These are my thoughts about the offseason including a mock draft. It is quite lengthy but there is a lot of good input in there so bear with me.
This is my first mock I have ever posted on Rumblings so I hope you enjoy.
Rd1. Ezekiel Ansah DE BYU. This guy is a physical freak who is often compared to JPP. I think the comparisons to JPP are well warranted. Being an ex-track runner he can fly for a guy who is 6'5 270. He also will fit well with Pettine hyrbid attacking style of defense.
R2. DeAndre Hopkins WR Clemson. I saw Clemson on tv a few times this year and every time I watched them this guy stood out to me. He made a lot of tremendously skilled catches while gaining great separation from defensive backs. While he may not be the giant WR Nix has stated he wants to get, Hopkins is too talented to pass up here. Hopkins excellent speed and catching ability make him the guy that will stretch out defenses.
Rd3. Khaseem Greene OLB Rutgers. The ex-safety played very well this year for the Scarlet Knights. He was all over the field making plays. Due to his experience at safety his coverage skills are above average for an LB which is a valuable asset in today's pass happy league. With Nick Barnett gone OLB is a position that needs to be addressed in the offseason, and getting Greene in the 3rd would fill that position.
Rd4. Jon Bostic ILB Florida. While I haven't completely given up on Shep I do realize that so far his play has been mediocre and could be upgraded. I think Bostic still needs some time to develop and tap his full potential but if he does develop as expected he could turn into a player. His style of play is very aggressive and he made many plays for a stout UF defense.
Rd5. Matt Scott QB Arizona. Scott took over for Foles this year and played well, putting up some good numbers. His arm strength is great and he passes with accuracy. He is also a dual threat QB that can run well. The big knocks against Scott are his consistency. He will make a spectacular throw just to follow it up with a dud to the dirt. He is also only 6'1 so that will hurt his stock letting him drop all the way too the 5th. He is project but with his skill set I believe he will be well worth a pick.
Rd6. Shamarko Thomas S SU. Being an SU fan I watched a lot of Cuse this year and can tell you that Thomas has the skills to be a starter in the NFL. He plays agressive and makes big hits. He plays the run very well, often being the guy who sticks the rb. He does lack coverage skills which is why he will be around in round 6. I think a year on the bench behind Searcy or whoever is the other safety next to byrd will do him well, and in the future he could start or at a minimum add depth to the secondary.
Rd7. Alec Lemon. Another SU player who impressed me over the year. He isn't the biggest or most athletic WR but he is absolutely sure handed, catching everything. His physical limitations maybe keep him from ever becoming a #1 or #2 WR but he could be a great depth player who makes plays when given the opportunity.
Byrd, Levitre, Nelson, McKelvin, Moore, Merriman.
You need to keep talent when you have it, as long as you do not over pay. Byrd and Levitre both will get big contracts but not unwarrantedly large. McKelvin will think he can get money somewhere else but then find out he is not as coveted as thought prior and will sign for a reasonable price. Merriman and Moore both are signed at bargain prices warranting their retention.
Brad Smith does very little and gets payed way too much, he gets cut saving money and roster space. WIth Ansah on the roster Kelsay is of little value.
Since Byrd and Levitre both got paid there isn't as much money to use in free agency so I do not see any big signings happening. I will say though that if it is possible I would like to see the Bills pursue Dwayne Bowe. I know that signing Bowe is unlikely if Byrd and Levitre both get paid but if there is a way to sign him could you imagine how dangerous the Bills' offensive could be, even with Fitz at QB. If Bowe was signed and you combine him with the players I mocked our skills position players would consist of Lee Smith, Scott Chandler, David Nelson, TJ Graham, Alec Lemon, DeAndre Hopkins, Stevie Johnson, Dwayne Bowe, Fred Jackson, and CJ Spiller. I would say that, that group of players isn't too shabby.
This should be the year that the Bills take a QB in the 1st but the lack of talent has changed that. I believe that only Geno Smith is worth a top ten pick, and I would rather take a few other payers at 8 instead of Smith even if he was there. This means Fitz will be the starter which I do not want at all but there are few options this offseason to address the QB problem. Scott is a project player who I believe can be the QB of the future for the Bills. While I believe he will be a quality QB Scott still is a development project and developmental QBs often don't pan out, so if he does not show that he will be the guy after the season I will be the first person to say that we need to trade whatever it takes to get the QB we want in 2014.