Seven-round Bills-only mock draft addresses areas of need - The Buffalo News
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Seven-round Bills-only mock draft addresses areas of need

With only six draft picks, the Buffalo Bills will be under immense pressure to make each one of them count later this month.

The Bills' list of needs runs longer than the amount of picks they have. Wide receiver, cornerback, right tackle, tight end, linebacker and quarterback are all positions that could use reinforcements. That doesn't leave much room for "best player available," if that's the route the Bills want to take.

Because of that, a trade down would be in the Bills' best interest. That, of course, takes a willing partner. The best chance to do that might come in the first round. The Bills hold the 10th pick, and it's possible that teams like Cleveland (No. 12), Arizona (No. 13) and Houston (No. 25) might fall in love with a quarterback and want to move up to make sure they get their guy. That could give the Bills some more ammunition in what's expected to be a deep draft, particularly at defensive back.

Without knowing what other teams are willing to give up, though, here is a look at what the Bills' draft could look like:

• First round, 10th overall: Mike Williams, WR, Clemson. Another Tigers receiver in the first round? That might seem odd after the team took Sammy Watkins in 2014, but Williams would provide a capable starter on the opposite side, while also providing some insurance in case Watkins can't stay healthy again in 2017. At 6-foot-4 and 218 pounds, he's built like a No. 1 receiver.

• Second round, 44th overall: Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt. With Zach Brown leaving in free agency, the Bills have a big need for a three-down linebacker. That's what Cunningham projects to be at the next level. He was a tackling machine on a bad team, finishing with 125, including 16.5 for losses, in 2016.

• Third round, 75th overall: Howard Wilson, CB, Houston: The Bills can afford to wait until the third round for a cornerback because of how deep the position is this year. Wilson averaged an interception on every 15 targets in his college career, even with only one full season as a starter.

• Fifth round, 139th overall: Jadar Johnson, S, Clemson: Johnson is another player with only one year of starting experience, but that's because of the depth in the Clemson secondary. When he did get his chance, the first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection responded, leading the team with five interceptions, while making 60 tackles and breaking up seven passes.

• Fifth round, 152nd overall: Joshua Dobbs, QB, Tennessee. Picking up the playbook won't be a problem for Dobbs, who majored in aerospace engineering. He threw for 2,946 yards and 27 touchdowns and ran for 831 yards with 12 scores in 2016.

• Sixth round, 169th overall: Michael Roberts, TE, Toledo. A 6-foot-5, 270-pounder, Roberts had 45 catches for 533 yards and an impressive 16 touchdowns in 2016, the sixth-highest total in the country.

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