Just a hair over a month ago, the authors of Buffalo Rumblings brought you the first version of our Authors Mock Draft. In that exercise - the first installment viewable here - each author predicted the Buffalo Bills' picks in all seven rounds of the upcoming draft. Since that time, several things have changed, most importantly of all that the Bills now have more picks.
So, in the week leading up to the draft, we are now going to publish Version 2 of our Authors Mock Draft. Once again, we are not going to predict trades, and we will make picks based on selections the Bills currently have. All seven rounds will air this week; it will be a chance for us to discuss prospects and strategies one last time leading into the draft. Without further ado, here are the Round One picks:
1-11: Devin Thomas, WR, Michigan State
- Buffalo needs a starting wide receiver, Thomas is the consensus #1 receiver in the draft, he fits Buffalo's offense and has outstanding potential, and he's no longer considered a huge reach at #11. Case closed. To lay it all out on the line: I would advocate a trade down for Thomas first and foremost, as it seems plausible and would best serve Buffalo's needs. In fact, I'd advocate a trade down in almost any scenario. But it's an exercise in futility to predict trades in mock drafts, so we're stuck at 11. I also seriously considered two cornerbacks here - Antoine Cason and Mike Jenkins - with the idea of drafting Malcolm Kelly in the second round, but Kelly's post-Pro Day remarks really rubbed me the wrong way. Thomas is the #1 player on my pre-draft Bills board, so this was a relatively easy pick to make.
1-11: Mike Jenkins, CB, South Florida
- I wanted to do something other than Derrick Harvey; I think you all know where I stand there. I just wanted to make it clear, I think Harvey would be a solid pick but I'm not married to the idea. As for Jenkins, I know he's not the consensus pick for a corner here, but honestly, from where I sit, Jenkins, Leodis McKelvin, and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie are all solid picks. DRC is the only one I'm a little skeptical about, but I could deal with any of those three. I took Jenkins because I saw a blurb about Monte Kiffen being blown away by Jenkins at his pro-day and saying that he would love to add him, and Brian confirmed that the other day. If he's good enough for Kiffen, Fewell should love him too.
1-11: Antoine Cason, CB, Arizona
- I don't think I can remember a year where a trade down was so clearly the best choice for this team. However, having to take a player at 11, here was my thought process: I think what it's going to come down to is who do they think has a better chance of being there in the second, Malcolm Kelly or Brandon Flowers/Cason? I honestly don't know the answer to that. If I had to pick one I would pick Kelly, but does that mean they go with Flowers or Cason at 11? That would be a little high for both of them. However, would Cason and/or Flowers be rated higher then Devin Thomas on the Bills' board? I'm not sure, but if I had to guess I would say no. So based on value, Thomas would be the pick. However, I don't think one 40-time would cool their interest with Kelly altogether and I think they will warm to the idea of getting him in the second. So although Thomas may be the better value pick, I going with Cason. Two notes: 1) I love Flowers, but Cason gets the nod only because of his size, otherwise, it's a coin flip. 2) I am assuming McKelvin is off the board, because if he was there, I think he would hands down be the pick.
1-11: Derrick Harvey, DE, Florida
- In doing this mock, I had originally changed to Devin Thomas here (along with having a few other different picks later on that I've now re-done). After thinking it over, I've decided to stick to my guns and go with the guy I've been touting since December. I've said my piece on Harvey plenty of times before, but I'll continue to believe he provides the best combination of immediate impact and future potential at #11. We tend to overlook the fact that our defense is predicated on getting pressure on the QB, which I hope is something the front office isn't doing. Until our D proves capable of providing consistent pressure and disruption, I will continue to believe adding to the pass rush is a major need. I really can't see us going anywhere else with this pick outside of McKelvin, Thomas or a trade down.
So there it is - round one of version two of the Buffalo Rumblings Authors Mock. Rounds 2-7 will all be posted by Thursday, giving us Friday for final pre-draft recap discussions and analysis. So let's hear it, Bills fans - thoughts on our first round selections?