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Myriad reasons make this draft highly unpredictable for Bills

Photo from landryfootball.com.

Today we’re reaching fever pitch with the 2017 NFL Draft only two days away. Every draft is full of twists and turns, but this draft seems especially hard to predict for the Buffalo Bills for several reasons.

First and foremost, this will be coach Sean McDermott’s first draft as a head coach. No one knows for sure what general manager Doug Whaley’s part in all of this is at this point and fierce debate continues about his future in Buffalo.

With scheme changes coming on both offense and defense, there are gaping holes on both sides of the ball that need to be addressed. And what happens if “best player available” throws a kink in their plans because an unexpected player drops to the 10th overall pick?

Will the Bills trade down, up, or keep their position in the first round? With three picks in the fifth-round, will Buffalo get lucky again and find a gem as they did with Kyle Williams in 2006? Will the Bills make it three years in a row and find a solid running back in the fifth-round as they did in 2015 with Karlos Williams Sr. and Jonathan Williams in 2016?

Photo of running back Jonathan Williams from buffalobills.com.

With every possible permutation for Buffalo being mocked to death already in the upcoming draft, my brain is fried from trying to sort it all out. My bottom line is as always with respect to the draft; did the Bills find value at each round?

However, that question isn’t always easy to answer for a team on it’s ninth head coach since 2000. How do you evaluate a draft a few years down the road when there’s been so many scheme changes in the interim?

And therein lies the biggest problem for the Bills over the last 20 years from my perspective… the constant churn of coaches keeping Buffalo from having a solid plan in place long enough to see it through. Hopefully, this time they got it right.

By sheer random occurrences in the universe one would think the Bills would have stumbled into a winner at the head coaching position by now. You have to be exceptionally unlucky to be consistently this bad (missing playoffs 17 years) for so long. Mind-boggling, isn’t it?

As we mourn the loss of Buffalo’s entire 2013 draft class, we can only hope this draft will result in the selection of players who will not only contribute to success on the field, but will bring a sense of pride back to a franchise and fan base in dire need of hope for the future.

Will this be the year we look back upon as the one that turned the Bills’ fortunes around? Hit us up with your thoughts in the comment section. Thanks, and happy drafting :)

Editor’s Babble: I’d like to thank our members who recently started bringing life and cogent discussion to our comment sections after each post. If you’re looking for share some civil discourse with other BillsMafia members, check out the comments after our posts and join in the discussion. My goal is to make the blog more interactive, and we would truly enjoy your thoughtful participation. Thanks. Robyn Mundy, EIC BillsMafia Blog


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Robyn Mundy

About Robyn Mundy

Robyn Mundy is a retired oncology nurse and psychotherapist who loves to write about her life-long passion for the Buffalo Bills, and occasionally something of clinical or social relevance. She lives with her husband Gary and their dogs in the shadow of the glorious Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming. Robyn is also a proud founding sponsor. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynMundyWYO.

16 thoughts on “Myriad reasons make this draft highly unpredictable for Bills

  1. I’m thinking to the disappointment of Steve, it’ll be a DB. If one of the safeties fall otherwise a CB. Although I might challenge you a bit on the ‘solid RB’ point, Robyn…if they were that solid of picks, they wouldn’t need to keep picking them. I thought JW was an odd pick when at the time KW looked like such a home run…till weed and munchies got the best of him. However, JW so far hasn’t been much of anything special so they probably will need to grab another guy after losing Gillislee…that or find another gem outside of the draft. Hopefully McCoy stays healthy. Then again, I’m not sold the team is better than .500 this year, and as far as I’m concerned, the only difference between 1-15 and 8-8 is where you pick in the draft. If the Bills are going to be mediocre or worse, I’d rather they be terrible and in position for drafting a franchise QB.

    • Oh Joma,

      You’re so right about Karlos Williams Sr. but hindsight is 20/20. Who could have predicted he would go off the rails overeating and being too lazy to stay in shape? As far as Jonathan Williams, I honestly think he can be a solid RB2 but only time will tell. Also agree with you about drafting another RB… this draft is more talented in the deeper rounds than most drafts so having three 5th rounders could help a lot.

  2. Thanks for another article Robyn! Honestly, I have no clue who the Bills are going to take. If they can move back in the draft and gain more draft picks, I think that would be a very smart move as they could use those extra picks to fill in holes on the team.

    At this point, it’s painfully obvious the Bills need a real franchise QB. Also, the Bills need to bolster their O-line, especially on the right side. If you look at teams that were successful last year: Raiders, Patriots and the Cowboys, they all have two things in common, a good QB and a good O-line. The Raiders have been bad since their last Superbowl appearance in 2002, but once they finally developed a solid pass protecting O-line to give Derek Carr time, they became a playoff team. Dak Prescott, a rookie fourth round pick was able to lead the Cowboys to the playoffs with having a great O-line in front of him. Besides having one of the best QB’s of all time [Brady], the Patriots have always had a solid, pass protecting O-line to keep Brady clean in the pocket which is a major reason for their success.

