Quick secret here.
I looked through this Buffalo depth chart, and man, I really like this team. The back seven on defense is wicked strong, and the fundamental building blocks on the defensive line are there.
Offensively, I've written already about how much I like what Brian Daboll is doing around Josh Allen to help him succeed. There's a ceiling on that magic though, and that's why Buffalo's been adding to the weaponry. If Allen can take a step forward in Year 2, this team will go from scrappy to legit dangerous, quick.
Pick 9: Mississippi State EDGE Montez Sweat
If I have one goal for this draft and Buffalo, it's to improve the pass rush. It wasn't bad in 2018, but competitors have to have a strong 4-man rush in the modern NFL, and Buffalo's starting four is just lacking in juice (outside of the timeless Jerry Hughes).
While I looked at nifty edge bender Brian Burns here, I had to stay true to Sean McDermott's preferences and grab the size, strength, and athleticism of Montez Sweat. He isn't a great pure rusher, but he can win with his hand in the dirt or from a stand-up alignment, and his power and length can be devastating with further development.
Pick 40: Kansas State iOL Dalton Risner
What do you do when you might have two starting offensive tackles, but you don't really know because of how many new bodies you have, and you don't know for how long you'll have those bodies?
You draft a swing guy.
Risner is such a good fit at the appropriate value (early Round 2). He challenges for the LG spot along with Jon Feliciano and Wyatt Teller, and both tackle spots in the event of injury or disappointment from the free agency acquisitions. His nasty demeanor will be so much for the Bills and Sean McDermott.
Pick 74: Arizona State iDL Renell Wren
Oh man do the Bills need this pick. Wren is all explosiveness, which is desperately lacking on Buffalo's tough and strong defensive interior. He's pure pass rush, and while he needs some polish in a bad way, putting him at the 3-technique and letting him eat in one-gap will do wonders for the gestalt of Buffalo's DL.
With Sweat and now Wren, Buffalo hasn't sacrificed anything on the size front, but gotten markedly more athletic and dynamic. That's a huge win for Sean McDermott's defense.
Pick 112: Texas Tech WR Antoine Wesley
Excited about this one here. An inaccuracy eraser with a strong downfield profile, Wesley is cheaper than his talent level should be because his frame is a little thin and he struggles with physicality on his route stems. That said, you can't buy 6-foot-4 and 80" wingspan with a 37" vertical at the corner store.
The Bills need to add that strong, above-the-rim body to a receiver corps that currently wins with separation: Cole Beasley, John "Smoke" Brown, and Robert Foster. While there's a bevy of names that could fit the bill earlier in the draft, Wesley is great value outside the Top-100 picks.
Pick 131: Michigan TE Zach Gentry
But the Bills need to invest another body in the tight end room, to pair with free agent addition Tyler Kroft (who really doesn't have much of a contract beyond Year 1) and incumbent Jason Croom. Gentry's size and catch radius in the seam should really pair nicely with Josh Allen and the vertical style of offense that Buffalo's likely to run. We're getting big targets, baby.
Pick 147: Northwestern CB Montre Hartage
I'm not sure how badly the Bills really need another starter as a cover man -- with Kevin Johnson in the building, you've now got your outside guys locked with him and White, and Micah Hyde and Taron Johnson are strong slot options.
But if the Bills want to add another guy, a player with inside/outside versatility makes sense, as the Bills check to see if Kevin Johnson sticks. That's Hartage, who is a strong short zone player who's effective in the contact window with good play strength and aggressiveness.
Pick 158: Oklahoma RB Rodney Anderson
Really, really, love Buffalo as the landing spot for Rodney Anderson. So injury-prone, Anderson needs a spot that can control his reps, and with veterans Frank Gore and LeSean McCoy on the roster, the Bills can do just that.
If Anderson's healthy, his dynamic ability will help everyone stay healthy and spry in the timeshare, and with the Bills' recent investments in injury recovery, maybe he'll be able to put together a healthy NFL career.
Pick 181: UNC EDGE/LB Malik Carney
Really like the hybrid EDGE/off-ball player for the Bills. They have a smallish edge, as we discussed, in Jerry Hughes -- and a big off-ball SAM in Lorenzo Alexander. Carney can color in the lines between the two roles, backing up Alexander while also offering subpackage rush reps. Dude is twitchy and belongs with a strong defensive mind like Sean McDermott.
Pick 225: Wisconsin S D'Cota Dixon
Dixon is a strong culture selection, but Buffalo is a strong culture team, so you can't fault it, especially this late in the draft. Dixon's contributions will be more so on special-teams, where he's a high-effort player with desirable physicality and great tackling. On the defensive side of the football, Dixon is a reserve box safety who can push 2017's late-rounder Siran Neal.
Pick 228: LSU iOL Garrett Brumfield
I was really high on Brumfield's potential off of his 2017 film, but 2018 was a bit more up-and-down than you'd like to see, and he clearly struggled with power -- just ask Quinnen Williams.
Brumfield's Pro Day illustrated some of the issue -- he's under 300 pounds -- but it also illustrated some high upside athleticism that is worthy of a late selection. The Bills offensive line room is crowded, but you can never invest too much in the trenches.