Round 2 – 36th pick
It’s hard to be accurate the further a draft moves along. Scouts evaluate talent differently. Coaches and Gms prioritize positions differently. Then there are variables, such as trades, which will happen (lots of them) that cause teams to constantly reshuffle their draft priorities. Picking this far down means the Bills are at the mercy of everyone else’s picks when they finally make their own.
With so many different scenarios that will happen in the 53 selections before the Buffalo Bills are on the clock, Beane needs to be diligent about who he selects. Of the 22 mocks that go into the second round, there are three schools of thought, edge rusher, running back, and everyone else. Since our last compilation, the first two categories have gained steam, while third dropped.
Edge rusher – 50 percent
Half the mock drafts believe Buffalo selects an edge rusher with the 54th overall pick. Last time out, Boise State’s Curtis Weaver was the big favorite, garnering 22 percent of all selections. Even though the position is up and he is still the co-leader overall, Weaver’s three picks dropped his percentage to 13.6.
A trio of edge rushers picked up two selections each, Terrell Lewis, Alabama; Josh Uche, Michigan; and Jonathan Greenard, Florida. CBS mock drafter Ryan White had Beane trading up to 38 to grab A.J. Epenesa, which isn’t a bad idea.
We have written about Weaver and the Bills quite a bit (some of which you can read here). Today we take a look at Lewis. He weighs 265-pounds and carries it well on his 6-5 frame. Unfortunately, due to several injuries, Lewis only played 14 games in three years at Bama, which includes missing all of 2018. Last season he was in 10 contests and made 31 stops, 11.5 for loss, including six sacks.
Lewis has a first-round skill-set, but durability concerns have dropped him in the draft further than his talent suggests. Long, lean, athletic, and fast make for a dangerous rusher, and Lewis has all of those traits. His athletic ability will dazzle Bills fans. If he can stay on the field, Lewis is a home run at 54.
"In addition to the lengthy frame he possesses, Lewis is a great athlete for an edge rusher. He shows explosiveness coming out of his stance off the snap, and he has the mobility to move around fluidly in space and jump inside on stunts. He has good closing speed as an open-field tackler and offers some value as a pursuing backside defender. – Jacob Infante, USA Today DraftWire."
Running back – 36.3 percent
Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor has been slowly building to his current co-favorite status in our mock compilations. On my board, he is the best running back. Taylor combines size, speed, and power rushing to chew up yards on the ground. He broke the 2,000-yard mark in both 2018 and 2019 and combined for 37 rushing touchdowns.
Last year he added pass-catching out of the backfield to his repertoire, pulling in 26 balls for 252 yards and five more scores. The biggest things holding him back are pass blocking and blitz pickup. Those are skills that can be taught by the Buffalo Bills coaching staff.
"Has more big play potential than expected for a 220-pound runner. Smooth, easy accelerator that is capable of running away from defensive backs. Impressive amount of elusiveness, twitch and shiftiness for his size. Love his blend of patience and decisiveness as a runner, allowing blocks to take form and working off them. Vision is generally sound and he does a good job of feeling cutback lanes and manipulating the second level. – Joe Marino, The Draft Network"
Ohio State’s J.K. Dobbins and Cam Akers from Florida state are right on Taylor’s heels with a pair of selections each. Clyde Edwards-Helaire was chosen once. Among the “everyone else” category is Damien Lewis, OL, Louisiana-Lafayette; Lucas Niang, OT, Texas Christian; and Jeff Gladney, CB, Texas Christian.