brandon Beane is committed to giving Josh Allen and the Bills’ offense more weapons in 2020. After selecting a true number one receiver prospect in Ruggs, he finds Devin Singletary’s complement in round 3.
More of Cam Akers at the NFL Combine, via the NFL Network pic.twitter.com/8TiJa4ePXf
— Noles247.com (@Noles247) February 29, 2020
Enter Cam Akers, a strong (5-foot-10, 217 pounds, 20 bench press reps) and explosive (4.47 40-yard dash, 122″ broad jump, 35.5″ vertical) runner, possessing the traits to add another dynamic to the Bills’ rushing offense. He’s not particularly strong in pass protection, but we know that’s Motor’s role, anyways, as the passing down back. Akers can still be developed there, and with him on board, Buffalo would have two young running backs with featured-back potential.
The former Seminole also met with the Bills at the Combine.
Round 4, Pick 118: Chase Claypool, WR, Notre Dame
This is a really good pick to add a second wide receiver in this draft. A lot of interesting names could still be available, and in this scenario, Claypool was my favorite option.
🔥6’4” 238 lbs.
🔥4.45 40-yard dash
🔥19 Bench press reps
Chase Claypool is having a Combine.
— PFF College (@PFF_College) February 27, 2020
The former Fighting Irish already met the Bills’ brass on two different occasions (Senior Bowl and Combine), and after his performance in Indy, it’s hard to not be impressed by the big target.
Claypool has the size (6-foot-4, 238 pounds, 32.5″ arms) and the athleticism (4.42-second 40-yard dash, 40.5″ vertical, 126″ broad jump, 19 bench press reps) to become a dominant player at the next level. He’s also an unselfish player with high special teams potential, making him the ideal developmental prospect at the position. And even if things don’t pan out outside, a move to tight end could offer a plan B, making this pick a low-risk/high-reward one.
Round 5, Pick 137: Harrison Hand, CB, Temple
🏈🚨 Baylor/Temple/CH West Cornerback Harrison Hand lays down a 4.52 in the 40!#southjerseyspeed
@CHWestFB @CherryHillWest @CHWestAthletics @Temple_FB @__harry22 @NFLCombine pic.twitter.com/o0lOwcQoeV
— SJ SportsTalk (@sojerseysports) March 1, 2020
A 5’11” and 194-pound cornerback with 32-inch arms, Hand helped himself with a pretty good performance in Indy. His 4.52-second 40-yard dash, 41-inch vertical and 133-inch broad jump were all impressive, and his physical playing style, paired with good instincts and smoothness, makes him a great fit in McDermott and Frazier’s zone-based schemes, where he can play inside or outside.
Round 5, Pick 149: Trey Adams, OT, Washington
At 6-foot-8 and 318 pounds, with 34 3/8-inch arms, Adams offers great size and length as a developmental tackle. He’s not the most naturally gifted athlete (5.6 40-yard dash, 24.5″ vertical, 92″ broad jump), but he’s a big guy with a good tape. According to himself, maybe he isn’t big enough…
Round 6, Pick 168: Jacob Phillips, LB, LSU
Phillips comes from a great program and can play special teams and be developed behind Edmunds and Milano. His 4.66-second 40-yard dash wasn’t good, but at 6-foot-3 and 229 pounds, with a 39-inch vertical and a 126-inch broad jump (91st and 92nd percentiles, respectively), he offers some explosiveness at the position.
Round 6, Pick 181: Dalton Keene, TE, Virginia Tech
DALTON KEENE TO THE HOUSE! #Hokies pic.twitter.com/SKMi6Myew9
— Treadmill Horse (@treadmillhorse) September 30, 2018
Another pre-draft visitor (Combine), the 6-foot-4, 253-pound TE is a very good athlete (125-inch broad jump, 7.07-second 3-cone drill, 4.19-second 20-yard shuttle). He’s inconsistent blocking but offers great potential in the passing game.
Round 6, Pick 187: Geno Stone, S, Iowa
GENO STONE FROM NOWHERE pic.twitter.com/BoFY4Qpnrk
— Heavens! (@HeavensFX) October 5, 2019
Stone isn’t the biggest (5-foot-10, 207 pounds) or the best athlete (4.6 40-yard dash, 33.5 vertical, 116″ broad jump). However, he’s a savvy and disciplined player, fundamentally sound. I can see McDermott giving this guy a shot on a late flyer.