Tight end is arguably the Buffalo Bills biggest need going into the 2014 NFL Draft, as many believe that the Bills will look to give second-year signal-caller E.J. Manuel a top-notch TE duo by adding a dynamic pass-catcher to solid in-line TE Scott Chandler, who might be better off as a top TE2 anyway. This has led many to believe that the Bills should draft North Carolina Tar Heels product Eric Ebron with the ninth overall pick in the draft, as he is the most explosive, athletic, fast, and agile tight end in the draft class, and this generally makes up for his lack of polish as a blocker and his poor hands.
WGR 550’s Joe Buscaglia reports that the Bills are hosting three top draft prospects today in Washington Huskies star tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Ohio State Buckeyes RB Carlos Hyde, and sleeper cornerback Walt Aikens from Liberty. I can’t tell you much about Aikens, but I can tell you that there are some people who believe he could turn into a very good starting CB in this league and is well-worth the mid-round flier.
Anyway, the Hyde workout seems to be due diligence to me, but it’s possible that the Bills have a high amount of interest in adding a running back despite having an incredibly talented duo in C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson. Jackson will hit free agency in 2015 and Spiller’s contract runs out in 2016, but I honestly think the Bills will keep both. Hyde is the top back in this draft class, and the Bills would have to spend their high second-round pick if they want him; I don’t see that happening.
I could definitely see the Bills spending their second-round pick on Seferian-Jenkins, though, and a 1-2 round punch of an offensive tackle and ASJ would be an excellent combo for the Bills in this year’s draft. While both Jake Matthews and Greg Robinson could be gone before then, either tackle would be a dream pick for the Bills with the ninth pick overall and would give the Bills a dominant bookend of young OTs with Cordy Glenn locking things down on the left side. Then, the Bills could get their TE later on in Seferian-Jenkins, who isn’t far off from Ebron as a prospect. He’s a much better blocker, can actually line up in more alignments due to his experience as an H-Back (his blocking makes him better in-line, and he had plenty of experience playing out wide at UW), and he has more than enough athleticism and tools.
ASJ is easily the cleanest pass-catcher in this draft, but he has an awkward running motion and isn’t nearly as much of a game-changer as Ebron despite solid physical tools overall. I think he’ll be available for the Bills in the second, but that’s not a guarantee with the way tight ends are valued in this league.