Astro’s “Pick-Six” For April

Photo of former LSU RB Clyde Edwards-Hellaire from Oklahoman.com.

The Bills have been so thorough this year, via trades and Free Agency. GM Beane’s thoroughness has extended to the draft’s available talent, too. Part of that is because he’s not likely looking for a franchise QB or even a #1 wideout from the April 23-25 event. While the Las Vegas event will unfortunately be fan-free, BillsMafia will have a ring-side seat in the comfort of their own homes, hopefully electronically connected with with a couple of friends. Bathrooms will be close and smell better.

Our DraftTek Analysts always connect together via Google Hangouts, collaborating and commenting on each pick. Our regular mock draft page becomes commentary on each pick, and we re-simulate the entire 7 rounds after almost every pick! Be sure and bookmark us for that! We beat Kiper every year.

I continue to update my BillsMafia War Chart here. What is immediately obvious is how thorough Beane, Schoen, Dan Morgan, and the Bills scouts have been, doing their due diligence on potential game-changers. Without teams enjoying the benefit of 30-visits and medicals, they’ll rely on scouts and film study to get each pick right. That’s why I anticipate even-greater success for the Bills. this year. No team will be as organized, thorough, and insightful as our Bills.

Who are my top six best guesses at each pick? I’ll do this once more before the draft, but the fog is clearing. I’m not focusing on whom I want the Bills to pick; but who Beane and Schoen would be selecting. No pet cats. Just players who fit The Process.

RD2#54

Photo of former Wisconsin OLB Zack Baun from Newsday.com.

Zack Baun Wisconsin OLB
Big 10
Scouted 1x, and Beane and (we think) Dan Morgan was there.
Drafted #41-54
Baun led his Badgers in impressive 8-tackle, 2-asst, 1-sack job …in front of Beane and (we think) Dan Morgan. Baun was miscast in Wisconsin’s 3-4 defense, but he still impressed. The Bills look for good players regardless of scheme (see: Ed Oliver, Harrison Phillips, both NT in a 3-4). Baun is a player who operates better in space and off the ball, but he sure can get to the quarterback: 47 pressures this year, and he gets home fast: his 10-yard split of 1.54 is in the 97%ile among EDGE defenders since 1999. That’s elite, I can’t even fall that fast. Baun’s 6-3, 235, with 34 games played.

Photo of former LSU RB Clyde Edwards-Hellaire from ESPN1420.com and Getty Images.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire LSU RB/KR
SEC 4x, GM/Asst, Combine
Drafted #27-61
Our GM and trusty sidekick Schoen went to LSU 46, Alabama 41 [highlights]. All CEH did was grind out yards and clock, with 20 carries for 103 yards and 3 TD (5.1 ypc), tacked on 9 receptions for 77 yards, plus a 19-yard KR, adding up to 199 all-purpose yards and 4 TD. This isn’t the complement to Singletary, but he’s going to contribute earlier. His vision helps him on blitz pickup and cuts against the grain. He was tops in the SEC among draftables with 36% of his carries resulting in first down/TD. CEH’s runs between the Guards –the Bills’ bread and butter with Singletary– is 6.1ypc. His 86% catch rate is a mismatch, and our WRs, TEs, and Josh would benefit, as he would force a OLB or Safety to cover that swing pass (instead of doubling, say, Diggs or John Brown, or instead of spying on Josh). Clyde’s missed tackles forced, lateral agility, balance, vision, leg-churn, and smarts all make for a formidable backfield. His 877 KR yards is second-highest among draftable WRs (Bills scouted #1, too). EdO loves Edwards-Helaire. “Clyde is one of the best players on our team,” Orgeron said. “I tell everybody: Clyde is 6-4, 270 when he walks in the room. He has a lot of confidence.” Taking a RB in RD2 would be Helaire-ious.

Photo of former Clemson OG John Simpson from si.com.

