Before arriving at the NFL owners meetings this past weekend, Buffalo Bills coach Rex Ryan had been spotted at pro days at both Clemson and Georgia.
To little surprise, he was on the lookout for defensive talent.
"Obviously we're looking at a lot of things, but specifically we're looking at some of the defensive talent," Ryan told WGR 550 on Wednesday. "That was really what my main focus was for [those] trips."
With the Bills in need of some help along their defensive front seven after moving on from defensive end Mario Williams and linebacker Nigel Bradham this offseason, it's also not surprising that ESPN NFL draft expert Todd McShay again leaned toward that position in projecting the Bills' first-round pick as part of his latest mock draft, published Thursday.
McShay has the Bills taking Alabama defensive tackle Jarran Reed with the No. 19 overall pick, marking the fifth time in the past six mock drafts posted by McShay and fellow ESPN NFL draft expert Mel Kiper that the Bills were projected to select a defensive lineman. Reed, at 6-foot-3 and 307 pounds, could make an immediate impact as a five-technique defensive end in Ryan's defense.
For the first time this draft season, McShay also extended his projection to the second round. He mocked Oklahoma wide receiver Sterling Shepard to the Bills with the No. 49 overall pick. Shepard is slightly undersized at 5-foot-10 and 194 pounds, but he could work his way into the mix alongside Robert Woods and others as a receiver who could work underneath deep threat Sammy Watkins.
Here is a look at the latest mock draft selections from both McShay and Kiper:
March 24 -- Alabama DT Jarran Reed (first round), Oklahoma WR Sterling Shepard (second round)