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 Buffalo Bills Draft Review


Team Needs: OL, DE, LB, WR, QB


Selections:


Rd 1. 19 Shaq Lawson DE Clemson

Rd 2. 41 Reggie Ragland LB Alabama

Rd 3. 80 Adolphus Washington DT Ohio State

Rd 4. 139 Cardale Jones QB Ohio State

Rd 5. 156 Jonathan Williams RB Arkansas

Rd 6. 192 Kolby Listenbee WR TCU

Rd 6. Kevon Seymour CB USC


Recap: Buffalo clearly agreed with those draft analysts that felt like improving the quality and depth of their defensive front seven was the best course forward in this draft. Shaq Lawson is a player that Ryan knows all too well as a teammate of Ryan’s son. Many analysts projected Lawson to the Bills given that reason and the team’s obvious need for an edge player. Lawson is still raw as a pass rusher - relying mostly on his athleticism at the college level - and will need to develop better technique and consistency but his affinity for rushing the passer is obvious and he is a fierce defender against the run. He should be an excellent player in time under Ryan’s tutelage. In the second round the Bills got another player linked to them by many analysts in the first round. Ragland was the best middle linebacker available and is the type of heady player that gets the most out of his skill set, traits that will allow him to become the quarterback of the defense in years to come. Adolphus Washington brings a ton of ability and good size to the bench and should be able to see some action early on as a rookie. After the second day the Bills front seven is already much better and should now be much better suited for Ryan’s defensive system. At 139 Cardale Jones is a very low risk. Jones has top 50 ability but is lacking in experience and technique. Having some time to sit on the bench and learn, without the pressure of playing, might be just what he needs in order to develop. Jonathan Williams is a talented back that can step in to give LeSean McCoy some rest throughout the season. He is also capable of filling in on a week to week basis should McCoy miss the occasional game. Kolby Listenbee gives the team a developmental prospect at wide receiver who has good size and better than average playing speed. Listenbee will need to add some weight to his thin frame during his first season, likely on the team’s practice squad. Kevon Seymore is a great athlete that struggled as a senior. He doesn’t have great instincts or fundamentals and appears suited for a few years on a practice squad.


Analysis:

  1. Buffalo got two starters for their defensive front 7 in the first two rounds. Both should play immediately and be around for a long time.

  2. Cardale Jones was overrated by many analysts this year, and last, but at 139 the team got great value and there is now no pressure on Cardale Jones to develop. This could be a very good situation for both the player and team.

  3. Adolphus Washington and Jonathan Williams should both make the roster and contribute as rookies. They were drafted to provide depth, and provide depth they shall.

Grade: A. The Bills got two starters, two immediate backups, and three players to develop for the future - including a potential quarterback of the future. That’s a good haul in any year.


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