John Simpson Clemson OG
ACC
Scouted 3x, GM/Asst/OL Coach
Drafted #47-62
Clemson wasn’t scouted during the regular season, and maybe that was efficient, because Beane, Schoen and OL Coach Bobby Johnson saw the Clemson contingent in the SEC Championship, the Natty, and then visited with Simpson at the Combine. Simpson had a good Pro Day with Bobby Johnson there. Johnson saw OGOC Cervenka and OG Simpson blow up the bench reps at Pro Day. Simpson’s likely ranked too high on most boards, and wrong for some teams. The Draft Network says of Simpson: ” lack of short area agility, flexibility, range, and foot speed as a blocker will pose significant issues for anything other than true WCOs relying on gap/power rushing concepts.” Phone booth guards like Spain, Ford, and Feliciano? I’ll take two.

Photo of former Notre Dame EDGE Julian Okwara from ramstalk.net.

Julian Okwara Notre Dame EDGE
Independent
Scouted 2x-September
Drafted #54-69
Okwara rose to the occasion when Bills scouts were around: 3 TFL and 3 sacks in his first game; then 2 tkl, 1 sack in the second game. In 2018, Okwara ranked 2nd among returning Power 5 DE’s in pass-rush productivity, per PFF, and was our 3rd-ranked DE. With better Sacks per Game than Gross-Matos, he’s still in the RD2#54 conversation. His drop to #54, however, is due to his relative production during his encounters with those NFL-quality RD1 OTs, where he was held sackless. Moreover, Okwara had the lowest TFLs per Game over his career among the RD1-6 draftable EDGE rushers.

Photo of former USC WR Michael Pittman from usctrojans.com.

Michael Pittman Jr. USC Big Slot/PR
PAC-12
Scouted 2x, GM
Drafted #52-66
The Bills were associated with D.K. Metcalf last year, and if Baun’s gone, here’s his chance at DK2. Beane saw Pittman go off on Shenault’s Colorado Buffs with 2 TDs, on 7 catches for 156 yds (22.3 ypc), and he did most of his damage out of the slot. Daboll can line up Pittman like a Metcalf, to bully around in the intermediate part of the field, where he can use his long arms to compensate for slightly-off passes. Add Brown at the X, Diggs at the Y, and Beasley in the slot opposite Pittman, and your 4-wide is wild. Pittman is also known for his toughness, route-running, and his red-zone traits, so I pull Beasley on first and goal at the 5. Pittman’s also a punt returner, and Andre Roberts is fourth-oldest on the Bills. His 41 games played is 2nd-most at this pick –except for 5-11, 196, 4.42 smurf K.J. Hill.

Photo of former Arizona St. WR Brandon Aiyuk from wholeninesports.com.

Brandon Aiyuk Arizona St WR/PR/KR
PAC-12
School visit 1x November
Drafted #39-72
A Bills scout visited practice in November, but no games were scouted to my knowledge. Brandon Aiyuk had the 6th-most receiving yards this year (1,192 on 65 catches, 18.3 ypc), and just as important, Aiyuk was tops in FBS Kickoff Return Yards Per Return at 31.9 yards. You read that right. It is possible that Stefon Diggs will be the reason the Bills go in a different direction (thanks, Tee Higgins), and Beane isn’t likely to take a returner in RD2, so that’s why Aiyuk’s the last of my six. I have a WR in each of the rounds, but RD2’s the most unlikely …unless they trade RD4 and take Claypool, who’s in the next batch.

RD3#86

Photo of former Utah RB Zack Moss from ESPN.com.

Zack Moss Utah RB
PAC-12 Scouted 1x-Oct, Combine 4
Drafted #65-86
Hmmm… Who could we get in RD3 that would be the perfect complement to Devin Singletary? He’d have to be efficient when asked to pound the rock, because he wouldn’t likely get as many touches as Singletary, the NFL’s 4th-best in broken tackle percentage at 23.8%, the third-highest percentage in six years. In his scouted game, Zack Moss got 5 carries. He romped for 121 yards and scored 2 TD (an astounding 24.2 YPC!!). He’s the love-child of the straight-ahead running of Kareem Hunt, with the contact balance and forced missed tackles of …Devin Singletary. One comp I saw that I liked is Frank Gore. If Moss develops the patience Gore had, that’d be deadly.

Photo of former Florida EDGE/OLB Jonathan Greenard from steelcityblitz.com.

