After trading away both second-round picks and a third to move up in round one, the Buffalo Bills were forced to stay put and let a player fall to them.
Before we get to draft analysis, I want to talk about the biggest Buffalo Bills-related moment of the night.
The diehard Bills fan known as Pancho Billa was pulled on stage and got to announce the No. 96 overall pick with Bills legends Andre Reed and Fred Jackson. He is battling cancer and you could tell the recognition meant the world to him. It was a great moment for the league and for the Bills Mafia. It was a touching tribute to a fan that has a whole city behind him.
Back to the draft….
Since the Bills decided to purge their draft capital from day two to trade up and select both Josh Allen (No. 7) and Tremaine Edmunds (No. 16) in the first round, there wasn’t much activity on Friday. Armed with the No. 96 overall pick, they opted to stay put and select a guy that fit into the defensive line rotation.
Selection: (DT) Harrison Phillips, Stanford
The Bills get great value with the selection of Harrison Phillips. They are getting an intelligent football player that never quits on the play. He looks and plays like defensive captain Kyle Williams.
When I was watching his film during the draft process, I was blown away by the similarities between the two players. Both are hard-working guys that will put in the time and effort to make an impact.
He routinely pushes linemen out of his way while making plays in the backfield. I thought he was a late second-round talent, so the value of grabbing him at the end of the third round is fantastic.
Negative: The only reason this grade isn’t higher is because there are bigger needs to address. If you draft a quarterback, you want to surround him with quality playmakers and sturdy linemen. McCarron and Allen are sweating thinking about taking snaps with this current offensive roster.
Drafting guys like Jamarco Jones (OT) and Tyrell Crosby (OT) will go a long way. Both are still on the board and will be in play with the Bills’ fourth-round selection.
Positive: I have always said that this draft has about 75 players that can be day one starters. Harrison Phillips was one of them. The draft board worked in the Bills’ favor and a heck of player fell to them. There are still plenty of other holes to fill, but Phillips clearly presented too much value to pass up.
He will work into the defensive tackle rotation with Kyle Williams and Star Lotulelei throughout the season. He’ll learn from the two veterans and strive for an increase of snaps once Williams decides to retire.