Our Choice For The First Round

Given that the Bills are drafting tenth overall, there will definitely be a lot of hype heading into the draft Thursday night. The Bills could seek a trade up or down, but given their past history will likely stay at 10. Whoever the Bills acquire will see serious playing time with some exceptions (Tannehill will need a year or two to develop). In my opinion the Bills are just a few picks away from becoming playoff contenders following a rather splashy free agency in which they acquired pro-bowl DE Mario Williams.

Current needs for the Bills are as followed: LT, SLB, WR, CB to compete for starting jobs and depth at QB, OL, WR, DE, DE, LB and DB. Players that should definitively be off the board at 10 include QB Andrew Luck (1 to Colts), QB Robert Griffin III (2 to Redskins), OT Matt Kalil (3 to Vikings), RB Trent Richardson (4 to Browns), CB Morris Claiborne (5 to Bucs) and WR Justin Blackmon (6 to Rams). That leaves just the Jaguars at 7, the Fish at 8 and the Panthers at 9 before the Bills pick barring no trades.

For the sake of simplicity, I am going with the player majority vote wins the poll (as opposed to positional priority), but as always we are anchored by the results from the NFL combine and several pro-days. I shall input these as well as rankings/information on players from sites including Walter Football, CBS Sports and Drafttek. Statistics are courtesy from CFB Stats. Remember to vote and use the comments to support your choice below.

QB Ryan Tannehill - Texas A&M [6-4, 221, 4.61]
Tannehill had a solid pro-day showing off his mobility and strong arm. Though he has 9" hands which can be indicative of more fumbles, Tannehill has good accuracy and awareness as well. Tannehill's biggest drawback is that as he only had had one really strong year at QB after starting at WR. (That could be beneficial for wild-cat plays with Brad Smith...) In any case, Tannehill could be off the boards via the Browns or more likely the Dolphins. During his senior year Tannehill completed 327 of 530 passes for 3,744 yards for 29 TDs and 15 interceptions.

OT Mike Adams - Ohio State [6-7, 323, 5.40]
The Bills could easily be looking to add a left tackle to at least compete with Chris Hairston for the starting job. Adams has looked well playing left tackle in college, though he had a somewhat disappointing combine performance with just 19 bench press reps. Adams stays on the board for two reasons. First he has 34" arms which are a good size especially for left tackle. The second is that Brian had him here after the SB Draft.

OT Cordy Glenn - Georgia [6-5, 234, 5.15]
Glenn looks more like a fringe pick the Bills could act upon instead of Adams in the first round. Though he struggled against McClellin in the first game this season, he turned out a solid second half of the year and looked good in Combine drills. With 35.75" arms, Glenn has the second longest arms of any lineman in the draft, good to push defenders off the edge and has good strength with 31 bench press reps.

OT Jonathan Martin - Stanford [6-5, 312, 5.18]
Martin has had great success protecting the blind side of Andrew Luck. That being said, he hasn't had a ton of quality pass rushers to face. Additionally he sat out of the combines which has caused his stock to drop a little to the third or fourth best tackle available. On the plus side he has a good build with 34" arms.

OT Riley Reiff - Iowa [6-6, 313, 5.23]
Reiff is perhaps the second best tackle in the draft. Though he has had good success on the left side and is a physical player, he has only 33.25" arms and 23 bench press reps at the combines which could be why Buddy Nix did not entertain Reiff leading up to the draft.

WR Michael Floyd - Notre Dame [6-3, 220, 4.47]
With questions as to whether Donald Jones, Marcus Easley or Derek Hagan can become a #2 receiver, the Bills could look to add a contender in the earlier rounds. Floyd had a strong combine performance with a 36.5' vertical, a 1.57' 10 yard split and a fast 4.47' 40 yard dash. Floyd has been very productive as a starter for the Irish catching 79 passes for 2,072 yards and 21 touchdowns over the last two seasons.

DE Quinton Coples - North Carolina [6-6, 284, 4.72]
Defensive end is no longer the Bills biggest need (or its second) after the Bills managed to sign Mario Williams this off-season. Still the Bills could take a DE for a few reasons. First, both Anderson and Kelsay are over 30 and wouldn't be full time players. Second Merriman has major injury concerns and he and Kelsay could become salary cap casualties. Coples has similar physical traits to Mario and had a good combine posting 25 bench press reps and a 1.63' 10 yard split. Over the last two years Coples has made 114 tackles (30.5 for loss), 17.5 sacks, 19 hurries and 5 forced fumbles.

DE Melvin Ingram - South Carolina [6-1, 264, 4.66]
Another reason for taking a DE would be to guarantee the best D-Line in the league for the next several years. Ingram has the speed and size to play 3-4 OLB in the Bills hybrid "D" schemes and has displayed great power and speed at the Combines with 28 bench presses a 1.72' 10 yard split and a fast 40 time. In the last two years (splitting time at DT in his junior year) Ingram made 76 tackles (26 for loss), 19 sacks and 7 hurries.

LB Luke Kuechly - Boston College [6-3, 242, 4.50]
At first glance people would be turned off that Kuechly has predominantly played MLB. But that's due to the fact that he has great instincts as indicated by his stats (Shepp is also only a 2-down LB at this time too). Also Kuechly has the athleticism to play any linebacker position after a fantastic combine in which he did 27 reps on the bench, a 38" vertical and a ridiculous 4.50' 40 yard dash. And for a team that has to face Rob Gronkowski twice a year [at least ;-) ] it makes sense to have a LB with the height and speed to cover him. In just the last two years alone Kuechly has made 374 tackles (22.5 for loss), 6 picks and 6 passes defended.

CB Stephon Gilmore - South Carolina [6-0, 190, 4.44]
If the Bills aren't set with the offensive talent available, they could seek for a long term solution at corner given the struggles of Drayton Florence and the injuries of Terrence McGee. Gilmore had a strong combine looking good in field drills, a 36" variable and a 1.50' 10 yard split. Over the last two seasons Gilmore has made 125 tackles (9 for loss), 9 passes defended and 7 interceptions.

CB Dre Kirkpatrick - Alabama [6-2, 186, 4.46]
Kirkpatrick looked a little sluggish at the combines but rebounded with a strong pro-day. He had a 35" vertical and a 1.53 10 yard split. As a shutdown corner for Alabama over the last two years, Kirkpatrick has made 82 tackles (8 for loss), 3 interceptions and had 16 passes defended.

SS Mark Barron - Alabama [6-1, 213, 4.56]
Personally I think the Bills are set with their safeties with George Wilson and Jairus Byrd but given Barron's rise, could use him as a trading chip. Though he sat out of the combines, he had a fair 34.5" vertical at his pro-day. He has great instincts, but has questions of durability despite being the best safety of this draft class. Over the last two seasons, Barron has made 141 tackles (8 for loss), 3 sacks, 5 picks and 11 passes defended.

Go Bills!!

Just another great fan opinion shared on the pages of

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