Bills Mock 3.0: Adding Contributors and Depth

The Buffalo Bills were more than active in free agency. Between their signings and acquisitions in trades, Buffalo is now in the position to take the best player available in each round to add depth.

Doug Whaley, general manager of the Buffalo Bills, has gone on the record to say that Buffalo is just about finished in free agency. He noted that the team would still be interested in possibly adding a veteran wide receiver and that he’d like to re-sign Brandon Spikes. Whaley also stated that he expects his first two draft picks to contribute in 2015, but the day three picks will most likely sit on the sidelines and learn this season. Keeping all of this mind, as well as Buffalo’s various offseason additions, here’s a look at some players who can help the Bills now and down the road.

Round 2, Pick 50: Danielle Hunter, DE, LSU

I could absolutely see Rex Ryan falling in love with Danielle Hunter. Bills scouts were in attendance at LSU’s pro day and there’s no doubt that they took notice of Hunter. The 6’5”, 252 pound Hunter certainly looks the part of an NFL player. In addition to his size, Hunter has good speed and strength. This season, Hunter led LSU in tackles for loss (13) and finished the year with 73 combined tackles. In Buffalo, Hunter would play outside linebacker in the team’s 3-4 alignment. There wouldn’t be too much pressure on Hunter to contribute immediately as Mario Williams and Jerry Hughes are ahead of him on the depth chart. That said, he’d get the chance to contribute for the Bills this season and learn from two of the best pass rushers in the NFL.

It should be noted that Ryan selected a defensive player with six of his seven first round picks with the New York Jets. Buffalo doesn’t have a first round pick, but the trend of Rex going defense first could continue here.

Round 3, Pick 81: Ali Marpet, OG/OT, Hobart

Buffalo tried to add Bryan Bulaga in free agency, but he opted to stay with the Packers. Doug Whaley noted that the Bills tried to trade for Jahri Evans of the Saints, but New Orleans opted to trade Ben Grubbs to the Chiefs instead. The Bills will now go to the draft to add talent to their offensive line.

Marpet met with the Bills at the NFL Scouting Combine and the guard would have a chance to compete for a starting job in 2015. Marpet dominated his Division III competition and started 37 games at Hobart. In 2014, the lineman did not allow a sack. Marpet was invited to the Senior Bowl, and he held his own against Division I players. The Hobart product has good strength, speed and footwork but there will be questions about how he’d fare against NFL defensive linemen.

Round 5, Pick 155: Blake Bell, TE, Oklahoma

Buffalo’s need for a tight end changed a bit when they signed Charles Clay. Now, the team can wait until later in the draft to address the position. Bell is another player that the Bills met with at the combine. The former quarterback has plenty of potential as an NFL tight end, but he’s a bit of a project. This season, Bell caught 16 passes for 214 yards and four touchdowns. Bell is a solid blocker and at 6’6”, the tight end would give the Bills a red zone target. Greg Roman utilizes the position, so there’s a good chance Buffalo drafts a tight end.

Round 6, Pick 188: Jordan Richards, SS, Stanford

The Bills are counting on Duke Williams to start at strong safety after the team lost Da’Norris Searcy in free agency. Behind Williams, Buffalo has Bacarri Rambo and Jonathan Meeks. Adding another safety to compete for a roster spot isn’t out of the question. Richards is an intelligent safety who is known to be strong against the run. Richards has 21 pass breakups in his career, but there are questions about Richards’ range on the field. That said, in the sixth round you can’t expect to find players without holes in their games.

Round 6, Pick 194: Kaleb Eulls, DT/DE, Mississippi State

Eulls is a versatile lineman who could eventually rotate in as a five-technique defensive end in Buffalo’s 3-4 defense. At Mississippi State, Eulls started 52 games in his career. The lineman has shown good ability and his size (6’4” and 295 pounds) is ideal for the 3-4 end position.

Round 7, Pick 234: Cody Fajardo, QB, Nevada

Buffalo has three quarterbacks on their roster, but they could still draft one late. Fajardo would make sense as the team would place the quarterback on their practice squad and develop him. Buffalo has met with Fajardo at the NFL Scouting Combine and Buffalo attended Nevada’s pro day. Fajardo comes out of the same offense as Colin Kaepernick and has shown the ability to pass and run with the ball. Fajardo and Kaepernick are the only two quarterbacks in FBS history to pass for 9,000 yards and rush for 3,000 yards.

Although he had plenty of success at Nevada, Fajardo is a project in the NFL. He has accuracy issues and his footwork needs plenty of work. In no way should fans expect Fajardo to contribute in his rookie season. Realistically, Fajardo would probably need at least two seasons to develop on Buffalo’s practice squad.  

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