Buffalo Bills: Cornerbacks That Should Be on the Radar

Aug 26, 2016; Landover, MD, USA; Buffalo Bills running back Jonathan Williams (40) carries the ball against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 26, 2016; Landover, MD, USA; Buffalo Bills running back Jonathan Williams (40) carries the ball against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

A look at which cornerbacks the Buffalo Bills should consider on the second and third days of the NFL Draft

From his time with the Carolina Panthers, it has become apparent that because of his scheme, Sean McDermott doesn’t value cornerbacks as highly as other coaches around the league.

Look no further than Josh Norman in 2016 and Stephon Gilmore this past offseason.

With that being said, the Buffalo Bills still need to replace some missing pieces in the cornerbacks room.

With Gilmore, Nickell Robey-Coleman and Corey White all no longer with the team, there are some glaring holes. Third-year player Ronald Darby will be asked to take over as the team’s No. 1 corner while Kevon Seymour, a former sixth-round selection, should step into a full-time starter role.

However, there are other needs that should come before the cornerback position this weekend in the NFL Draft. Buffalo needs to find a secondary receiving option opposite Sammy Watkins, the safety position needs to be addressed and the team could use more offensive lineman, especially at the right tackle position.

And with such a deep cornerback class, if there’s a year to wait on a corner, this is the time to do it.

Teez Tabor, Florida

Former Florida cornerback Teez Tabor has everything you want in a first-round cornerback prospect.

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At 6-foot, 199 pounds, he has the prototypical size to matchup with any wide receiver in the league, but there’s something about him that seems to be scaring teams off.

Not only did Tabor run a slow 40 at the combine – 4.62 seconds – but it got even slower on his pro day. He ran an alarming 4.72, which has risen some eyes in NFL circles. According to Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller, the draft analyst was told by a scout that Tabor was terrible in the interview room.

This will likely cause him to drop out of the first and second round, making him available for Buffalo in the third. If Buffalo has the chance to take Tabor in the third round, he’s certainly worth the risk.

Sidney Jones, Washington

Former Washington corner Sidney Jones was set to be the second cornerback taken on Thursday, but an Achilles tear during his pro day has plummeted his draft stock.

When a team drafts Jones, they’ll know going into it that 2017 will be a redshirt year. Having to sit out a year will cost Jones to fall out of the first round and into Day 2.

During a conference call with national beat reporters that aired on ESPN’s First Draft podcast on April 19, ESPN NFL Draft insider Todd McShay had some good things to say about Jones and his NFL future.

"“He’s silky-smooth in coverage. He has the height, the length, the speed, he can play press, he can play off-coverage,” McShay said via NJ.com. “I thought he had very good instincts. You can use him in a lot of ways. If he continues to get bigger and stronger, he’ll be a more complete player. It won’t surprise me if he winds up being the 10th or 11th corner taken. He’ll wind up with a team that plans to sit him, get him ready for 2018 and he’ll be ready to go.”"

Considering McDermott’s zone scheme doesn’t rely heavily on cornerbacks, Buffalo could be a team that can afford to sit Jones for a year as he recovers.

If both Jones and Tabor are on the board at 44, the Bills would be wise to select Jones.

Desmond King, Iowa

Former Iowa corner Desmond King is an intriguing prospect.

He played cornerback in college and was extremely effective, but some envision King sliding over to free safety in the NFL.

He’s considered a third round pick, and between Tabor, Jones and King, the former Iowa four-year starter will be the most likely player still on the board at 75.

King is what NFL Network’s Lance Zierlein calls an “iron man.” He played in 94 percent of Iowa’s defensive snaps over his four-year career and in 46 percent of the Hawkeyes’ special teams snaps in 2016.

McShay calls King a third-round “value pick.”

"In my opinion, ball-skills transfer. They translate to the NFL,” McShay said. “Playmakers in college continue to be playmakers at the next level. You see it time, and time again. He to me has very good ball-skills, and is one of those playmakers who can step up.”"

He’s a physical corner and great in coverage. Desmond King is what the Buffalo Bills are lacking.

Whether he plays safety or corner, McDermott will find a way to use him.

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Damontae Kazee, San Diego State

If Buffalo wants to wait until Day 3 to draft a cornerback, Damontae Kazee out of San Diego State would be a perfect fit.

At just over 5-foot-10, Kazee is on the smaller side for cornerbacks, but he would do well in McDermott’s zone-heavy scheme. Securing 15 interceptions over the last two seasons, he has a knack for the ball as well.

According to Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller, Kazee is perfect for a zone scheme.

"“He has a knack for making plays and has great timing to close on the ball,” Miller said. “His toughness shouldn’t be questioned, no matter his size. Kazee will fight with receivers at the line or through the route. In zone coverage, he is a natural fit and may be able to play on the outside of an NFL defense. If not, he’s a top-notch contributor in the slot and in special teams.”"

Even though Buffalo doesn’t have a fourth-round selection this season, they have three picks in the fifth round and could easily trade into the fourth round.

Nate Hairston, Temple

Former Temple cornerback Nate Hairston is an interesting prospect.

Miller projects Hairston, who was originally a wide receiver for the Owls, as a sixth-round selection and the No. 23 corner. McShay, on the other hand, sees Hairston as a fourth rounder.

Either way, he’s a raw prospect that has great instincts.

"“He only played two years at cornerback. He started at wide receiver and then they moved him to corner,” McShay said. “He’s physical vs. the run. He’s got pretty good ball-skills as a former wide receiver, and he’s really developed his instincts.”"

Since he transitioned from wide receiver to corner, Hairston shows he’s very coachable. It may take some time for the selection to pay dividends, but Hairston has the potential to be a nice sleeper pick.

Next: Buffalo Bills Sending Mixed Messages as Draft Approaches

Which cornerback would you like to see the Buffalo Bills draft this weekend? Leave your thoughts below!