Good Morning Rumblers,
Did you miss me? I've been absent the last couple of days due to a busy work schedule, but I'm back and better then ever.
Even though I haven't been able to post my usual Morning Joe thread, I have been following some of the discussions over the past couple days and it inspired to write a thread about the possible draft options for our Bills. This is very rare for a Morning Joe topic as I try not to get in to too much in too the draft talk before free agency. But I've been asked my opinion on the matter, so I decided to give the people what they want. So lets get straight to the point, we don't want our "Morning Joe" getting cold.
There are 5 Alabama Crimson Tides that can easily go to the Bills at 10. Strangely enough, each of those 5 players address 5 of our most needed positions; DE, LB, CB, RB, S. Now I know some of you will argue that RB and S aren't top needs, but I'll address that when I get in to the player evaluations.
Let's see who they are.
Now here is the deal, I'm not going to give you the scouting report for each player. I'm not a scout and I won't pretend to be, so I won't regurgitate to you verbatim what I've read or heard. However, you can click on their names and pull up some information about them.
Need # 1 DE/OLB Courtney Upshaw - No surprise here. This 6'1'' 273lbs DE/OLB from Alabama has been pegged to us all offseason. I like Courtney because he is known as an all out player with great football instincts, and can both rush the passer and stop the run, which is something we struggled with all last year. The knock on him is that at 6'1" he might struggle in the NFL, because he lacks the elite size to play that position. For once and for all, I'm going to end that argument, so listen closely. I have good news for you fellas; this is the only time in life you will hear that "size" doesn't matter. In football and especially in the trenches, it's all about leverage. The lower man wins, period. So if you looking for a good football player, not a guy who just looks good in his uniform, Courtney is your guy.
Need # 2 OLB Dont'a Hightower - My second "man crush" in this draft. At 6'4" 260lbs, this LB from Alabama played all over the place. Typically, he lined up at MLB, but a lot of the times he played the Jack LB position in Bama's 3-4 front. He also, had his hand in the ground and rush the passer from the OLB/DE position. I really can see him playing the strong OLB position in our 4-3 and MLB in our 3-4. Now here is what I don't understand. The naysayers don't like Hightower at MLB for the Bills, because we got Sheppard. But forgive me for saying this; this guy is better than Sheppard. It's a position that can definitely be upgraded, and I'll have no problem drafting him at 10. He's athletic enough and versatile enough to play any of the LB positions and play some DE as well. Don't believe me, YouTube Upshaw highlights and you'll see him rushing from the DE position. This guy was the best player in Upshaw highlights, crazy!
Need # 3 CB D'Andre "Dre" Kirkpatrick- I must admit, Brian convinced me we need CB help. I'm probably in the minority, but I like our CB's. With the two new guys and Leodis, I think we're in good shape. But with McGee injuries and Flo's struggles, CB is a need. At 6'2", 192 lbs, Kirkpatrick has the size at CB you look for. A guy that is athletic enough and big enough to compete for jump balls with the bigger receivers and have the cover skills to run with the smaller receivers. Playing two games a year against Brandon Marshall and Plaxico Burress, a guy like Kirkpatrick can solidify our CB position. Oh did I mention; this guy is excellent against the run. The knock on him off course, was the recent marijuana charges. Fortunately for him the charges got dropped. Let's hope it won't affect him come draft day.
Need #4 RB Trent Richardson- Now I know I'm going to get killed for this. Oh no, not another RB. Well I put this out here for those people who say "draft the BPA". Do you still stand behind that statement, knowing that at 10 Trent Richardson if undrafted could be the "BPA"? Or does the argument change to; draft the BPA at a position of need? Haha, I always loved that one; isn't that obvious? Any who, at 5'11 220lbs, Richardson is the total package at RB. Speed, strength, vision, blitz pick up, catching, there aren't too many things this guy don't do well. In my opinion, he's a better compliment back to CJ than Fred. He also can solve our short yardage problem, relying less on a gimmicky wildcat offense. Fred isn't getting any younger and has been asking for a new contract 2 yrs prior to his expiring. I never felt comfortable resigning "old" RB's; the Courtney Alexander situation scares the heck out of me. Oh, for those who think the RB position is dead in the NFL and good ones are a dime of dozen; this guy has been compared to Adrian Peterson coming out of college.
Need #5 SS Mark Barron- I bet no one saw this curve ball coming. Barron is probably the sleeper in this years draft. At one point several years ago, the Safety position was a position of glamour and I'm not sure what changed. I guess the Donte Whitner's, Mike Huff's, Taylor Mays, and Leron Landry's of th world scared people off. But with the emergence of the Patriots TE attack, we need someone that's athletic enough and big enough that can keep up with these guys. With the uncertain contract situation of Bryan Scott, George Wilson lack of athleticism, and Searcy struggles in coverage, a guy like Barron can be a great addition. At 6'2" 218lbs, and is expected to run in the 4.5s, he's solid in pass coverage and is great in the box against the run. Known as a solid tackler and hard worker. He can come in right away and play our Nickel LB position in eventually take over at SS.
I have to address one other thing. Some of you will look at this list and say "Hightower, Kirkpatrick, and Barron aren't valued as a top 10 pick. They can be had later in the first round". To me, that is the most RIDICULOUS statement I have ever heard, and it's surprising how people have been getting away with this for as long as they had. Let me set the record straight for the last and final time. A player's value can only be determined on how well that player performs for their team. Our most valuable player last year was an undrafted RB and a 7th round WR. Both of those guys are first round talents and if their drafts would have been done over, both of those guys would have been a top 15 pick, enough said.
I told you I was back!