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2017 NFL Draft analysis: Buffalo Bills

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The Sports Xchange
Tre'Davious White poses for photographs with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected by the Buffalo Bills as the 27th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft at the NFL Draft Theater in Philadelphia, PA on April 27, 2017. Photo by Derik Hamilton/UPI
Tre'Davious White poses for photographs with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected by the Buffalo Bills as the 27th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft at the NFL Draft Theater in Philadelphia, PA on April 27, 2017. Photo by Derik Hamilton/UPI | License Photo

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- If anyone doubted whether new head coach Sean McDermott is truly calling the shots in Buffalo, the draft should have provided a distinct answer of yes. There was no doubt that McDermott was pulling the strings in the draft room and not general manager Doug Whaley, who was fired Sunday, less than 24 hours after the draft concluded.

McDermott orchestrated Buffalo's first-round trade down with Kansas City, coached by his mentor, Andy Reid. McDermott admitted he and Reid had pre-draft discussions about possibly doing something because Reid wanted to pick quarterback Patrick Mahomes. The Bills selected cornerback Tre'Davious White with the first-round pick acquired in the swap. McDermott also worked trade-ups in the second round to select wide receiver Zay Jones and offensive lineman Dion Dawkins. Jones' receivers coach at East Carolina was Phil McGeoghan, who McDermott hired in Buffalo, and McDermott said that was certainly a factor in the choice.

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How the Bills drafted:

Round 1/27 -- Tre'Davious White, CB, 5-11, 192, Louisiana State

The Bills traded down 17 spots in the first round and filled a glaring need by picking White. He isn't flashy, but he was a consistent performer at LSU who had 34 career pass breakups and six interceptions playing both outside and inside as a slot corner. Already has earned his degree, and is considered a strong character player with leadership skills.

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Round 2/37 -- Zay Jones, WR, 6-2, 200, East Carolina

The Bills traded up seven spots to get Jones, who they feared would be taken before they picked at No. 44. Jones is the all-time FBS leader with 399 receptions, including an all-time single-season record 158 last year. His career receiving yardage is 4,279 with 23 touchdowns, and as a senior, he averaged 145.5 receiving yards per game. His father, Robert, played linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys and won three Super Bowl rings.

Round 2/63 -- Dion Dawkins, T/G, 6-4, 314, Temple

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The Bills again traded up, this time into the second round at the cost of their third-rounder, plus two fifth-rounders. Dawkins started 40 of 44 career games at Temple and helped lead the Owls to the 2016 AAC championship. He had only two scholarship offers coming out of high school, Temple and Cincinnati. He was arrested in 2015 for his involvement in an assault outside a Philadelphia bar, but he wasn't suspended for that action, and served in a diversionary program. The Bills said they are comfortable with their investigation of the matter.

Round 5/163 -- Matt Milano, LB, 6-0, 225, Boston College

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This looks like a special teams pick for the Bills, someone who could make an impact covering or blocking kicks, a skill he showed at Boston College. He's undersized to play linebacker in the NFL, and though he is a willing tackler, his technique isn't great and will have to improve. He also needs to add some bulk to his frame or he'll get pushed around. The good news is that he played 50 games in college and had 140 tackles, 32.5 for lost yardage including 14 sacks.

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Round 5/171 -- Nathan Peterman, QB, 6-2, 225, Pittsburgh

The Bills need to keep swinging at quarterbacks until they find one. Peterman transferred from Tennessee and started his final two years at Pitt where he completed 61.1 percent of his passes for 5,142 yards and 47 touchdowns. He set a career-high in passing yards with 308 in Pitt's upset of eventual national champion Clemson last year. He doesn't have elite arm talent, but he played in a pro-style offense and should be able to quickly adapt to the Bills' playbook.

Round 6/195 -- Tanner Vallejo, LB, 6-1, 228, Boise State

Figures to come in and be a special teams contributor like Milano who was selected a round earlier. He's a bit undersized, but he was a tackling machine in college with 275 over his four-year career that encompassed 46 games. He was defensive MVP in Boise State's Fiesta Bowl victory over Arizona in 2014, and he also has shown an ability to block kicks.

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