In each of the past two drafts, the Buffalo Bills have invested in top players from the “Group of Five” conferences. They may do it again in 2020.
This year, one of the best players in the Group of Five colleges was 2019 Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year, Curtis Weaver. Opinions vary greatly on the Boise State edge rusher. It’s a mystery as to where he will go, but he’s under many first-round radars right now. The Buffalo Bills could get a bargain on him.
A very effective college player, Weaver totaled 34 sacks in three seasons, with 47.5 tackles for loss. His evaluations are very reminiscent of Michael Strahan. Coming out of Texas Southern in 1993, there were questions about the future Hall-of-Famer. Was he a dominator, or a big fish in a small pond?
The Bills have shown willingness to give Group of Five players the benefit of the doubt in the past. After all, Boise State is easily one of the best non-Power Five programs in all of college football. His status as a smaller-program player is not the only thing lowering Weaver’s draft stock, however.
Weaver doesn’t have the Herculean strength that many of the other edge rushers at the top of draft boards have. He succeeded in college due to his technique and football intelligence. So the BSU product isn’t a prototypical NFL pass rusher.
On the positive side, he showed the ability to drop back a bit and handle different assignments other than just attacking offensive lineman. Weaver played at many different spots in the Broncos front seven. Throughout his college career, he showed great versatility and proved that he can succeed in different schemes.
The Bills did well with these types of utility players on defense last year. General Manager Brandon Beane didn’t spend this offseason making splashy signings. Instead, he found guys who would work in coach Sean McDermott’s system.
There are several deep positions in this draft, Buffalo some great options on both sides of the ball despite trading away their first-round pick to Minnesota for Stefon Diggs. I see Weaver as a guy that could be targeted in the second round when the Bills are on the clock, with the 54th overall pick.
The Buffalo Bills roster has a chance to shape up pretty nicely by the end of the draft. I would by no means be surprised if Curtis Weaver gets a call from Beane on Day 2.