Despite it being praised as one of the deepest defensive drafts in recent memory, the Buffalo Bills did not see much first round talent in the 2016 NFL draft.
A source close to the Buffalo Bills told Buffalo Football Report that Buffalo had 19 players with first round grades. This was rather fitting as Buffalo was picking at number 19. Although the team didn’t have any idea who’d be available at the pick, they knew at least one player would fall to them on Thursday night.
The source added that Buffalo was ecstatic about their first two picks as both Shaq Lawson and Reggie Ragland were among the 19 players with first round grades. It’s already been reported, but Buffalo called every team at the start of the second round in an attempt to draft Ragland. It paid off for the team at pick 41.
Bills GM Doug Whaley actually spoke on the topic on Monday with WGR-550.
“I told the Pegulas this rarely happens like this,” said Whaley. “To be able to have the highest guy on your board… these guys truly filled our needs. To have Ragland there in the second round, where we were thinking that Shaq (Lawson) would be gone in the first round and we were targeting Ragland as our 19th pick, so for us to feel like we got two first rounders in the first two rounds and knowing they’re going to be starters due to need it’s a special draft. Hopefully it turns out years down the road that this was the draft that propelled us to where we want to go.”
In addition to Buffalo’s top two picks, the source close to the Bills added the following:
-The team had a second round grade on Adolphus Washington and feels that Rex Ryan can get the former Ohio State Buckeye to play with consistency.
-Cardale Jones was Buffalo’s target at pick 139. Dak Prescott was close behind Jones on the team's draft board but he had already been selected.
-Buffalo had no interest in trading up for Connor Cook.
-The Bills couldn’t pass on Jonathan Williams in the fifth round. Running back was not a pressing need for the team, but Buffalo had a grade much higher than the fifth round on Williams.null