The 2019 NFL draft commences in just three days and there is still so much to be done. Currently holding the ninth overall pick, the Buffalo Bills could do a multitude of things with their first round selection in a draft that seems to very loaded in terms of defensive linemen. Let’s take a minute to explore all of our options.
Unlike last year, the Bills do not seem to be looking to trade up in this draft. My only inclination that Brandon Beane may move up is if Ed Oliver’s stock seems to rise. Oliver, a defensive lineman out of Houston, is undoubtedly who the Bills have the hots for, as the Bills still need a solid defensive tackle after the retirement of Kyle Williams. Oliver would be the ideal pick for head coach Sean McDermott, who has spent his first round pick on a defensive player two out of three times in his time with the Bills. Buffalo prioritized offense in free agency, allowing them to splurge on a defensive player that fits their scheme. On a side note, McDermott looked uncharacteristically giddy at Oliver’s pro day, possibly showing the team’s cards a little bit.
This seems to be the more probable option for the Bills, but it would still be a surprise if the Bills move from nine. Beane could give his selection to a quarterback needy team, but he has also preached all offseason that his hopes are that Buffalo is in position to draft the best player on the board, rather than drafting for need.
The Bills also have ten picks in this draft and with the offseason they’ve had, there is no way that ten rookies make the roster this year so it is unlikely that Beane would trade down in exchange for more picks, unless it is a 2020 first round pick which would be fine by me. If the Bills did trade down, I could see them adding cornerback depth by drafting Temple corner Rock Ya Sin. McDermott, a former wrestler, loves drafting guys who have a wrestling background. Harrison Phillips, the Bills’ third round pick last year, bonded with McDermott over wrestling. Ya Sin has a history with wrestling and could be another great addition to a secondary that is quickly filling up with solid talent.
Predicting The Pick
A month ago, there were so many different avenues the Bills could have taken with the ninth pick. Now, days before the draft, the true possibilities have narrowed quite a bit. Oliver seems to be the best fit, but the Bills could opt to take Michigan defensive tackle Rashan Gary, who’s draft stock is currently said to be falling. If Oliver and Gary are off the board, Buffalo might look to Florida tackle Jawaan Taylor or Alabama tackle Jonah Williams, both of which would be excellent selections as well. Ole Miss wideout DK Metcalf has fallen out of the conversation to be drafted at nine by the Bills and now may not even be the first receiver off the board. College teammate AJ Brown or Oklahoma receiver Marquise Brown are both giving Metcalf a run for his money.
Many mock drafts have explored the option of Buffalo taking one of Iowa’s tight ends, TJ Hockenson, but it seems unlikely. Hockenson did not meet with the Bills for a pre-draft workout, instead the Bills worked out many day two tight ends, ignoring Hockenson, fellow Iowa tight end Noah Fant, and Alabama tight end Irv Smith. It has become clear that the Bills are not looking to add a tight end in the first round this year.
Other than Ya Sin, the Bills could target either one of the Browns with a trade down or Clemson defensive linemen Clelin Ferrell or Christian Wilkins.
It will be exciting to see who Beane decides to draft on Thursday and whoever it is will be welcomed with open arms by Bills Mafia.