Round 1, 22nd overall pick
Although specific wide receivers come up most often, the percentage of mock drafts that belive the Bills will draft a receiver with the 22nd overall pick keeps dropping. This is version three, the percentage has gone from 80 to 60 to this month’s 58 percent. Shaq Lawson’s status with the team in 2020 still up in the air, so the idea of drafting a pass rusher is gaining steam.
The players most often selected this time around are:
Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson – 7
Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU – 5
Yetur Gross-Matos, Edge, Penn State – 4
A.J. Epenesa, Edge, Iowa – 4
After finishing second the past two compilations, Clemson wideout Tee Higgins takes over the top spot. Overall support for him has been steady, but he’s still getting picked in slightly over a quarter of the mocks audited. The man who made a big jump is LSU receiver, Justin Jefferson.
Jefferson surprised many, including himself with a 4.43 40-yard dash time. His production, however, speaks for itself. As a member of the National Champion LSU Tigers, Jefferson had 111 receptions for 1,540 yards and 18 touchdowns. On a team full of star players, his production stood out.
He was described as a quarterback’s best friend by NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein. Jefferson fires off the snap quickly and can get downfield with his speed. He has great hands and adjusts his body well to catch balls he probably shouldn’t be able to. At the next level, Jefferson will have to learn to get more separation from defensive backs, especially when going against press coverage.
Check out what Hall-of-Famer Chris Carter had to say about him.
It’s strange to see A.J Epenesa’s name so often on the list. The Iowa pass rusher was expected to be the second defensive end to come off the board. Unfortunately, he had a bad combine. Scouts are now questioning his ability to get to the quarterback.
His drop down the board could be the Buffalo Bills gain. Epenesa is big at 6-6, 275-pounds. He has impressive power and length which helps him get off of blocks. One overlooked aspect of his game, Epenesa is very effective against the run.
Anyone who doubts the importance of a good showing at the combine, take a look at Laviska Shenault. In our previous two compilations, the Colorado receiver was selected most often. This time around none of the 26 mock drafts had Shenault headed to Buffalo. Most have him as a second-rounder after his poor 4.58-second 40-yard dash in addition to the news that he needs core muscle surgery that will sideline him for a few months this spring.