Greetings on the dawn of yet another season of utter disappointment in our beloved Bills and utter obsession in the high stakes game of internet mock drafting. As I have in the previous two years, my plan is to post 3 mocks leading up to the draft.
Last year I was relatively unsuccessful picking players (although James Carmon was a Bill throughout the preseason...), however my final mock did go as follows: Stephon Gilmore, OT, WR, LB, CB, and then another OT and LB back-to-back. Perhaps this year I will have better luck...
1) Ezekiel "Ziggy" Ansah (DE, Brigham Young) 6'6 270lbs
I am of the simple opinion that the best route to keep improving the defense is to keep collecting pass rushers. Ansah is a yoked 270 pound track athlete (21.9 seconds in the 200 meter) from Ghana who has only played football for about 3 years (he had never watched a game or seen a football prior to 2008), and has also had to make a position switch in that time. He is a natural fit at 4-3 DE, where his natural power makes him a tough block in the run game, and his speed allows him to win around the edge and chase plays to the sideline like a linebacker. This is the kind of athletic talent that Buddy Nix (and any GM) is certain to drool over.
2) Jordan Matthews* (WR, Vanderbilt) 6'3 205lbs
*Note: Matthews is a junior. Cannot say with any certainty that he will declare for the draft.
Adding a big outside receiver is a high priority for the Bills heading into this offseason. He isn't a giant by any stretch, but Matthews has a big frame and is faster than he's given credit for. As a player, he has gotten better and better as his career has gone on, and if that trend continues he could certainly become a weapon for an NFL team. The Bills need more firepower at receiver, and they want a guy whose "open when he's covered'. I think Matthews can become that type of player.
3) Zac Dysert (QB, Miami(OH)) 6'4 228lbs
I said I intend to do 3 mocks; this will be the lowest round in which I slot a QB to the Bills.
Dysert, in my opinion, is a solid but unspectacular prospect as an NFL passer. I see him as someone with enough arm strength to make the necessary throws, who throws a pretty ball on the run, and generally responds well to pressure in the pocket. However, he is held back from being a first day prospect by his arm strength not quite measuring up to the big time talents, is a little too inconsistent with his ball placement for my liking, and seems to throw INTs trying to force the ball to covered targets. For a third round pick, he would at least represent a quarterback prospect with some room to grow (finally.).
4) DeVonte Holloman (LB, South Carolina) 6'2 241lbs
This is my replacement for Bryan Scott at Nickel 'backer. Holloman has flipped back-and-forth a bit from safety to the "spur" position for the Gamecocks. I think he is an ideal fit for Scott's role on the Bills. He's a very good athlete for someone his size, has quick read/react skills, and is an aggressive tackler who will get physical around the line of scrimmage.
Holloman does have a DUI on his record, but I am not inclined to make a huge deal out of an isolated incident where a 20 year old was detained at a sobriety checkpoint.
5) Michael Carter (CB, Minnesota) 5'11 189lbs
It's early in the going, but Carter's quickly become one of my favorite players in this class. He's a really good athlete who looks about as natural and comfortable in coverage as I remember seeing. Carter's not the greatest of tacklers and he lacks some size, which is why I believe he winds up being a mid rounder.
6) Justin Tuggle (LB, Kansas State) 6'3 237lbs
With my last pick I'm taking a project linebacker. Tuggle's been a quarterback for most of his career, and only switched to linebacker about a year ago. He's definitely got the size and movement skills to find a home in the NFL, and I like the idea of bringing in a high upside project player to compete with Moats and White for a roster spot next season.
Questions? Comments? I bash a lot of mock drafts on here and openly welcome people doing the same to mine.