The 2019 NFL Draft is just over a month away, which means that The Game Haus will be doing draft profiles for every team. Each NFL team will be looked at heading into this year’s draft including what their needs are and who they could be targeting. The Buffalo Bills will be the ninth team evaluated.
Over the past several seasons the Buffalo Bills have been rebuilding. The roster looks drastically different from two seasons ago and last year, they broke in a new quarterback in Josh Allen, who was able to help lead the team to a 6-10 record. Head coach Sean McDermott has been the coach for two seasons and will return for a third.
The offense ranked 30th in the league, scoring 16.7 points per game. Allen played in 12 games, but led the team in passing and rushing. He only completed 52.8% of his passes, but made up for it with his ability to run. LeSean McCoy played in 14 games, but was unable to get anything going on the ground with only 514 rushing yards on the season. Zay Jones led a receiving core that left a lot to be desired with 541 receiving yards. The offensive line struggled last season and will need to be improved. Mitch Morse was added to play center, Cole Beasley was signed to beef up the wide receiving core and Frank Gore will team up with McCoy to hopefully provide a better running game for the Bills.
On defense, the Bills allowed 23.9 points per game last season. The defensive line was a solid unit that featured Kyle Williams, Harrison Phillips, Star Lotuleilei, Jerry Hughes and Shaq Lawson. Hughes led the way with seven sacks. Lorenzo Alexander, Matt Milano and Tremaine Edmunds make up a decent linebacker core, with the rookie Edmunds leading the team in tackles. The secondary had some good players in Tre’Davious White, Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde. Williams has retired and not much else has been added to the defense this offseason.
2019 NFL Draft Picks
The Bills have 10 picks to use in the 2019 NFL Draft.
First round (one pick): No. 9
Second round (one pick): No. 40
Third round (one pick): No. 74
Fourth round (two picks): No. 112, No. 131
Fifth round (two picks): No. 147, No. 158
Sixth round (one pick): No. 181
Seventh round (two picks): No. 225, No. 228
Offensive Guard- Left tackle and center are now solid with the signing of Morse, but the Bills need their guard play to improve.
Offensive Tackle- Dion Dawkins is a solid left tackle, but if Ty Nsekhe doesn’t significantly improve things at right tackle, the Bills will need an upgrade there as well.
Wide Receiver- Beasley and John Brown are good new additions, but the Bills could still benefit from more depth and a number one receiver.
Tight End- Tyler Kroft was signed, but he has had issues with drops and won’t be a great starting tight end.
Young Running Back- With the signing of Gore, the Bills have two running backs that are good, but are both over 30.
Defensive Tackle- With Williams retiring, the Bills need to get more impact players in the middle of their defensive line.
Edge Rusher- Hughes leading the team in sacks with seven isn’t good enough. They need to apply more pressure on the quarterback next season.
2019 NFL Draft Targets
Pick No. 9: Ed Oliver, Defensive Tackle, Houston
Williams retiring leaves one big area of weakness on the defense. The rest of the defense is at least solid, but they have to improve the middle of the line. Oliver is an athletic defensive tackle, who was actually asked to work out at linebacker at the NFL Combine. While he is undersized, Oliver makes plays against the run and is a solid pass rusher.
Pick No. 40: Erik McCoy, OG/C, Texas A&M
For the most part, the Bills can use their picks to help out Allen and the offense. They need to improve the guard play to really clear room for their running backs. If they can’t get better line play, the running game won’t be good and Allen won’t have the time necessary to progress as a pocket passer. McCoy has played center for most of his Texas A&M career, but should be able to slide over to guard.
Pick No. 74: J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Wide Receiver, Stanford
The wide receivers currently on the roster aren’t going to get the job done long-term for Allen. Arcega-Whiteside can complement the players already on the roster. Jones is a good possession receiver, Beasley is a tough matchup in the slot and Brown is a burner. Arcega-Whiteside is a jump-ball specialist, who is one of the best leapers in the draft class.