As much as any team has their board stacked with player rankings and subscribes to the BPA theory, I am becoming convinced the Bills will take an OT in RD 1 after being unable to trade down as Richardson, Tannehill, Blackmon - the 3 targets most teams would covet - will likely be off the board.
That being said, I am predicting the Bills draft based on their perceived needs and balancing it against players likely available at their designated draft slots.
Round 1 - Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa- OBD will look for him to compete immediately for the LT spot with Hairston. He also provides Swing Tackle insurance if he can not surpass Hairston immediately. Item of Note - Erik Pears will be our only Oline starter over 30 years of age. The dual injuries to our 2 LTs last year doomed our offense. This is a need pick.
Round 2 - Reuben Randle, WR, LSU - OK, same alliteration as Pick 1 and similar chance of mispellling name - coincidence - I think not! Fits the large body, Open when not open, Flanker type with Southern flavor Buddy prefers (remember he picked Buster Davis in SD). Randle was under utilized at LSU given their lack of QB talent but has decent (4.42sec 40) speed, remarkable athleticism, a great work ethic and ability to block working in his favor.
Round 3 - Brandon Boykin, CB, GA - The Bills grab one from the bargain bin as his injury (slight fracture to right fibula) at Senior Bowl drops his stock. Is ideal for slot receivers in NFL and tackling ability versus the run compares to Antoine Winfield. Also an accomplished PR and KR and only SEC player with 3 plays over 100 yds. Another SEC pick by Chix!
Round 4, Pick A - Nigel Bradham, OLB, FSU - Not a name mentioned frequently around these parts but a 3 year starter at FSU with 4 years experience and was leading tackler for the past 3 years. Has decent size at 6'2" 241 lbs but can stay on field for 3 downs as well. Played WIL at FSU but projects to either SAM or WIL given Senior Bowl performance. Valuable backup at both spots to start career with Bills and can take over for Morrison or Barnett in due time.
Round 4, Pick B - Russell Wilson, QB, WISC - His height hurts him in a standard drop back pro set but OBD believes he could thrive in Chan's quick throw Pistol offense. Showed some smarts by leaving NC State's West Coast System after graduating in 3 years and picking up WISC pro style offense in JULY to win job without the benefit of any Spring Practice. His Pro Day proved he can make all the throws as he has one of best arms (and minds) in the draft. A winner!
Round 5, Pick A - Tank Carder, ILB/OLB, TCU - The instant Special Teams hero at the Ralph and a fast LB who offers position versatility as can play any of 3 - Sam, Mike, Wil. Just a football player, thank you m'am. Another 3 year starter with 4 years playing experience. MVP of the Rose Bowl in win over Wisconsin.
Round 5, Pick B - T.Y. Hilton, WR, FIU - Roscoe part deux, hopefully without the injuries. Bills need speed and he has it in oodles and will really hurt teams out of slot when Bills go 4 wide. Another 4 year player with multiple awards - he is a game breaker with a slight build who gives the Bills another gifted KR.
Round 6 - Jake Bequette, DE, ARK - The heir apparent to Chris Kelsay's role, he averaged .5 sacks per game in 48 games over a 4 year career against SEC competition. High motor, good run stopper who shows ability to rush from 3 point or 2 point stance - again offering some Position versatility.
Round 7, Pick A - Justin Bethel, FS, Presbyterian - Again the Bills go small school in Rd 7 to pick a player who dominated at the FCS level. Named Big South Conference defensive player of the year and had a pick 6 and blocked FG return for TDs versus CAL. Can you say playmaker? And insurance if J Byrd flies the coop after 2011 season.
Round 7, Pick B - Grant Garner, C, OSU - He is the second OSU player in the last three years to earn Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year honors, joining Russell Okung in 2009. All Big 12 in 2011 was a 5 year player as 2008 was red shirt year. Two year starter. Provides some insurance if Woods goes down if he can make roster.
Well that does it. We get OT, WR (2), LB(2), CB, QB, DE, FS and C to come in and win starting jobs (OT), compete for time (WR, LB, CB) and provide much needed depth (DE, FS, C).