Hey Bills fans, so we have already made it through the Combine that went by fast. I'm just in the mood for making a logical draft. We will start hearing the times and reps and these new names we should start listening to based on their athletic status. I
I for one as a fan I'm excited. We are seeing a new wave come through. With Kelsay, Mcgee, Wilson and Barnett on the way out it is time our defense makes the adjustments into the threat we all thought they were capable and saw in small windows of time last season.
Even being from the Syracuse area though I'm tired of the Mock Drafts having us selecting a Syracuse player every other round.I digress, anyways below I'm going to throw out some picks I think the Bills should make in the draft and justify why I believe they will be selected. Based on the team and what is available in free agency etc.
NFL Draft Pre Cursors:
So a little blip of what we will see pre-draft via free agency. With $23 Million in cap. We just Franchised Byrd (I'm guessing we sign him to a multi-year deal eventually) and Andy L. Key Positions we only have two DEs on the roster with Mario and Anderson. I think we re-sign Merriman and Moore to cheap contracts.
- We add a linebacker. Candidates would be Nick Roach from Chicago Bears. One of the Bengals Free agent linebackers. A lesser name is Brandon Johnson who was with the Steelers. I would say E.J Henderson but being 32 I'm not so sure. The Bills seem to want a youthful movement at LB.
- DT Depth I think they will add another big body in the middle. Vance Walker of the Atlanta Falcons someone to check out he is 25 and could compete with Terrell Troupe if he is able to be healthy.
- Veteran DE/OLB. With this multiple look defense need a defensive linemen that has experience standing up. I would settle for Shawne Merriman for the price he would cost plus how great he is in run support. He brings passion on the field and is respected by his teammates. Kelsay has retired and I think the Bills will address adding another linemen. Kyle Moore is just horrible against the run and containing the QB. He can't cover.
- Two veterans Pass Rushers to kick the tires on defense I think that could be wild card pick ups Dwight Freeney or John Abraham. Abraham got 10 sacks last season and has experience in different schemes. Freeney can still be a threat as a 4-3 end opposite Mario Williams and next to Dareus or Williams could be interesting.
- We add a TE/FB/RB hybrid player just the all around player. So much talent in the market between Martellus Bennett of the Giants, Delanie Walker of the 49ers, Jared Cook of Titans.
So there is my gist on Free Agency is we add Nick Roach and Manny Lawson, and Delanie Walker maybe Martellus Bennett. At least kick the tires on one veteran pass rusher perhaps John Abraham.
Round 1 Pick 8:
The Buffalo Bills Select Cordarell Patterson, WR out of Tennessee University:
I wanted a balance of Great Athletic skills and Success over a number of years along with adding an element our team needs. Standing 6 foot 3 205 pounds. He can out drop defenders. Any time he has the ball in his hands he is a threat to score through catching, running or returning. There is the concern I have each time most describe him as not catching the ball with his hands but his body or not running the smoothest routes however just watching his games, he makes the defense crazy. We have no guy like that on our roster. After seeing how easily the Bills let go of Donald Jones and David Nelson it is obvious Marrone and his offense want a true all around weapon. Patterson has that. Many knock him for only one year at Tennessee after the JUCO league. However he adjusted to the SEC in one year very quickly. Something that wont be lost on Buddy Nix who certainly favored Cam Newton who had a similar path. I appreciate Brian when he steps in to say now don't worry it isn't lost on me that we have needs at QB, LB, TE. The draft is 7 rounds and I think the talent/value increases in those positions more so as the draft goes on. I'm not saying the draft isn't deep at WR however it isn't completely Deep at this type of WR. One play that won me over was a Vanderbilt game for the Vols they are being blown out in the 4th Quarter. 41-10 or something like that Patterson on a return refuses to go down to the ground and takes it to the house. That type of effort for such raw talent is rare especially at WR when most would just quit or run out of bounds.
