Buffalo Bills NFL Draft: First-Round Big Board

Jan 9, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide tight end O.J. Howard (88) runs the ball past Clemson Tigers defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence (90) during the fourth quarter in the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 9, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide tight end O.J. Howard (88) runs the ball past Clemson Tigers defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence (90) during the fourth quarter in the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports /

Let’s take a look at five players that should be on the Buffalo Bills’ radar when the 10th pick rolls around in the NFL Draft.

This year’s draft is full of second-to fourth-round talent, so the best-case scenario for the Buffalo Bills this year would be to trade back from No. 10 to stock picks. The Bills have seven currently, adding one from losing Mike Gillislee.

For the sake of this article, we’re not going to go that route.

This is a look at who the Buffalo Bills should target — should they stay at pick No. 10.

Buffalo has four clear positions of need to fill this weekend, and all but one could be filled in the first round: a No. 2 wide receiver, safety and cornerback help, a right tackle and a backup quarterback. Everything but an offensive tackle will be on the board.

However, it’s best to wait on quarterback and, especially, cornerback this year.

No. 5 Western Michigan WR Corey Davis

If former Western Michigan wide receiver Corey Davis had been able to work out at any point this offseason, he would have been, at the very least, No. 2 on this list.

He was a stud in the Mid-American Conference this past season and was arguably the top wide receiver prospect at the beginning of the pre-draft process. After having ankle surgery over the offseason, Davis is seen as a red flag.

Considering the Bills already have a wide receiver with an injury concern in Sammy Watkins, Davis could be a player they shy away from. However, if Buffalo can get a trade partner, this might be someone the Bills look into if they can trade back into the 20s.

With all that being said, Davis is still a great red-zone threat and runs a very good route tree. However, along with the injury concern, he does have a problem with focus drops that he’ll need to correct.

No. 4 Ohio State S Malik Hooker

Former Ohio State safety Malik Hooker could have been a top-5 selection, and still could be, but like Davis, has injury concerns.

Hooker sat out the predraft process with a torn hip labrum and a double sports hernia and has a hamstring injury history.

But the talent is there.

He’s a ball-hawking free safety and is something the Buffalo Bills have been lacking since Jairus Bryd left in free agency after the 2013 season.

What Buffalo will need to do is weigh whether or not Hooker’s potential outweighs the injury and lack of starting experience concerns.

Bleach Report’s NFL Draft lead writer Matt Miller projects Hooker with Pro Bowl potential, giving him a pro comparison of Earl Thomas.

"“Hooker has the tools of a top-five NFL safety early in his career,” writes Miller. “With his athletic gifts, instincts and tools as a playmaker, we should see Hooker routinely rank in the top of the league in interceptions and passes defensed.“"

No. 3 LSU S Jamal Adams

Former LSU safety Jamal Adams falling to Buffalo at No. 10 is somewhat unlikely.

There are plenty of teams in need of safety help ahead of the Buffalo Bills, but if there’s an unexpected rush on quarterbacks ahead of Buffalo, Adams could be there.

While he doesn’t have the explosiveness and high ceiling Hooker does, Adams is one of the safest picks in a first-round class full of red flags. He’s is a tremendous leader and is always in the film room studying the game.

He’s the type of leader Buffalo is looking for in the secondary.

"“Film study. Instincts. Just being a football player, just making a play. Not always being a robot,” Adams said in a recent Monday Morning Quarterback article."

Even though analysts and scouts have question his explosiveness, with a 31.5″ vertical at his combine, Adam’s ran his 40-yard dash between 4.3 and 4.4 seconds, which was faster than expected.

"“It was really important because there were a lot of guys that were questioning my speed,” Adams said, via ESPN.com. “A lot of people said I had average speed, and I don’t pride myself on being average in anything I do. Whether that’s playing chess with my grandmother, I definitely want to be great and I want to win.“It kind of ate at me to a point where it motivated me, because when I hear the word ‘average,’ that gets me going. So when I heard that, it was a no-brainer that I was going to work at it and I was going to improve it.“"

If Buffalo could land Adams at No. 10, he would be an automatic starter and possible Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate.

No. 2 Clemson WR Mike Williams

Aside from Davis, former Clemson wide receiver Mike Williams could be the Bills’ most likely pick.

Chances are high that both Adams and Hooker will be gone by No. 10 and our No. 1 player could be too. But drafting Williams wouldn’t be a bad consolation prize one bit.

Williams has great ball skills and is a red-zone threat. Like Davis, he’s the big-bodied wide receiver the Bills are looking for. In fact, if there’s one player draft pundits have compared him to, it’s Alshon Jeffery.

"“They’re getting a dominant player, a player who’s going to bring that winning mentality,” Williams told Zig Fracassi and Torry Holt on NFL Rewind, via blog.siriusxm.com. “I know what it takes to win. Coming from Clemson, we’re a hard-fighting program. I do know what it takes to go out there and compete every day with the best.“We had a lot of great receivers in our wide-receiver room at Clemson, so just competing every day with those guys. We have a competitive mindset. You have to work every day. They’re not going to just give it to you. You just have to come out and compete for everything that you want.”"

The addition of Williams would automatically make the Bills a playoff contender once again.

No. 1 Alabama TE O.J. Howard

Move over Rob Gronkowski. There’s a new sheriff in town.

If the Buffalo Bills can land former Alabama tight end O.J. Howard, it would be the dream scenario. He’s a generational talent and will be a huge mismatch for opposing defenses.

Not only can Howard line up on the line of scrimmage, but he can play out of the slot too. He’s also the draft’s best blocking tight end.

NFL Network’s Lance Zierlein compares Howard to Julius Thomas. However, the ceiling is much higher than that. With his 6-foot-6 frame and wide receiver-like speed, he could be the top option for almost every team in this league.

But will he try hard enough at the next level? That’s the concern some scouts have, and likely why he compares to Thomas and not a different tight end.

If Howard is there for Buffalo at No. 10, he’s a no-brainer.

The first round of the NFL Draft begins at 8 p.m. on Thursday. Get ready!

Next: 3 Wide Receivers to Target on Day 2

Who’s your favorite to get picked by the Buffalo Bills? Leave your thoughts below!