DE Jackson not a fit in Buffalo (chron.com)
Every year, one of the more popular pre-draft features here at Buffalo Rumblings is when we run down the top five NFL Draft prospects that would be considered "best fits" for the Buffalo Bills. "Best fit" is a broad term; usually, it applies schematically, but we also attempt to fit character, intangibles, work ethic and potential into the equation as well.
We've already done it this year. We named Boston College DT B.J. Raji the best fit for Buffalo in 2009, and also mentioned four other guys that engender that "like a glove" feeling as well.
Perhaps just as interesting - and trust me, far easier to assemble - is a list of draft prospects that are not good fits for the Bills. The five worst-fit players for Buffalo are listed below - so if you see any of these names in a mock draft anywhere, you have our permission to laugh out loud.
#1 Worst Fit - Tyson Jackson, DE, LSU
- Yes, Buffalo has a need for a defensive end. Yes, Tyson Jackson is one of the hottest DE prospects in the draft right now. The 6'4", 296-pound Jackson, however, is the last defensive end in this draft class that the Bills should look at. Schematically, he's a terrible fit - he's a fantastic athlete for his size, but he's not quick or explosive enough to survive on the outside in a Tampa 2 scheme. Buffalo's need at defensive end centers on speed, and that's just not something Jackson has. At best, Jackson would play a DE/DT 'tweener role in Buffalo, perhaps moving outside to end on run downs and shifting inside in nickel situations. The Bills already have two players they use in this role, however, in Ryan Denney and Spencer Johnson. Jackson isn't a good fit for the Bills outside of his work ethic.
#2 Worst Fit - Andre Smith, OT, Alabama
- Entering the NFL Combine, many scouts were questioning whether or not Smith had the chops to play the left side in the NFL. He's certainly a devastating blocker and above average athlete on film, but is he athletic enough to handle the NFL's top speed rushers? Now questions about his motivation, work ethic, ability to control his weight and personality are in question. Buffalo can deal with personality issues - we've got a few as it is - but the questionable work ethic is a huge red flag. His measurables (6'4", 342) and playing style have led me to call him a "poor man's Jason Peters" off-blog; I'd rather just keep the real thing myself.
#3 Worst Fit - James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio State
- He comes into the league much in the same fashion that current Bills linebacker Paul Posluszny did - heralded and well-known, just without the knee injury. Laurinaitis is one of the more accomplished cover linebackers available this year (nine career interceptions), but he's not athletic enough to play outside in Buffalo's defensive scheme. Posluszny isn't going anywhere, so if the Bills draft a linebacker, they'll get a guy that has played or is athletic enough to shift outside. Add in his lack of physicality and inability to consistently make game-changing plays, and Laurinaitis quickly falls under the "good, but we've already got guys like him" category.
#4 Worst Fit - Clint Sintim, LB, Virginia
- At first blush, Sintim looks great on paper. Big guy (258 pounds), good program pedigree, outstanding college production (27 career sacks). But if you've seen the kid play, you'll rarely see him back in coverage, and you won't see an explosive player. He's a pretty average athlete, and again, he's a guy that's not quick enough to play outside in a 4-3. He's a best fit as a rush linebacker in a 3-4; he's potentially elite in that category. Don't let stats fool you - Sintim would be far more liability than asset in Buffalo.
#5 Worst Fit - Percy Harvin, WR, Florida
- One of the draft's most explosive playmakers, Harvin makes my list for a few reasons. First and foremost, he's as brittle as they come. I can't remember a time when this guy was fully healthy. Second, he doesn't have a true position. Urban Meyer runs a unique offense in Florida, and Harvin, as a result, is severely underdeveloped as a route-runner. I don't even really consider him a receiver - he's a glorified return man that's more running back than receiver at this point in time. We have a talent like him on the roster in Roscoe Parrish. It's always tempting to add a playmaker to your roster, regardless of position, but this is one name I'd pass on - even in the second round.
Got a name you wish had been considered? We'd love to hear about him. Have anything extra to add about the names on the list? Have at it. These posts have always been interesting launching points for draft discussions, and I look forward to the conversation on this one as well.