Jonathan Greenard Florida EDGE/OLB
Scouted at SEC Combine, Private Workout
Drafted #77-92
Greenard (“gruh-NARD”) had no credentialed game visits by the Bills, but the Bills brass met with Greenard at the Combine, and did a private workout as well. His 1.15 TFL per game is third-highest after Chase Young (1.17) and Curtis Weaver (1.19), and his 19.5 career sacks is fifth in my top 125 players. His fit as a pass rusher who can drop into space is appealing for the McDermott-Frasier scheme.

Photo by AP/Shutterstock (9239382l) Syracuse defensive lineman Alton Robinson (94) during the first half of an NCAA college football game, in Louisville, Ky Syracuse Football, Louisville, USA – 18 Nov 2017.

Alton Robinson Syracuse EDGE
ACC Scouted 2x, AsstGM
Drafted #67-86
Not too far behind Greenard is Alton Robinson. His 6-4, 249, 0.91 TFL per game are competitive with Greenard, and Robinson just crushed it when under the purview of Schoen vs WMU: 6 tackles, 3 of them solo, 1.5 sacks, 3 TFL, and 5 QBH. The Bills’ front office was there to see his 2 sacks at the Senior Bowl, as well. Alton is extremely well-coached, and would contribute from Day One on special teams, and has a nice high ceiling –you know, a tray ceiling with the nice dentil molding. For me, either Greenard or Robinson would be a home-run pick. Robinson’s alma mater Syracuse is just down the Thruway from Buffalo, with St. John Fisher (and me) sandwiched in between.

Photo of former Notre Dame WR/TE Chase Claypool from UHND.com.

Chase Claypool Notre Dame WR/TE
Indep Scouted 4x- September , SrBowl, Combine 4
Drafted #52-86
Claypool impressed during the year and after the season. In his first Bills-scouted game, Claypool dominated, with a 5/94 18.8 ypc stat line. In the Bills’ second visit, he was quiet (6 catches for 30 yards); He was one of four players to meet with the Bills at the Senior Bowl and Combine, too. At 6-4, 238, he’s the big-bodied bully who’d play a WR-TE role. Claypool’s willingness to block downfield must be thoroughly vetted to have him on my Bills.

Photo of former Utah EDGE Bradlee Anae from kslsports.com.

Bradlee Anae Utah EDGE
PAC-12 Scouted 1x-Oct, Sr Bowl 2
Drafted #73-90
Bradlee Anae gets a lot of buzz, and he did well for 2 scouts in this game vs Oregon State, with 3 tackles (but top prospect at Utah, Jaylon Johnson, had 7, impressing more than Anae). Anae showed up big-time in the Senior Bowl in front of Beane and Schoen, with 3 sacks, which was without blitzing. Anae’s 1.03 TFL per game career and 24.5 career sacks are superior numbers to Epenesa, K’Lavon Chaisson, Terrell Lewis, and Julian Okwara, and I like Anae’s competitive fire.

Photo of former Michigan OLB Josh Uche from 247sports.com.

Josh Uche Michigan OLB
Big 10 Scouted GM/Asst, Sr Bowl
Drafted #66-86
Both Beane and Schoen went to the Iowa-Michigan game [highlights], likely to watch Wirfs as a potential RT vs Epenesa, and Ruiz and Bredeson, who also will go very early. Were they also watching Uche? Michigan runs an old-fashioned, opportunistic, physical defense, but it’s a 3-4. Michigan constantly pressured the Iowa OTs which included next year’s OT Alaric Jackson and RD1 Tristan Wirfs. The Wolverines had eight sacks and six hurries vs the Hawkeyes. Draftable OLB Khaleke Hudson had 4 tkl and 7 asst, and with his speed, Josh Uche also looked to give Wirfs some trouble, but logged 0 tkl and 1 asst. Late rounder Josh Metellus at Safety is also a good guess; he is the elder statesman who had 4 tkl, 2 asst, and a nice INT.

RD4#128 — Pick most likely to be traded, in my opinion.

Photo of former Texas WR Collin Johnson from Hookem.com.

Collin Johnson Texas WR
BIG12 Scouted 2x-Morgan, SrBowl
Drafted #127-144
Texas had zero games scouted, but Dan Morgan went to coaches, then Beane/Schoen interviewed him at, and watched him in, the Senior Bowl. None of the tall players I mentioned in my WR article improved their route-running and separation more than Collin Johnson by Sr. Bowl practices –and we know that size was never a question. He’s 6-6,220.

