This is my second pass at a mock draft for the Bills in 2013. This draft I am calling the ‘Committing to Winning Draft’ I didn’t shake up the Bills’ core as much as I did previously (even if I do agree that as long as Fred Jackson is on the roster C.J. Spiller will be underutilized). Let me know what you guys think:
Round 1, Pick 7) Manti Te’o LB Notre Dame; This is a dream pick for the Bills. MLBs tend to slide come draft day because they tend not to be “sexy” picks but, this man will solidify the defense for years to come. Smart, highest character, proven (423 recorded tackles), healthy, and a leader on the field. This move also allows Dave Wannstedt tons of flexibility by either replacing Kelvin Sheppard or eventually Nick Barnett. Plus, there is no first round QB when the Bill’s are selecting that I truly believe to be worthy of the pick. Geno Smith is gone and Matt Barkley, Tyler Wilson, and Mike Glennon are all reaches. Take the best player not the biggest need is rule 1 to quality draft results. Plus their 2nd round or later selections in a better QB draft class.
Round 2, Pick 37) Zach Ertz TE Stanford; The Patriots proved that the duel TE threat is too much for most teams to handle. His collegiate numbers are jaw dropping (66 receptions & 837 yards). Plus after watching tape his game speed is much better than his 40 time will show. Just imagine Chandler and him in red zone packages. I almost took Mike Glennon here as I think this is the range he will be drafted in but, his game film while displaying his strong arm shows no mobility, a long delivery, and horrible pocket presence. Reminds me of all the issues the Bills had with Drew Bledsoe in his later years. No thank you!
Kirk Cousins QB Michigan State; I have been following him since college and now people are starting to see why. 2013 will prove to be a miserable year for incoming rookie QBs. The pick might be higher than he was selected but, with the production he had in college (two 11 win seasons), his on and off the field smarts, pro ready size and strength, and is one of the highest class individuals in the NFL. Look up his Lowes CLASS Award acceptance speech. Also, when interviewed after last year’s draft Buddy Nix said that the Bills had missed their QB of choice by one pick. This was the only QB selected immediately before the Bills in the entire draft. It’s a lot to give but, he can start from day one and be the face of the franchise for a long time. Plus, his contract is extremely team friendly.
Round 4, Pick 102) Jordan Matthews WR Vanderbilt; He is flying well below the radar for someone who was second in the SEC in receptions and yards. A versatile WR who does all the little things well, runs sharp routes, is elusive in space, has deceptive speed, and has pro size (6’3”). He should be able to push for the Bills #2 WR spot very quickly. Oh yeah… he is also Jerry Rice’s nephew so he’s probably been taught a thing or two by one of the greatest ever to play the position.
Round 5, Pick 141) Terry Hawthorne CB Illinois; Extremely versatile player, he has played on both sides of the ball and has impressive KR numbers. He is larger at 6’1” and has an extremely high motor (look at his UM game film). Performs well in press coverage and I believe could push Aaron Williams to SS in the future.
Round 6, Pick 172) Graham Pocic C Illinois; This kid is a bruiser inside, slightly large for a center (6’5” & 310lbs) but, that allows him to substitute for any of the interior o-line positions and would allow him to physically match up with all the 3-4 defensive fronts the Bills see. He is a seasoned starter and could easily quell the worries when Eric Wood eventually becomes injured again.
Undrafted FA) Zach Brown K Portland State; He has a big leg and has constantly made 50+ yard kicks in bad weather. He should compete for the starting kicker position immediately and will turn heads with his overall athleticism (projected 4.5 40 time & film shows ability to tackle well on kickoff coverage)