The Buffalo Bills have won back-to-back AFC East titles for the first time since their Super Bowl run in the early ’90s. That means two things. The roster doesn’t have massive needs to address, and the team will pick toward the back end of the 2022 NFL Draft.
That said, no pro football roster is perfect, and there is always room for improvement. Also, just because a team isn’t picking in the top 10 doesn’t mean they can’t find some incredible players.
At No. 25, the Bills could go one of several ways. There are a few spots on the defense that could use more depth and talent, or they could opt to try and give Josh Allen one more weapon. No matter what they do, Bills general manager Brandon Beane will hope to draft a player more like former No. 25 overall selections Vontae Davis or Santonio Holmes and less like Tim Tebow or Freddie “FredEx” Mitchell.
Here are four players the Buffalo Bills should target with this year’s No. 25 overall pick in the NFL draft.
Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson
In my first Buffalo Bills three-round mock draft, I had the team selecting cornerback Kaiir Elam from Florida. However, with recent post-pro day developments, corners may slide in the first round, giving the Bills a shot at a higher-rated prospect at the franchise’s biggest area of need.
With CBs sliding, some pundits have the Bills targeting Washington cover man Trent McDuffie. While that would be an excellent pick, it’s hard to imagine the third-best CB prospect dropping all the way to No. 25.
That leaves Clemson CB Andrew Booth Jr. as the ideal target for the Bills in the first round. Booth has good size at 6-foot, 194-pounds and possesses the athleticism and smarts to play both zone and press-man well. Booth started 15 games in two seasons for the Tigers and had 68 tackles and five interceptions.
He can come in and start across from All-Pro Tre’Davious White right away and someday develop into a No. 1 CB.
Quay Walker, LB, Georgia
The Buffalo Bills’ biggest positional need in the 2022 NFL Draft is at cornerback, but the defense’s biggest problem in 2021 was stopping the run. That’s why getting a big-bodied, run-stuffing thumper at linebacker would make sense in Round 1.
The 6-foot-4, 241-pound Georgia Bulldogs LB would be the perfect antidote for the next time the New England Patriots try to run on the Bills D 46 times in a single game. And, as good as he is against the run, Walker can also cover and even rush the passer a bit, making him an excellent modern LB prospect, ala Micah Parsons.
With A.J. Klein out, the Bills need to address LB at some point in this draft anyway to find more depth and talent alongside Tremaine Edwards and Matt Milano. With his unique size and skillset at the position, taking Walker would help the Bills D improve on last year’s biggest weakness.
Devonte Wyatt, DT, Georgia
The reasoning behind taking Georgia defensive tackle Devonte Wyatt at No. 25 in the 2022 NFL Draft is basically the same as the argument for taking his college teammate, Quay Walker. The Buffalo Bills need to improve the run defense, and the team lost some good players at Wyatt’s position this offseason.
The Bills lost Harrison Phillips, Star Lotulelei, and Vernon Butler on the interior defensive line this offseason. They added Tim Settle, Jordan Phillips, and DaQuan Jones, but none of those DTs are true difference-makers.
The 6-foot-3, 304-pound Wyatt is a better run-stopper than a pass-rusher, but he has all the traits to develop into a three-down DT. He would immediately move to the top of the Bills’ interior rotation and could become a long-term partner for Ed Oliver upfront.
Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State
There’s a good chance that the Buffalo Bills will go with defense at No. 25 in the NFL draft. However, with the wide receiver arms race going on in the league these days, if a potential superstar pass-catcher falls to this spot, it might be difficult for Brandon Beane to pass up.
Buffalo lost Emmanuel Sanders and Cole Beasley this offseason, and despite singing Jamison Crowder and the late-season emergence of Isaiah McKenzie as a slot receiver, the offense could use one more explosive weapon to pair with Gabriel Davis and the newly locked-up Stefon Diggs.
Penn State’s 5-foot-11, 178-pound Jahan Dotson could be the perfect replacement for Beasley and Sanders. In fact, Sanders is the NFL comp for Dotson on his NFL.com scouting report. He’s a home run hitter who can play inside or out while also having the hands of a possession WR. And, he can help the Bills on special teams right away as an electric punt returner.
All stats courtesy of Sports Reference