Photo of former Ohio State WR K.J. Hill from toledoblade.com.

K.J. Hill Ohio State WR
Big 10 Scouted 4x, GM/Asst, Combine
Drafted #109-144
Hill needs to get to RD4#128 before I’d enter his name. His first scouted outing was fine -ish (7 catches, 57 yards for 8.1 vs MSU, but he only made 2 catches for 19 yards (9.5) vs Northwestern when Schoen and Beane were watching. If the Bills are looking for the WR with hands who’s reliable, they could do worse than to select Ohio State’s all-time receptions leader. Hill gets YAC by some of the best use of blockers you’ll see, and 4.4 speed that looks faster than that, but he can also get separation with next-level route running with these crisp cuts. It could be that the Bills take two WRs, and if they do, Hill would be a nice pain reliever for Beasley.

Photo of former Michigan OLB/SS Khaleke Hudson from MLive.com.

Khaleke Hudson Michigan OLB/SS
Big 10 Scouted GM/Asst
Drafted #110-133
I call Khaleke Hudson “Derwin James Lite (TM)”, and there are 3 of them in this draft (McKinney, Simmons, and Hudson). In the scouted game by Schoen and Beane, Hudson excelled, with 4 tkl and 7 asst He’s a large box safety with experience at LB, NCB, and EDGE (that’s a list of team needs for the Bills, isn’t it?). If you have a nondescript position like that, teams drop you a round or you’re an ideal camouflage piece for certain defensive wizards. With Hudson’s relentless pursuit, team-first spirit, smarts, gusto, and leadership, he’s tailor-made for this defense. Michigan’s secondary has limited opposing offenses to the fewest YAC, and the Bills always want to get better at that. Hudson was on the Bednarik, Nagurski, and Butkus lists. In the scouted games, Hudson was more impressive than Uche.

Photo of former Michigan CB Lavert Hill from MLive.com.

Lavert Hill Michigan CB
Big 10 Scouted GM/Asst 3
Drafted #128-149
The NFL.com’s #1 CB at one time, Lavert Hill had 4 tkl and 1 INT in the GM-scouted game vs Iowa. Hill is an in-your-pocket, pesky CB who’s excellent vs the run. That’s the Bills’ M.O. Lavert is tough, but small (5-10, 190), 5th among draftables in number of Passes Defended. How? Hill’s anticipation/vert on the jump is amazeballs. His former teammate is current Dallas Cowboys’ 5-10,195 CB Jourdan Lewis, a RD3 three years ago (and the Cowboys need CBs). Again, Michigan’s secondary has limited opposing offenses to the fewest YAC. Hill was 2nd in the B1G in snaps per reception allowed.

Photo of former Liberty WR Antonio Gandy-Golden from aseaofred.com.

Antonio Gandy-Golden Liberty WR
Independent
Scouted 2x-Oct, SrBowl
Drafted #103-177
Two scout visits in October ( 5 catches, 68 yds, 13.6 ypc, 1 TD in scouted game) and a meeting with the Bills at the Senior Bowl sounds like the Bills are doing due diligence on every tall receiver regardless of round. Gandy-Golden was interviewed and hopefully did well, because observers said he didn’t do well at Senior Bowl practices. However, he dropped a 6-119 (19.8) stat line against then-#22 Syracuse with one catch for 56 yards that got my attention. Here’s a more-positive report. I’d be happier taking Gandy-Golden in RD5, though.

Photo of former Kentucky RB/WR/KR/PR/QB Lynn Bowden from FakePigskin.com.

Lynn Bowden Kentucky RB/WR/KR/PR/QB
SEC
Scouted Combine interview
Drafted #102-125
A BillsMafia Twitter Draft Darling, Bowden had no visits and no games scouted. Then came contact at the Combine. As a playmaker on offense, there is no equal to Bowden (Antonio Gibson comes close). Bowden has played RB/WR/KR/PR, plus Wildcat QB, plus returns kickoffs and punts. What if he were the Bills’ QB3, WR6, and heir apparent to Andre Roberts at kick returner? Saves you a roster spot or two. He won the Paul Hornung Award as the nation’s most outstanding all-purpose player.

RD5#167

Photo of Former Memphis WR/RBC/KR Antonio Gibson from dailyhelmsman.com.

