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Ranking Bills' top possibilities at No. 54 in NFL draft

Jay Skurski
Vic Carucci

Here's a look at players the Buffalo Bills may consider taking with the No. 54 pick in the 2020 NFL draft on Friday and how The News' Jay Skurski and Vic Carucci rank the likelihood that player will be the selection. One means least likely and 10 means most likely.

Colorado WR Laviska Shenault Jr.

Jay: Before the Bills traded for Stefon Diggs, Shenault was one of the most popular picks for the team in the first round. Wouldn’t it be something, then, if the Bills could get him in the second? The depth at wide receiver in this year’s class makes it possible. Meter: 3.

Vic: Some analysts have seen him as a low first-round pick. There were even some projections the Bills would have taken him before trading the 22nd pick to the Vikings for Stefon Diggs. But they have Diggs, and that's what makes Shenault an unlikely pick. Meter: 2.

Notre Dame WR Chase Claypool

Jay: At 6 feet, 4 inches and 238 pounds, the Notre Dame product would add size to the Bills’ wide receiver room. He’s fast, too, having run a 4.42-second 40-yard dash at the combine. The Bills wouldn’t have to force Claypool into the lineup early, and he’d contribute immediately on special teams. Meter: 6.

Vic: He's one of the more intriguing prospects in the draft. He's listed as a receiver, but his size (6 feet, 4 inches and 238 pounds) and exceptional speed make him a viable option as a move tight end or H-back. It's for that reason that's conceivable the Bills could view him as a two-for-one value choice. Meter: 5.

Wisconsin RB Jonathan Taylor

Jay: A three-time rushing leader in the Big Ten, Taylor piled up huge numbers at Wisconsin, rushing for more than 2,000 yards in back-to-back seasons. His workload might actually be a concern, as he had at least 300 touches in all three college seasons. He also fumbled 15 times. Meter: 7.

Vic: His production is highly impressive. The guy ran for more than 2,000 yards in back-to-back seasons. However, you don't put up those kind of numbers without getting a whole lot of carries, and Taylor has that wear and tear. Not sure the Bills would love 15 career fumbles. Meter: 4.

Ohio St. RB J.K. Dobbins

Jay: A rare, true freshman starter with the Buckeyes, Dobbins had 21 rushing touchdowns and gained more than 2,000 yards as a junior in 2019, a nice bounce back after a disappointing 2018 season. He’s a downhill runner who has the toughness and ability to wear down Big Ten defenses. Meter: 8.

Vic: You have to like this guy's powerful, tough-running style. He has impressed NFL scouts with his ability to batter his way through to the physical defenses of the Big Ten. He also gets props for following up a poor 2018 performance by rushing for 2,000-plus yards and 21 TDs last year. Meter: 6.

Alabama CB Trevon Diggs

Jay: Draft projections for Diggs have been all over the place, with some suggesting he’ll go in the top 25 picks and others showing him available in the third round. Joining his older brother, Stefon, with the Bills would be a nice story, but Diggs would fill a long-term need, too. Meter: 7.

Vic:  This is the kind of pick that would make sense for the Bills in more ways than one. Diggs is a highly regarded player that some analysts think could be a chosen as high as the first round. If he's there at 54, he could be a steal and, as a bonus, end up a teammate of his brother, Stefon. Meter: 8.

TCU CB Jeff Gladney

Jay: Bills coach Sean McDermott looks for a certain mentality in his defensive players, and Gladney’s got it. He’s an alpha who is extremely competitive. Gladney led the Big 12 with 14 passes defensed in 2019, but needs to come down with more interceptions. He would fit the Bills’ scheme well. Meter: 5.

Vic: One of the key qualities the Bills seek in defensive backs is the ability to cover plenty of ground in a zone scheme. That is a trait Gladney possesses. He didn't have many interceptions in college, but he managed to be close enough to have a Big 12-best 14 pass defenses last year. Meter: 8.

Notre Dame Edge Julian Okwara

Jay: A broken leg ended what was a disappointing senior season, but Okwara flashed enough in 2018 that he should still be a Day Two pick. Speed off the edge is Okwara’s specialty, and the Bills could use a developmental player behind Jerry Hughes, Mario Addison and Trent Murphy. Meter: 6.

Vic: His speed makes him ideal to fill the Bills' need for a true speed rusher. The broken leg Okwara suffered as a senior could push him to the 54th pick. If he returns to the strong form he displayed in 2018, Okwara would figure to be perfect in a rotational, developmental role. Meter: 7.

Alabama Edge Terrell Lewis

Jay: Injury concerns could push Lewis down the draft board, especially this year with teams not being able to do as much background work because of the coronavirus pandemic. Lewis played just 26 games in college, so he’ll need time to develop, but the Bills can give that to him. Meter: 5.

Vic: Interesting situation here. There's a lot to like about his talent. Yet, there are also some red flags because of his history of injuries and limited playing time. The pandemic pause has prevented teams' follow-up medical examinations. Still, he could be a good developmental choice. Meter: 6.

Boise State OT Ezra Cleveland

Jay: A turf toe injury suffered in the second game in 2019 meant Cleveland couldn’t practice for much of the year. Despite that, he was a first-team All-Mountain West Conference pick. He needs to add strength, but the Bills wouldn’t have to force him into the lineup as a rookie. Meter: 4.

Vic: As a reflection of how limited the depth is at offensive tackle, Cleveland has enough flaws to probably be available after the second round, partly because of a toe injury and the need to be stronger. But he appears to be the best player at the position who could be at 54. Meter: 3.

Lenoir-Rhyne S Kyle Dugger

Jay: It’s been well established that the Bills spent a good deal of time scouting Dugger, who will become the first player drafted out of Division II Lenoir-Rhyne since 2000. He would be an ideal fit in the "Buffalo nickel" role in McDermott’s defense, even if it’s a part-time position. Meter: 6.

Vic: You know McDermott would have no problem adding depth to an already outstanding safety corps, and Dugger has occupied a prominent spot on the Bills' radar. Although Dugger played at a Division II school, he has demonstrated he is more than ready play at the next level. Meter: 7.

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