Pro Football Focus: 3 Biggest Needs for Buffalo Bills in NFL Draft

Mar 28, 2017; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Detailed view of the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins logo during the NFL Annual Meetings at the Biltmore Resort. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 28, 2017; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Detailed view of the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins logo during the NFL Annual Meetings at the Biltmore Resort. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Pro Football Focus has been listing each team’s biggest needs for the NFL Draft and their picks for the Buffalo Bills are spot on accurate.

Pro Football Focus is a useful tool for any football fan, year-round. They’ve been reviewing the top three needs for each team heading into the NFL Draft, while also giving prospects to look for. Not only do I agree with their assessment on the Buffalo Bills, but their prospects were also spot-on.

In the article, PFF notes that quarterback was the biggest need before the team re-signed Tyrod Taylor. With bigger holes elsewhere, the Buffalo Bills are smart if they make do with their quarterback situation and make their roster more complete across the board.

The first position they named was wide receiver. Obviously, the team will be without Robert Woods, Marquise Goodwin and Justin Hunter. Although they’ve signed Andre Holmes, Philly Brown and a couple other depth guys, the need for a No. 2 or No. 3 receiver is still high.

When looking at prospects, PFF chose an early-round target and a mid/late-round target. Who did they select as the early-round target? Corey Davis at No. 10.

"The best route-runner in the draft class, Davis at 10th overall would represent a huge win for the team from western New York. Davis was third among all draft-eligible wide receivers this season with an average of 3.55 yards per route run and he’s proven that he can be effective at all three levels of the field: last season, Western Michigan QBs had a 137.1 QB Rating when targeting Davis on 25 attempts that traveled at least 20 yards in the air, along with a 130.6 QB Rating on throws targeting Davis in the short-to-intermediate range."

They also noted that Cooper Kupp was another name to look for. A mid-round projection, Kupp has been said to be one of the better receivers in this draft class. Being able to draft him would allow the Buffalo Bills to address other needs with their first and second round picks.

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Which takes us to the second position Pro Football Focus named as a top-three need — cornerback.

After losing Stephon Gilmore, the Buffalo Bills have Ronald Darby and Kevon Seymour penciled in as starters, without much depth behind him. Because of that, the Buffalo Bills would be smart to draft several cornerbacks this year — one as an early-round pick and one as a late-round pick.

Luckily, the cornerback position runs pretty deep this year and the Bills should have no problem finding a capable playmaker in Sean McDermott’s defense.

PFF listed Marlon Humphrey as their early-round target at cornerback for Buffalo. There’s a chance Humphrey falls into the second round, which would bring a lot of value at that spot. It would also allow the Bills to consider Corey Davis or Mike Williams in the first round — or trading down.

Pro Football Focus also liked the idea of looking at Shaquill Griffin, who could be a starter day-one. Here’s what they had to say about Griffin:

"This year’s class is so deep that Griffin – with his excellent combination of size and speed – could make it all the way to Day 3 and step in and immediately claim Buffalo’s No. 2 CB role. Griffin finished 11th out of 481 qualified cornerbacks this season with an 86.2 overall grade and his playmaking ability ranks towards the top of the class, his 15 combined pass breakups and interceptions in 2016 were the third most by all cornerbacks."

That brings us to the final position need, according to PFF — free safety.

The Buffalo Bills parted ways with their two starting safeties this offseason, Corey Graham and Aaron Williams. With Graham aging and Williams dealing with back-to-back neck injuries, it was smart to look at other options.

The team ended up signing two safeties that will likely start next season, depending on how the draft turns out. Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer are two younger options that have versatile backgrounds as both safety and cornerback. They are both good fits in Sean McDermott’s defense, so both should thrive next season.

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As for the draft, PFF likes Malik Hooker as their early-round target out of Ohio State. There’s no way he’s going to fall into the second round, so he would have to be picked with the NO. 10 selection. He’s a pure free safety that could come in and start day one. Plus, his 7 interceptions last season would be nice to have.

For the mid/late-round target, PFF chose Tedric Thompson out of Colorado. Here’s what they said about him:

"Thompson doesn’t rank toward the top of this year’s safety class in terms of athletic ability, which will likely bump him down to Day 3, but he should be able to make up for that lack of athleticism with his high level of anticipation and awareness. Thompson shows enough range to suggest that he’s capable of playing both as a centerfielder and as a split safety and his ball skills are outstanding. The safety from Colorado equaled Hooker with seven interceptions this season, he ranked third among safeties with seven pass breakups and he ranked first among safeties, holding opposing QBs to a 21.3 QB rating when he was the primary defender in coverage."

With the NFL Draft less than two weeks away, it’s becoming crunch time for all teams. There’s no doubt that the Buffalo Bills will be looking at receivers, cornerbacks and free safeties come draft day.

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What prospects would you like to see the Buffalo Bills target this year? Leave your thoughts below!