So the Bills finally have their new head coach in Doug Marone; with him are our new offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett and defensive coordinator Mike Pettine. Personally I liked Marone, not the best name out there, but he really did a great job of turning around Syracuse's football program. Marone plans to change the football culture in Buffalo and we all know it needs to happen soon to turn around the team's losing streak. And what better way to do that than through the draft!
The Bills have a number of needs, and free agents that they need to re-sign. To see these, please check out this link Needs and Rules. Also rules for this mock have been included. Draft needs are as followed; QB, WR, DE, LB, DB and potentially depth at HB, OL, or TE. A new regime is in charge and with that the roster could undergo a bit of change. But in the meanwhile, here are 12 names to consider for the first round. (I did not include OT Luke Joeckel, LB Jarvis Jones, QB Geno Smith or DT Star Lotulelei as they all will likely be gone in the top 5 picks). Information that I have compiled on the players below has come from the following sources:Walter Football, CBS Sports, and CFB Stats.
QB Matt Barkley - USC [6-2, 230, 4.82]
Barkley had a mellow senior year due to a much weaker offensive line. However, this pocket passer still managed to throw for an impressive 3,273 yards, competing 63.6% of his passes for 36 TDs and 15 picks. The year before, Barkley threw for 3,528 yards, completing 69.1% of his passes for 39 TDs and just 7 picks. Barkley has great pocket presence, but missed the last few games (including the final game against Notre Dames and the Sun Bowl).
QB Mike Glennon - N.C. State [6-6, 232, 4.62]
Glennon is the biggest QB in the draft this year, but is surprisingly agile in the pocket. With not much of a cast to work with, Glennon still pulled off an impressive year completing 330 of 564 passes (58.5%) for 4,031 yards, 31 TDs and 17 INTs. In 2011, Glennon completed 283 of 453 passes (62.5%) for 3,054 yards, 31 TDs and 12 picks. Glennon played poorly against Vandy in the Music City Bowl, but still had a good year.
QB Ryan Nassib - Syracuse [6-2, 229, 4.80]
Will Doug Maronne try to retain his star QB, perhaps? Nassib is a somewhat mobile QB with a good arm. In 2012, Nassib completed 295 of 415 passes (62.5%) for 3,753 yards, 26 TDs and 10 picks while rushing 85 times for 137 yards and 2 TDs. The year before Nassib completed 259 of 415 passes (62.4%) for 2,685 yards, 22 TDs and 9 picks. Nassib is familiar with Marone's no-huddle system and improved throughout the year, but still has some work to do.
QB Tyler Wilson - Arkansas [6-3, 220, 4.79]
Wilson like Barkley struggled in his senior year although this was because 3 of 4 of his targets from last year graduated. Still Wilson has been able completing 62.1% of his passes for 3,387 yards, 21 TDs and 13 picks in 2012. The year before, Wilson completed 63.2% of his passes for 3,638 yards, 24 TDs and just 6 picks. Wilson has a strong arm and mobile, but wasn't able to repeat as a major contender this year.
WR Keenan Allen* - California [6-3, 210, 4.49]
Though just a junior whose season ended early due to an injury, Allen is one of the best receivers in the draft this year. Tall and with fair speed, Keenan caught 61 passes for 737 yards and 6 TDs in 2012, but caught a more impressive 98 passes for 1,343 yards and 6 TDs the year before.
WR Cord Patterson* - Tennessee [6-3, 200, 4.40]
Nix is looking for a tall receiver with speed given that Stevie Johnson operates best out of the slot. Patterson emerged this past season as a fast, agile play-maker. In his first year of play, Patterson improved weekly amassing 46 receptions for 778 yards (16.9 avg) and 5 TDs while also running for 3 TDs and returning 2 kicks for TDs. Patterson has fair hands, needs improvement in route running, but has incredible upside.
OG Chance Warmack - Alabama [6-3, 320, 5.20]
With LG Andy Levitre still yet to sign a new contract with the Bills, the Bills may have to replace him should he depart in free agency. The best guard undeniably in the draft is Warmack. A big guy, Warmack is still fairly agile and has been a force in both run and pass blocking for the Crimson Tide and absolutely dominated the Irish front seven at the BCS title game.
DE Damontre Moore* - Texas A&M [6-4, 250, 4.70]
One of the bigger pass rushing threats this year was Moore who recorded an impressive 80 tackles (20 for loss), 12.5 sacks, 8 hurries and a forced fumble (FF) this season. The year before, Moore recorded 72 tackles (17.5 for loss), 8.5 sacks, 2 hurries and 4 FFs. Moore may need to add some weight, but has been a solid pass rusher for the Aggies.
DE Bjoern Werner - Florida State [6-4, 255, 4.74]
Werner started off the year strongly and ended with 42 tackles (18 for loss), 13 sacks, 5 hurries and 8 passes deflected (PD) in 2012. In 2011, Werner emerged with 37 tackles (11 for loss), 7 sacks, 8 hurries and 5 PDs. Werner lacks elite speed, but is stout at the line.
LB Manti Te'o - Notre Dame [6-2, 255, 4.60]
Te'o recorded the most Heisman votes for a defensive player in recent history for good reason. In 2012, Te'o recorded 103 tackles (5.5 for loss), 1.5 sacks, 4 hurries, 4 PDs and an amazing 7 picks. In 2011 Te'o recorded 128 tackles (13.5 for loss), 5 sacks, 4 hurries and 2 PDs. Te'o has good speed (could play either middle or strongside) and does a great job of reading opposing offenses. Te'o has received a lot of flack for his poor BCS showing and the "girlfriend" scandal, but he is a great play-maker and team leader.
CB Dee Milliner* - Alabama [6-1, 182, 4.45]
Milliner, continuing the streak of solid Alabama corners started off the year strongly and finished with 51 tackles (4 for loss), 18 PDs and 2 picks. In 2011, Milliner made 27 tackles (1 for loss), 9 PDs and 3 picks. Milliner started the year strongly and like Banks has been a near-shut down corner and looked particularly dominant defending the Irish receivers including TE Eifert.
FS Kenny Vaccaro* - Texas [6-1, 215, 4.47]
With the Bills possibly without Byrd next season, they could seek to add a long term starter to supplement him, or replace Wilson at strong safety. Vaccaro is a big player good in pass and run defense amassing 96 tackles (3.5 for loss), 3 hurries, 2 FFs, 2 picks and 5 passes defended in 2012. The year before he made 71 tackles (6.5 for loss), 2 sacks, 5 hurries, 2 picks and 8 passes defended.
Just another great fan opinion shared on the pages of BuffaloRumblings.com.