NFL.com expert Mike Mayock has released his 2012 NFL mock draft. In the mock, Mayock has Buffalo selecting Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly with the No. 10 overall pick. He leaves Riley Reiff, Stephon Gilmore, Mark Barron and Michael Floyd on the board in doing so.
Mayock should be revered throughout the Buffalo Bills fan base for his mock draft accuracy. He has correctly predicted Buffalo's last four first-round draft choices in Marcell Dareus, C.J. Spiller, Aaron Maybin and Leodis McKelvin (as well as Donte Whitner in 2006). In 2007, he had Marshawn Lynch falling to No. 22 when the Bills took him at No. 12. I can't find a version of his 2007 mock to see who he actually had Buffalo taking that year.
A few weeks ago, Mayock ranked Kuechly the sixth best player on his board, and this to say about the linebacker.
"I think he's the best pure zone drop pass linebacker I've ever seen on tape," Mayock said of Kuechly. "What usually knocks inside linebackers down is their inability to stay on the field for three plays. It's the opposite with Kuechly. He will excel in sub-packages."
In a conference call with reporters last week, Mayock told reporters that Kuechly would be a great fit in Buffalo.
"Kuechly to me is one of the ten best players in this draft," Mayock said last Thursday. "The intriguing thing about Luke Kuechly is historically inside linebackers are not valued, mostly because they get replaced in sub packages and nickel packages. Kuechly is the opposite. Kuechly's strength lies in the pass game. He's the best pass-dropping linebacker from the inside I've ever seen coming out of college football. He's got instincts, he's got speed. So on third down, when the sub package comes in the game, he's going to stay in the game, a lot like Sean Lee in Dallas. I think there's real value there because he's a three-down inside linebacker. He'll occasionally get enveloped by a big body, but the NFL is a pass-first league, and there's value in Luke Kuechly."
We're just about 29 hours from the 2012 NFL Draft, folks. Who's ready for the speculation to end?