Other considerations: Jarvis Jones ( I figured he would be gone by then especially if he performs well at his pro day); Geno Smith who I wouldn't mind but I think there will be plenty of similar QB talent in 2nd round; Ezikel Ansah he is just a freak of nature I like him a lot but I think the draft has plenty of talent at the DL; Milliner/Rhodes another top flight CB can never hurt if they have size, speed and playmaking ability.
Not Sold on: Dion Jordon, I think the guy is freak of nature as well. However just his body type and his lack of production worries me. I know many will say Ansah has lack of production but Ansah has only played the game 3 years of his life and has learned 2 positions in that time. Ansah has a bull rush and power. Plus I can't see spending this high a pick on OLB for hybrid scheme. I think there are better options later in the draft.
Round 2 Pick 41
The Buffalo Bills Select EJ Manuel, Quarterback out of FSU:
Is EJ the best QB in the draft, no. Was he the best QB in college football, no he was not. He does have the tools and abilities the Bills need in a QB and has the development to become a good Quarterback in Buffalo. This pick is not based off the Senior Bowl or the Combine. It was nice to see that he does possess some speed and didn't shy away at the combine to prove he could throw same with the Senior bowl. The real thing I like about Manuel he thrown around 70%. Has 3 years of experience under his belt. Has lead comeback wins against competitive programs. Did he have the best record? No Manuel did not. I just think Marrone and Hackett could bring a lot out of him. I think Nix and the staff have a good beat on guys out of the FSU program. He can throw the deep ball and hit a player in stride while throwing with power to the side lines. As opposed to many qbs who only have accuracy and velocity down the middle of the field.
Round 3 Pick 71
The Buffalo Bills Select Shawne Williams Strong Safety out of Georgia:
It was tough. It is slightly possible Gavin Escobar the TE out of San Diego State would be available I am banking on that the Bills do add a tight end via Free Agency. I also consider Brandon Jenkins out of FSU OLB/DE. The injuries worried me though. Shawn Williams would add to our defense Williams. He is just all over the field. At 6-0 213 and ran a 4.46, possess solid strength at 25 reps. The main thing though is he shows up on film. He is a sure tackler, supports the run game. He can lay out a guy but always does it with control. Decent enough hands to make plays. I know we have Da'Norris Searcy but Shawne Williams gives us a better football player and athlete. Provides Depth and competition. He is an aggressive Safety that can be punishing which I think will lend itself to Pettine's defense. Searcy I think is better served being our FS/SS especially since even in limited action he can't stay healthy.
The Buffalo Bills Select Cobi Hamilton Wide Receiver out of Arkansas:
I know my fellow Bills Fans panic. We want our Linebackers. I hear the names Nico Johnson and actually to tell you the truth after watching game film the only Linebacker I really be jumping for in the 4th is A.J Klein out of Iowa State. However as you will see I believe we can get Klein in the 5th round. Hamilton is a WR that does everything well. We need talent at WR position. At 6 foot 2 212 with decent 4.5 speed in Arkansas Hamilton was a down the field threat and was great at coming back for the ball. Many might think this may be over kill since we selected a WR #8 overall. We need weapons for whatever QB we end up with and Hamilton brings an extremely productive career in the SEC. Broke records in receptions and yards. A Marrone and Hackett offense could use a guy like this. There is no Tight End at this point in the draft I found value in. Hamilton will be a great safety value. He might not be an athletic freak like Patterson but he does all the little things right. He will add to the mix with Stevie, Graham, Patterson while pushing Marcus Easely. Honorable mention goes to Tavarress King. I just like his style of play and ability to stretch the defense however he is much like Graham and I had to give the nod to Hamilton who has consistent production.
