Grading the Draft - Buffalo Bills

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Chris Tripodi

Draft Analyst Writer

Like the division-rival Jets, the Bills entered this year’s draft in the market for a quarterback. Unlike New York, Buffalo waited until draft day to make its move up the board.

Round 1 (No. 7 overall): Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming

Round 1 (No. 16): Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech

Round 3 (No. 96): Harrison Phillips, DT, Stanford

Round 4 (No. 121): Taron Johnson, CB, Weber State

Round 5 (No. 154): Siran Neal, S, Jacksonville State

Round 5 (No. 166): Wyatt Teller, OG, Virginia Tech

Round 6 (No. 187): Ray-Ray McCloud, WR, Clemson

Round 7 (No. 255): Austin Proehl, WR, North Carolina

UDFA: Gerhard de Beer, OT, Arizona; Wilson Bell, OG, Auburn; Mat Boesen, OLB, Auburn; Ike Boettger, OT, Iowa; Ryan Carter, CB, Clemson; Tyler Davis, K, Penn State; Robert Foster, WR, Alabama; Mike Love, DE, USF; Mo Porter, OT, Baylor; Cameron Phillips, WR, Virginia Tech; Corey Thompson, LB, LSU; Levi Wallace, CB, Alabama

The Bills gave up two second-round picks to jump from No. 12 to No. 7 for Josh Allen, who we had rated higher than most media analysts. His combination of arm strength and athleticism is one that hasn’t been seen in a while, but his accuracy and ability to go through progressions need serious improvement and give him an extremely low floor. There’s also a Pro Bowl ceiling here if the Bills coaching staff can tap into his potential, but he’ll likely be best served if A.J. McCarron can hold onto the starting job for at least 8-10 games, if not the whole season.

Buffalo also moved up to stop the fall of Tremaine Edmunds, our fourth-ranked prospect. Edmunds just turned 20 years old but offers traditional linebacker size (6-foot-4.5, 253) and elite athleticism and power. He’s a scheme-versatile player who can fit several roles on the Bills defense.

Harrison Phillips is an explosive, high-motor player who drew comparisons to Kyle Williams throughout the predraft process and now slides in behind Williams as a three-technique tackle in Buffalo. Taron Johnson was an under-the-radar riser from Senior Bowl week and combines fluid mirroring skills with good coverage instincts and physicality and should thrive in zone coverage.

Both of Buffalo fifth-round picks were also at the Senior Bowl. Siran Neal shows ability against the run and the pass and has experience covering the slot, while Wyatt Teller is a low-upside prospect but could crack a starting lineup that limits his movement responsibilities.

Ray-Ray McCloud should make his money as a return specialist but could also be an effective gadget player on offense if the Bills are willing to get him the ball in creative ways. Austin Proehl is a quicker-than-fast slot receiver who will need to impress in camp to crack Buffalo’s unimpressive wide receiver depth chart.

A physical specimen at 6-foot-1.5, 196 pounds with 4.41 speed, Robert Foster never logged significant action at Alabama but is an intriguing low-cost flier as a UDFA.

Analysis: Many will give the Bills a low grade due to the Josh Allen pick, but he didn’t go much higher in the draft than he was on our big board. The risk is obviously tremendous, but Buffalo combined excellent value with fit by drafting Edmunds and Phillips and added potential contributors on the third day. Grade: B