Bills Mock 5.0: Buffalo Cann Improve OL

Bills GM Doug Whaley hinted at a few positions Buffalo may draft at their pre-draft luncheon.

The 2015 NFL draft will take place in exactly one week. Doug Whaley and the Buffalo Bills didn’t give much away at their pre-draft luncheon, but some of these picks are based upon comments made by the Bills GM. While Buffalo don’t have a first round pick, the team can address one of their most glaring weaknesses with their round two pick.

Round 2, Pick 50: A.J. Cann, OG, South Carolina

Jim Monos, Buffalo’s Director of Player Personnel, said that the depth at offensive guard and offensive tackle in this year’s draft class was “really good.” This may be the case, but Buffalo would be foolish to pass on a talent like A.J. Cann at pick 50. Cann, a four-year starter, is arguably the best guard in this year’s draft class and he’d be an immediate contributor on the team. The left guard spot is likely to be an open competition and that is where Cann is projected to play in the NFL. Cann is best-suited for a power blocking scheme, which makes him too good to pass up at pick 50.

Round 3, Pick 81: D’Joun Smith, CB, Florida Atlantic

Whaley attended Florida Atlantic’s pro day and was able to see D’Joun Smith firsthand. At Buffalo’s pre-draft luncheon, Whaley noted that he’d like to add another cornerback. Taking one in the third round may seem high, but Rex Ryan understands the importance of having quality depth at the position.

Smith is a terrific athlete who led the Conference USA in interceptions and pass breakups in 2013. This season, the cornerback was named second team All-Conference USA. Thanks to Buffalo’s depth at the position, Smith wouldn’t be asked to contribute much on defense in 2015, but he could play special teams while learning the ropes at cornerback from Stephon Gilmore, Leodis McKelvin, Corey Graham and Nickell Robey.

Round 5, Pick 155: Sean Mannion, QB, Oregon State

When asked about second-tier quarterback options in this year’s draft class in a radio interview on WGR-550, Whaley mentioned Mannion with the likes of Bryce Petty and Garrett Grayson. Petty and Grayson are likely to go in day two but Mannion could be available when the Bills pick in the fifth round. In the interview, Whaley said that any one of the trio could come in and compete immediately. If Whaley truly feels that way about Mannion, it’d be tough to pass on him in the fifth round.

Mannion played in a pro-style offense where he was allowed to make audibles at the line. The quarterback stands in at 6’6”, so finding passing lanes wouldn’t be a problem for Mannion. He was a four year starter at Oregon State and showed decent footwork and accuracy. He’s far from a perfect prospect, but he’d be a strong value pick at this point.

Round 6, Pick 188: Max Valles, OLB, Virginia

*Valles was taken in Bills Mock 4.0. Here is what was said about the young outside linebacker.

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: Nick Boyle, TE, Delaware

After taking a quarterback in the fifth round, Buffalo adds a tight end in round six. Boyle is a decent blocker and solid receiver. Greg Roman loves to have a variety of tight ends on his roster and Boyle would have a shot at making the 53-man roster. At the pre-draft luncheon, Whaley mentioned that four tight ends could be active on game day.

Round 7, Pick 234: Kristjan Soloki, DE, Buffalo

In the seventh round, the Bills go with a local product from UB. Soloki probably doesn’t make the 53-man roster for Buffalo, but the team could stash him on their practice squad. With development, Soloki could develop into a reserve five-technique defensive end. 


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