The priorities are fairly clear for the Buffalo Bills heading into May. How does the 2014 NFL mock draft shake out for them?
Round 1 – Jake Matthews – OT – Texas A&M
This is a pick they simply can’t pass on. Jake Matthews is a prototypical tackle with the natural talent, size and strength to play on either the left or right side like he did for Texas A&M. He comes from a football family and was an anchor for one of the best offenses in college football.
Round 2 – Kyle Van Noy – OLB – BYU
Athletic, fast and highly instinctive characterize the game of BYU linebacker Kyle Van Noy. While he played in a 3-4 in school, the young man clearly has the athleticism to shift to the Bills’ 4-3. Putting his playmaking skill alongside Kiko Alonso could give Buffalo a dynamic core to build around moving forward.
Round 3 – Troy Niklas – TE – Notre Dame
Notre Dame is fast becoming Tight End University. First it was Kyle Rudolph and then Tyler Eifert. Though he’s not quite as polished as his predecessors, Troy Niklas is molded very much in the same manner. Not only is he big and strong enough to block he still retains the necessary speed and agility to present a premium pass target.
Round 4 – Donte Moncrief – WR – Ole Miss
Speaking of big targets, the Buffalo Bills would be absolutely giddy to land Donte Moncrief in the 4th round. The Ole Miss receiver offers them something their other wide outs can’t: size. At 6’3″ he presents a wide catch radius, but beyond that his mix of route running and deceptive speed make him a nightmare to handle for defensive backs.
Round 5 – Kenny Ladler – FS – Vanderbilt
Is Jairus Byrd going to stay? That is the question most fans and experts are asking at this point. So it might be a good idea for the Bills to address the safety position. Kenny Ladler brings good size and excellent diagnostic skills out of Vanderbilt. He tackles well and has a knack for creating turnovers.
Round 6 – Cassius Marsh – DE – UCLA
Buffalo has a good pass rush but they can’t afford to not keep adding to it. Cassius Marsh suffers from inconsistency and a little immaturity, but the UCLA defensive end has continued to show he was quietly a force for the Bruins opposite Anthony Barr. He’s got good snap anticipation and explosion as well as the discipline to stop the run.
Round 7 – Kadeem Edwards – OG – Tennessee State
Left guard was a problem for the Buffalo Bills and while a seventh round pick might not solve it, no one should count out Kadeem Edwards. The TennesseeState big man needs to bulk up but he has the size and athleticism required for the position along with good technique and footwork.