Morning mock draft: Could Bills fortify defensive line again in Round 1?
The Buffalo Bills have tried and tried again to build up their defensive line via the NFL draft with early picks.
Could that continue in 2023? Our friends at Draft Wire make the case.
In a recent first-round mock draft produced, Buffalo uses the No. 27 overall selection to bolster their front with Pitt defensive tackle Calijah Kancey.
While Kancey lines up in the middle, he’s still an addition most view as a pass-rush threat. That’s the area where the Bills have tried to improve upon for several years but have had mixed results.
It’s easy to see why most draft experts expect Kancey to find ways to get to the quarterback at the next level.
First, the best ever to do just that from the defensive tackle spot is Aaron Donald of the Los Angeles Rams.
The apple doesn’t fall far: Like Kancey, Donald went to Pitt.
In terms of a statistical approach, Kancey had a very impressive eight sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss from the interior of the D-line in 2022. Pro Football Focus also graded him off the charts, handing him a 91.8 overall mark last season.
Still, there’s always a roll of the dice when it comes to taking an undersized defensive tackle. Buffalo had hoped Ed Oliver would become a strong undersized tackle like Donald, but he has had dicey results in the NFL.
Oliver is also still on the Bills, so would Kancey make much sense? Buffalo would have to decide to either keep both Oliver and Kancey if this scenario happens, or the Bills could try and trade Oliver.
While a player on offense might be more appealing to add at No. 27, here’s how Draft Wire makes the case for Kancey to Buffalo:
It became evident that the Bills did not have enough of a pass rush in their playoff loss against the Bengals, and with Von Miller expected back at some point next season, Buffalo could look to add that pass rush in the interior in the explosive Kancey. While he might not be an every-down player, he adds enough value as a pass rusher to justify the pick here, and will bring quite the presence opposite Ed Oliver that could help push this defense over the hump.
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