As Bills coaches and scouts head to the Senior Bowl this week, here is the projected selection for the Bills for the ninth overall pick in the eyes of 11 mock drafts.
Mel Kiper, ESPN: Rashan Gary, DT, Michigan. “Could the Bills get their Kyle Williams replacement here? At his peak, the 6-foot-6, 283-pound Gary is a menace who makes offensive linemen look foolish, but you’d like to see him do it with more regularity. Gary could play end or nose guard in a 3-4 defense or tackle in a 4-3. Buffalo could look at centers or guards here; improving the interior of the offensive line should be a priority.”
Daniel Jeremiah, NFL.com: Jawaan Taylor, OL, Florida. "Taylor could start at right tackle or either of the guard spots. He is a powerful run blocker with the agility to hold up in pass protection."
Chris Trapasso, CBSSports.com: Hakeem Butler, WR, Iowa State. "Hear me out on this one ... in this scenario, Jonah Williams is unavailable. The defensive line class is super deep, and Buffalo needs more downfield speed for Josh Allen. Butler is a huge wideout with a gigantic catch radius who can fly, and he had stellar production at Iowa State. He accounted for 42 percent of the Cyclones' receiving yards -- a very high figure -- in 2018."
Luke Easterling, DraftWire: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss. "The Bills trade back with Washington to No. 15. This is a perfect outcome for the Bills, who trade back and still get a player they likely would have considered at their original pick. After getting additional picks to help rebuild their roster, the Bills get a big, athletic weapon for Josh Allen."
Matt Miller, Bleacher Report: Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama. "He has started at right tackle as a true freshman for the Crimson Tide and has since spent two seasons kicking tails on the left side of the line. He might not have ideal tackle measurements at 6'5" and just over 300 pounds, but his technique and footwork are flawless. If teams get out of their own way and focus instead on his skill set and not his arm length, Williams is a sure-fire top-10 pick. In Buffalo, Williams gives the team options. Dion Dawkins could play right or left tackle as well as guard. The same goes for Williams, as this selection upgrades the total talent on the line and allows them to get the best five players on the field."
Vinny Iyer, Sporting News: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston. "The Bills could consider some wide receiver or offensive line help for Josh Allen with this pick, but it would be hard for Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott to pass on Oliver if he's still on the board. Venerable Kyle Williams retired, and 2018 free-agent pickup Star Lotulelei was a bust in his first season with the team. Oliver has slipped behind Quinnen Williams with his inside pop, but he’s still worthy of the top 10."
Walter Cherepinsky, WalterFootball: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston. "The Bills are desperate for offensive play-makers and blockers, but it’s hard to imagine them passing up on Ed Oliver if he's available. With Kyle Williams retiring, Buffalo needs a dominant presence in the interior of the defensive line, and Oliver can provide that. Oliver was a highly productive defensive lineman for Houston, recording a ridiculous 22.5 TFLs as a freshman. He was a monster this season before getting hurt and currently projects to be a top-10 talent in the 2019 NFL Draft."
Nate Davis, USA TODAY: Josh Allen, OLB/DE, Kentucky. "Admittedly, it's fairly irresistible to assign them Josh Allen in the first round a year after they picked Josh Allen (quarterback version) in the first round. And, yes, the quarterback clearly needs play-making help more than a second-ranked defense needs upgrades. But drill down a bit deeper. As badly as Buffalo needs a No. 1 receiver or a replacement for RB LeSean McCoy, it would be reaching for that kind of player here. The Wildcats' star and reigning Southeastern Conference defensive player of the year — Allen had 17 sacks in 2018 —would hardly be a luxury for a front seven losing Kyle Williams to retirement. Allen could also displace undersized DE Jerry Hughes, 30. Only six teams had fewer sacks than Buffalo's 36."
Steve Palazollo, Pro Football Focus: Jeffery Simmons, DL, Mississppi State. "Simmons has one of the best combinations of run-stopping and pass-rushing ability in the draft, and he posted back-to-back elite grades over the last two years. Look beyond his four sacks in 2018, Simmons is one of the most difficult players to block in the draft class."
Nick Klopsis, Newsday: N'Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State. "Josh Allen showed some promise in his rookie season despite poor talent around him. Now it’s time to find him a No. 1 receiver. Harry has the size (6-4, 216 pounds) and hands to make tough 50-50 grabs, especially in the red zone."
Eddie Brown, San Diego Union Tribune: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Mississippi State. "The Bills need to overhaul Josh Allen’s supporting cast on offense. Metcalf will be cleared to fully participate in all football activities by late January and plans to fully take part in the NFL draft process. He’s 6-foot-4, 230 pounds with elite athleticism — he’s been clocked at 4.46 in the 40-yard dash with a vertical jump measured at more than 37 inches — and playmaking ability."