Mel Kiper Jr makes ridiculous pick for Bills in latest mock draft

Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills / Justin Casterline/GettyImages

As NFL fans, we all know who Mel Kiper Jr. is, he's essentially an A-list celebrity in the draft world. He's been covering the NFL draft since 1984 with ESPN and has become a mainstay in the industry and one of the most respected draft analysts in the business. I look for and listen to what Kiper has to say about the prospects and I know he spends countless hours studying these guys.

But even the great Mel Kiper Jr. is wrong more than he's right, and the same is true for all of us that try to predict the draft but wow, Kiper missed the mark big-time in his latest mock draft. With the 28th pick of the NFL Draft, Kiper has the Buffalo Bills selecting cornerback T.J. Tampa out of lowa State. I'm not questioning Tampa as a player and the Bills could use another corner for depth, but the Bills have much bigger needs on this roster than corner. For example, defensive tackle, edge and safety. You can throw in wide receiver too, but with the addition of Curtis Samuel, even receiver is less of a concern than those on the defensive side.

"Buffalo has turned over its safety position, with Jordan Poyer signing in Miami and Micah Hyde still unsigned, but it also must find a way to add talent at cornerback. The organization is up against the salary cap, so the draft likely will be the best way to do that. Kaiir Elam, a first-round pick in 2022, was a healthy scratch at times last season, and he ended up playing in just three games. Could they find a starter this late in Round 1? I think so.

Tampa leveled up in 2023, allowing only one touchdown as the nearest defender in coverage. Recovery from a hamstring injury prevented him from working out at the combine, but I see really solid speed and traits on tape. If the Bills decide to go offense with this selection, a wide receiver to replace Gabe Davis could be the play."

Mel Kiper Jr.

You'll notice in his write-up that he starts with the Bills not having any depth at safety and closes with wide receiver being a potential target in the first round of the draft for the Bills to replace the loss of Gabe Davis. He also mentions Kaiir Elam being a "healthy" scratch; however, fails to bring up the ankle injury he suffered early in the season and a trip to the IR for nearly two months of the season. Given all this, it baffles me why Kiper would have the Bills going corner in round one, especially with Xavier Legette going one pick later at 29 to the Detroit Lions. Seems that would have made more sense for Buffalo and Tampa going to the Lions instead.

My money is on either defensive tackle or wide receiver, but I've also done some mocks with safety to the Bills in round one. Regardless, this draft will be a very important one for the Bills as they head towards the 2024 NFL season and beyond.


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