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AP photo In this Oct. 21, 2023, file photo, LSU wide receiver Brian Thomas Jr. (11) past defensive back Cameron Jones (10) on his way to the end zone during an NCAA football game in Baton Rouge, La.

And just like that, the 2024 NFL Draft is just days away. The first waves of free agency have come and gone, and now it’s time for teams to finalize their rosters for the 2024 season (although there will still be plenty of signings after the draft and throughout the summer).

This might be the biggest draft for Buffalo Bills GM Brandon Beane since 2018, when he selected QB Josh Allen. The Bills have entered window No. 2 of Allen’s career, and it is critical that Beane and his staff knock this draft out of the park. The best way they can do that is by drafting more weapons for Allen, especially wide receivers, as the Bills essentially need to replace Stefon Diggs AND Gabe Davis. The biggest question, aside from who they select, is: Will the Bills move up, down or stay at pick No. 28?

Personally, I think this is the year to be aggressive at least once, if not twice. When you’re tasked with replacing one of the best wide receivers in franchise history, this is NOT the year to let the board fall on you – go up and get the guy you like and root for achieved a first round. In addition, Beane becomes restless, which he admits; let’s not forget he moved to CB Kaiir Elam in 2022 and TE Dalton Kincaid in 2023.

Plus, the Bills still have 10 picks this year after the Diggs trade. I highly doubt all 10 rookies will make the 53-man roster. And since the Bills still have Josh Allen at quarterback, their window is still open. I think it’s smart to find as many dynamic weapons as possible so you can have them for four or five years at cheap entry-level deals; replace the well-known names you have lost with new, young top talent.

Before I get into my mock draft, let’s take a look at Buffalo’s current draft picks (via the Bills website):

≤ Round 1: No. 28 overall

≤ Round 2: #60

≤ Round 4: Nos. 128, 133

≤ Round 5: Nos. 144 (by Bears), 160 (by Packers), 163

≤ Round 6: Nos. 200 (Cowboys to Texans), 204

≤ Round 7: #248

Seven-round Mock Draft

TRADE:

BUF receives: Pick #22

PHI receives: Pick No. 28, 2025, 2nd round pick

R1: No. 22

WR Brian Thomas Jr. (LSU)

With the 22nd overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft… I have the Bills using the second-round pick they acquired in the Diggs trade to move up and get their new WR1 in Brian Thomas Jr. to get. After the first tier of wideouts (Marvin Harrison Jr, Malik Nabers, Rome Odunze), Thomas might be the next best receiver teams will go after. At 6-foot-4 and 209 pounds, Thomas has the size, speed (4.33 40-yard dash) and athleticism (9.84 RAS – Relative Athletic Score) to dominate at the next level . He led the nation with 17 receiving touchdowns last season, on top of his 1,177 yards on 68 receptions.

(If the Bills don’t get Thomas, I’ll just say I’m a big Xavier Legette fan).

R2: No. 60

WR Ja’Lynn Polk (Washington)

I’ll have the Bills double-dipping at wide receiver with their second-round pick, taking Ja’Lynn Polk 60th overall. Polk is an underrated pass catcher in this class, as he has had to share the court with Rome Odunze the past three seasons. However, Polk had 1,159 yards and nine TDs on 69 receptions while playing as a WR2 in 2023. He is another receiver who has great ball skills and, like Thomas, can go up and make the tough, contested catch. He can win in the field, not necessarily because of his speed, but because of his strength and great hands. He’s also an effective blocker, another aspect Bills is trying to replace with the departure of Gabe Davis.

TRADE:

BUF receives: Pick #100

WSH receives: Pick Nos. 128, 144, 200

R3: No. 100

S Cole Bishop (Utah)

This is where I have the Bills making another trade UP, this time getting their third round pick back by sneaking into the end of Round 3. I think this would be a great deal if the Bills can swing it, as they still have a fourth-round pick, two fifths, a sixth AND a seventh left. Additionally, Washington has three picks in the third round and no picks in the fourth and sixth rounds, so this could be a team that wants to move back on day three based on the value of their board. (When I ran this mock draft on Pro Football Network, they would only accept this trade if I gave them the first of each of my picks in rounds 4, 5, and 6.)