Antonio Gibson Memphis WR/RBC/KR
AAC Scouted 2x- September , Jan, Feb
Drafted #141-191
Here’s “Lynn Bowden Lite”. Whether the Bills are interested or not, I don’t know. The Bills made 3 jet visits to Memphis, but no games were scouted. Gibson’s a nice consolation prize if you missed out on Bowden. While Bowden is 6-1 199 4.48, Gibson is a more-solid, more-speedy 6-2, 221, 4.39, and has had better success against AP-ranked teams (19.3 to 11.6). Gibson was 18th in the nation in kick return yards, totaling 645 yards. Gibson could also reduce your roster spots by 1 or 2, as he could be a change of pace RB and ST specialist. His 99th%ile speed score is the #speedkills you want.

Photo of former Arizona State RB/KR Eno Benjamin from abc15.com.

Eno Benjamin Arizona State RB/KR
PAC-12
Scouted SrBowl
Drafted #141-191
He met with the Bills at the Senior Bowl, per TDN. Eno’s another Singletary. Except Eno’s a notably better receiver, and more agile, if that’s possible. Singletary: 5-7, 203, 4.66 forty, ankle-breaker with vision, 7.32 3-cone. Eno Benjamin: 5-9, 207, 4.57 forty, ankle-breaker with vision, 6.97 3-cone. Neither back is the between-the-tackles guy, so the visit is intriguing. Body control is Eno’s forte, and just needs patience sometimes for the hole to open. Comp is Paul Perkins. If the Bills take Moss and Benjamin, I’ll buy seasons tickets.

Photo of former Iowa CB/S Michael Ojemudia from dailyiowan.com.

Michael Ojemudia Iowa CB/S
Big 10
Scouted GM/Asst 2
Drafted #138-211
In this round, you look for high-upside players who could compete for a ST role at minimum. It wasn’t the stats that drew me to Ojemudia (1 tkl 2 asst vs Purdue; 1 tkl 2 asst vs Michigan), it was everything about the man he is. Words like “humility, team player, great leadership, smarts, great character, hard hitter” that I kept seeing. He is always about process: “I prepare more than anybody here,” he said. “It’s in the film books, …my attention to detail is what separates me from all the other corners.” He looks the part of a CB/S, too; he has thick build and long arms. Most importantly, OJ had the lowest passer rating when targeted among FBS CBs (min. 10 targets). Very sharp in zone –which helps the Bills.

PISCATAWAY, NJ – NOVEMBER 23: Michigan State Spartans defensive end Kenny Willekes (48) during the college football game between the Michigan State Spartans and Rutgers Scarlet Knights on November 23, 2019 at SHI Stadium in Piscataway, NJ (Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images).

Kenny Willekes Michigan State EDGE
Big 10
Scouted 2x-Oct, SrBowl
Drafted #161-190
Willekes had 1 tackle, 6 assists in the scouted game, then 2 sacks at the Senior Bowl, where he met with the Bills’ brass. While he has short arms that drop him, I see an unrelenting, hustle guy who wins with effort. His liabilities include not having dropped much into coverage, so he’s not likely up and running at SLB any time soon. But Milano and A.J. Klein will school him through, and he’ll be excellent on special teams right from the start.

Photo of former Memphis RB/FB Patrick Taylor Jr. from bleacherreport.com.

Patrick Taylor Jr. Memphis RB/FB
AAC
Scouted 3x ( September , Shrine, Jan)
Drafted #136-186
Patrick Taylor is the “other Taylor” RB in this draft (Jonathan’s long gone by now). He didn’t play in Shrine Game due to injury, but he was interviewed by Bills. He has experience (44 games), production on the ground (5.4 career rush), is a terror catching passes (55 receptions), and he scores points (39 all-purpose TDs). I hear “Bruiser” and I worry about injury and shelf life. But then I hear Balance, Agility, Decent jump-cut for size and I start listening and watching more tape. Watch the smoothness of Patrick Taylor’s cuts, and figure out how a Defensive Coordinator will deal with him, given all the other migraines we’re giving him.

Photo of former South Carolina WR Bryan Edwards from thestate.com.

