2017 NFL Draft Buffalo Bills: Top needs, predictions, updates

By Frank Cooney, NFLDraftScout.com   |   April 18, 2017 at 3:08 PM
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This is one in a series that covers each team, offering viewers information for homework, suggestions and then the opportunity to make a draft pick.

When the NFL Draft begins selections in Philadelphia April 27, the Buffalo Bills have the No. 10 pick in the first round.

Here is an in-depth look at the team's needs, offseason changes, potential best fit and the selections by NFLDraftScout.com's experts.

Who would you pick and why?

TOP 5 NEEDS:

1. Wide receiver: After losing Robert Woods (Rams; $34M/5 years) and Marquise Goodwin (49ers; $6M/2 years), the Bills signed four middling free agents. Head coach Sean McDermott believes there is a starter among them, but that's a tough sell. Sammy Watkins needs help and the Bills should try to upgrade at the position.

2. Cornerback: At least the Bills added a few new warm bodies at receiver, but cornerback still lacks depth in talent and numbers, adding only cornerback Leonard Johnson (Carolina). McDermott likes 2016 sixth-rounder Kevon Seymour, but he has to prove he is a starter and there is nobody to play nickel.

3. Quarterback: Tyrod Taylor is back, but if he fails to show tangible progress for a third year, the Bills can get out of his contract extension. Currently, the only backup on the roster is Cardale Jones, a 2016 fourth-rounder, so the Bills need another quarterback from somewhere.

4. Linebacker: The Bills re-signed veteran free agent Lorenzo Alexander, but he isn't a great fit on the outside in a 4-3 defense. New head coach Sean McDermott has acknowledged he likes veteran Ramon Humber, but the Bills need help in this area.

5. Safety: Micah Hyde was the big-name free agent and he'll step right in and start at one safety spot, but another free-agent signee, Jordan Poyer, isn't guaranteed anything. The Bills still have scant depth in the back end and will need to add a safety at some point in the draft.

THE PICKS

BEST FIT
Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan. The Bills are painfully thin at wide receiver and they need to find a viable starting option to play opposite Sammy Watkins. Davis, or Clemson's Mike Williams, would fit the bill. At 6-foot-3, 209 pounds, Davis would give the Bills a playmaker with good size and speed.

Rob Rang: O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama. Whether it be in the form of wide receivers or tight ends, the Bills need to bring in more weapons for re-signed quarterback Tyrod Taylor. After watching Greg Olsen become the Carolina Panthers' most trusted pass catcher while serving as defensive coordinator, new Bills head coach Sean McDermott may see Howard as the better complement to an offense expected to remain centered around the running game.

Dane Brugler: Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan. The Corey Brown signing helps depth, but Sammy Watkins needs a sidekick and Davis offers the size, athleticism and receiving traits to make an immediate impact.

Pat Kirwan: Traded with Carolina to move up to No. 8 and select Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State.

(Kirwan, Jim Miller picks based on last Friday's mock on SiriusXM Radio. Listen to their next mock Friday, April 21, on SiriusXM NFL Radio channel 88).

Frank Cooney, IMO: Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan. He was unable to impress at Combine or workouts while rehabbing ankle injury. But let his size and production speak for themselves. At 6-foot-3, 209 pounds, Davis is the first player in FBS history with 300 receptions, 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns in a career. In the 2016 season he set MAC career records for receptions (318), yards (5,061) and receiving touchdowns (50).

YOUR TURN

OK, it's your turn. Tell us in the comments section who you would pick and why. Check out top 1,000 players rated by NFLDraftScout.com, including combine and pro day workouts, biographies, scouting reports.

Frank Cooney, founder and publisher of The Sports Xchange and NFLDraftScout.com, is in his sixth decade covering football and 25th year on the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee.

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