So with that third round pick, I’ll have the Buffalo Bills select S Cole Bishop. Bishop is a very intriguing prospect because he is versatile, has great instincts and plays with a high motor. He can play free safety or strong safety, although scouts say he is more effective when he is closer to the line of scrimmage. Regardless, he is a great tackler and has great coverage ability as he shows good route anticipation. What’s more, he’s incredibly athletic, as his RAS score of 9.86 ranks 15th out of 1,000 safeties since 1987.

R4: No. 133

G/C Tanor Bortolini (Wisconsin)

With their fourth-round pick, I have the Bills taking Tanor Bortolini from Wisconsin. Like Bishop in the last round, Bortolini seems like Sean McDermott’s type of player: tough, gritty, competitive, plays with intensity, etc. And best of all, he is versatile, as he plays four of the five positions all the time played on the offensive line. his career. While he has a lot of run blocking experience and is good at pass protection, he still has some areas he can clean up. This would be the perfect prospect for OL Coach Aaron Kromer to polish, especially if the Bills would prefer to keep Connor McGovern at left guard.

R5: No. 160

DT Gabe Hall (Baylor)

Baylor DT Gabe Hall comes in at 160th overall. At 6 feet tall and 290 pounds, Hall is a “physical specimen with exceptional dimensions, length and construction,” according to NFL draft analyst Lance Zierlein. He is another player who checked out very high on the RAS chart (9.20) as he possesses great burst and explosiveness. However, he still has some aspects of his game that he needs to work on, especially considering he weighs less than most defensive tackles at the NFL level. I think Hall would be a great piece to add to Buffalo’s defensive line as he can develop behind Ed Oliver at the 3-technique.

R5: No. 163

DT Khristian Boyd (Northern Iowa)

Well, I double dipped at WR and now I’m double dipping again, this time with DT Khristian Boyd. This essentially stems from my previous selection, because unlike Hall, who has the height but not the weight, Boyd has the weight but not the height. He is listed at 6-foot-1, 329 pounds with a smaller wingspan of about 77 inches (Hall’s wingspan is 84 inches for comparison). Boyd has good strength and explosiveness, which allows him to be disruptive in the run and pass. At first glance he has the body of a nose tackle, but he actually plays more like a 3-tech. I think

Boyd and Hall could play well together and would make for an interesting mix of traits behind Oliver, DaQuan Jones and Austin Johnson.

R6: no. 204

RB Isaiah Davis (South Dakota St.)

Since the Bills haven’t signed a running back in free agency (other than re-signing Ty Johnson), I think finding an RB2 to complement James Cook and take the pressure off Josh Allen is a big need. Depending on how great the need is according to the Bills, they could draft a running back higher than Round 6. (If they do, I like Notre Dame’s Audric Estime in the middle rounds.) But based on how my board fell, I landed on Isaiah Davis from South Dakota State. Davis has a rare combination of size, speed, vision and athleticism as he is listed at 6-foot-1 and 218 pounds and scored an 8.86 on the RAS scale. Over the last two seasons combined, Davis ran for 3,029 yards and 33 touchdowns on 485 carries (6.2 ypc). A real sleeper.

R7: no. 248

CB Jarius Monroe (Tulane)

Another sleeper candidate is Tulane’s Jarius Monroe. Monroe has excellent size (6-foot-1, 205 pounds) and ball skills, as he defended 22 passes and picked off six over the past two seasons. In the same way he plays with physicality, Monroe says he plays with a lot of passion. Some other qualities I like about him are his leadership and communication skills, his willingness to learn, and his ability to play special teams (and possibly safety). As far as the Bills needing to replace Tre White as well, let’s not forget Siran Neal, who was a shooter on special teams, a backup nickel corner, and could play some safety when needed. Jarius Monroe could very quietly come here and fill all those roles.

WHAT’S NEXT

Well, that completes my seven-round mock draft; we’ll see how close (or far) I am to actually drafting the bills. I’d say this is my last mock draft, but there are still a few days left to continue exploring these prospects! That being said, you can find me co-hosting the Going Deep Buffalo podcast on the Built in Buffalo network every Wednesday night at 7pm EST as we will have full coverage of the 2024 Buffalo Bills draft class.

You can also follow me on X (formerly Twitter) @kevin_siracuse.



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