2018 NFL Draft prospects to watch today beyond Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen - The Buffalo News

Share this article

print logo

2018 NFL Draft prospects to watch today beyond Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen

UCLA vs. USC is probably the marquee game in an otherwise mediocre slate of college football outings today, with Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen taking center stage.

Here are the draft prospects playing in other relatively high-profile games, not named Darnold or Rosen who the Bills could be interested in next April.

Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan

Hurst is the premier penetrating defensive tackle in the 2018 draft class. He wins with lightning quick burst off the snap, good hand work to beat offensive linemen, and strength to hold his ground against double teams. He's a redshirt senior with plenty of experience, something we can expect Sean McDermott to like. None of the Bills 2017 draft picks were underclassmen. Scheme-wise, Hurst would be the ideal replacement for Kyle Williams as the pass-rushing interior defensive lineman in Buffalo's defense. He's essentially a lock to go in the first round.

T.J. Edwards, LB, Wisconsin

Somewhat flying under the radar on an undefeated Wisconsin team, Edwards is a refined inside linebacker with quality athleticism. He's not only is fast to the football, he knows what to do if offensive linemen stand in his way. By either efficiently sifting through traffic or using his hands to shed blocks, he's frequently around the football. Beyond that, Edwards is a reliable coverage linebacker. He had 89 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, and three interceptions a season ago. So far in 2017, Edwards has 49 tackles, six tackles for loss, one sack, and four picks. In theory, he'd be the replacement to Preston Brown at middle linebacker if the Bills wanted to go in a different direction at that spot.  Edwards will likely to be picked in the first to third round range.

Deontay Burnett, WR, USC

If the Bills want to add a younger, more explosive version of Deonte Thompson, who's performed admirably after being signed as free-agent in September, they could seriously consider Burnett. He's a speedster with impressive yards-after-the-catch ability on underneath routes and when asked to find holes in zone coverage. Burnett is only a junior, but has been Darnold's go-to target this season. He has 69 catches for 911 yards with nine touchdowns on the season. The Bills would likely have to use a first or second round pick on Burnett.

Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia

Smith is a rising prospect at the middle linebacker spot. As every game passes, it seems more likely he'll be a first-rounder. He's a thudding inside linebacker who also has the springy athleticism to be effective in coverage against tight ends and running backs down the field. The junior defender has 82 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, and two pass breakups on the year. Like Edwards, he'd be the replacement to Brown at middle linebacker for the Bills.

Bills scouts among those expected for Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen showdown

Story topics: /

There are no comments - be the first to comment