The Buffalo Bills Select A.J. Klein Linebacker out Iowa State
He is a hard hat lunch pal kind of a linebacker. He isn't going to shock you with his times or physical elements. Standing a solid 250 pounds at 6 foot 1. He just is great on the field. A high motor guy who has ability to play in coverage and is a sure handed tackler. He covers sideline to sideline. A massed 345 career tackles and just has a knack for finding the ball carrier. We have a youthful group at linebacker. I think Klein can play outside or inside linebacker. I'd like to see him develop into a linebacker that could be on the outside next to Sheppard and on the other side of Bradham. I'm hopeful we add a veteran to the mix and allow Klein to make a name for himself on special teams and in certain packages in Pettines defense. I'm just tired of Moats and Morrison who we have passed off as back up OLB and I believe Klein actually offers some true promise and development. Chris White will be our special teams warrior and I can see Klein excelling in that role to begin with. In the 5th round it is a great pick for our Bills.
The Buffalo Bills Select Michael Buchanan Defensive Linemen out of Illinois
As I highlighted above we only have 2 DEs on our roster currently. If we add Merriman or just Moore even that means all of them will be 28 years and older. At 22 years old Michael would add some youth to our DL. He is 6 foot 6 255 ran a 4.7 and posted a solid 22 reps. He just is a football player that seems to be around the Quarterback. He has a high motor and once his hands are on you, you are down to the turf. He also had some coverage ability ranking 5 among DL in Passes Defended. I know Nix stated how TE is now a need along with the fact I didn't select a CB either which is hardly ever been done in Bills history of drafts it seems. It is time we let our CB talent develop. I'm hopeful we sign McKelvin as insurance along with his threat in the return game. I'm just ready to see what Brooks has to offer and it seems our personnel department has a knack for finding undrafted DBs that come into camp and make an impact. I'm ready to see what Gilmore, Williams, Rodgers and Brooks can put together under Pettine. We get a young guy that can develop and hopefully establish an all around game instead of being just great at the run like Merriman or a pass rushing threat like Kyle Moore.
Undrafted Free Agent:
Knile Davis Running Back out of Arkansas
Having watched SU's offense the real thing that made it a threat was their run game. Marrone and Hackett would love to get a Running Back that is huge at 5 foot 11 227 yet light on their feet running in the 4.3s benched 31 times. Injury concerns will hold off teams hopefully. He would fit on our team since Spiller and Jackson will get the bulk of the carries and Davis could fight to be our short field back. He can catch the ball very well out of the back field as well.
Vince Williams Linebacker out of FSU
He is a guy they mentioned a few times. He is just all over the field. Has a lot of passion and swagger on the field. He plays sideline to sideline and hits you with attitude. He is projected to go in the 7th round. If he somehow slips through the cracks which I doubt he will it'd be great to get him on the squad team him up with Bradham and see if he sticks.
Depth Chart For Camp:
QB: TJackson Fitz (cut) EJ Manuel Aaron Corp (PS)
RB: CJ Spiller Fred Jackson Knile Davis ZachBrown (PS)
FB: CMAC or Dickerson (due to age Marrone/Hackett; Might want to develop Dickereson; I like CMac)
TE: Delaine Walker Scott Chandler Lee Smith
WR: Stevie Johnson Cobi Hamilton Brad Smith
LT: Cordy Glenn Chris Hairston
LG: Andy Levitre
C: Eric Wood Colin Brown
RG: Kraig Urbik David Snow
RT: Eric Pears Zebrie Sanders
WR: Cordelle Patterson T.J Graham Marcus Easely
DE: Mario WIlliams Shawne Merriman
DT: Marcel Dareus Jay Ross/Terrell Troupe if he can stay healthy
DT: Kyle Wiliams Alex Carrington
DE: Mark Anderson Kyle Moore Michael Buchanan
OLB: Nigel Braham Arthur Moats Vince Williams (PS)
ILB: Nick Roach Kelvin Sheppard
OLB: Manny Lawson A.J Klein Chris White (ST)
CB: Stephen Gilmore Ron Brooks Undrafted Free Agent
CB: :Leadois McKelvin Aaron Williams Justin Rodgers
FS: Jarius Byrd Ron Brooks
SS: Shawne Williams Da"Norris Searcy
Rush Linebacker: Mark Anderson John Abraham Kyle Moore Michael Buchanan
Feel Free to leave your thoughts it is getting to that point have to get that Off-Season Energy some relief.