Bryan Edwards South Carolina WR
SEC
Scouted 2x, GM
Drafted # 145-192
Deebo Samuel was clearly on the Bills short list last year, and his successor in a Gamecocks uni, Bryan Edwards, tied Deebo’s school record for catches in a game in front of a Bills scout vs Vanderbilt. Edwards piled up 14 catches, putting up 139 yards and 1 TD. Injury likely drops Edwards, but he’s a value here, and would come in handy for intermediate routes.

RD6A#188, RD6B#207 (PICK 2)

Photo of former Miami ILB/OLB Shaquille Quarterman from nfldraftbible.com.

Shaquille Quarterman Miami ILB-OLB
ACC
Scouted 30-visit
Drafted #188-211
Quarterman is one of several impressive OLB-ILB position-flexible hybrids who had no credentialed games this year. However, he was seen last year; he was the savvy wrap-up linebacker who played with Jaquan Johnson. Quarterman was the first 30-visit announced. He might be the last 30-visit announced, too. Top in games played with 51 games. They probably won’t card him for White Claw at the supermarket.

Photo of former Ohio State FS Jordan Fuller from megasportsnews.com.

Jordan Fuller Ohio State FS
Big 10
Scouted 4x, GM/Asst
Drafted #184-263
Ohio State got plenty of visits last year, and this year was no exception. Beane and Schoen watched Fuller make 5 solo tackles 2 asst, and come up with an INT. He also led OSU in tackles vs Michigan St with 2 scouts there. Fuller is a great leader, super smart, flies around to the football, is reliable, athletic, experienced, and always in the right spot. That’s how I’d describe Jordan Poyer, or Jacquan Johnson. I think the Poyer re-signing doesn’t preclude the Bills from drafting a FS late. TDN talks about him being an “abysmal tackler”, and I don’t see that.

Photo of former Michigan SS Josh Metellus from nflmockdraft.com.

Josh Metellus Michigan SS
Big 10
Scouted GM/Asst
Drafted #177-203
Savvy strong safety Micah Hyde would approve of the Big Ten’s elder statesman Safety who had 4 tkl, 2 asst, and a nice INT in a game against his Hawkeyes Beane and Schoen went to the Iowa-Michigan game, and Metellus had this cued-up INT.

Photo of former Minnesota OLB Carter Coughlin from MSN.com.

Carter Coughlin Minnesota OLB
Big 10 Scouted 1x-Nov
Drafted #169-243
In 2018, Coughlin was 5th in sacks per game tied with Brailford and Brian Burns; this yer, Coughlin slid off the list. TDN: “super quick off the ball. Like if you don’t get a hand on him in his first three steps up field, he’s really going to challenge your pass sets and put you in a bind as a pass protector ” That said, he’s a finesse player who plays hard, but lacks power. Is he miscast?

Photo of former CIncinnati RB/KR Michael Warren from 247sports.com.

Michael “Truck” Warren Cincinnati RB/KR
AAC
Not Scouted
Drafted #201-247
Truck. Bull. Snowplow. Punisher. Gore with youth. Michael “Truck” Warren( 5-9, 226, 4.34) is smart in maximizing his runs with vision, sheer effort, and strength. Warren consistently makes the first tackler miss in space. Coach Skipper will like that he’s short (Singletary height) and runs low. His excellent lateral agility is almost a dance. Here’s an absurd jump-cut, a very nice catch, and he’s decent at kick returns if you want (439 KR yards). One scenario I adore is the Bills double-dipping at RB with Eno Benjamin Day 2 and Truck Warren on Day 3. Who says 7 running backs is too many?

Photo of former Ohio State WR Binjimen Victor from elevenwarriors.com.

Binjimen Victor Ohio State WR
Big 10
Scouted 4x, GM/Asst
Drafted #205-255
Binjimen victor had a perfect day when scouts saw him (3 catches, 79 yards, 26.3 ypc, 1 TD). At 6’4″ 195, Victor is tall and thin, but his long arms gives him the advantage on inaccurate passes. If the Bills opt for a speedy smurf like Aiyuk, Duvernay, Gibson, or Hamler in earlier rounds, look for BV in RD6. I thought he ran an impressive gauntlet at the Combine, and his explosion numbers suggest he might be able to defeat press coverage, which is the knock on him..

RD7#239

Photo of former LSU iDL1T/3T Breiden Fehoko from NOLA.com.

