I ran a Fanspeak mock draft on Sunday, 2/9/2020, getting input from #BillsMafia on each pick. I thought I’d add my ‘two cents’ worth on our picks.
1-OT A THOMAS
2-WR D MIMS
3-EDGE N COE
4-WR B EDWARDS
5- LB L WILSON
5-S ALOHI GILMAN
6-RB ZACK MOSS
6-S J.R. REED
6-DL B FEHOKO
RD1 – OT ANDREW THOMAS, GEORGIA
First, I don’t expect my #5 player to reach #22, as the most competent LT on one of the best run-blocking lines in college football is going to be snatched up early. I have 11 of DraftTek’s 32 team analysts telling me that OT is either their top or second need, with 8 of those teams drafting before the Bills. Who might realistically be there and of good value at #22? I would say Beane would have his pick of LT Austin Jackson USC or LT Josh Jones of Houston. If Beane trades up from #54 like he did to get Cody Ford last year, he might go for RT Isaiah Wilson (Thomas’s bookend at Georgia), or man-mountain LT Mekhi Becton of Louisville.
Beane and McDermott talk a lot of winning the line of scrimmage, and our line didn’t. Some of it was pre-snap mental errors that should be cleared up, but there’s also lots of holding calls (resulting from both our OTs being identified as “Guards trying to be Tackles” by DraftTek’s OL Analyst Longball.
Click Page 4 on this site to see that OTs Ford, Dawkins, and Nsehke combined for 10 false starts. Add another 13 Offensive Holding calls during the year, with the iOL guilty of 9 holding calls from their phone booths.
RD 2-WR DENZEL MIMS, BAYLOR
This was the worst pick, in my opinion. While Mims has size, I’d want to see a level of effort that’s not here, and this wouldn’t be a catch in NFL. The Bills didn’t scout Baylor, so that’s a relief.
Instead of reaching for a WR in a WR-deep draft, consider the pro-ready RB, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who I’d have picked. CE-H will be ready to work into the NFL’s best running stable from Day One. You may be tempted to add another Smurf in K. J. Hamler, but we have an excess of those little guys running around. Take Chase Claypool if you want more unique skill set among the remaining WRs (he’s also a great gunner on special teams). Claypool met with the Bills at the Senior Bowl, and I love his length, strength, and cunning to gain separation.
Want to alternate O and D? Three difference-making defensive tackles were still on the board at #54: Gallimore, Blacklock, and one the Bills spoke to at the Sr. Bowl, Justin Madubuike.
“J-Mad” packs over 300 lbs. in a 6’3” frame that allows him to maintain a low center of gravity, while generating a pass rush. He is athletically gifted, and a workout warrior who knows the value of proper nutrition. Here’s as complete a scouting report on Madabuike as we’ve ever seen on, well, anyone! Likely too early to draft at a position where you could re-sign Jordan Phillips, and will get Horrible Harry back..
RD 3- EDGE NICK COE, AUBURN
In a 4-3, we need someone who secures the edge, but is versatile enough to chameleon himself –be a power left end, move inside on our stunts, that sort of thing. Coe is a wrestler who won two state championships and three national championships in high school, and our last D-Line wrestler, Horrible Harry, turned out pretty good. Coe’s backstory is worth reading; it’ll remind you of “The Blind Side”. If you already took an EDGE in Free Agency, look at one of the TEs you could replace Kroft with. The Bills scouted 8 of the Top 11 TEs this year. They’re not done.
RD 4-WR BRYAN EDWARDS, SOUTH CAROLINA
If the Bills took trenchmen OT, J-Mad, and Nick Coe on Day 1 and 2, by Saturday noon you’re probably chomping at the bit to bring in one of my Non-Smurf receivers –one who is thickly-built, a mature team guy who has work ethic, some real sophistication in selflessly “selling” a route for his teammates, and has some pretty zigs and zags.
Here’s what South Carolina HC Muschamp said about Bryan Edwards: He’s “a very mature young man. He gets it. He has a real good work ethic. He pushes himself through adversity….We’ve got some other receivers that can’t, quite frankly. The intangible qualities you look for in any player, Bryan has.”
