NFL Draft: Bills need to think pass-catcher or tackle, pass on passer early

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What will the Buffalo Bills be thinking in the 2017 NFL Draft?

Here we break down their five core draft questions and provide our best answers.

NFL Draft 2017: Mock Draft | Big Board

1. How much do the Bills need to think receiver first?

Although it might appear like something Buffalo can put on the backburner, the Bills really need someone who can be difference-maker for Tyrod Taylor other than the oft-injured Sammy Watkins. With the No. 10 overall selection, the value is there, with the one exception being speedster John Ross. Western Michigan's Corey Davis and Clemson's Mike Williams are more ideal fits as targets to complement Watkins. Alabama TE O.J. Howard would give them a unique athletic field-stretcher to bring more passing creativity around Taylor. Those are the three most likely early picks for the Bills.


2. Is it smarter for the Bills to target a QB instead?

No. There are rumors that Buffalo will take either North Carolina's Mitchell Trubisky or Clemson's DeShaun Watson with that No. 10 pick. That would be a mistake. Like the Bears, because they've invested enough short term in a veteran (Taylor), they can afford to force themselves into the QB desperation for either present or future early. They can take a "wait until next year" approach at the position, or otherwise take an intriguing later-round prospect such as Tennessee's Josh Dobbs. With only six picks, they can't waste the first-rounder on a QB.

3. Where will the Bills prioritize upgrading the offensive line?

It's less of a stretch if the Bills punt on that pass-catcher and think about upgrading what's up front. A right tackle is a high priority, and the rising stock of Alabama's Cam Robinson and Western Kentucky's Forrest Lamp doesn't make it much of a reach at No. 10. Robinson had a good visit with Buffalo, so he especially can't be ruled out. If they go wideout or tight end early, there would be good fallbacks with No. 44 and No. 75. Watch out for either Western Michigan's Taylor Moton or USC's Chad Wheeler going to them.

4. Can the Bills still get good secondary playmakers later?

With some big changes in who might go in the first round, cornerback has become a stronger, deeper position with values well beyond the first 32 picks as the Bills work on replacing Stephon Gillmore. USC's Adoree' Jackson would be the first consideration in Round 2, and the Bills can catch one of two "fallers," Florida's Teez Tabor or Washington's Quincy Wilson in Round 3. Clemson's Cordrea Tankersley should also be high on the sleeper radar.

The Bills have former Packer Micah Hyde and former Brown Jordan Poyer as their starting safeties, but they will have options there, too, include Louisiana Tech's Xavier Woods and Clemson's Jadar Johnson.

5. How much should the Bills try to trade down for more picks?

A lot. This is a team with obvious multiple needs, so they should listen to everyone who might want to trade up for a player in their current position. It will be hard early, but there will be those opportunities to stockpile out of the second- and third-rounders.

SN's 2017 Mock Drafts: Bills picks

— Eric Galko (from April 11 Mock Draft)

No. 10: Trubisky: The Bills have substantial interest in Trubisky and have had it for a while. Don’t be surprised if they trade up. If they don’t get Trubisky, Charles Harris ideally would be the pick.

— Vinnie Iyer (from April 20 Mock Draft)

No. 10: Davis: The Bills will think about QB or tight end, but ultimately they know they need a big, good-hands wideout to help Tyrod Taylor in possession and red-zone situations. Davis doesn’t play as big as Mike Williams and isn’t as fast as John Ross, but he provides the happy medium to be the first wideout off the board.

MORE: Latest NFL Draft rumors

Bills 2017 NFL Draft picks

First round: No. 10 overall

Second round: No. 44 overall

Third round: No. 75 overall

Fifth round: No. 156 overall

Fifth round: No. 171 overall

Sixth round: No. 195 overall

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