The What-If Board
There's no doubt the Bills would have been widely skewered both nationally and locally if they had sat on their hands and not taken one of the 2018 NFL Draft's top four quarterbacks, given all the draft-pick capital Buffalo had amassed. Nevertheless, a fair number of fans last week advocated drafting Oklahoma State QB Mason Rudolph, who went No. 76 in the third round to Pittsburgh.
Here's how the Bills' draft might have looked if they kept all their picks, presuming they would not have waited as long as the Steelers to draft Rudolph:
12: Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech.
22: D.J. Moore, WR, Maryland.
53: Donte Jackson, CB, LSU
56: Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State.
65: Fred Warner, OLB, BYU.
96: Harrison Phillips, DT, Stanford.
121: Taron Johnson, CB, Weber State.
166: Wyatt Teller, OG, Virginia Tech.
187: Ray-Ray McCloud, WR, Clemson.
Most media and draftniks wound up overrating the second tier of quarterbacks in the draft.
Oklahoma State's Rudolph was taken 76th by the Steelers, even though there was pre-draft media speculation he could creep into the first round. Mel Kiper rated him No. 43, similar to several others. NFL Draft Scout had him at 74.
Richmond's Kyle Lauletta was taken 108th by the Giants. Kiper had him at No. 78. Numerous others had him between 85 and 99. There was widespread speculation the Patriots would view him as the next Jimmy Garoppolo. The Pats had four chances to pick Lauletta and three chances to pick Rudolph, but New England either traded down or made a pick at 43, 51, 56 and 105.
Eyes on the slot
It was apparent in retrospect that the Bills had some late-round slot-receiver candidates they liked in Clemson's Ray-Ray McCloud (the sixth-round pick) and North Carolina's Austin Proehl (the seventh-rounder). Both of those players have impressive speed and short-area burst for late-round picks.
McCloud ran 4.53 in the 40 but looks faster in highlights. Proehl ran 4.41 at a regional combine before the draft. The Bills passed on McCloud's Clemson teammate, Deon Cain (4.43), at 166 in the fifth round to take guard Wyatt Teller. Cain went to the Colts two picks before McCloud, at 185 in the sixth.
Story topics: 2018 NFL Draft