It’s common this time of year for national writers and pundits to re-assess the draft classes from the previous spring and NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks did just that for the Bills and the rest of their division opponents.
Brooks gave the Bills the best grade in the division. Here’s what Brooks wrote about their draft class and their combine/draft outlook.
AFC East rookie grades: Buffalo Bills building a winner
The Bills boldly moved up a few spots in the 2014 NFL Draft to pluck Sammy Watkins with the fourth overall pick — and the rookie pass catcher didn’t disappoint, posting 982 receiving yards and six touchdowns as Buffalo’s designated playmaker. Although critics would suggest the team could’ve stayed at its original position (No. 9) and still landed a Pro Bowl-caliber receiver (see: Odell Beckham, who went to the Giants at No. 12), the fact that the Bills identified their guy and got positive results from him should earn them a solid review. They also received better than anticipated production from linebacker Preston Brown and offensive lineman Seantrel Henderson when they were pressed into action due to injuries and inconsistent play by those above them. Offensive lineman Cyrus Kouandjio is an unknown commodity at this point, but if he develops into a serviceable starter, this class could play a pivotal role in Buffalo’s re-emergence as a playoff participant under a new regime. Grade: B
Combine focus: The lack of a first-round pick in 2015 — it was surrendered to the Cleveland Browns in the deal that resulted in Watkins — prevents the Bills from addressing their quarterback situation in the draft. Still, the team can add a few pieces to enhance an offense that’s on the cusp of leading a playoff run. The offensive line needs some work along the interior, meaning Buffalo should take an extensive look at guys like Duke’s Laken Tomlinson, South Carolina’s A.J. Cann and Florida State’s Tre’ Jackson. Additionally, the Bills could explore the possibility of adding a dynamic tight end, like Minnesota’s Maxx Williams and Miami’s Clive Walford.
Tags: 2014 draft class, NFL Combine
Posted in Inside the Bills