1. A full roundup of recent mock draft picks for the Bills will be available later Wednesday here, but one pick that has gained steam lately is Alabama tight end O.J. Howard.
On Tuesday, I advocated the idea of the Bills drafting a wide receiver in the first round, so adding an offensive weapon like Howard would seem to make sense on the surface. However, I'm not sure another tight end is what the Bills should pursue in the first round. That's because the team has a player at the position they are paying a $9 million salary-cap charge for in Charles Clay who they barely throw the ball to as it is. Maybe that changes with Rick Dennison as offensive coordinator, but Tyrod Taylor's inability to see, and utilize, the middle of the field isn't going away. As long as he remains the starting quarterback, it doesn't make sense to spend a premium draft pick on the same position that Clay plays.
While Howard's athleticism gives talent evaluators hope that he can be used as a receiver, that's still a projection because of how much time he spent blocking at Alabama. While he's an excellent prospect, Howard makes more sense for a team that utilizes the tight end more and hasn't already committed such a big salary to a player at the position, like the Bills have done with Clay.
2. Josh McCown signing with the New York Jets on Monday took one of the available backup quarterbacks off the market, but there are still several veterans the Bills can choose from if they want to add some competition for Cardale Jones for the No. 2 job.
One of those names is familiar to Bills fans – Ryan Fitzpatrick. Now, before you freak out, consider the other names. Colin Kaepernick. Robert Griffin III. Chase Daniel. Jay Cutler. Tony Romo.
None of those players seem like logical fits. Romo still hasn't been released, and there's no way he'd be interested in a backup role in Buffalo. The same can be said for Kaepernick and Cutler. Griffin and Daniel could be options, depending on their price tags, but Fitzpatrick has a few things working for him. His cost would be the most reasonable, he's got experience playing in Buffalo and – he went to Harvard alert! – he's intelligent. Those are good qualities for a backup quarterback to have.
3. Of the remaining free agents the Bills have, the two I'd have an interest in bringing back are tight end Chris Gragg and safety Jonathan Meeks. Gragg, who missed all of last season with a torn ACL, had established himself as the No. 2 tight end before getting hurt. That job is still open on the roster.
Meeks has been a primary contributor on special teams, and the team still needs safety depth. Veteran-minimum salaries should be enough to bring both Gragg and Meeks back.