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Buffalo Bills 2024 Team Mock Draft 1.0

Once sitting at 6-6 following an overtime loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in week 12, the Buffalo Bills playoff hopes seemed bleak. However, behind the play of star quarterback Josh Allen, the team rattled off five straight wins, including a 21-14 victory over the Miami Dolphins in week 18 to clinch their fourth straight AFC East title. The former seventh overall pick totaled 11 touchdowns while engineering three fourth-quarter game-winning drives. Although Buffalo was able to advance past the Pittsburgh Steelers on Wild Card Weekend, its Super Bowl aspirations would once again come up short following a heartbreaking defeat to the eventual Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs.


Pressed up against the salary cap heading into the offseason, the Bills were approximately $41.3 million over the NFL's record salary cap ceiling of $255.4 million and a whopping $137 million behind the Washington Commanders league-high $96 million in space. Forced to cut ties with multiple longtime veterans, general manager Brandon Beane released Jordan Poyer, Mitch Morse, Siran Neal, Deonte Harty, and Nyheim Hines. Furthermore, in arguably the most shocking move of the offseason, the longtime executive traded star wide receiver Stefon Diggs to the Houston Texans in exchange for a 2025 second-round draft pick. With the team's pass-catching group now lacking elite top-end firepower, here is one approach for Buffalo to remain a true Super Bowl contender while landing an elite weapon for the foreseeable future.


To help with this mock draft, I used Pro Football Focus's mock draft simulator.



2024 Buffalo Bills Team NFL Mock Draft 1.0


TRADE

Bills Receive: Pick 17

Jaguars Receive: Picks 28, 163, and 2025 2nd


Round 1, Pick 17) Buffalo Bills - Brian Thomas Jr., WR (LSU)

Currently scheduled to make 11 picks in the 2024 NFL Draft, the Bills must remodel their roster while getting younger and cheaper at multiple positions. Nonetheless, Beane is one of the most aggressive general managers across the league and has shown over the last few years he is not afraid to jump up to land his guy. Offering an elite combination of size, length, and speed at 6'4, Thomas is a serious vertical threat when lined up both out wide and in the slot. Moreover, the LSU product is a fluid mover who can burst in and out of his routes. Fresh off a 2023 season that saw him haul in 68 passes for 1,177 yards while leading the nation with 17 touchdowns, the Louisiana native would provide a home run threat for Buffalo's offense.


Round 2, Pick 60) Buffalo Bills - Braden Fiske, DL (FSU)

Following the re-signing of A.J. Epenesa, Buffalo has the former second-round pick, and Greg Rousseau locked up through the 2025 season. However, Von Miller is likely entering his final year with the Bills. The team also saw Leonard Floyd depart for the San Francisco 49ers in free agency. As a result, expect the franchise to look for a long-term option at the position. A versatile defensive lineman, Fiske is an explosive player who can be disruptive both against the run and the pass. He has a quick first step and violent, heavy hands that allow him to wreak havoc on opposing passers. Furthermore, the Florida State product possesses above-average lateral movements that will enable him to stay in pursuit and chase down mobile quarterbacks.


Round 4, Pick 128) Buffalo Bills - Cole Bishop, S (Utah)

For the first time since the 2017 season, the Bills will feature a new look at the safety position. Gone are Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer after seven seasons. The former remains a free agent and is reportedly considering retirement after appearing in just 16 games over the last two years. Meanwhile, the latter was cut in March in a salary cap-shedding move before landing in Miami. Buffalo brought back Taylor Rapp on a one-year deal. Furthermore, the franchise also inked longtime Kansas City Chief Mike Edwards to a one-year contract. They still need to shore up the free safety spot. A multi-year starter with good size at 6'2" and 207 lbs, Bishop is an instinctual player who can play at all three levels of the defense.


