Over the course of May, both Kyle Crabbs and I will be assessing each team’s specific Draft class. The objective here is to identify value: where it was best and where it was worst. NDT Premium members will soon be able to access the comprehensive breakdowns of draft classes as well, which looks at the pick by pick breakdown of value across our respective 2017 NFL Draft boards. Today I look at the Buffalo Bills.
The full list of their 2017 NFL Draft class is below:
|37||WR||Isaiah Jones||East Carolina|
|163||LB||Matt Milano||Boston College|
|195||LB||Tanner Vallejo||Boise State|
Best Value: LB Tanner Vallejo, Boise State
Tanner Vallejo is a three-down linebacker with a nose for the football and excellent movement skills that allow him to run, chase, and cover. Vallejo plays with a high motor and aggressively attacks his target. He makes excellent reads and consistently finds his way to the football. There are some items to clean up, as Vallejo is still developing consistency in his tackling technique. Vallejo is also undersized, so it will be a continual battle to overcome physical limitations.
Vallejo has starter upside as a 4-3 weakside linebacker where his range, coverage skills, and ability to take good paths to the football can be accentuated. He should be a standout on special teams with his angry, physical demeanor. Getting my 78th overall player at pick 195 is tremendous value. He provides a skill set that was desperately needed in the Buffalo linebacking corps that lacked speed and range.
Worst Value: OL Dion Dawkins, Temple
Dion Dawkins has the ideal frame and movement skills to compete at offensive tackle in the NFL, but I have some concerns with his technique and power. Dawkins has good functional strength but most develop greater body control and work to leverage his hips for there to be consistency. His mobility, foot speed, and length are all exciting, but he often fails to use it to his advantage.
Dawkins is a ball of clay with tools. The success an NFL team has in maximizing his physical ability by developing his technique will define if he’s a reserve swing tackle or a starter at the next level. Buffalo trade up into the second round to secure Dawkins and I valued him in the fourth round.
Could Surprise: QB Nathan Peterman, Pittsburgh
Peterman has the average to above average baseline traits needed to compete in the NFL. He demonstrates proficient understanding of passing game concepts with sound accuracy and arm strength. He sees the whole field and makes excellent decisions. Capable of winning inside and outside the pocket, Peterman can make throws in a variety of ways, and his mental processing is excellent.
Peterman projects as possible starter in time and should at least offer solid value as a reliable backup quarterback. He was my third highest rated quarterback in the class and my 67th overall player.