Ten Players The Buffalo Bills Could Draft In The First Round

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Ten Players The Buffalo Bills Could Draft In The First Round

Ten Players The Buffalo Bills Could Draft In The First Round
Kevin Hoffman - USATODAY Sports

The upcoming NFL Draft is an important step for the Buffalo Bills. With a new head coach in place that’s looking to take the franchise in a new direction, and with little activity in free agency thus far, the draft is the best way for the Bills to acquire the players they need to become competitive in the AFC East.

For the Bills, it all starts with their first round pick, which is the 8th overall pick in the draft. That pick will go a long way towards setting the tone for the Doug Marrone era, and its imperative that the Bills select a player that will be a difference maker, both immediately and in the long run. With so much uncertainty surround this year’s draft, it’s been difficult to project who Buffalo will be drafting, and even who is going to be available when it’s their time to pick. By now we’ve all seen plenty of mock drafts, but no two mock drafts are ever the same, meaning there are a lot of possibilities. In an effort to simplify things, we’ve put together a list of the ten players the Bills are most likely to draft with the 8th overall pick. Ten options seems like a lot for the 8th overall pick, but there are so many different ways this draft could play out and so many different directions the Bills could go, there’s no telling what could happen.

There are a lot of quarterbacks and linebackers on this list, Buffalo’s two biggest needs, but Buffalo could surprise some people and go in another direction. So, in alphabetical order, here are the ten players the Bills could be drafting with the 8th overall pick in this year’s draft:

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Ezekiel Ansah, Defensive End, BYU

Ezekiel Ansah, Defensive End, BYU
Josh D. Weiss - USATODAY Sports

Ansah looks like a top-5 pick, but there’s a chance he could drop to the Bills at eight overall. If so, he would make a great pass rushing complement to Mario Williams and give Buffalo a dynamic duo up front that could really improve their defense and help hide some of the deficiencies in the secondary.

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Matt Barkley, Quarterback, USC

Matt Barkley, Quarterback, USC
Kirby Lee - USATODAY Sports

Right now, Barkley going 8th overall would be quite a stretch, but if the Bills are intent on taking a quarterback in the first round, he could be an option. Doug Marrone faced Barkley in college each of the last two years, and came away impressed with what he saw. It would be a surprise if the Bills took Barkley in the first round, but it’s not impossible.

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Eric Fisher, Offensive Tackle, Central Michigan

Eric Fisher, Offensive Tackle, Central Michigan
Brian Spurlock - USATODAY Sports

Fisher is unlikely to be available for the Bills at eight, but depending on how things shake out early on, he could drop to the bottom half of the top 10. It’s not a dire need of the Bills, but Fisher is arguably the top left tackle available, so it’d be tough to pass on him if somehow he’s still available.

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Lane Johnson, Offensive Tackle, Oklahoma

Lane Johnson, Offensive Tackle, Oklahoma
Tim Heltman - USATODAY Sports

Johnson is a great athlete and he should be available when the Bills pick comes up. If Buffalo doesn’t like what’s available at quarterback in the first round, they could wait until later in the draft to take a quarterback and use their first round pick to give their future quarterback some protection, and drafting Johnson would be a great way to do that.

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Jarvis Jones, Linebacker, Georgia

Jarvis Jones, Linebacker, Georgia
Dale Zanine - USATODAY Sports

His stock has fallen due to some injury concerns and a lackluster pro day workout, but Jones could be a great first round pick for the Bills. He should be available 8th overall and has a chance to be a top-flight pass rusher after spending the last two seasons terrorizing quarterbacks in the SEC.

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Dion Jordan, Linebacker, Oregon

Dion Jordan, Linebacker, Oregon
Jim Rider - USATODAY Sports

A lot would have to happen for Jordan to be waiting for the Bills at the 8th pick, but it’s not impossible. Jordan would fit in nicely in Buffalo, as the Bills need linebackers and Jordan is much more than a pass rusher. He could be an every down linebacker for the Bills, which is exactly what they need.

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Ryan Nassib, Quarterback, Syracuse

Ryan Nassib, Quarterback, Syracuse
Brad Penner - USATODAY Sports

The Bills would love to take Nassib in the second round, but his stock is rising to the point where Buffalo may need to grab him in the first round if they’re set on taking him. It’d be a reach to take Nassib 8th overall, but the coaching staff knows him well enough to judge whether it’d ultimately be worth it or not.

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Alec Ogletree, Linebacker, Georgia

Alec Ogletree, Linebacker, Georgia
Daniel Shirey - USATODAY Sports

This would be a bit of a stretch, as Ogeltree’s stock has fallen considerably because of character concerns following a pair of arrests and some off-field issues. However, Ogletree has the talent to be a top-10 pick and fits one of their needs, so if the Bills are satisfied with the explanations he’s given for his behavioral issues away from the field, they could take a chance on him, especially if the other linebackers they like are off the board.

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Cordarrelle Patterson, Wide Receiver, Tennessee

Cordarrelle Patterson, Wide Receiver, Tennessee
Spruce Deren - USATODAY Sports

This pick probably won’t happen, but the Bills definitely need to be on the lookout for an offensive playmaker than can complement Steve Johnson. Patterson played just one season of major college football, but he displayed incredibly talent as a receiver, runner, and kick returner. Taking Patterson would be a bit of a risk, but he could be the kind of game changer the Bills need.

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Geno Smith, Quarterback, West Virginia

Geno Smith, Quarterback, West Virginia
Rich Barnes - USATODAY Sports

If Smith were still available 8th overall, it’d be tough for the Bills to pass on him. Many consider him to be the top quarterback in this year’s draft, and he would certainly be an upgrade over what Ryan Fitzpatrick has done the past few seasons. A lot of recent mock drafts have Smith falling to the Bills at the eight spot, in which case Buffalo will have a tough decision to make.


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