2012 Bills Mock Draft

Based on what I've perceived the Bills needs to be lately, as well as where they are expected to pick in the draft, I think I have an idea of the kinds of players I'd like to see Buffalo grab in the draft.

I'm making the assumption that Buffalo will resign the big players like Stevie Johnson and Demetrius Bell who are expected to be free agents. I'm not expecting Buffalo to go all out and grab someone like Vincent Jackson or Anthony Spencer in free agency though.

I also think, if there are any coaching changes, the Bills will continue expecting to run a 3-4, and drafting players towards that ideal, or at least players suited to the 3-4 who can play hybrid positions if needed.

Lastly, based on how I expect teams to finish, I think the Bills will be drafting 10th overall in the draft.

Round 1: Alshon Jeffrey, WR, South Carolina

The Bills absolutely need a blue-chip player at the top of the draft, especially if they hope to eventually be picking much further down in the future. With the top QB prospects Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin (if he declares) off the board at #10, I don't quite feel confident yet in somebody like Ryan Tannehill, whose name has come up frequently lately. I'm waiting on his bowl and combine performance to see if he's worth the pick.
Jeffrey, coming into this season, was expected to be the best WR prospect available. While he underwhelmed this season, much of that can be placed on a weak offensive system and poor QB play. He is still the most athletically gifted receiver at the top of this draft, and could change this Bills offense dramatically. Our current WR depth is something like Johnson-Nelson-Smith-Somebody(Derek Hagan? Ruvell Martin?). Next year, it could be Johnson-Jeffrey-Easley-Nelson. Ralph wants targets for Fitz, and Jeffrey (or Michael Floyd) would be a great one.

TRADE (Buffalo trades their second and third round picks to Denver for their first round pick)
Round 1b: Nick Perry, DE/OLB, USC

The biggest need Buffalo has is for a pass rusher. There are not any amazing prospects to emerge yet in this year's draft. Courtney Upshaw has athleticism concerns, and Quinton Coples has underachieved dramatically all year.
Perry, coming out early as a junior, hasn't had as much time on the field and is still rather raw. He is a fluid athlete though, and had 9.5 sacks for USC this past year. He's also probably the best chance Buffalo has at a game-changing pass rusher in this draft, and if he fell to the last 10 or so picks of the first round, I hope the Bills grab him. (Plus, it'd be nice if another USC pass rusher who was traded up for in the first round turned into a star, this time playing for Buffalo)

Round 4a: Donnie Fletcher, CB, Boston College

I'm most worried about this pick not happening, as Fletcher is slowly rising up out of the fourth round in the latest projections. If he is available in the fourth round, I think Buffalo runs up to the podium with his name. He has big size, similar to Aaron Williams, and would give us more young depth to go along with Williams and Justin Rogers.

Round 4b (Lee Evans Trade): Zebrie Sanders, OT, Florida State

Buffalo's offensive line and depth are, surprisingly, quite solid (as long as our left tackles aren't all getting injured). Chan's plan of sliding Kraig Urbik to the Center spot if Eric Wood goes down works out great, and with Chad Rinehart and Chris Hairston as the OG and LT backups, we are in very good shape. I would, however, like to see Buffalo pick up a RT prospect to back up Erik Pears. Pears has a new contract, but is still at best a middle-of-the-road tackle, and Sanders, with conditioning, might surpass him someday. At the very least, he'd be more useful than Sam Young.

Round 5: Ladarius Green, TE, Louisiana Lafayette

Ralph Wilson said he wants to get Buffalo another Tight End, so here's the new guy. While Green is an athletic freak and an Aaron Hernandez type who is much better at pass catching than blocking, I think he'll still fall deep into the mid rounds. Even last year, teams were still picking most tight ends after the fourth round, and if Green falls this far we can get our Hernandez to go along with Scott Chandler's all-around catching/blocking abilities.

Round 6a: Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State

I don't really want to pick Moore, because I don't think he has an NFL future. But, if Buffalo hasn't grabbed a QB yet, they probably will by now, because running 2 deep with Fitz and Thigpen and no developmental prospect is a bad move - and out of the prospects left at the bottom, Moore is one of the best. Moore has good accuracy and awareness - his questionable aspects are arm strength and durability. People want to believe that Moore could be the next Drew Brees - I think his ceiling is Chad Pennington. Either way, he gives us a trial run QB while we finish building the team and evaluating Fitz.

Round 6b (Marshawn Lynch Trade): Adrian Hamilton, DE/OLB, Prairie View A&M

Hamilton I saw profiled in a list of top small school players. He's a big sleeper pick, but one with some connections to the Bills through his coaching staff (Position coach Gabe Northern). He transferred to his school out of Texas Tech when that school changed coaches, so it's not like he couldn't make it into a Division I school. Hamilton led the nation in sacks with 20.5 this year in the Division I-AA league. He's a little undersized at 6'2" and 245, but has long arms and a variety of moves that help him get to the passer. I'm keeping an eye on this guy.

Round 7: Isaiah Frey, CB, Nevada

Nothing like using a late-round pick to pick up defensive backs! I don't know much about Frey, but he had 5 interceptions and 18 passes defensed this season, which shows impressive ball skills.

This sets up a good portion of the team built around one or two lynchpins that decide whether we succeed or fail. With a returning Johnson, Jeffrey and a healthy Easley, the WR corps is essentially complete. We have a top four, and then Smith and Jones to fill in the rest. With Scott Chandler, Green, and Lee Smith, the TEs are set. Sanders fills out the 9-man offensive line depth along with Colin Brown or a free agent pickup as the third string center. And Fred and CJ man the RB spot. That leaves Fitz to run the show, backed up by Thiggy and possibly Moore.

As for Defense, Perry will start out spelling Shawne Merriman, hopefully emerging as the full-time starter at OLB during the season, with Adrian Hamilton trying to move into a 3rd string pass rush specialist role behind Danny Batten. Aaron Williams and Drayton Florence would begin the season starting, and Justin Rogers, Donnie Fletcher, and Leodis McKelvin would be good depth behind them. If he makes the active roster, Frey has upside and can play deep CB. The ILBs and Safety corps would remain unchanged, and the defensive line would also be unchanged, giving them a chance to gel with both Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus playing.

Going into 2013, the main concerns for Buffalo would be QB, if Fitz fails to bring us to the promised land, and ILB, where there is questionable depth and it's possible that Nick Barnett (getting older and always having injury potential) and Kelvin Sheppard (hasn't emerged in his rookie year as well as some of his peers) may need to be replaced after another year. With the depth concerns finally taken care of, Buffalo would be in prime position to pull a Jets and trade up for someone like Brock Osweiler if they wanted, to get that Franchise QB in 2013 and begin years of deep playoff runs!

Just another great fan opinion shared on the pages of

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