Owning the tenth overall pick in the draft, the Bills have several needs it could choose to address. With the Bills not hosting either WR Michael Floyd or OT Riley Reiff, this rules out two of the more likely choices for this spot. The singing of DE Mario Williams and Mark Anderson also probably means the Bills will not take either Quinton Coples or Melvin Ingram in the first either. While OT Cordy Glenn and CB Stephon Gilmore make sense as picks as well, neither have cracked the top 10 talents and they are only the third best of their position group. (Glenn is behind Kalil and Reiff while Gilmore is behind Claiborne and Kirkpatrick.)
One player who is the best at their position and is a top-10 talent is LB Luke Kuechly. People may be turned off by the fact that Kuechly has mostly played as a middle linebacker at Boston College, a position currently belonging to third round 2011 rookie Kelvin Sheppard. Additionally the Bills re-signed both Kirk Morrison and Bryan Scott this off-season to man the gap at strong-side linebacker. Nick Barnett meanwhile is the undeniable option at weak-side linebacker.
First off neither Scott or Morrison represent elite options at strongside linebacker. Both are aging veterans while Scott is better off as a safety. Additionally Sheppard though still developing is just a two-down player. One of the biggest problems with the Bills defense has been stopping the run consistently. The other problem has been covering tight ends, particularly Patriot TE Rob Gronkowski.
Kuechly is perhaps the best pass coverage linebacker out of college in the last decade and also has been solid in run support. Kuechly has experience on the outside as well, but was shifted to middle linebacker in his sophomore year given his sharp instincts. In the last two years alone Kuechly has made 374 tackles (22.5 for loss), 6 interceptions and 6 passes defended. While Kuechly won’t add much of a pass rush, he would help solidify run and pass defense. Besides, between the Bills having Williams, Williams, Dareus and co. on the defensive line, the Bills pass rush will be greatly improved from last year.
While there were concerns about Kuechly’s speed, he easily squashed and surpassed expectations with a ridiculously strong showing at the Combines. Most impressive was that he had a 4.50' 40 yard dash. Additionally he posted 27 reps on the bench and had a 38" vertical jump. The way I envision it, Kuechly could start at strongside linebacker. Additionally for third down situations, Kuechly could then shift to the middle linebacker. All in all, the Bills would at the very least, have a solid long-term linebacker for the next several years, but in my estimation, Kuechly is a solid player with a pro-bowl future in store.
The Bills are just one or two pieces away from having a solid team to make a playoff push. In my opinion, the Bills could then use their second round pick to take a cornerback, a third or fourth on a left tackle, a third or fourth for a wide receiver and then grab players to solidify depth at QB, OL, TE, WR, DL and LB.
Should the Bills Draft Luke Kuechly?
Yes (187 votes)
No (29 votes)
216 total votes