The Buffalo Bills finished 2013 with a 6-10 record. Lots of issues from the under performing RB C.J. Spiller to the early injury of rookie QB E.J. Manuel. The Bills are in need of a right tackle, a #1 wide receiver and a linebacker. These positions are a must fill if they are to turn the tide. Arguably, they may even need a QB if Manuel busts out of the NFL which at this point is on the horizon. The games that he wasn’t injured didn’t really set the league on fire and personally I think they overpaid drafting him last year. The Bills trade up in the first round this year and grab Sammy Watkins who will be their instant primary receiver and replace Stevie Johnson who headed to San Francisco 49ers for a 4th round conditional draft pick in the 2015 NFL draft. You know Stevie is excited to be on a playoff caliber team, with a proven QB, and away from the Buffalo weather. Bye Bye Buffalo as he waves.
2014 NFL DRAFT PICK RECAP AND ANALYSIS
Sammy Watkins WR, Clemson Round 1 Pick #4
Buffalo Bills trade up to the #4 with Cleveland Browns to draft Sammy Watkins. I had Cleveland Browns staying pat and drafting Sammy Watkins in my 2014 NFL Mock Draft top 10. The highest rated wide receiver in the 2014 NFL Draft and sure to be a superstar player. But did the Buffalo Bills overpay and should they have stayed pat at #9 and let the draft come to them and take Anthony Barr who most likely would have been on the board. Only time will tell. Buffalo gives Cleveland their 9th pick and 109th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft and also their 1st round pick in the 2015 draft. That’s a lot. As reported by Ryan Wilson at CBS Sports, the Bills did approach the Houston Texans, tried to make a deal to get the #1 pick but GM Rick Smith and Bill O’Brien were locked on who they wanted, so The Buffalo Bills went down the list looking for a trade partner. Personally I love the pick, A minus because of the cost.
Cyrus Kouandjio OT, Alabama Round 2 Pick #12
The Buffalo Bills solve their issue quickly at Right Tackle but is he the right player? I didn’t even have Cyrus Kouandjio on my 2nd round projected list. His arthritic knee condition was a huge red flag to a lot of teams and the knee is a tricky body part when you factor in a 6’7″ 330 pounder playing a brutal position. Personally I would have went Morgan Moses as there just isn’t as much risk and I had Moses higher on my own board. Have to give this a grade of a C, too risky.
Preston Brown LB, Louisville Round 3 Pick #9
Possible replacement for Brandon Spikes if he leaves after his contract expires. Most projections had him so far down in the 6th and 7th rounds, I am curious what Buffalo saw in him to reach like this especially when they could have taken him in later rounds. Isn’t a great fit to their schemes but maybe transitioning him to a Strong Safety position could be the plan if he could shed a few pounds, get faster and coaching technique should teach him how to better move his feet. Still overreached here so it’s a solid grade of C minus.
Ross Cockrell CB, Duke Round 4 Pick #9
Could instantly play in the nickel. Needs some work with coaching and lower body conditioning but has the basic skill set and body type to become a starting cornerback in a few years. A two year away starter and a good pick for the top of the 4thround. Grade B
Cyril Richardson OG, Baylor Round 5 Pick #13
Needs to concentrate on his core strength. Needs to tone a flabby midsection and will be a project player. With hard work and if he shows a real desire to play in the NFL, the Buffalo Bills will have found a diamond in the rough. With improved technique coupled with his ability to play both sides, he can be a huge advantage for the Bills, but the big question. Does he have the desire? Grade is a C+.
Randell Johnson OLB, Florida Atlantic Round 7 Pick #6
Athletic player who had a huge pro day that caught the eye of NFL scouts. Could play the 3-4 as a pass rush specialist but could also be transitioned to a Strong Safety position since the league is evolving where the position is more of a hybrid linebacker/defensive back. Grade B for possible transition to the secondary and ability to start for the special teams unit.
Seantrel Henderson OT, Miami (FL) Round 7 Pick #22
Okay, this guy is my favorite player in the entire draft. Not because he is the best, but because he is an enigma or one of the stupidest guys who ever attended college. We will start with the good. He is a physical specimen, 6’7 330 pounds with quick feet and agility. Average strength which could easily be improved with hard work if he gets motivated.
That’s his issue. Poor judgment and no motivation. The guy gets suspended 3x for marijuana in his system in college. At the NFL combine, he pleads his case and tells everyone he learned his lesson and then the urinalysis results come back.
Positive again for weed at the NFL Combine. Are ya kidding? If he cleans up his act, The Buffalo Bills get an awesome player that can be a foundation on the offensive line. Most likely he busts out and/or gets arrested for being an idiot. A low risk/high reward draft pick and it’s a 7th rounder, that’s what teams should be doing with these picks. So I give it a grade A because of the potential upside and laughable cost.
Analysis and overall draft grade
Interesting day for the Buffalo Bills. They did some wheeling and dealing and obviously didn’t like their position in the first round, so they changed it,. The future will determine whether it was a wise move. If they kept Stevie Johnson with the addition of Sammy Watkins, I would have been excited. But I can’t seem them moving the win/loss needle with these picks.
Draft Grade: C+
Can’t go higher than that because of the high risk draft pick in the 2nd round and the cost factor moving up to get Sammy Watkins. I think the Buffalo Bills should have let the draft come to them and not given away their 109th pick in the 2014 NFL draft much less their 1st round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. If they don’t improve that could easily be atop 5 to Cleveland. The GM probably thinks he won’t be around anyways with the owner dying and talk of new ownership so what the hell, he doesn’t care about 2015.
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