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Grading Buffalo Bills 2014 Draft Picks After Preseason

Grading the Buffalo Bills 2014 Draft Picks After Preseason

Sammy Watkins Buffalo Bills
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The 2014 Draft was one of the more memorable ones for the Buffalo Bills in recent years, as they shocked the league by trading up to select former Clemson star WR Sammy Watkins at No. 4 overall. Watkins has gotten most of the headlines, but the rest of the class looks like they might turn out well, as every one of Buffalo’s draft picks is likely to make the 53-man roster. Here are grades for each pick after the preseason.

WR Sammy Watkins – Round 1, 4th Overall

Sammy Watkins Preseason-Buffalo Bills at Pittsburgh Steelers
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

WR Sammy Watkins – Round 1, 4th Overall

Sammy Watkins Preseason-Buffalo Bills at Pittsburgh Steelers
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Considered one of the few elite prospects of the entire 2014 Draft, Watkins has not disappointed from a talent standpoint so far. He has made several jaw-dropping catches in training camp and has looked good in preseason action. Watkins’ problem has been staying on the field, as he has suffered not one but two rib injuries already. The Bills will obviously be keeping a very close eye on their star rookie.

Grade: B+

OT Cyrus Kouandjio – Round 2, 44th Overall

Cyrus Kouandjio Buffalo Bills
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

OT Cyrus Kouandjio – Round 2, 44th Overall

Cyrus Kouandjio Buffalo Bills
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

On a team with several question marks along their offensive line, Kouandjio was expected to come in right away and compete for the starting RT spot. However, Kouandjio has struggled both in training camp and in the preseason. Even with the Bills’ o-line struggles, it would be surprising to see Kouandjio on the field much in 2014 barring any injuries.

Grade: D+

LB Preston Brown – Round 3, 73rd Overall

Preston Brown Buffalo Bills
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

LB Preston Brown – Round 3, 73rd Overall

Preston Brown Buffalo Bills
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The Bills’ third-round pick looked extremely impressive in rookie minicamp and with the season-ending injury to Kiko Alonso, it was thought that Brown could compete for a starting job. With Nigel Bradham’s one-game suspension, that seems likely for at least one week. After the opener Brown will likely go back to being a backup, but he looks like he has a bright future.

Grade: B+

CB Ross Cockrell – Round 4, 109th Overall

Ross Cockrell Preseason-Buffalo Bills at Pittsburgh Steelers
Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

CB Ross Cockrell – Round 4, 109th Overall

Ross Cockrell Preseason-Buffalo Bills at Pittsburgh Steelers
Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

While Cockrell hasn’t played poorly by any standard this preseason, the Bills simply have too much depth at cornerback for Cockrell to see much playing time. He enters the season as Buffalo’s likely No. 6 CB. But Cockrell’s intelligence and instincts will serve him well should the Bills suffer a rash of injuries.

Grade: B

G Cyril Richardson – Round 5, 153rd Overall

Cyril Richardson Preseason-Buffalo Bills at Pittsburgh Steelers
Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

G Cyril Richardson – Round 5, 153rd Overall

Cyril Richardson Preseason-Buffalo Bills at Pittsburgh Steelers
Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

While he wasn’t expected to do much this season, Richardson has surprised a lot of people with his play so far. He has outplayed several of Buffalo’s veteran offensive linemen and at one point looked like he might contend for a starting spot. That seems unlikely now, but Richardson should be used in a backup role in 2014, with a strong chance to win a starting job next year.

Grade: A-

LB Randell Johnson – Round 7, 221st Overall

Randell Johnson Buffalo Bills Rookie Minicamp
Getty Images

LB Randell Johnson – Round 7, 221st Overall

Randell Johnson Buffalo Bills Rookie Minicamp
Getty Images

Seventh-round picks often aren’t given much opportunity to prove themselves early on, and that has been the case with Johnson to this point. But Johnson has shown enough to convince the Bills’ coaching staff to give him a shot on the 53-man roster. Expect to see Johnson primarily on special teams in 2014.

Grade: B-

OT Seantrel Henderson – Round 7, 237th Overall

Seantrel Henderson Preseason-Buffalo Bills at Pittsburgh Steelers
Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

OT Seantrel Henderson – Round 7, 237th Overall

Seantrel Henderson Preseason-Buffalo Bills at Pittsburgh Steelers
Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Henderson has been one of the best stories for the Bills so far. Once a top high school recruit, Henderson’s personal issues almost caused him to slip out of the draft altogether. But Henderson has been one of the few bright spots on Buffalo’s offensive line so far, and he has likely locked down the starting RT spot. In a couple years, the Bills might look back and say that Henderson was the steal of the 2014 Draft.

Grade: A