Mel Kiper 2012 NFL Mock Draft: Courtney Upshaw To Buffalo

ESPN's Mel Kiper has released his latest 2012 NFL Mock Draft, and in it, he's penciled Alabama outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw into the Buffalo Bills' No. 10 overall pick, despite the 3-4 outside linebacker's not being a snug fit for their new 4-3 defense.

Kiper points to last year's Denver Broncos as rationale for predicting Upshaw to Buffalo. Poised to switch from the 3-4 defense to the 4-3 with new coach John Fox, the Broncos still saw fit to draft the top available pass-rusher, 3-4 outside linebacker prospect Von Miller, with the No. 2 overall pick. The idea is that coaches will bend their schemes to fit pass rushers, and that's the idea Kiper is pointing to with Upshaw and Buffalo.

Upshaw is not a snug fit as a 4-3 prospect - he can play some end, but is better suited to be a 3-4 linebacker - but the Bills need a pass rusher, and Upshaw is a pretty good one. This is an idea we discussed back in late January: the Bills are so desperate for pass-rushing help that they shouldn't pass up a good one for a lesser one because of their defensive alignment.

Kiper also calls Upshaw an "energetic talent," says he's in the mold of a "more athletic LaMarr Woodley," and believes he'll be ready to harass opposing quarterbacks as a rookie.

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