NFL Draft: Buffalo Bills

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ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The pick: Preston Brown, linebacker, Louisville

My take: Not an overly surprising pick. The Bills were expected to go defense with their third pick after picking up a wide receiver and offensive tackle in the first two rounds. This was probably a case where the Bills weighed their grade on Brown against other potential targets left on the board, including Oregon State defensive end Scott Crichton and cornerback Bashaud Breeland. Don't expect Brown to start this season. He makes for an ideal reserve option behind Keith Rivers (on the strong side) and Brandon Spikes (in the middle).

Third-down questions: The question mark with Brown could be on third down, as he's considered more of an early-down, run-stopping backer. The Bills will need to find an athletic option next to Kiko Alonso in their sub packages. Some teams have been in their sub defense up to 70 percent of defensive snaps. What happens if Alonso is injured? Nigel Bradham might be one possibility as a lighter, speedier linebacker but it's one of the thinner spots on the Bills' roster. I don't think Brown fills that hole.

What's next: The Bills are likely done picking tonight. Their next scheduled pick is No. 109, in the fourth round. They have two fifth-round selections and a seventh-round pick remaining.

Analyzing McShay mock: Bills 

April, 24, 2014
Apr 24
12:15
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It's a debate that has churned since the end of the season: Should the Buffalo Bills draft a playmaker or a protector with the ninth overall pick?

ESPN NFL draft expert Todd McShay's latest mock draft has been released, and like Mel Kiper Jr.'s "Grade A" mock draft earlier this month, McShay is acting as the "general manager" and selecting players for each team -- not projecting who each team will actually pick.

Analyzing Kiper Mock 4.0: Bills 

April, 17, 2014
Apr 17
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Is a consensus developing around which position the Buffalo Bills should draft with the ninth overall pick?

After trading for wide receiver Mike Williams earlier this month, the Bills are expected to target offensive tackle or tight end with their first-round selection.

In each of his four mock drafts, ESPN NFL draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. has projected a tackle to the Bills. So what about in his most recent mockInsider, which was released today?


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Analyzing McShay mock 4.0: Bills 

April, 10, 2014
Apr 10
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The Buffalo Bills pulled off one of the biggest surprises in the first round of last year’s NFL draft when they selected EJ Manuel. He was the first quarterback taken off the board, and the pick garnered national headlines and mixed reaction.

What will the Bills have in store this year in the first round with the No. 9 overall pick? ESPN draft expert Todd McShay provided his fourth mock draft Insider, and Buffalo's projection may surprise you.


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Analyzing Kiper 3.0: Bills

March, 13, 2014
Mar 13
2:00
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We're still two months from the 2014 NFL draft, but a consensus is beginning to develop among our NFL draft experts as to whom the Buffalo Bills should pick at No. 9 overall.

In his third mock draft, Mel Kiper Jr. projects Michigan tackle Taylor Lewan to the Bills. This is the third time that Kiper has mocked an offensive tackle to the Bills, and it makes sense: It's a position of need for the Bills, who could be looking to upgrade from Erik Pears at right tackle.

Here's more from Kiper's latest mock:
I like Cordy Glenn, but protection was still a problem for the Bills last year, so I have them placing a higher priority on keeping EJ Manuel upright and shifting their attention to the deep class of wide receivers in Round 2 or 3. I've said more than once that I think Lewan could have graded out as the top tackle last year if he chose to enter the draft, and while he has the prototypical length as a pass-blocker, he really gets after it as a run-blocker.

It would be surprising if the Bills didn't select either an offensive tackle or receiver with the ninth pick.

Here's a rundown of Kiper's and Todd McShay's mock drafts to date:

Mel Kiper's mock drafts:
March 13 (3.0) -- Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
Feb. 6 (2.0) -- Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
Jan. 16 (1.0) -- Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn

Todd McShay's mock drafts:
March 6 (3.0) -- Matthews
Feb. 6 (2.0) -- Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
Jan. 16 (1.0) -- Lewan

Kiper's Mock 3.0: Bills

March, 13, 2014
Mar 13
10:30
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With the free-agent winds swirling around the NFL this week, it's easy to forget about the NFL draft, which is now less than two months away.

If you haven't heard, the Buffalo Bills hold the ninth overall selection. The last time general manager Doug Whaley spoke about the draft -- at February's NFL scouting combine -- he said the Bills could go any direction with the pick ... except quarterback.

Yet, it's quarterbacks who could help decide who the Bills choose with their top pick. If two or more quarterbacks are chosen in the first eight picks, it will give the Bills a better chance to land a player at a position of need.

Who might be on the Bills' radar? Their offensive struggles last season suggest that they'll target that side of the ball. The best bet is an offensive tackle, where there are three players -- Jake Matthews, Greg Robinson, and Taylor Lewan -- who could all land in the top 10. The Bills could also try to add a play-making receiver such as Clemson's Sammy Watkins or Texas A&M's Mike Evans.

Should the Bills go defense, their options are more limited. It's unlikely that either of the top two defensive players -- Buffalo's Khalil Mack and South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney -- will fall down to No. 9. The Bills could use help at linebacker or safety, but they'd be better off trading down to do that.

Mel Kiper's latest mock draft .

McShay Mock 3.0: Bills 

March, 6, 2014
Mar 6
11:00
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Todd McShay's third NFL mock draft for 2014 is out on ESPN Insider today. The Bills could go numerous directions with this pick and are another team to potentially trade out. Buffalo needs a right tackle and probably a guard as well up front. The Bills also could use an EJ Manuel-friendly option at wide receiver or tight end to add even more explosive elements to what is already a very speedy group of skill players.

Buffalo would surely love to land local product in Khalil Mack or could go in several directions to add to the back half of their defense. Trading down a few slots and just taking what is remaining might make the most sense for the Bills.

Whom does McShay have the Bills drafting at No. 9? Let's take a look:

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Kiper-McShay Mocks 2.0: Buffalo Bills 

February, 6, 2014
Feb 6
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In their first mock drafts, Todd McShay and Mel Kiper each projected offensive tackles, but different OTs.

Todd McShay's Mock 1.0: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan

Mel Kiper's Mock 1.0: Greg Robinson, OT Auburn

Has there been a change for their second mocks? Here's the latest projection from each of our experts.

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Kiper Mock Draft 1.0: Buffalo Bills 

January, 15, 2014
Jan 15
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The Buffalo Bills haven't had a winning season since 2004, so it comes as little surprise that they have selected no lower than 16th in each of the past eight drafts.

They're set to select ninth overall in 2014 and the possibilities are wide open.

Do the Bills have glaring holes? That could be determined in free agency, when tight end Scott Chandler -- the team's leading receiver last season -- and Pro Bowl safety Jairus Byrd could both depart. If either player does not return, those positions will be high on the priority list.

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McShay Mock Draft 1.0: Buffalo Bills 

December, 18, 2013
12/18/13
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The 5-9 Bills won’t make the postseason, but look to have a potential franchise QB in 2013 first-round pick EJ Manuel and what appears to be a very strong 2013 class overall. Second-round pick Kiko Alonso has solidified the middle of the defense, while wide receivers Robert Woods (second round) and Marquise Goodwin (third round) have been weapons on the outside. Buffalo has been competitive most of the season, even with Manuel missing a month due to a knee injury, but the defense hasn’t lived up to expectations.

So who should the Bills draft in 2014?

Todd McShay released his first 2014 mock draft Wednesday, and in doing so identified the biggest areas of need for the Bills: offensive tackle, safety and defensive end. Here’s who McShay believes will provide the best fit for Buffalo in Round 1.


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