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Bills Recent Trade Makes them Wildcards at Draft

Jason DeHart

With the Buffalo Bills trading for WR Mike Williams, the Bills have a full roster and are a complete unknown at who they are targeting in the upcoming NFL Draft.

The Buffalo Bills hold the ninth overall pick for the upcoming NFL Draft and at one point the team was considered a certainty to select the best wide receiver available, that is until the Bills traded a sixth round pick to the Tampa Bay Buccaneer for wide receiver Mike Williams. Now with the roster filled at every position expect the Bills to take a best player available approach to the draft and become an intriguing wildcard at the NFL Draft.

With Williams on board the Bills currently have eleven receivers on their roster and seem pretty stacked with a top five of Williams, Stevie Johnson, Robert Woods & Marquise Goodwin (last year’s second and third round picks), and TJ Graham. But this won’t preclude them from drafting a player like Clemons’ Sammy Watkins or Texas A&M’s Mike Evans if they fall.

This becomes even more apparent when looking into the future. Williams is basically on a one-year trial, and Johnson may become a cap causality in the off season depending on his performance. Selecting a receiver of Watkins or Evans caliber would provide a potential game breaker and big bodied target that isn’t on the roster currently, or may not be there the following year.

If either of those two are off the board it then becomes a case of selecting the best falling player. Someone like Jake Matthews (OT), [TaylorLewin] (OT), Eric Ebron (TE) or even Anthony Barr (LB) could be available at ninth overall. If this scenario does play out, don’t be surprised if the Bills trade back and acquire more picks as they did a year ago with a falling Tavon Austin.

But I would suspect that the Bills will want to continue to add offensive play makers, like Ebron, to help second year quarterback EJ Manuel. The offense had issues sustaining drives and scoring touchdowns last year. Ebron would provide a big bodied safety net for Manuel and help open the other noted receiving targets up.

Otherwise fortifying the offensive line will become imperative as head coach Doug Marrone’s run dominated offense did not perform as expected. A lineman will help protect Manuel and open holes for backs CJ Spiller and Fred Jackson. With the offensive line group being so deep one would think that unless Matthews is available the more likely scenario is that the Bills select a lineman with their second round pick and take the best offensive playmaker possible.

The wildcard on the Bills draft board is the defense. The Bills finished second in the league in sacks and return all their pass rushers, what they don’t have is a top flight safety after Jairus Byrd left in free agency. If the Bills trade down then Calvin Pryor of Louisville has to be a target. It may not be a favorite pick among fans, but after seeing the impact the departed Byrd can have on a game, it can be an important one.

In all the trade for Mike Williams just made the Bills an even bigger gamble to guess. They could see the next piece they need and trade up, feel they can add more by trading down and still get the player they want, or just sit tight and let the best player fall regardless of position. All that is known is that the Bills will select someone in the first round who has come in for a pre-draft visit as they’ve done so for four years running.

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