Alright I’m going to try to keep this one short and sweet, no promises though. Now that the Bills have seemingly removed themselves from free agency, let’s take a look at what the draft could look like as it quickly approaches. If you want to know how many days exactly follow @buffalobillsgrl on Twitter — she always keeps us updated with the countdown. Alright let’s dig in, Mock Draft Bills Mafia style.
Andrew Luck, QB Stanford – This pick isn’t worth explaining. There is a reason that RGIII turned the Colts down when they asked him for a private workout, and it’s not because his lifelong dream is to play for the Redskins. Griffin knows that it would be a waste of his time because there is no way the Colts pass on Luck.
Robert Griffin III, QB Baylor – Another no brainer. The Redskins didn’t give away three first round picks, and a second for anything else. They think Griffin is a franchise quarterback, and they sold the farm to get him.
Matt Kalil, OT USC – Top notch LT talent is hard to find, but Kalil is a day one starter, and unless someone trades up to this number three pick to pick up an overrated Tannehill, Kalil won’t make it out of the top five.
Justin Blackmon, WR Oklahoma St. – There is some question as to whether Blackmon has “elite” speed. To tell you the truth I don’t care. I watched a lot of his college career, and this guy is an animal. He not only can find open space but he has the ability to go up and pull down balls while surrounded by defenders. He’s too good to drop much further than 4, 6 at the latest.
Trent Richardson, RB Alabama – The Bucs need to update a lot of areas, but the top one is RB. That being said Richardson is the best RB on the board for the last couple years, and they might not have a shot at this type of backfield talent again for a long time.
Fletcher Cox, DT Mississippi State – This pick was tough, and probably a stretch. Truthfully I am in the boat that says that the Rams will try to trade down again and pick up more picks for the future, but I’m not going to speculate that much in this Mock, so Cox is the pick. With Kalil and Blackmon gone at this point the Rams next big need is a DT, and Fletcher Cox is the best option in this draft. They could also go with Morris Claiborne with this pick, as they struggled in defending the pass last year, but really what didn’t the Rams struggle with last year?
Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB South Carolina – This is a guy that a couple months ago I was wishing would play in WNY in this coming season, but with the great FA run I clearly changed my tune. That being said I think that Ingram is the best Pass Rushing option in this draft. I like his explosiveness off of the edge, and his ability to step off the line and play OLB as well as DE. The Jaguars front office will like this too, and take him off of the board at 7.
Ryan Tannehill, QB Texas A&M – After missing out on the Manning sweepstakes, and the Matt Flynn sweepstakes, and the Alex Smith sweepstakes, and I assume the tried to get Marino out of retirement the dolphins will go with the third QB in the top ten. I don’t think it is a good pick, I think it will just add to the trend that has become dLOLphins football. Tannehill has the physical weapons to be a starting QB, but he lacks so many of the intangibles. He needs to be able to sit for a year or two like Aaron Rogers did, but he won’t be given this option in Miami. The Dolphins should take a WR like Floyd, or an OT like Reiff, but I bet they go QB. Now they just have to hope that he doesn’t decide he doesn’t want to play for the Dolphins like every other QB this offseason. Nothing makes the CFL more tempting than being drafted by the Dolphins.
Morris Claiborne, CB LSU – No I didn’t drop Claiborne because of his Wonderlic score. I think he fits in the top ten, but I think need could drop him down here. He could crack the top five or six, but if he doesn’t the panthers will be licking their chops when this pick rolls around.
Riley Reiff, OT Iowa – In a perfect world I hope the Bills trade out of this pick, but staying at ten means one thing to me; take an OT. There is the possibility that they go WR with Floyd, but I think the Bills WR core is underrated, and there is much more depth at WR in the 2nd and 3rd round than possibly any other position. It’s time to give Fitzy a line to throw behind, and hopefully gives Stevie Johnson a little more time to run the unpredictable routes he does. I’ll finish this article off with what more on what the Bills could do but for now let’s move on.
