I have been reading Buffalo Rumblings now for a while. I have never found a better, more well-written blog on the internet. I just wanna again, express my gratitude to Brian, Matt, Der Jaeger, and the whole staff here at BR, I thoroughly enjoy this site, and it is consistently the first one I check when go to make my internet rounds. So anyways, all that to say, I take great enjoyment in the draft (as a Bills fan, you kinda have to since were in just a bit of a playoff draught to say the least.) Since the draft is rapidly approaching, I've been reading mock after mock for the Bills and, with an abundance of time at my disposal today thanks to UB closing down for a "snow" day (its really not bad out at all, but hey, I'll take it) I figured I would set out my ideal draft scenario in order to get the Bills back on track.
I would like to project trades, but I don't want like to work in unknowns (ironic since what I'm about to predict is entirely unknown) But anyways, this is my ideal scenario as it stands right now for the Buffalo Bills 2011 class based upon my extensive couch scouting (which, I've probably spent more time doing than I really should've.) But here goes.
#3. With the 3rd overall pick, in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills select; Patrick Peterson CB, LSU
This pick was extremely difficult for me to make. I would love Dareus here, also, but I think that Peterson is the BPA here, as well as he fits a need that is suddenly one that has grown here in Buffalo very quickly. Something tells me that Drayton Florence won't be back, Terrence McGee is a good player but he's clearly on the downside of his career and shouldn't be depended upon to be a #1 corner anymore. I for one, still believe in Leodis McKelvin. I think he still has a ton of potential, and with his physical skills will develop into a good if not great corner. But behind McKelvin and Mcgee, there isn't a ton of great depth as Brian discussed in the state of the Bills roster post earlier today. All that said, Patrick Peterson fits the mold that Buddy Nix has put together. He has been a consistently great player through his 1st 3 years at LSU. This past season, Peterson was one of the most decorated players in LSU history winning a bevy of defensive awards as well as being named first team all American. His blend of size speed and athleticism is extremely rare, and he could also help out at safety if need be. Personally I like Prince Amukamara better as a pure corner, but I think the Bills take Peterson here due to versatility. Instant starter, and upgrade in the secondary. NFL Comparison: Charles Woodson
#34. With the 34th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills select; Stephen Paea, DT Oregon St.
One of my favorite prospects in this year's draft, Paea is an absolute brute. You want to get bigger and stronger against the run? Stick this guy on the defensive line and boom, you have a vehemoth who will take on double teams with ease. Some say he fits better as a nose, which he probably does as he's not that great of a pass rusher. I like Troup but I think that this guy is an absolute monster, and when the Bills go to 4 man fronts you could stick the two next to eachother along with kyle williams and carrington, now were talking. He's not a perfect fit, and I almost went with Christian Ballard here, but Paea is just too good of a defensive lineman to pass up. He very well could go in the first round, but due to his knee injury I'm anticipating just a bit of a slip for him, and if that were to be the case the bills would absolutely be the beneficiaries. If he does go in the first, insert Ballard here and I would be just as happy. Ballard projects to end in a 3-4 extremely well and would also be a great pick. The Bills have options here, either Paea or Ballard would be great. But if Paea is there, I think the Bills take him in an instant.
#68. With the 68th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills select; Kelvin Sheppard, ILB LSU
The Bills have so many holes, its hard to decide which way to go. The Bills dip back into the defensive factory that is LSU with Sheppard here. We need a tackling force in the middle to help plug up holes and sure up the run defense. I think we bring Poz back, I know he's not the greatest but can we really find somebody better than him in the short term? Put Sheppard in the middle with Poz and that will be a major step forward for this Bills run D. Wth Chan Gailey coaching at the senior bowl, he had first-hand experience working with Sheppard, and I believe that the Bills will prefer the more battle tested Sheppard coming out of the SEC over Martez Wilson, who everyone seems ot have fallen in love with around here. Sheppard isn't the greatest athlete, but he's a great tackler, natural leader, and has a nose for football. Seems to sniff out the football, and recognize holes. Shows decent versatiltiy to flip his hips and cover as well, not his strongest suit but still servicable. Even so, I watched alot of LSU games this year, and he was consistently in position with his run fits. I think he would be a great addition to our defense for years to come.
