Let’s travel way over the left side of New York state and talk about the BILLS Draft as sculpted by DOUG WHALEY & REX RYAN. As you look at the player rankings below you would have to conclude this is on e of the best drafts around this year. Almost every player taken by Buffalo is ranked higher by our three Draftnik evaluators than where the BILLS actually got them. Now the task will be for REX and his staff to plug these guys into the right spots and develop them.
Round 1 SHAQ LAWSON/ER/DE/CLEMSON 6’3/270 4.68/40 10″H/33 3/4″A
LAWSON is a high motor. productive player who spends a lot of time in opponents’ backfields, as evidenced by his 25.5 TFL last season at CLemson. THis guy should be better suited to fill the role that Super Mario did not want to embrace last year for the BILLS, alternating his playing time between rushing from a 3-point stance, and standing up to help in pass coverage. His skill set is well suited for today’s NFL, but after undergoing shoulder surgery last week it remains to be seen when the BILLS get him out on the field in 2016.
Pick # 16 GBN Rank: 16 Ourlads Rank: 11 PP Rank: 18
Round 2 REGGIE RAGLAND/ILB/ALABAMA 6’1/247 4.68/40 9 7/8″H/32″A
No way this talented, productive player should have lasted into Round 2, even in today’s pass happy NFL. I particularly like the ferocity and power of his tackling. IN that sense he reminds me a lot of NFL Great CHUCK BEDNARICK. But he also shows decent ability to drop into shallow pass coverage in the middle of the field. He posted 102 tackles for the Crimson Tide last season, and also was credited with 7 PBU. If he’s not a day one starter I will be shocked, and disappointed.
Pick # 41 GBN Rank: 21 Ourlads Rank: 21 PP Rank: 20
Round 3 ADOLPHUS WASHINGTON/DT/OHIO STATE 6’3/297 5.18/40 9 7/8″H/34 1/4″A
When this man flashes, good things happen for his team’s defense. It will be the RYAN brothers charge to get his motor revving at a high rate more of the time he’s on the field, than during his college career. He looks even bigger than he is in pads, primarily because of his long arms and wing span. He refuses to stay blocked and can push blockers around until he finds an angle to take advantage of and penetrate behind the line-of-scrimmage. THis should be a nice infusion of youth for the BILLS DL group and allow for more effective player rotation.
Pick # 80 GBN Rank: 64 Ourlads Rank: 61 PP Rank: 60
Round 4 CARDALE JONES/QB/OHIO STATE 6’5/253 4.78/40 9 3/4″H/33 3/4″A
Let’s call this a gamble on greatness, and at the same time I have to assume it may mean the end of the line for former 1st Round QB E.J. MANUEL. His arm is a cannon and he’s a big athlete, who can do a lot of things out on the field. But his star dimmed in 2015 when he could not retain the starting QB job for the Buckeyes. Needs fundamentals work in a lot of areas and the best news is that there will be no pressure at all to produce right away, barring massive quantities of injuries in their QB group.
Pick # 139 GBN Rank: 86 Ourlads Rank: 81 PP Rank: 122
Round 4 JONATHAN WILLIAMS/RB/ARKANSAS 5’11/220 4.60/40 10″H/31 5/8″A
Lost all of his 2105 season to an August foot injury. Was a 1,000-yard rusher for Arkansas in past seasons. He’s a between the tackles runner with a nice combination of burst and power. Can keep his feet unless tackled squarely. We don’t know about how much he can catch out of the backfield, but his nice sized hands may offer a hint of his ability in that regard. Was considered a Top 100 prospect before the injury. He should be ready to go full speed when Training Camp opens.
Pick # 156 GBN Rank: 128 Ourlads Rank: 100 PP Rank: 135
Round 6 KOLBY LISTENBEE/WR/TCU 6’0/197 4.34/40 31 1/8″A/8 1/4″H
Has track speed compared to most of the receivers in this year’s Draft Class. Reminds me of the kid in your sandlot huddle who the QB tells to “go long” all day long. He’s a decoy as often as he is a target. Needs lots of work on route running if he’s to become more than that. His small hands, especially in cold weather Buffalo, worry me a bit. He may also be able to put his speed to good use on Special Teams units for the BILLS. Well worth the pick this late in the Draft on speed potential alone.
Pick # 192 GBN Rank: 113 Ourlads Rank: 155 PP Rank: 150
Round 7 KEVON SEYMOUR/CB/SOUTHERN CAL 6’0/184 4.39/40
Lost a lot of playing time to nagging injuries as a senior, but played a lot of ball during his Trojan career. Has a solid build, though light in the pants, and will come up to tackle in run support. He plays to speed in pads and seems to understand what’s expected of him in coverage designs. Could have been higher ranked with a healthy 2015 season leading into the Draft. But clearly running the 8th fastest 40-time at the Combine helped his cause. Look for SEYMOUR to emerge as a solid sub-package guy as a Rookie and do his share of Special Teams dirty work. He might actually emerge to compete for a starting Corner in a couple of years if he stays healthy.
Pick # 218 GBN Rank: 157 Ourlads Rank: NR 300+ PP Rank: 264
This is a good Draft class and the staff needs to integrate them into the roster for Sunday playing time quickly. The BILLS got a lot of guys a Round later than I would have expected.