Dontari Poe, NT Memphis – It’s not often that you get a chance at a true, 3-4 2-hole Nose Tackle, but here it is. There is a lot of question around Poe as he is less of a proven commodity than many other players that could go at this pick, especially Luke Kuechly, ILB Boston College. He boosted his stock at the NFL Combine running a sub-five second 40, and benching a combine best 44 reps. With this he proved his strength and athleticism. With a chance at him at 11 I wouldn’t pass it up, the risk is well worth the reward.
Luke Kuechly, ILB Boston College – The Seahawks need to add some stability in the middle of this linebacker corps. Kuechly is a proven talent, and won’t disappoint. He could be gone by this point, but if he’s not don’t be surprised if he lands in Seattle.
Michael Floyd, WR Notre Dame – Some say he is the most NFL ready WR in the draft. He certainly has talent, and would be a great add for the Cardinals who need to add some help for Fitzgerald. They also have the option to go with Michael Brockers, DT LSU, here to bolster the Defensive line, but I think Floyd has much better value.
Mark Barron, S Alabama – Not a super exciting pick here for the Cowboys, but they need safety help, and I don’t see a better one out there in the draft. Like the Cardinals they could also take a swing at Brockers but I don’t think that they will.
Michael Brockers, DT LSU – The Eagles added a lot of big names last offseason, and it didn’t work out so great for them. What they didn’t add was defensive lineman. I think that Brockers might be a reach at this spot, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they decided to solidify that defensive front with him none the less.
Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB Alabama – The Jets need to be able to get to the quarter back if they are going to have any chance at taking the east this year, which they won’t anyway, but that’s beside the point. I think Upshaw is a good value pick here; he is versatile enough to fit well in the 3-4 that the Jets play. He doesn’t have the motor issues that Coples is speculated to have, which is good for the Jets because the last thing that they need is more locker room issues.
David DeCastro, G Stanford – This pick is excellent value here at a position of need. It is a No Brainer. Andy Dalton looked like a good starting QB in his rookie year, and getting help on the line will further increase that. DeCastro is probably better at blocking for the run game but still able to pass block well. And if he helps open up the run game it will take more pressure off of Dalton. With this pick and some others this draft the Bengals could be a team to watch a little closer this year than in the past. They are my dark horse pick to make the playoffs.
Cordy Glenn, OT/G Georgia – He is the second Guard off of the board in a row. The chargers need to keep Rivers upright as long as they can, especially after losing Pro Bowl receiver Vincent Jackson. Jackson would make any QB look better than they are, and Rivers needs the help if he is going to get to the playoffs, even in the weak AFC west.
Stephon Gilmore, CB South Carolina – Bears need CB help and Gilmore has great instincts. He has the talent to go in the top 15 so if he slips to here he will be scooped up by “Da Bears.”
Dre Kirkpatrick, CB Alabama – I thought hard about going for an OT here but they need CB help way more. Kirkpatrick is an above average sized CB, but he has the ability to keep up with solid WRs. It will be interesting to see if he can use the size to his advantage, or if it will hamper his fluidity, and ability to make moves on the ball.
Kendall Wright, WR Baylor – The Bengals filled there guard needs with their first pick this round and now it is time to put another receiver beside AJ Green. Opposing defenses have been able to focus their attention on Green in the past year, this pick should free him up some, and hopefully adding DeCastro a couple picks earlier will give them more time to find open field.
Stephen Hill, WR Georgia Tech – Hill’s performance at the NFL combine boosted his stock about as much as anyone’s, if not more, when he ran a 4.36-40. The real question surrounding him is can he do more than run fast straight down the field? Playing for Georgia Tech it was a rush first offense, as thus he didn’t have the opportunities that guys like Blackmon and Floyd had to prove himself on film. That being said he still averaged almost 30 yards per catch. Look for him to be jammed by defensive backs regularly at the line, but if he can get around them teams better hope they have good safety help, or he will find the goal line.
