The Buffalo Bills had an extremely active draft this year. The Bills started night one with the twelfth and twenty-second picks and ended up picking at seven and sixteen. They also went into the night with two second-round picks and never picked in that round. Through a weekend of crazy moves and calculated risks, the Bills added a number of talented individuals to their roster. From a franchise quarterback to a solid special teamer, the Bills filled holes across the board that will help them compete in 2018-19.
Grading the Buffalo Bills 2018 Draft Class
1. Josh Allen: QB, Round 1 Pick 7
The Bills packaged together the twelfth overall pick and their two second-round picks to move to seven and select quarterback Josh Allen. The Bills decided to move up to avoid losing out on their guy to the Arizona Cardinals or Miami Dolphins. Allen brings raw talent to Buffalo that Brian Daboll and Sean McDermott will mold into their own Jim Kelly. His arm strength and mobility are a deadly combination that will be welcomed in Buffalo. Whether he will be better than latter picked Josh Rosen remains to be seen.
2. Tremaine Edmunds: LB, Round 1 Pick 16
The Bills were content with waiting until twenty-two to make their next pick until they saw Edmunds slide to sixteen. After the Oakland Raiders passed on the linebacker for Kolton Miller, the Bills struck a deal with known draft day trader Ozzie Newsome from the Baltimore Ravens. The Bills moved up to sixteen and selected Tremaine Edmunds at the cost of only a third-round pick. Edmunds is an exciting LB with a ton of talent. He is just turning twenty the week after the draft so he is very young and will develop into an elite defender for Buffalo.
3. Harrison Phillips: DT, Round 3 Pick 96
The Bills couldn’t have gotten a more “Buffalo” type guy in this whole draft. Harrison Phillips is the next Kyle Williams in many ways and his talent is the driving force. With Kyle Williams most likely playing his last season, Phillips will be able to learn from him and then take over his role for the future. Phillips was a standout defenseman at Standford and is as strong as anyone in the NFL today. Phillips has the talent to go in the early second round so this is a steal for Buffalo.
4. Taron Johnson: CB, Round 4 Pick 121
Taron Johnson is an undersized corner from Weber State who flew under the radar of many teams. Johnson may be small and from a small school, but he plays big and is a solid man coverage corner. He has good hands for a corner and can read the ball in the air well. It will have to be seen if he can make plays in zone coverage, but Johnson is a solid depth player for the fourth round.
5. Siran Neal: S, Round 5 Pick 154
This pick came from the Baltimore deal and Buffalo decided to use it for safety depth. The Bills have what may be the best saftey duo in the NFL, but their depth is lacking. They signed Rafael Bush in the offseason and now they draft Siran Neal here. Neal is from Jacksonville State and he can play anywhere on the field. Either safety and even cornerback. Neal is a versatile playmaker who will be another solid depth piece for the Bills overall roster. Especially when they are ready to compete for a championship.
6. Wyatt Teller: OG, Round 5 Pick 166
This is my favorite pick of the draft. Wyatt Teller is a stud offensive guard from Virginia Tech who should have never gotten this far down the draft. Teller has second-round capabilities and has a massive frame. Standing six-foot-five and three hundred pounds, Teller only allowed four sacks in his entire college career. Teller was a four-year starter at VT and is also a solid run-blocker. His biggest issue is his speed, but that is commonplace among the position and can be fixed with strict off-season training.
7. Ray Ray McCloud: WR, Round 6 Pick 187
Ray Ray McCloud is a speedy receiver from Clemson who has caught passes from Deshaun Watson in his time there. He is a special teams specialist who can turn on the jets in the return game. His abilities to be a playmaker on offense will need to be tuned up in order to make a lasting impact on the Bills offense. With a lack of depth at the position, McCloud will have his chance to make plays this season and has a real shot to earn the starting job as a return man.
8. Austin Proehl: WR, Round 7 Pick 255
Austin Proehl is another late round receiver selected by Buffalo. Proehl comes out of North Carolina and he caught passes from Mitch Trubisky in his time. Austin is a more traditional receiver who wouldn’t be as big a force in special teams as McCloud. Proehl will try and use his hands to make the Bills roster this summer. If he does, he will bring solid depth to the Bills receiving corps.
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