I did a live shadow draft where I made the picks for Buffalo when they were (or were going to be) on the clock. Now that my mock offseason has gotten to the point where the roster has taken shape, I wanted to compare my offseason vs. the Bills'. But first, I want to throw some quick thoughts out about the draft.
I thoughts the Pats did an awesome job. It makes me hate them even more.
On the flip side, I didn't like KC's draft or Denver's all that much. I would actually go as far to say that I think KC's draft might have been worse than Oakland's. I think it becomes more clear every year that Belichick is light years ahead of the rest of the league in evaluation, schemes and philosophy and that even includes the coaches and front office people that he surrounds himself with.
I'm sure there are some people claiming that Maybin isn't a good fit in a 4-3, but the right defensive end spot in this defense is designed to specifically limit the run stopping responsibilities. One of the goals of the scheme is to protect the RDE. On run downs the job of the right defensive end is to cover the gap to the outisde of the left tackle. As a speed rusher that also happens to be the same place that Maybin would be heading on pass plays. If the run is to the outisde of the LT than the RDE's first option is to make the tackle (something that Schobel has excelled at), but if Maybin's explosion off the snap can force the RB to go back inside than it would also be considered a successful job. The RDE could also just string the run outside as far as possible and leave the CB or FS to make the tackle near the sideline. Maybin will typically line up so far outside the LT that an offense can't really try to run right at him. The LT will have a really tough time trying to square up on Maybin and drive him in a way where he isn't covering his gap. Even if the LT gets a great push on Maybin, but pushes him outisde and creates that hole between himself and the LG, then it isn't Maybin's responsibility anymore and Kawika Mitchell will be the guy making the tackle.
I loved the Bills draft except for that one little ommission of a left tackle. It doesn't make sense to me that Buffalo would draft a building block type player in Maybin, but would then do something as short sighted as assuming Walker can play LT this year and that Bell can be the guy in the future. Buffalo ends up in a pretty tight spot if Walker can't handle the position. How do they set up the OL if you have to move Walker back to RT?
Onto my mock:
Here's a quick recap of what I did:
I traded Peters to Philly for the 28th pick and the 4th pick in the 5th round (141). Since the Bills got more than that, I just threw in Philly's 7th rounder (230) as well. I also traded Roscoe Parrish to KC for their 5 round pick (139).
I retained all the same players that Buffalo did except for Corey McIntyre and some other minor players and let all the same players leave other than Angelo Crowell who I gave a solid contract to. I cut Chris Kelsay and signed Hangartner, Houshmandzadeh, Charlie Batch, Keiwan Ratliff, Jason Babin, Jeremy Newberry and Michael Pittman. So with similiar needs to the Bills, I drafted:
11 - Michael Oher - I really thought this should have been an obvious pick and I would bet that the Bills are looking for a new LT next offseason.
28 - Everette Brown - I was prepared to reach a little on Connor Barwin or even Michael Johnson, but got rather lucky. How did he last as long as he did? At least Carolina gave up their first rounder next year which reassured my belief that he was truly a first round prospect.
42 - Jarron Gilbert - I stayed true to my mock from a few weeks ago and went Oher, best DE, Gilbert. Jarron is mostly a DT on my squad and gives us an instant pass rusher from the inside as well as someone who can be slid outside on short yardage plays. The selection of Gilbert and the presense of Spencer Johnson also lets me ignore replacing Kelsay. Denney will start at LDE with Gilbert, Johnson and even Chris Ellis and/or Jason Babin seeing time situationally.
75 - Shawn Nelson - I was surprised to see him here in the third round. Who woulda thunk he could've been picked 35 spots later? With all the TEs still on the board, I considered waiting a round, but I thought there was a decent dropoff after Nelson and Chase Coffman.
110 - Chip Vaughn - A sliding Duke Robinson or Tyronne Greene was almost the pick, but I figured there was enough depth there to take a player in Vaughn, who like many fellow Rumblers, I really believe in.
139 - Duke Robinson - In the pick I got for Roscoe, I take a player who I don't like very much, but provides good value. I'm very comfortable with a Chambers/Robinson competition at RG with Butler starting at LG.
141 - Marcus Freeman - LB isn't a need with Crowell coming back, but like Robinson, Freeman has great value at this point in the draft. This is the second pick that I got from Philly and am quite happy with a return of Brown and Freeman with a 7th rounder still to come.
147 - Coye Francies - Another value pick. I'll take a gamble on the inexperienced player with size, speed and upside over Victor Harris who I also considered. With Keiwan Ratliff and Reggie Corner as the 4/5 CBs, Francies might push a good player off the roster or force me to keep 6 CBs.
183 - A.Q. Shipley - Shipley should be a great backup center for his career. Not the sexiest pick, but an interior offensive lineman was a need and this late in the draft any remaining need had to be addressed with this pick.
220 - Brannan Southerland - one of my biggest regrets was being unable to add a great FB. Luckily, I was able to take Southerland who went undrafted. Considering he's the only FB on my roster, he is essentially a lock to make the team and that alone makes me happy with the pick.
230 - Kory Sheets - Michael Pittman isn't exactly reliable at age 34 so Sheets could be a necessity if Jackson misses any time when Lynch is suspended.
I also grabbed some players after the draft to fill out my 80 man, training camp roster. This is always tough because you have to be able to not just grab all the best players and try to be somewhat realistic. I did cheat some and end up with a far better list than Buffalo will actually be able to pull off. So after all that, here are the 60ish players who are most likely to make my final 53 man roster:
QB - Trent Edwards - Charlie Batch - Gibran Hamdan
RB - Marshawn Lynch - Fred Jackson - Michael Pittman - Kory Sheets - Xavier Omon - Bruce Hall
FB - Brannan Southerland - Travis McCall(ufa)
TE - Derek Fine - Shawn Nelson - Derek Schouman - Jonathon Stupar - Travis McCall(ufa)
WR - Lee Evans - TJ Houshmandzadeh - Josh Reed - James Hardy - Steve Johnson - Justin Jenkins - Felton Huggins
LT - Michael Oher - Demetrius Bell
LG - Brad Butler - Chambers/Robinson
OC - Geoff Hangartner - Jeremy Newberry - A.Q. Shipley
RG - Chambers/Robinson
RT - Langston Walker
RDE - Aaron Schobel - Everette Brown - Chris Ellis - Jason Babin
LDE - Ryan Denney - Zach Potter(ufa)
DT - Marcus Stroud - Kyle Williams - Jarron Gilbert - Spencer Johnson - John McCargo
OLB - Kawika Mitchell - Angelo Crowell - Keith Ellison - Marcus Freeman - Blake Costanzo - Ace Bowen - Jon Corto - Marcus Buggs
MLB - Paul Posluszny - John DiGiorgio - Kelvin Smith
CB - Terrance McGee - Leodis McKelvin - Ashton Youboty - Reggie Corner - Keiwan Ratliff - Coye Francies
SS - Bryan Scott - Chip Vaughn
FS - Donte Whitner - Ko Simpson - George Wilson - John Wendling