Lavonte David, OLB, Nebraska – David showed in his two years at Nebraska that he has some of the best instincts at his position in a long time. He broke the single season tackle record at Nebraska in his first season there. The only reason that David isn’t rated more highly is he played at a smaller size for the Huskers than most NFL teams would like for an OLB. Before the combine he added weight to get right about prototypical size, and still showed that he has speed, and explosiveness. If he can show this same ability on the field he could stand out, playing beside former Huskers Suh.
Jonathan Martin, OT Stanford – The Steelers can use some help at OT and Martin is the best tackle on the board at 24. He played in a system that is very similar to NFL offenses which will give him a good jumping off point. I would say he probably isn’t a day one starter at the blind side, but he can definitely work there after a short growth period at right tackle.
Janoris Jenkins, CB North Alabama – The Broncos are in the worst spot thus far in the draft to try to fill a need. They would like someone like Brockers, or Kirkpatrick to drop here, but I just don’t think it will happen. Another option here is to trade down, and get more picks to get value and fill holes, but seeing as I’m not speculating on trades in this mock I’m going to go with Jenkins here.
Dont’a Hightower, ILB Alabama – Another first round pick from Alabama. Hightower fills the spot of DeMeco Ryans who is now an Eagle. He in no way fills the hole in this defense of Mario Williams, but he at least helps it some. I like when the Texans do well, as long as they aren’t playing the Bills, but I just don’t see this being a good year for them.
Quinton Coples, DE North Carolina – Coples stock seems to be plummeting in the last few weeks due to other DE showing good things, and questions of whether he will get up and go on every play. At pick 27 that is a risk the patriots are willing to take since he could be a great talent.
Whitney Mercilus, DE Illinois – The Packers won a lot of games last year obviously. But the two that they were lost were due to a poor pass rush. Mercilus is one of those guys who have put pressure on Coples draft stock. Mercilus only has one year of good film which sets the question of whether he can do it again, but he led the nation in sacks (16) and forced fumbles (8) last year. If he continues to play like he did in 2011 there is no doubt in my mind that people will look back and wonder how he dropped to 28th in this draft.
Harrison Smith, S Notre Dame – The more film study that is done on Smith the more people start to like him as a first round prospect. They are going to need to replace Ed Reed at some point seeing as he is almost 34 years old, and Smith could try to fill those shoes when that time comes. Don’t get me wrong he will be able to contribute in year one as well, he won’t just sit the bench waiting for Reed to retire.
Chandler Jones, DE Syracuse – Jones will be another pass rushing option to come off the board in the first round. The Niners could stand to add some help for Smith on the Defensive line.
Kendall Reyes, DT UConn – The Patriots could further help their defensive line with the 31st pick in the draft. Reyes could go earlier to a couple different teams but in my scenario he is here so they are going to take him.
Mike Adams, OT Ohio State – Another guy who is the best value left in the draft at a position of need. Adams is another guy who could go a lot higher since there are a lot of teams that need offensive tackle help.
Ok I know most of you scrolled down to the Bills pick, and then if you read that maybe you are down here now to see what I hope happens with the Bills draft. And that’s fine this is BillsMafia.com but here we go.
In a perfect world someone like Tannehill or Richardson slips down towards ten. I don’t want them to pick either of those guys but if there is a high value pick that somehow makes it to ten then the Bills will have the option of trading down, and getting the same type of OT help that they need along with picking up more draft picks.
The other move that I wouldn’t be upset with is if the Bills make it a long shot. The first thing that would need to happen is that the Vikings pass on Kalil on the 3rd pick and opt to go with Blackmon or Claiborne. Second, Kalil would slip to 6th with the Browns — which if he gets passed at 3rd is quite possible. And last, the Bills would trade up to 6th with probably this year’s first and next year’s first and pick up Kalil. I am generally against trading up as draft picks are valuable, but to get a day one LT starter I would be for it. Like I said this is a long shot, and I don’t see it happening, but adding Kalil would be amazing!
Well I hoped you enjoyed my little mock draft, sorry I didn’t keep it nearly as short as I thought I would, I just love football a little too much. Any thoughts or comments leave them below or hit me up on Twitter at @D_Haef.