We’re less than two weeks away from the 2015 NFL draft! The Buffalo Bills won’t be on the clock until Friday, May 1 (barring a trade), but the team doesn’t have many glaring holes to fill. In fact, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Buffalo’s top two picks were the only contributors on offense and defense in 2015. In Bills Mock 4.0, the team attacks some of their biggest question marks early.
Round 2, Pick 50: Byron Jones, CB, Connecticut
Minus Mark Sanchez, the New York Jets selected a defensive player with their first pick in every draft under Rex Ryan. If Byron Jones is on the board at pick 50, that trend will certainly continue. Yes, the Bills already have Stephon Gilmore, Corey Graham, Leodis McKelvin and Nickell Robey as their top four cornerbacks, but Jones is a terrific fit for Ryan’s defense. The cornerback is very athletic and according to Adam Caplan, teams are looking at Jones as a press cornerback.
Why would Ryan want a cornerback this high? Ask him what the biggest problem was with the 2014 Jets and he’d tell you cornerback injuries.
“Cornerback’s a position that’s hard to replace,” said then Jets defensive backs coach Tim McDonald. Now with the Bills, McDonald and the defensive staff will keep this in mind during the draft.
The cornerback is one of Buffalo’s nine announced pre-draft visits. The team has selected a pre-draft visitor with their first pick going back all the way to 2010. Jones has received quite a bit of hype lately, so there’s a decent chance he’s off the board at pick 50.
Round 3, Pick 81: John Miller, OG, Louisville
Miller is another pre-draft visitor and he fits a need for the Bills along the offensive line. The team has one of their two guard positions seemingly locked up with Richie Incognito, but the other spot is up for grabs. Miller could come in and immediately compete for a starting job against the likes of Cyril Richardson, Cyrus Kouandjio and Chris Williams. Miller is a strong guard who is seen as a better run blocker than pass blocker at this point.
Round 5, Pick 155: Blake Bell, TE, Oklahoma
The Bills have met with Bell and he’d give the team a different type of tight end. Right now, Charles Clay, MarQueis Gray and Chris Gragg are all H-Backs. Bell, while still learning the ropes at tight end, would be more of a Y-tight end. He’s relatively new to the position, but Bell improved quite a bit in 2014. He can block and has good hands as a pass catcher. At 6’6”, Bell would also give the Bills a red zone target.
Round 6, Pick 188: Max Valles, OLB, Virginia
Valles is a project player that seems like a great fit for Ryan’s defense. He’s extremely raw as a prospect and only 20 years old. He flashed at times in Virginia’s defense due to his athleticism but he’s not ready to contribute significantly right out of the gate. That said, he’s a terrific prospect as a rush end in Ryan’s 3-4 defense.
Round 6, Pick 194: Brandon Bridge, QB, South Alabama
There’s a lot to like about Brandon Bridge, but he’s also the definition of a prospect. His top trait is his arm strength, something a quarterback certainly needs when playing in Buffalo. Deep passes were common for Bridge at South Alabama. The biggest knock against his game is his accuracy. In round six, this pick doesn’t have much downside. He’d likely be a practice squad candidate in 2015 for the Bills as the team tries to develop the quarterback.
Round 7, Pick 234: Chaz Green, OT, Florida
Buffalo took a shot on an offensive tackle in round seven last year and it paid off in a big way. Green, a pre-draft visitor for the Bills, is another tackle who could develop into a contributor for Buffalo. The tackle out of Florida has dealt with injuries in his career. He dealt with injuries in 2011 and 2012 and missed the entire 2013 season with a torn labrum. Despite his injuries, Green has the look of an NFL tackle. He has good strength and scouts credit his movement skills. Green has the frame of an NFL tackle and could provide depth at a position where the Bills sorely need it.