So we're about 50 hours away from the 2012 draft.
Through the hours and hours of research, discussion and grilling of Buddy Nix' words, I've come to the conclusion that anything can happen in the 2012 draft for the Bills. (Shocker!)
The 2011 draft went amazing for the Bills. Nix and Whaley are a vast improvement in the draft and FA department over everyone since Polian. I'm looking forward to building the team into a playoff contender with another great draft in 2012.
The 1.10 pick is going to be wide open.
Seriously anything can happen this year. I wouldn't put a trade down out of the realm of possibility either. Shoot with all the extra 4th, and 5th picks a trade up, could even happen.
In the 2012 draft there are 6 Consensus "Elite" prospects. If anyone of these guys fall to #10 the Bills would be hard pressed to pass up.
Andrew Luck - You can dream.
RGII - Still Dreaming
Trent Richardson - Yes we have 30 year old FJAX and Spiller but in the small outside chance he falls to #10 you still have to take him.
Matt Kalil - Personally I am little worried about how nasty he is; he seems a little too SoCal for my Buffalo roots. I like my O-Linemen to be blue collar, mean, and nasty. He should be a solid LT and is probably the only undisputed true Left Tackle in the 1st round.
Justin Blackmon - I think his ceiling is much more Michael Crabtree than Jerry Rice, but everyone thinks he is a sure thing. If he falls to 10, I hope he is too.
Morris Claiborne - Should be a great CB.
All of these 6 should be off the board when the Bills pick at #10 if somehow 1 falls it will be hard to justify a reach past one of these 6 for another prospect.
Now for the cast and crew that is a realistic possibility at #10:
Luke Kuechly BC ILB - Bills fans love this guy. I don't. He is a college tackling machine. Can he play with the Big Boys in the NFL? Yes. Can he be a complete stud of a LB worthy of the #10 overall pick? Maybe. Can you find someone in the 4th round that can play OLB 90% as good as the impact Kuechly would have? Yes.
Ryan Tannehill Texas A&M QB - The Bills likely won't draft the 3rd QB in this draft, but could make an interesting trade down partner - Think Gaine Blabbert with actual potential.
Riley Reiff Iowa RT - Iowa LTs get drafted high, come to the NFL and realize they can't play LT in the NFL then play RT or Guard. I have no reason to believe Reiff is special, better or different than Robert Gallery OG or Bryan Baluga RT. Pears actually played well at RT. This is one guy I would be worried about being a partial bust. Good news is he is almost certainly a solid RT or Guard in the NFL but @#10 overall you're looking for a LT.
Michael Floyd Notre Dame WR - If he can keep his drinking in control, He is a sure thing imo. This guy's ceiling is through the roof. He is basically a bigger stronger Justin Blackmon. He did better at the combine than AJ Green did last year. The 2 alcohol related incidents and the DUI is a big deal though. Plus he wasn't on the list of college prospects that visited One Bills Drive so Nix may have black balled him completely. Don't be surprised if he ends up Rookie of the Year or ends up in jail with a few more DUIs.
Quinton Coples North Carolina DE43 - Before the Mario Williams and Anderson signings the draft @#10 was simple for the Bills. Whomever you rank higher Between Coples, Ingram and Mercilus thats who you take. I doubt that happens now but it could be an outside possibility.
David DeCastro Stanford OG - this dude will be a beast RG for decades in the NFL, but do you really want to draft a RG @ #10 overall? RG is probably the easiest to find Offensive line position in the NFL.
Courtney Upshaw Alabama OLB34 - Before we switched to a 4-3, This draft looked like a 1 player draft for the Bills. Courtney Upshaw or Bust. Now he is not likely on the radar.
Stephon Gilmore South Carolina CB - Drayton Florence is getting old, McGee may already be done. McKelvin doesn't appear to be coachable and will probably be out of Buffalo soon. Aaron Williams looks like he can be a real deal CB. There will be a huge need at CB. Don't be surprised if the Bills have him high on their board and they make a Jauronian pick at CB
Whitney Mercilus Illinois DE43 - See Coples
Melvin Ingram South Carolina OLB34 - See Coples but this would be my pick of the three.
Mark Barron Alabama SS - People are really starting to hype this guy. He does look great on highlight reels. THIS IS A GREAT TRADE DOWN possibility. San Diego could make a run for him and maybe the Bills will be sitting pretty at @#10. San Diego and Buffalo couldn't work out a trade down for Spiller two years ago, maybe they can connect on Barron.
Dre Kirkpatrick Alabama CB - See Gilmore. They may like Kirkpatrick over Gilmore. I personally don't.
The Bills are in a great position this year, outside of LT, there is no overwhelming hole on the team. Lots of holes but many of them are partially covered. This allows the Bills to take the best player that will have the most impact.
The great news is I don't see a complete bust in this year's possibilities at #10. Maybe Reiff can't play LT but he will still play RT and contribute. Maybe Floyd gets in to some off the field trouble, but he will likely shine when in uniform on Sundays.
T-Minus 50 hours or so and we will see what happens. I can't wait.