First off I want to apologize for how long it took to get this next round up. I had a few tests and projects to complete at college and that took more time than expected. I am hoping to have this mock wrap up towards the end of February or early March. With the combines coming up soon, expect many shifts in rankings as well as the fact that the Bills may re/sign a number of players between then (fingers crossed for lucky #13).
With the first of the Bills fourth round picks, the fans en-masse supported acquiring QB Brock Osweiler of Arizona State with 31% of the vote. A long term project to be sure, but Fitz would easily be starting in the interim. In second was TE Ladarius Green of Louisiana Lafayette with 16% of the vote with QB Kellen Moore finishing in third with 13% of the vote. Here’s your mock right now.
1. DE Quinton Coples – North Carolina
2. DE Vinny Curry – Marshall
3. WR Nick Toon – Wisconsin
4. QB Brock Osweiler – Arizona State
The Bills have received a second fourth round selection from the Baltimore Ravens for Lee Evans. Still hate that trade but what’s done is done. On the one bright side, it gives us one more poll to work on! As of right now, I am taking off QB as an option for Rumblers as well as DE for another few rounds. WR still remains open if the Bills do not re-sign Stevie Johnson. On a bright side, I don’t have to include a kicker option now that the Bills re-signed Rian Lindell to a new contract! Other needs keeping in mind the Bills on the market right now include OT, OG, TE, WR, SLB, MLB, and CB
As a side note, I know there are some players that I include that either may go earlier or may not go until later. The further we go along in this mock the more this will happen. To be frank I try to include a player or two that may fall into the Bills hand (as they do draft relatively high in the pecking order). We always see players that may fall or inexplicably rise the day of the draft as well. I do try to balance several draft sites in choosing players that may be available.
OT Jeff Allen – Troy [6-4, 306, 5.26]
A left tackle prospect, Allen is better in defending the pass than pushing forward defenders in the run game. Allen shifted inside for the Senior Bowl but if the Bills are looking for a backup to Hairston on the left side, Allen seems to be a sound, experienced selection. This of course would be a higher priority if the Bills do not re-sign Demetrius Bell.
OT James Brown – Troy [6-4, 307, 5.32]
Throughout his career, Brown has been a solid Sun Belt left tackle. Brown ended up shifting inside during the Senior Bowl, but does have athleticism and experience to man the outside. I like to think of Brown as a slightly larger version of Levitre for comparison. Brown has good footwork, but needs better upper body movement.
OG Lucas Nix – Pittsburgh [6-5, 310, 5.18]
As both Kraig Urbik and Chad Rinehart are restricted free agents, I have held off putting in a guard selection until now. Odds are the Bills will re-sign one of these players, but in the event they do not, may be seeking an immediate backup at the guard position. Nix has experience playing both right tackle and as of late, right guard. A solid run blocker, Nix struggles more with the pass blocking.
TE George Bryan – North Carolina State [6-5, 265, 5.14]
Bryan is a sleeper prospect whom I have come to regard fairly high for two reasons. First, he has made 108 receptions for 1,122 yards and 13 touchdowns in just the last two seasons. Second, he has a good build and is a solid blocker, but lacks great speed.
TE David Paulson – Oregon [6-3, 243, 4.82]
Another red zone threat should the Bills need to replace Scott Chandler is Paulson. Though on the smaller size, Paulson has been productive with 55 receptions, 856 yards and 10 touchdowns over the last two years. He also has good speed and is a capable run blocker.
WR Joe Adams – Arkansas [5-11, 174, 4.38]
One thing the Bills have lacked has been a slot receiver with speed due to the fact that free agent Roscoe Parrish has been injured a lot. Adams lacks the build Gailey likes, but has plenty of speed and agility as shown at the Senior Bowl. Over the last two seasons Adams has made 104 receptions for 1,465 yards and 9 touchdowns.
WR Jordan White – Western Michigan [6-0, 215, 4.54]
A MAC prospect that has been highly productive over the last three seasons as a starter has been White. In that span White has made 234 receptions, 3,289 yards and for 27 touchdowns. White has average speed and height, but has good hands and can create plays.
LB Emmanuel Acho – Texas [6-1, 235, 4.79]
So far the Bills are lacking a legitimate SLB for their 4-3 defense. While the Bills could recruit OLB Manny Lawson from the Bengals, Lawson is a 2-down player and in any case, need a long term solution. Acho has experience with the 4-3 OLB position having made 6.5 sacks, 198 tackles (25 for loss), 8 hurries, and 7 passes defended in the last two years. Although lacking the great speed Wannstedt is looking for, Acho is a solid all-around player this late in the draft.
LB Tyler Nielsen – Iowa [6-3, 235, 4.54]
Dave Wannstedt is reportedly looking for a quick OLB with good awareness. Combine that with decent height and an ability to cover tight ends, the best prospect here is Tyler Nielsen. Nielsen may be a reach at this point given a lack of production (from an ankle injury), but has made 116 tackles (8.5 for loss), 5 passes defended, and 2 picks in the last two years. Nielsen has good playmaking ability, but has not rushed passers much.
CB Coryell Judie – [Texas A&M] 5-11, 190, 4.48
Another area the Bills seem to need development is at corner. A fourth round selection at corner could be used to develop a starter in the next two seasons. Judie is one such prospect who in the last two years made 79 tackles, 4 picks and 9 passes defended. A good pass defender in zone defense with good aggressiveness, Judie was injured for part of his senior year.
CB DaQuan Menzie – Alabama [5-11, 195, 4.65]
Menzie lacks the great speed that Judie has but as the frequently targeted #2 corner at Alabama, was very productive. In the last two seasons Menzie has made 74 tackles (9 for loss), and 15 passes defended. Though not a playmaker with interceptions, Menzie is solid in coverage and is a good run defender too.
CB Scott Praeter – Iowa [5-10, 185, 4.49]
Perhaps the most physical of the three corners I have listed is Scott Praeter. Though lacking great height, Praeter is very aggressive having made 5 picks, 139 tackles, 9 passes defended, and 4 forced fumbles all in the last two seasons with the Hawkeyes. Praeter does well with man coverage and also can get to the ball.