Over the course of May, both Joe Marino 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:
|27||CB||Tre’Davious White||Louisiana State|
|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 (Report included)
Vallejo is a NDT Scouting favorite across multiple analysts. This is a player with excellent movement skills and play recognition. When you compare his mobility and athleticism to that of the current linebackers that were in place for Buffalo (think names like Preston Brown and Reggie Ragland); this is a totally new dimension.
As a later round selection, Vallejo has some concerns. His size is not notable and he’s missing some finer habits as a tackler. But there’s a very clear avenue for Vallejo to positively contribute to the Bills defense. His speed and range are unmatched on the roster. Vallejo was banged up in 2016, so durability is going to be essential if he’s going to reach what we here at NDT Scouting feel his ceiling is.
Worst Value: WR Isaiah Jones, East Carolina
It’s not that I dislike Zay Jones. Jones is a top 100 player on my draft board, the upside and ability is there. Jones is simply a player that I think thrived in college due to being a volume target receiver. There’s going to need to be some polish added to his skill set if he’s going to have anywhere near the same level of success with the Bills as he saw with the Pirates.
Jones enters this season without the pressure of being an alpha, he can play and compliment Sammy Watkins with a lot of deeper routes and quick throws; much like he was tasked with in college.
Could Surprise: OL Dion Dawkins, Temple
Dawkins has the ability to be an impact player, regardless of his position. I’m very high on his ability to play in space and to mirror defenders for a big body. Dawkins takes good angles and redirects cleanly; he simply needs to clean up his hand usage and be more consistent delivering a powerful blow with his initial stab.
Should Dawkins become more efficient, expect him to be one of the better starters along the Bills offensive line.