We're closing in on being just 48 hours away from the start of the 2011 NFL Draft. ESPN's Adam Schefter, who appeared on the network's Mike & Mike in the Morning show early Tuesday, believes that he knows who will be the first three players off the board, and ties the Buffalo Bills to two of those players.
It starts in Carolina, where Schefter reports that the Panthers are still leaning in the direction of Auburn quarterback Cameron Newton.
"I think the Carolina Panthers want to take him, and would like to take him, but are not convinced yet that they're going to take him," Schefter said. "I still think that they're doing a lot of research. In speaking with enough people here, they have done an enormous amount of work into Cameron Newton. They have had sleepless nights over Cameron Newton. I think ultimately, when they look at the rest of the draft, they feel like they have to take Cameron Newton."
Schefter did caution, however, that one other player remains in play for Carolina's pick.
"I still think there's a slight push, and some thought to Marcell Dareus, the Alabama defensive tackle," Schefter said. "But right now, today, subject to change - it is not in ink, it is not in cement - I think, and I say that hesitantly, I think Cameron Newton will be the pick. I will not be surprised if it turns out to be Marcell Dareus."
Moving on to the Denver Broncos with the No. 2 overall pick, Schefter seems to believe that the team already has its man.
"I think at No. 2, Denver goes Von Miller, the linebacker from Texas A&M," Schefter said. (In subsequent Top 3 scenarios, which you'll see outlined below, he never wavers from this pick.)
Naturally, that leaves Dareus for the Bills to take in Schefter's scenario.
"I think that at No. 3, Buffalo then would go either Marcell Dareus or Cameron Newton," Schefter said. "You're going to see those three players, I think, be the first three players off the board - and I think right now, today, it would be Newton, Miller, Dareus to Buffalo. But it could turn out to be that Carolina, in the end, goes Dareus, and then it goes Miller, and then maybe Newton goes to Buffalo."
Dareus, Miller and Newton have been the three most prominent names linked to the Bills for a few weeks now. If Schefter is accurate, the Bills will simply be picking the player that's still available amongst those three prospects.