Mel Kiper: Buffalo Bills reassigned from second to last draft in 2014
ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper’s initial ranking of the Buffalo Bills’ 2014 draft as one of the worst, second from last. After the season has ended Kiper has gone back to do a post-season re-evaluation and his view is a bit more favorable.
But Kiper’s view has not changed on the trade for Watkins. Here is what Kiper said after the draft about the Buffalo Bills:
“My issue is that this draft is loaded with wide receivers — there are good ones already signing as undrafted free agents as I type this, in fact — and the Bills paid a significant price to get Watkins. A future first-round pick is always a heavy price, but they threw in a fourth as well, and they could have gotten a very good wide receiver in Odell Beckham Jr. without moving.”
Here is how the numbers came down between Beckham and Watkins:
In 16 games, Watkins caught 65 passes for 982 yards and six touchdowns.
In 12 games, Beckham caught 91 passes for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Kiper’s post-season evaluation is still similar regarding Watkins:
“This is pure speculation, but the reality is the Bills paid a huge price to move up a few spots for Watkins when they could have added picks and moved a couple spots down and still gotten Beckham.”
Watkins pick aside, the Buffalo Bills’ ended up drafting two starters in six linebacker Preston Brown and tackle Seantrel Henderson. The other picks played very little in 2014.
Kiper still isn’t high on seventh-round pick Henderson:
“I know Seantrel Henderson started, but based on performance that was pure necessity — he really struggled and should be challenged to keep the job.”