Presented here is my first and probably only mock draft. I like mid-March as a good time to do a mock as for the most part, the pre-draft dust has settled. A few things that I considered as I put this together:
1. The draft offensively seems to have top talent before a considerable drop off at the positions most important to us - QB, OT, and WR.
2. Defensively, this draft is deep with a lot of good 3-4 talent to be found throughout.
3. Buddy Nix hired Chan Gailey himself. He would not have done this without the intention of giving him every chance to succeed.
My mock essentially begins with Chan Gailey getting the essentials he needs to run an offense early, with George Edwards then getting the rest of the draft dedicated to giving him some brand new toys to plug in as depth, potential starters, or developmental projects for his 3-4.
I'd also like to offer my mock for the first 8 picks before us, to give you an idea as to how I saw us getting who we did at 9.
1. Rams - Sam Bradford, QB : Necessary. The Rams know they need a face of the franchise.
3. Bucs - Gerald McCoy, DT : Some argue he's the best player in the draft, the Bucs love defense and need DT help.
4. Redskins - Jimmy Clausen, QB : Mike Lombardi says the Skins want Clausen, Lombardi worked for Shanahan.
5. Chiefs - Bryan Bulaga, OT : Scott Pioli will like the demeanor and attitude of Bulaga over Okung. Needs a LT too.
7. Browns - Jason Pierre Paul, OLB : Wimbley is gone and Jackson could be out too, Holmgren will build front 7.
8. Raiders - CJ Spiller, RB : Can also put Dez Byrant, Bruce Campbell or Taylor Mays here. Al Davis....
Ok, so right off the bat four players I would have taken at 9 are gone: Bradford, Clausen, Bulaga and Pierre Paul. It hurts but we're still in good shape.I didn't make any trades for the record and the following is what I would like to do if I was Buddy Nix, not necessarily what I think we will do.
Round 1: Russell Okung, OT Oklahoma St.
Natural strength to stop rushers, very good at sending pass rushers out wide and difficult to run arc against which will make him invaluable against the 3-4s of the AFC East. Physically a prototype, even if he is better suited to play RT as some suggest, he is more than capable of immediately starting at LT and can always slide over to RT later on in his career if we find an upgrade. I dont think that will be necessary though. I like Okung/Green/Bell/Meredith as the four guys at OT for this team.
Round 2: Tim Tebow, QB Florida
Talk of him going in the first round is overblown in my opinion. I think the only chance Tebow isnt here in the second round is if the Browns or Seahawks take him in round 2 just before us. He is the type of QB Gailey can get to work well. Even better, Gailey can start Trent Edwards for another season while working with Tebow to work out the mechanical issues that may exist. In the meantime, Tebow is versatile and can learn the playbook while mastering the offense by spending limited time as a fullback or H-back when needed. He is a physical runner who blasts through tacklers, is a gym rat, and is tough with incredible work ethic. He'll do what the coaches ask if he believes he will be given a chance down the road to be a QB here.The offense now has its LT and QB of the future. The rest of the draft belongs to Edwards and his new 3-4.
Round 3: Torell Troup, NT Central Florida
Thanks to the value Kyle Williams brings us as a guy who can man NT on passing downs and be used as a DE in other circumstances, the position of NT in this draft will be easier to fill for the Bills than for most teams. We can get by with two down guys who are limited as run stopping prospects and be set at the position for next year. Troup is hard to move on the line, very strong, can handle double teams, is a wide load, and has mass. He will bring immediate starting value to the Bills as a run stuffer for two downs, with his very questionable pass rushing skills marginalized by Kyle Williams presence. I think he could flourish playing with Kyle and visa versa.
Round 4: Brandon Deaderick, DE Alabama
At 6-4, 296 lbs Deaderick is a great body for DE in a 3-4. He has long arms for the position as well. Experience, strength, hustle player, and can take on blockers with his frame. He would bolster our run defense along the line and is a crucial addition considering the age of Marcus Stroud and the injury concerns for Dwan Edwards. Would give us great depth at DE and Edwards could take his time grooming Deaderick to be an eventual starter for our defense down the road.
Round 5: Larry Hart, OLB Central Arkansas
First, hes a hustle player who is very competitive, like Deaderick. To me, it is far more important to take mid round to late round prospects who like the game and play hard than to take physical specimens who havent yet put it all together. The guy who tries hard is more coachable, see Kyle Williams. Hart has great speed and can fly to the QB off the edge, he is a pass rusher who despite his small size, will work hard to be a great player and can get around lineman with this speed. Will provide depth at OLB for us and could even contribute early in his career at OLB in pass rushing situations.
Round 6: Kade Weston, NT Georgia
Weston is really big, has really long arms, and can clog the middle. It is important to get a second NT to compliment whoever we take earlier because we need as much help there as possible and we can not afford for one NT selection to not work out immediately. Weston is insurance if Troup isn't ready to go and will provide good competition at the position. If he does pan out, the Bills will have options when contract time comes up for guys like Troup and Kyle Williams. At the very least, 6'5, 320 lbs will give us a big body if injury strikes again.
Round 7: Erik Lorig, OLB Stanford
I'm not even sure if Lorig can handle 3-4 OLB duties as he isnt all that fast or agile. However, its the 7th round and I'm going to take a guy that is known for giving second effort, who overachieves based on motor and intensity (see Schobel), who works hard, loves the game, is competitive and who wants to succeed. According to reports I've read he's a very vocal leader who will be a major plus in a locker room. A team can always use guys like this.
Ok, guys there you go. I don't pretend to be a draft expert so please understand that this mock is what I will hope happens on draft day. That means if you think a pick is unrealistic and won't happen, convince me why so I don't get my hopes up for nothing. If you think I'm spot on with a pick, please convince me of that too so I can have something to look forward to.