In a mock draft simulator, you become acclimated with the scope of the depth that the NFL Draft has to offer. Several players would make exciting additions to the roster of the Buffalo Bills.
The further you travel down the draft board, the murkier and more curious things become. After a deep dive into the draft and its players, several players come to mind as exciting possibilities for the burgeoning Bills. The deeper we go into the draft, the more intriguing some defensive options become.
Breece Hall – RB, Iowa State (Round One, No. 25)
Breece Hall provides an immediate option for increased production at the running position for the Bills. Last season, the Bills had 11 touchdowns among their top two running backs, so extra running back production is sorely needed. He played a significant role in making Iowa State a capable college football team. According to David Dorey of The Huddle, “[t]he expectation is that he’ll likely show up at the start of the second round of the NFL draft but may end up near the end of the first if a team moves up. That means that any of the 32 teams will have a shot at the Cyclone’s star.” This makes his availability practically a given for the first pick at no. 25.
The Bills would be wise to increase the versatility of their offense to maximize the strength of their passing game. Additionally, it is essential to keep Josh Allen healthy. Having an actual number one option at running back would take the pressure off Allen to carry much of the rushing attack on his back.
For more on Breece Hall being a potential first-round pick for the Buffalo Bills check out his piece.
Roger McCreary – CB, Auburn (Round Two, No. 57)
McCreary could prove to be an essential piece of a defensive backfield at the NFL level. The CB, who played all four years of college ball at Auburn, showed consistent improvement in each season. He also possesses some of the best skills when shadowing receivers off the line of scrimmage in the draft. McCreary is also one of the strongest DBs in the draft. His 19 bench press reps at Pro Day are outstanding numbers for a defensive back. This will come in handy when turning receivers off their routes. But also, according to Natalie Miller of Draftwire, “[d]own the field, it’s difficult to find open windows against McCreary, whose tracking ability and technique provide him tremendous pass breakup opportunities.” A good defense can never have too much excellent pass coverage.
The Bills were tied for third in the NFL last season for defensive interceptions with 19. Why not see what can be done to push that number up even higher?
Nik Bonitto – Edge, Oklahoma (Round Three, No. 89)
Bonitto becomes an exciting option, particularly in the context of the recent signing of Von Miller by the Bills. The presence of Miller on defense automatically draws attention from the offensive line, which opens up the rest of the pass rush. Bonitto has been described as undersized but extraordinarily athletic. Even if that presence is in the defensive rotation sparingly, you can bet that it will provide pressure and QB hurries.
According to The Draft Network, “Bonitto offers excellent first-step quickness and is explosive out of the blocks. He is able to gain the edge quickly, forcing tackles to over-kick, and then he uses his quickness and lateral agility to counter inside. Given his lack of size, his explosiveness and quickness are his best assets to get home.”
The Bills had 42 sacks last season. Mario Addison led the team with seven. The arrival of Miller is sure to increase that overall sack number. So, too, would the drafting of Bonitto.
Channing Tindall – LB, Georgia (Round 4, No. 130)
Tindall becomes an intriguing one that could handle the middle of the defense in years to come. According to Ian Cummings of Pro Football Network, “Tindall is a spry lateral athlete who can manipulate his leverage and maintain positioning on a given play. He can also hit a rare second gear when closing in on plays.”
He also may prove to be a sleeper pick in the draft due to all of the other outstanding talent coming out of Georgia that overshadows him. Being able to contain yards through the air at pressing moments is going to be huge for the Bills in the 2022-23 season. What a strength it would be for the defense to be able to sport a shiny new piece at the linebacker position with the kind of speed and versatility that this type of player brings to the table. Tindall also could project as a future starter for the Bills. After all, Tremaine Edmunds is an unrestricted free agent after this season.
If it’s shocking to think that, the defense which was consistently at the top throughout the 2021 season would consider drafting defensive players, don’t let it be. Complacency is dangerous in a league that moves as quickly as the NFL. The Bills now have the attention of the league. There’s always room for improvement. Additionally, the Bills’ defense will be losing some players as the salary cap tightens with all the recent contract extensions. Having defensive contributors on rookie contracts will be really important to the Bills continuing success.