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[BN] Blitz newsletter: Bills go defensive with first-round picks in latest Kiper mock draft

ESPN's popular NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. released a new mock draft Wednesday, but it doesn't have the Bills taking a quarterback.

Kiper's mock doesn't feature trades, and he projects four quarterbacks – Josh Allen, Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen and Baker Mayfield – will already be gone by the time the Bills come up at 12th overall. Then he has Lamar Jackson, the last of the potential first-rounders, going before the Bills come up against at 22.

With those players already off the board, Kiper gave the Bills a linebacker and a cornerback in the first round. Which makes some sense, but man, Bills fans would be upset with that result.

Luckily, though, in Jay Skurski's Mock Draft Roundup 3.0, nearly every other mocker has the Bills grabbing a quarterback, either at 12 or through a trade up. (Want to project what a trade up could look like? Try your hand in our draft pick trading calculator.)

What could change Kiper's mind? With his recent mock draft in mind, Kiper said the Bills' evaluation of Lamar Jackson will be key to their draft plans. But I suppose that only holds if they don't trade up for a higher-rated prospect.

Jim Kelly's doctor explains jaw reconstruction procedure: Jim Kelly was scheduled to undergo surgery Wednesday morning to tackle his latest round of oral cancer. Thurman Thomas gave Kelly some love on Twitter.

AJ McCarron's former coaches gush over QB's presence: "He's a joy to coach," Marvin Lewis said. "He's what you want, you know?" But perhaps tellingly was this: "You want a guy who always feels he's better than he is. That's part of being a quarterback in the NFL."

Bills working with highest dead-cap figure in many years: Mark Gaughan wrote that the Bills' dead cap space – the amount of salary cap space taken up by money owed to players no longer on the team, like Marcell Dareus – is the highest it has been in the last 16 years.

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"When Buffalo has bragging rights over your town, it’s hard not to start fuming": The city of Seattle seems a little salty at now owning the longest playoff drought in North American sports. Get a load of what Seattle Times columnist Matt Calkins had to say: "So the Mariners have to find a way to end this thing," he wrote. "They have to find a way to overcome the odds. They have to find a way to be like … the friggin’ Buffalo Bills."

Browns coach: Bills had multiple offers for Tyrod Taylor: The News previously reported that the Bills had potential offers from the Cardinals and Broncos, although the picks being offered were much lower.

Goodell dodges on social justice protests: The NFL wanted to focus this week on community efforts rather than anthem policies to address players' social justice involvement, Vic Carucci wrote.

Daily Drive Podcast: What will Giants do with the No. 2 pick?

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Got feedback on this newsletter or our Bills coverage? Email Josh Barnett at jbarnett@buffnews.com. Find us on Facebook by clicking here and follow @BNBlitzNow on Twitter.

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