Breiden Fehoko LSU iDL1T/3T
SEC Scouted 3x, GM/Asst
Drafted #232-UDFA
One of the 3 worst Combine snubs, Fehoko showed me his value in the 4 games he started in 2019 when Rashard Lawrence was injured. There was very little drop-off from Lawrence, currently our #105-ranked player [Big Board]. He had 11 tackles in those 4 games, and posted 6TFL’s. McProcess is etched all over the muscled Hawaiian. His father is “Vili The Warrior”, so the Haka will find its way to the stadium lots. A strong, physical iDL with a powerful bull rush, Fehoko won’t have the opportunity to win the bench press over OG Netane Muti. Breiden has some DE experience but definitely better value at 1-tch/3-tech. Versatile depth option, Pushes the pile back despite being double-teamed like Lotu. I wrote about Breiden here. He just dominated the Hula Bowl 1 on 1s. Watch him double- and triple-teamed in a thread here:

Photo of former Pittsburgh WR/PR/KR Maurice Ffrench from post-gazette.com.

Maurice Ffrench Pittsburgh WRS/PR/KR
ACC
Scouted Asst GM
Drafted UDFA
Joe Schoen did some of his own scouting, and he saw Pitt 27 vs Syracuse 20 on 10/19/2019. Ffrench was amazing, as he put up 6-92-15.3 ypc-1 TD vs The Orange. Ffrench (6-92-15.3 ypc-1 TD this year) is a quick, fast Day-3 slot option in the Pitt passing game. His biggest claim to fame is that Ffrench broke some of Larry Fitzgerald’s 2003 Pitt records for most receptions in a season, catching 96 balls. He also holds the record for Longest Reception (96 yards) with a TD, and for the Longest KR (99, TD). Ffrench Ffinished with 2,832 all-purpose yards — 1,637 receiving, 379 rushing, 652 kick-return, and 164 punt-return. In the Quick Lane Bowl, Dec. 26, Ffrench caught 12 passes for 165 yards, including a 96-yard TD that marked Pitt’s longest pass play in program history. Ffrench makes my list for his eagerness to block for teammates downfield and his contributions on special teams. Ffrench will Fforce Beane to draft him. He’ll be a great addition to the locker room.

Photo of former South Carolina RB Tavien Feaster from thestate.com.

Tavien Feaster South Carolina RB
SEC Scouted 1x, GM/Asst GM
Drafted #209-239
If the Bills need a fast RB who’s going to be a practice squad project, Feaster’s your man. While he didn’t wow scouts with his 10/33-3.3 ypc (1st visit), 11-53-4.8 ypc (2nd visit), you can’t teach size and speed. He’s 220 lbs, 4.34, only 2 career fumbles. I watch his tape and am amazed at how he’s so unproductive especially vs AP-ranked teams. He can’t catch, either. Maybe Atwal Eye Care can do for Feaster what they did for Kevon Seymour. He has the speed to separate, but dropped 4 of 17 targets, resulting in a dismal 4.6 YPT average.

Photo of former Missouri C Trystan Colon-Castillo from stltoday.com.

Trystan Colon-Castillo Missouri C
SEC Scouted 2x-Sept
Drafted #249-252
Two Bills scouts went to a Mizzou practice in September. There aren’t many big, smart Centers in this draft, and we need a good-sized backup for Morse as Long and Feliciano aren’t spring chickens. Colon-Castillo is being mentored by Chiefs’ legend Will Shields.

Photo of former Missouri CB DeMarkus Acy from kansascity.com

DeMarkus Acy Missouri CB
SEC Scouted 2x- September
Drafted #253-285
Acy was 2nd-team All-SEC, and ranked third in the SEC in interceptions (three), pass breakups (10) and passes defended (13) in 2018, but had a tougher time in 2019. Still he was Gil Brandt’s #3 CB last summer. He has some zone skills too, he’s especially excellent detecting route due to formation. This may be a good round to take a developmental CB who would do well in the McDermott-Frasier system.

Photo of former Oklahoma CB Parnell Motley from normantranscript.com.