    In regards to drafting DB’s, IMO they should be taken in the same rounds as RB’s (rounds 3-7). Jabari Greer was an UDFA and turned out great. Terrence McGee was a fourth rounder and was a very good CB and one of the best kick returners in franchise history. Ross Cockrell is another fourth rounder the Bills drafted (and should have kept), and is doing well for the Steelers. For players like RB’s and DB’s, their shelf life is much shorter (around 8-10 years) before they lose their speed and their knees are shot. On top of that, good one’s usually command big bucks after their rookie deal. Using lower round picks make more sense on DB’s and RB’s as those picks/contracts are much cheaper and are more expendable.

  3. Jamal Adams and Marshon Lattimore are the only (2) DBs ranked in the top 25 and I hope the Bills do not pick either at #10. The values at this position are in the next 25 with players like Jabril Peppers, Chidobe Awuzi, Marlon Humphry and Adoree Jackson.
    I strongly hope they trade down and get an extra 2nd rd. pick.
    And yeah, this draft is extremely unpredictable, especially if DW and RB have anything to say about it.
    I’m shopping for new TVs in advance because if I hear the words “the Bills have traded up” on thursday night, the old one might not survive the backlash.

    • I’m with you anello. If the Bills trade up or take a DB with their first round pick, I know I’ll be going to Best Buy for a new TV on Friday.

  4. Isn’t Hooker also ranked as one of the top prospects? Most mocks have him gone by 10. I can’t imagine teams are going out of their way to reach for a safety…

    I rarely think it’s smart to trade up, but I’d probably only be super pissed if they trade next year’s first to do so. Luckily, I don’t think drafting a QB helps Whaley’s cause so I don’t think he’ll be looking to use house money to trade up for a QB. But that doesn’t discount them from trading up for one of those DBs… How would you guys like that? Trade up AND take a DB?

    If you end up needing a TV, though…Sam’s Club. Man, do they have some big ass, inexpensive TVs with a ton of features! You can get a 65-70 inch 4k smart TVs for like $750! I regret having bought a second 55″ TV a few years back for the basement for only $500 because I could get a much fancier, decently larger TV for only a measly couple hundo more that puts what we bought to shame. Don’t even want to think about the first one we paid $1400 for like 8 years ago, which we thought was a good deal at the time. But at least it’s served us well. Every time I walk in the place, though, I fight the urge to needlessly upgrade. Luckily we can’t physically fit a larger set upstairs in the built-in wall enclosure spot for a TV that’s there…and we don’t use the downstairs space enough for it to be a worthwhile upgrade…otherwise one of those big ass, cheap 4K TVs probably would have come home with me already!

  5. Steve,

    The Bills could certainly stand to upgrade at RT and are at the point where they need to be considering replacements for aging players…at least at LG, but I think they already have one of the better lines in the league. They just need the QB to go with it. I think there was a stat that Tyrod had like the second most time behind the line of all QBs…despite the Bills line being known as a run blocking line. If Tyrod got rid of the ball in normal time, they’d probably be considered more than adequate at pass blocking, too.

    • I know one thing, if the Bills pick a CB in round 1 I’ll probably throw a hizzy fit.
      If Howard is there at 10 maybe or LB Reddick

      JW still had a bad foot last year Joma. All is well now.

  6. Draft rumors are getting crazy. Newest rumors are the Bills have had discussions with teams about moving up if certain player(s) are still available.

    http://www.wgr550.com/articles/news/capaccio-bills-have-had-solid-discussions-teams-about-trades

    Sal Capaccio
    @SalSports
    Bills targeting 2-3 players but know none may be there when they select, so have had solid “just in case” talks with teams below 10…….

    Sal Capaccio
    ‎@SalSports
    …If 1 of those Bills targets gets past 5-6, they are willing to move up a few spots, but only if cost is right. 3/…

  7. “Looks like Whaley is a dead man walking. Don’t be surprised to see him canned sometime after the draft.”

    I definitely think Whaley is on the hot seat and will be canned if (or when?) the Bills have a disappointing season. I still think far too much is being read into the situation there, though. And frankly, if Pegula is falling in love with McD and looking to give him more and more power and authority based on…what, him talking a big game?…then the guy is a Dan Snyder-like idiot. How about we see McD actually do something of value on the field before giving him more power, a raise, and a contract extension?

    • Pegula seems mesmerized by McDermott. When Pegula was talking to the media about firing Murray and Bylsma, he used all the “cliché” words from McDermott “discipline, structure, communication, and character.” I think Pegs is in over his head, does not have a clear vision/goal on what the Bills and Sabres should be and is Dan Synderesque.

  8. Did he say ‘methodical’? If so, then I agree…McD has definitely gotten to him! I think that’s his favorite word.

  9. I think if the Bills would try to move up that should mean heads would roll. We do not have enough draft choices to do it.
    If course this time of the year, all 32 teams are lying through their teeth.

  10. “I think if the Bills would try to move up that should mean heads would roll. We do not have enough draft choices to do it.”

    Wouldn’t stop Whaley from parting with next year picks… If they have a bad year, the loss of those picks probably won’t be Whaley’s problem anyhow. So I can totally see them moving up with next year’s picks as bait…I just doubt it would be for a QB who 90% likely doesn’t help them this year. If they moved up for a QB, that call would come from Pegula…that or Whaley got assurances that he’ll get another year, but I doubt that’s much to hang your hat on. Those assurances won’t mean much if the team only wins 4 games.