The wait is finally over – the NFL Draft is here. The first round begins at 8 p.m., with coverage on NFL Network, ESPN and ABC.
The Bills aren't in the market for a quarterback and don't have an overwhelming need at any one position, which means they have plenty of options at the ninth overall pick (including trading out of the slot).
So what player might the Bills select? Much of that depends on who get selected before the Bills come up, but we can get a rough idea by looking at the team's biggest remaining needs. Vic Carucci, Jay Skurski and Mark Gaughan teamed up to assess the Bills' level of need at every single position (minus specialists, who rarely get drafted).
The case for a defensive tackle feels compelling, though defensive end and tight end aren't far behind on the wish list. And if the Bills' top choices at those positions are already gone, adding a stud offensive lineman would be a solid choice, too.
Bills need quality, not quantity, from 2019 draft class: This is an underrated point from Mark Gaughan. The Bills have 10 picks in the draft, with extra selections in rounds 4, 5 and 7. The Bills are highly unlikely to have all 10 of those players on the roster in September. They did enough work in free agency to fill most major needs, so the goal here should be to come away with as much top talent as possible, not to load up on depth selections. Using those picks to trade up at some point, or even to acquire picks in next year's draft, should be a priority this weekend.
Will ‘Trader Beane’ have the Bills on the move? Speaking of trades, Vic Carucci wrote about Brandon Beane's penchant for swapping picks. Beane estimated only 5% of the deals he has attempted to make ended up coming to fruition.
Draft Mailbag: Jay Skurski was asked if there is an "off-the-radar/surprise pick" the Bills could make in the first round. He went with Clemson defensive tackle Christian Wilkins, who is a first-round talent but not thought to be as great a prospect as Quinnen Williams or Ed Oliver.
Alabama OL Jonah Williams would "love" to play for Bills: A prospect isn't going to say anything negative about a team the week of the draft, but Bills OC Brian Daboll should have intimate knowledge of Williams' skillset after spending a year as his offensive coordinator at Alabama.
Kentucky's Josh Allen: Would be "a little weird" having Bills' Josh Allen as teammate: Sure would be. Luckily, Allen is expected to be off the board before the Bills come up. It's very likely he gets drafted higher than the Bills' Josh Allen did (seventh overall).
Houston DT Ed Oliver says "Buffalo’s a great place": And he is correct. If I had to handicap the odds of the Bills landing particular players, I think I'd give Oliver the best odds, though it's far from certain he'll still be on the board at 9.
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