Kiper/McShay mock draft reax: Bills

February, 6, 2014
Feb 6
3:00
PM ET
Playmaker or protection?

That's the debate that is beginning to take shape as the Buffalo Bills inch closer to the 2014 NFL draft this May.

It's little secret that the Bills need to improve their offense after a shaky season under first-year coordinator Nate Hackett and rookie quarterback EJ Manuel. If the Bills decide to devote their most valuable resource -- the ninth-overall pick -- to that side of the ball, how should they do it?

Even our ESPN NFL Draft analysts disagree in their latest mock drafts.

Todd McShay's latest mock Insider has the Bills selecting Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins with the ninth pick. That's a change from his first projection, which had the Bills landing Michigan tackle Taylor Lewan.

McShay acknowledges the need to beef up the offensive line but says that "pairing young and developing QB EJ Manuel with the top receiver in this year's class might be too tempting to pass up."

Meanwhile, Mel Kiper sticks Insider with offensive tackle in his second mock draft. Last month, Kiper projected Auburn tackle Greg Robinson to the Bills. This time, Kiper has Texas A&M tackle Jake Matthews falling to the Bills at ninth overall.

"I suspect [Matthews] would jump in right away at right tackle and succeed -- he can play left or right -- and his ability to finish as a run-blocker could pay early dividends," Kiper writes.

It's a debate that will continue to swirl into spring.

Playmaker or protection?

Mike Rodak

ESPN Buffalo Bills reporter

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