Round 4, Pick 133) Buffalo Bills - Christian Jones, OT (Texas)

A year ago, the Bills' starting five was one of the healthiest offensive line units in the league. They were on the field for 95.1% of their snaps, the second-highest mark in the league. With four of five starters set to return in 2024, the team released center Mitch Morse, meaning Connor McGovern will likely slide over to the center spot. Furthermore, Spencer Brown will become a free agent after next season. Needing to add depth, Buffalo's reserve group is significantly thin. An experienced offensive tackle, Jones started more than 40 games at Texas at both LT and RT. Possessing the ideal measurables to become an NFL starter, he has a quick first step in the run game that allows him to drive opposing defenders off the line of scrimmage and work up to the second level.


Round 5, Pick 144) Buffalo Bills - Luke McCaffrey, WR (Rice)

The son of Ed McCaffrey and younger brother of Christian McCaffrey, Luke McCaffrey transitioned to wide receiver after starting his college career as a quarterback. Ultimately becoming one of the most productive players in the AAC, the 23-year-old racked up 71 receptions for 991 yards and 13 touchdowns last season. Furthermore, he also added 117 yards on the ground on 15 carries. The one-time First-team All-AAC member has all the tools to make an immediate impact as a slot receiver in the NFL. McCaffrey can find holes in between the second and third levels of defense while also making tough catches across the middle, making him the perfect chess piece for offensive coordinator Joe Brady to deploy all over the formation.    


Round 5, Pick 160) Buffalo Bills - Kalen King, CB (Penn State)

Once considered one of the top defensive back prospects in the 2024 NFL draft class, King was highly productive during his freshman year at Penn State. Appearing in nine games, he posted 21 tackles, five pass breakups, and one forced fumble. However, the Detroit native could not match that production during the 2023 season. Struggling to fill the void left by Joey Porter Jr., he was tasked with taking on the opposing team's top wide receivers. As a result, his coverage grade fell from 90.6 to 55.7, according to Pro Football Focus. Nonetheless, following the release of Tre'Davious White, Rasul Douglas is also set to enter the final year of his contract. They have a proven track record of finding and developing defensive backs on day three of the draft. King would offer Buffalo a high-risk, high-reward option.      


Round 6, Pick 200) Buffalo Bills - Grayson Murphy, EDGE (UCLA)

After finishing fourth in the league in sacks in 2023 (54), Buffalo is set to head into next season with Rousseau, Epenesa, Miller, and the newly signed Casey Toohill as its top-four edge players. A former three-star recruit out of Bishop Lynch High School in North Texas, Murphy had a strong showing at the East-West Shrine Bowl in February. He played three seasons at the University of North Texas before transferring to UCLA. Appearing in 28 games for the Bruins, the 23-year-old totaled 58 tackles, 10 sacks, and three pass breakups. Primarily used on third downs in college, the junior has a strong arsenal of pass-rushing moves and the quickness and agility to be an effective rotational piece for Sean McDermott and company.


Round 6, Pick 204) Buffalo Bills - Curtis Jacobs, LB (Penn State)

Decimated in the linebacker room a year ago, Buffalo's defense suffered a massive loss after Matt Milano suffered a season-ending broken right tibia in week 5. Forced to turn to second-year man Terell Bernard, the Baylor product shined in an expanded role. He started all 17 games while recording a team-high 143 tackles, 6.5 sacks, and three interceptions. Following Tyrell Dodson's free-agency departure, the Bills brought in veteran Nicolas Morrow. Nevertheless, Jacobs would provide a much-needed insurance option. Deployed all over the field at Penn State, the 22-year-old was used as a coverage linebacker and on edge as a stand-up pass rusher. He has an explosive first step when deployed as a blitzer and the closing speed to hunt down and wrap up opposing ball carriers.        


Round 7, Pick 248) Buffalo Bills - Kendall Milton, RB (Georgia)

The Bills currently have just two running backs on their roster: James Cook and Ty Johnson. Likely to add multiple players to the position group in the draft, Milton would provide Buffalo with a big physical change of pace option in the ground game. A former five-star recruit, the Fresno, California native saw limited opportunities in his first two seasons at Georgia. However, in an expanded role, he posted 709 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2023, averaging 6.5 yards per carry. A downhill, physical runner who excels between the tackles, Milton fights for every extra yard, using an outstanding leg drive to shed arm tackles. Furthermore, he also has the vision and patience to wait for his blocks to develop in front of him before hitting the hole.



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