#99. With the 99th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills select; James Carpenter, OT Alabama
Well here it is. Finally, the Bills address the offensive line, more specifically the RT position. Although this is a bit of a weak offensive tackle class, I believe that a starting right tackle can be had in the later rounds. James Carpenter really showed well at the senior bowl, showing good athleticism on the left side. Taking advantage of his opportunity, I believe Carpenter really cemented himself in the late 3rd to early 4th range, and I would be very happy with him in the 4th. He shows good ability as a pass blocker, as he did not give up a legitimate sack going up against some of the nation's top senior pass rushers (Beal's sack was clearly offsides, don't know how they missed that call.) Anyways, I think Carpenter really showed well, and was another prospect that Chan and the staff got up close and personal with. He could come in and start immediately and anchor the right side for years to come.
#121. With the 121'st overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills select; Dontay Moch, OLB Nevada
The WAC defensive player of the year was a dangerous pass rusher for the wolfpack for his entire career there. Reshirting his first year, he has consistently gotten better and now holds the Nevada records for both sacks and tackles for loss. With Merriman and Moats already in the fold, as well as the much maligned Chris Kelsay and Aaron Maybin, the Bills still need to work on their pass rush. He very well may not be available here, but if he was he would be the obvious choice for the Bills. With the defense undergoing a serious youth movement and scheme change, you can never have enough good 3-4 personell. Moch projects well as a 3-4 OLB and would add good depth and competition to the Bills pass rushing ranks. If Moch was gone, you could insert Mason Foster here, he would also be a good pick.
#152. With the 152nd overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills select; Eric Hagg, S Nebraska
As we all know, Donte' Whitner is probably on his way out of town. He was perpetually average, and struggled mightily in any kind of coverage responsibilities. Laying your shoulder into people and making loud collisions doesn't earn you 7 million a year, Donte'. I won't be sad to see him leave, and hated it when we picked him for multiple reasons that don't need to be rehashed here. But Hagg is a playmaker. As part of a dominant Nebraska secondary, he certainly wasn't a weak link. Posting 40 tackles; 7 of those for a loss, 2 sacks, 4 PBU's and 1 pick, the Nebraska safety really anchored that secondary and was always in good positition. Has good bulk at 6'1 208 and adequate recovery speed. Not a huge hitter, but a very reliable tackler. Also shows great angle recognition and closing speed when in pursuit. I think he would be a steal at this point in the draft and would love to put him on the back end with our revamped secondary.
#183. With the 183rd overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills select; Cedric Thornton, DT Southern Arkansas
So here it is, the small school prospect that everyone will be pining for. Showing flashes of athleticism and strength at the senior bowl, Thornton could develop into solid depth as a 3-4 end. We all know Buddy Nix loves the small school prospects, this one offers some upside as a 5 technique.
214. With the 214th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills select; Mario Harvey, ILB Marshall
Again, this is strictly a depth pick. Harvey offers a good thick linebacker that can sniff out the ball and plug up running lanes. You never know what the late rounds might turn up, Harvey has flashed some decent playmaking ability at Marshall. Add him in to a suddenly much deeper LB core.
So there it is Bills fans. I've tried to put a lot of thought into this mock. Some of the picks might be a little ambtious, but hey, we can dream right? Let me know ur thoughts as I will be interested to hear what you think. Defense dominates this draft, and I wouldn't mind to add a tightend in here or there, but I think that defense has to be the focus to complete our 3-4. I know many of you want a QB, and I agree with you, we do need one. But I think that we go without this year, and then next year is the year of the 1st round QB in Buffalo. I do like Colin Kapearnick (totally didn't spell that right) in the mid rounds, so he might be an option at some point. Or Andy Dalton, but I don't see any of these guys being franchise QB's. So there ya go, let me know what you think, I have thick skin, be honest haha.