The Buffalo Bills hired Doug Marrone before last season from Syracuse and the 2013 Draft they had truly made a mark from day one. The 2014 NFL Draft only added more ammo.
It was long rumored that the Bills were interested in trading up for wide receiver Sammy Watkins, and no one could blame them for being interested. Watkins caught 101 passes from quarterback Tajh Boyd at Clemson last season for 1,464 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns. One of those games included a monster Orange Bowl vs. Ohio State, where he impressed and cemented his place in the top 10 of the draft. Earlier this week the Bills were able to sign No. 4 overall Watkins to a four-year contract. Watkins should expect close to $20 million and about a $13 million signing bonus. The deal also comes with a fifth-year club option for 2018.
In order to jump up to get him the Bills gave up a 2015 first- round pick, Watkins got similar value according the trade value chart everyone notes to trades similar to this. They got a playmaker that can be a game-breaker alongside Robert Woods and CJ Spiller as well as 2013 first-round pick EJ Manuel.
The Bills second-round pick Cyrus Kouandjio of Alabama was also sign on Thursday making the entire 2014 lock-up before OTA’s. He was rated as a first-rounder for most of the draft process and since he fell to round two that only works in Buffalo’s favor whether he plays tackle or guard in the future. The very same can be said about Miami offensive tackle Seantral Henderson and Baylor guard Cyril Richardson. Both lineman fell to later rounds in the draft than many anticipated they would be drafted and Buffalo nailed those picks in terms of “value.”
Henderson has work-ethic issues but definitely talented and Richardson is very big and some scouts worried about his mobility.
Remember they still have Fred Jackson at RB alongside CJ Spiller, although I don’t think he’ll play close to the level he used to play I think he can be very useful as a power back for the Bills.
The talent young force with EJ Manuel, Robert Woods and Watkins could take the passing game to the next level. Running-back CJ Spiller has the ability to score a touchdown on any given play but the variable comes down to the offensive line. If the offensive line can improve they have a chance to win at least nine games and compete for a “possible” playoff spot in the division. If not the team can fall to 6-10 once again in 2014.
If Richardson and Kouandjio end up being starters in the short term it may enhance the Bills run game make easier for Spiller to break through the tacklers and set up Manuel in the passing game.
Not to say they will outplay the Patriots next year by any means but in a year or two down the road there’s reason to believe the offense the Bills place together may swing them them to the next level.