The NFL draft is on Thursday April 25 and fans continue to speculate about who their team may pick.
Bills fans are no different, but there are obviously differing opinions about who the Bills will select in the first round. Within the dissension, however, there seems to be a consensus on about four different players for the ninth overall selection. Each prospective pick is from a different position group and all would add something different to the team.
The first option is offensive tackle Jonah Williams. There is speculation that Williams will be the first offensive lineman selected in the draft and many Buffalo fans feel he will be the selection at nine. Williams is extremely talented and seems to fit the mold the head coach, Sean McDermott, and general manager, Brandon Beane, are looking for.
Generally, that mold is a player who has a team mentality and prepares extremely hard all year long. Williams is known for taking extensive notes on opponents in preparation for games; his work ethic is the reason he has become an intriguing prospect. The only knock against Williams is that some scouts feel his arms are too short for him to become an elite left tackle.
Another favorite among Bills fans is tight end T.J. Hockenson. Hockenson is considered the best tight end prospect in the draft, and it isn’t a close contest. He is a talented blocker, pass catcher and most consider him to be a “can’t miss” prospect which is the allure for Buffalo fans. They feel that Hockenson would be the perfect safety net for quarterback Josh Allen and would take the offense to the next level.
The counter-argument to Hockenson is that taking a tight end at No. 9 just may not be worth it. Tight ends are more of a luxury and a team can succeed without an elite option at that position. After all, there have only been a handful of elite tight ends in NFL history and plenty of teams have succeeded without their help.
Wide receiver D.K. Metcalf is perhaps the most controversial player among fans, but many still hope he is the selection at No. 9. Metcalf has the potential to be a bonified No. 1 receiver in this league. He has a deep love for the game, works hard and is a freak athlete. His athleticism is what draws most fans in.
Despite all the positives, Metcalf is still a very raw product and most draft analysts do not consider him the best wide receiver prospect, feeling he is not worth wasting any pick earlier than 20th on. Wide receivers chosen in the first round are often hit-or-miss and it may not be worth taking a player with such high bust potential.
The final fan favorite is defensive tackle Ed Oliver. Oliver is an elite athlete, and many compare him to Los Angeles Rams’ defensive tackle Aaron Donald who some consider to be the league’s best defensive tackle. Oliver also fills a need since Buffalo’s long-tenured defensive tackle Kyle Williams retired this past season.
There does not appear to be a lot of downside to choosing Oliver at No. 9, but many feel he will be picked before the Bills get the opportunity. Although if there is a run at quarterbacks early in the first round, he may fall to the Bills. Physically, the only issues that have arisen are that he may be too small, but he is similar in stature to Donald so that is not too much of a concern.
It is possible none of these players are selected by Buffalo and the Bills may choose someone completely different, trade down or trade up. These players, however, are the ones most adored by fans heading into Draft Day. With the excitement building, fans will continue to speculate but with this front office’s draft success in recent years, the fanbase will be satisfied with whatever the Bills decide to do.