RD 5- LB LOGAN WILSON, WYOMING
I only see four draftable linebackers who have 40+ games played and 50 tackles in 2019. I need both. Logan Wilson is versatile, tough, and smart enough to be the backup MIKE backer, plus he could play alongside Edmunds and Milano. Wilson can blitz, he’s football smart, and is a great kid. He’s experienced (over 360 tackles in his career). Perhaps most important, he was on Josh’s team. Get ready for more brown and yellow Cowboy jerseys at training camp. Examine the ILBs who can interchangeably play OLB this year. Kenneth Murray, Patrick Queen, Joe Bachie, Evan Weaver, and Wilson have all impressed me –and all were scouted.
RD 5-S ALOHI GILMAN, NOTRE DAME
Gilman had two great days in front of Bills scouts (6 tkls vs Louisville; then a sack, 2 solo tackles, plus an assist vs Virginia). Poyer and Hyde are free agents this year and next, and Beane will have two or three in the stable when he lets his horses out of the barn to try the rich oats of Free Agency.
I’ll have three in Jaquan Johnson, Gilman, and J.R. Reed (see RD6 below). Gilman is a hard-nosed team captain from Hawaii with an exemplary work ethic, an inspiring locker-room-speech, go-to guy. His highlights were like Doritos; I couldn’t munch just one. Remember: last year, the Bills scouts saw more Notre Dame games than any other school.
RD 6-RB ZACK MOSS, UTAH
Let’s build the perfect complement to Devin Singletary and Christian Wade, shall we? D’Andre Swift (5-9, 215, 4.43, 73 receptions, 5 ypc vs AP-ranked, 7 fumbles) and Clyde Edwards-Helaire (5-8, 209, 4.47, 64 receptions, 5.8 vs AP, 2 fumbles) might be drafted too early for you, although I’d be jumping up and down for joy. Zack Moss in RD6 would make me buy popcorn for the weekly Sunday show. Lamical Perine (also still on the board at this pick), “Truck” Warren, and Tavien Feaster would all fill my bowl.
Because there are so many RB fits, you can wait until RD5-6 to fill this need. Worst case, you take Gore’s work ethic for one more year. Read my in-depth article about the draft’s perfect complement to Singletary right here.
RD 6-S J.R. REED, GEORGIA
J.R. (Jake Rashaan) Reed’s father is Jake Reed, a WR with 12 years’ service with the Vikes and Saints, not to mention 450 receptions, 6,999 yards, and 36 TDs. His uncle is Dale Carter, a 1992 RD1#20 draft pick by the Chiefs and a four-time Pro Bowl selection who played 14 seasons.
The younger Jake logged a personal-best 11 tackles vs. Auburn in 2017 and started 15 games in 2018, including the SEC Championship game, the Rose Bowl and the 2018 National Championship. He’s started at SS in 42 games, and experience seems to matter to the Bills’ front office.
Reed’s come up big in big games, including 9 stops + a red-zone INT vs Alabama; the Sugar Bowl vs. Texas (8 tackles); at Missouri (8 tackles); and LSU (9 stops). He knows how to “Reed” an offense, too. Watch #20 here, the opportunistic safety making the INT. Reincarnation of Micah Hyde? Start him on special teams
RD 6-DL BREIDEN FEHOKO, LSU
National Champion LSU is sending the most players to the NFL Combine Feb. 24-March 1. So many, in fact, that they didn’t bring in the guy who’s going to out-bench them all at his Pro Day on April 3rd (Take the “Over 44” bet)!
A strong and versatile DL1T/3T/5T with a powerful bull rush, Fehoko has ridiculous get-off speed and power, constantly commanding double-teams on a Bills’ defensive front where you’ll have trouble picking your poison: EDGEs Coe, Hughes, Lawson, and Darryl Johnson, with Fehoko, Lotulelei, Jordan Phillips, Horrible Harry, and Cory Liuget on the interior. Read my article about Breiden the man right here, and you’ll feel his fit with the team.
Editor’s babble: Sign me up for some Loganberry Wilson please. He could be this year’s steal like Matt Milano was in the fifth round. Thanks, as always, to Dean Kindig’s contributions to our blog. You can find Dean on Twitter @TCBILLS_Astro.