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Zion Johnson
NFL Draft

Bills Mock Draft 2022: Getting Buffalo Over The Hump

  • Ryan Fowler
  • January 24, 2022
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Bills MOCK DRAFT 2022

Buffalo Bills fans, I’m sorry you’re here. I really am. While there’s little else Josh Allen could have done to captain the way to an AFC title game, we must turn our sights toward the offseason and ways to improve an already budding group of talent on both sides of the ball. An organization on the heels of two consecutive division-title winning seasons and back-to-back-to-back double-digit win campaigns under Sean McDermott, the potential additions via this year’s draft class could ultimately provide the missing step to the ladder the Bills have so desperately desired. Using our Mock Draft Machine, I looked at which prospects the Bills could target this April when the annual NFL draft rolls around. Here is my seven-round mock, including scheme fit, on each prospect:

Round 1 (No. 25 overall): Zion Johnson, IOL, Boston College

While this spot has been an often strike zone to add one of the premier pass-catchers in the class, in what is such a deep pool of wideout talent, adding a talent like Zion Johnson, a physically-gifted mauler, to shore up the carousel of guards the Bills have shuffled in over the past few years is a must-add to keep Allen upright. A plug-and-play option to run behind in Johnson—whether it be Allen or a fresh set of legs in the backfield—would allow the Bills’ offense to further diversify one of the premier attacks in our game. In the pass game, Johnson presents a stout anchor with outstanding leverage, and when asked to push vertical to the second-level in the run, Johnson is a dancing bear in space with elite-level agility. He’s a playbook expander.

Round 2 (No. 57 overall): Kenneth Walker III, RB, Michigan State

The board fell nicely to me here and there was a bevy of different avenues to journey down. I ultimately landed on Kenneth Walker III, the RB1 in the class and the newfound chess piece adjacent to Allen. While Devin Singletary (2023 UFA) has come on the last few weeks, it’s been a flash in the pan in consideration to his production as a whole—and, as we saw again Sunday night, it’s about the ‘Jimmys and Joes not X’s and O’s.’ Walker is a talent who has the ability to reach paydirt in bunches. A physical in-between the tackles runner with ideal burst to the outside, Walker would be an excellent addition to lift the offensive workload off of Allen’s shoulders a tad.

Round 3 (No. 89 overall): Christian Watson, WR, North Dakota State

This pick has me jumping out of my seat just thinking about Allen’s bazooka-like arm combined with a 6-foot-5 glider in Christian Watson who’s expected to run in the low 4.4s at the NFL Scouting Combine. Sign. Me. Up. With Emmanuel Sanders set to enter free agency, we aren’t going to follow the Brian Gutekunst (Packers GM) book of failing to add pass-catchers around your superstar quarterback, leading to the easy pick of Watson here on day two. Alongside Stefon Diggs, the addition of Watson presents an imposing physical threat that has enjoyed success out at ‘X’ and on manufactured touches at NDSU. He’s going to light up the Senior Bowl.

Round 4 (No. 126 overall): Tyreke Smith, EDGE, Ohio State

A standout in Columbus the last few seasons, Tyreke Smith is a hybrid defender who would be able to rush from the inside/outside and has shown the ability to work out in space in coverage as well. A toolsy pass rusher—similar to Bills’ first-rounder Greg Rousseau last spring—Smith’s best football is down the road. A well-framed prospect at 6-foot-4 and 265 pounds, he and Rousseau would present the future at 5-tech for Buffalo.

Round 5 (No. 166 overall): Jack Jones, CB, Arizona State

A former 5-star recruit, Jack Jones would be a nice rotational add if the team is unable to re-sign Levi Wallace. A high-level athlete who has some of the most impressive film as an inside/out versatile corner, what Jones lacks in vertical prowess he more than makes up for in ball skills, play recognition, and truly elite versatility. A best-player-available approach here, Jones adds outstanding depth. 

Round 6 (No. 184 overall): Otito Ogbonnia, IDL, UCLA

Otito Ogbonnia is an interesting prospect. While he could line up in an odd-front as a true nose, he possesses the necessary versatility and athleticism to slide from 1-tech to 3-tech, with more than enough tape to show he could have an impact up and down the defensive line at the next level. With Ed Oliver showing improvement this past fall, a developmental prospect in Ogbonnia adds fresh legs to an aging front four.

Round 6 (No. 202 overall): Tre Turner, WR, Virginia Tech

More weapons for Allen! A standout during his career in Blacksburg, despite up and down quarterback play, Tre Turner was a constant for the Hokies offense as WR1. With the skill set to rise to become a featured target within an NFL offense, with eyes drawn elsewhere in Buffalo, Turner could enjoy a nice workload from the onset of his career.

Round 7 (No. 227 overall): Trajan Jeffcoat, EDGE, Missouri

An underrecruited prep athlete, Trajan Jeffcoat earned First-Team All-SEC honors last fall. An athlete with a battery pack attached to his backplate, Jeffcoat’s enticing traits and edgy approach to his game presents an ultra-high ceiling as a prospect to take a flier late on day three.

Round 7 (No. 242 overall): Tyler Shough, QB, Texas Tech

A big 6-foot-5 kid, with Mitchell Trubisky expected to entertain interest elsewhere, bringing in a big-arm talent to sit behind Allen could be the ideal approach here in the final 15 picks. An Oregon transfer, allowing Tyler Shough to learn behind Allen as Buffalo’s emergency option would be a smart add here from general manager Brandon Beane to fill the shoes of Trubisky.

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Ryan Fowler