Parnell Motley Oklahoma CB
BIG12 Scouted 2x-Nov
Drafted #239-259
Bills scouts ventured to TCU 21 at Oklahoma 24 in late November. Of course they were there to see Sooners WR CeeDee Lamb, LB Kenneth Murray, and DL Gallimore. They also got to look at TCU’s WRS/PR/KR Jalen Reagor, and mammoth OT Lucas Niang as well as DL3T Ross Blacklock, but Motley isn’t an afterthought. He had a stellar game, with 5 tkl, 1 asst, 1 INT against NFL-level players. Motley shined in the East-West Shrine game and shut down Senior Bowl standout Denzel Mims twice, as well as LSU’s Jamarr Chase. . In his career, Motley had 33 career pass breakups. His explosiveness and agility aren’t great, but zone can cover some of that.

SIX BEST-BET UDFAs:

Gage Cervenka Clemson OC OG
ACC Scouted 3x, GM/Asst/OL Coach
Drafted #239-UDFA
OL Coach Bobby Johnson saw Gage Cervenka blow up the bench reps at the Clemson Pro Day. He’s a nice replacement for Spencer Long, and could compete with Ike Boettger for a backup spot. Smart, strong, big Centers are at a premium every year, but especially this year.

Joseph Charlton South Carolina P
SEC Scouted 1x, GM/Asst GM
Drafted #219-404
Charlton had only 2 punts, but he made the most of them in front of Beane and Schoen, 91 yards total (45.5 ypk).

Blake Ferguson LSU LS
SEC Scouted 3x, GM/Asst
Drafted #363
Reid Ferguson isn’t likely done as the Bills’ long snapper, but they love his family. Why not bring in Reid’s brother Blake and keep the Fergusons in Buffalo?

Jake Hartbarger Michigan St P
Big 10 Scouted 2x-Oct
Drafted #219-UDFA
Hartbarger, a big ( 6-4, 194 ) punter, averaged 46.5 yards per punt this season, is a 4x starter who’s been at Michigan State for 6 years.

Trishton Jackson Syracuse WR
ACC Scouted 2x-Oct
Drafted #288-UDFA
This declared junior (6’1/183) began career at Michigan St 66-1023-11 TD receiving line. Good receiver on an eventually- bad team that began the year in the Top 25.

Evin Ksiezarczyk Buffalo OT
MAC Scouted 2x@practice
Drafted #380-UDFA
LT of Buffalo Bulls, #67 is the MAC’s best OT, and a local school for the Bills to scout. I wish I could tell you he’s the next Khalil Mack. Ksiezarcyk lets too many defenders into his body, does not have a plan at times, acts surprised at the snap, and has a hard-to-pronounce last name. Nevertheless, his commute would likely be a wheelbarrow.

Editor’s babble: Wow. There are several pet cats of mine on this list. This is just a great summary. Keep it bookmarked for the Draft. Grateful for our ‘Dean’ Kindig, whose stellar contributions are greatly appreciated. You can find Dean on Twitter @TCBILLS_Astro.

One Reply to “Astro’s “Pick-Six” For April”

  1. Thank you so very much for your scouting reports on these players and all the hard work you put into this. Much appreciated.

    There are obvious places where the Bills could add depth in addition to the RB2 spot. But, one thing that I think they should really consider adding if they want to be a Super Bowl contender is a versatile offensive weapon who can be deployed in different ways to create mismatches that pose real problems for the defense. You have listed both of my choices in this category: Bowden and Gibson.

    I like Gibson just a bit better than Bowden because of his breakaway speed. He measures in at 6′, 228 at The Combine and ran a sub-4.4 forty. He was primarily a WR, but volunteered to move to RB when his team had a spate of injuries at that position. He was highly productive at both positions. While not the best route runner as an outside receiver, I can think of a half dozen ways that he can be used to create mismatches that can’t be ignored because of his speed.

    Speed is what separates Gibson and Bowden in my book, but only just barely. Bowden isn’t as fast as Gibson, but he’s taller at 6’3″, and yet shiftier in space. Bowden has more experience as a runner and is tough to bring down. He showed a lot of determination and character in the games I saw. Like Gibson, he would be a handful for defenses to deal with, but in a different way.

    I believe that if the Bills could get either one of these two in the later rounds, they have the potential to make the Bills offense more explosive even though they might do so while deployed in multiple positions during the course of a game. I really hope that the Bills do take a flyer on one of them.