Welcome to my third and final mock draft of this glorious 2013 draft season. With the draft about a month away, I am no closer to a grip on what the Bills will do at #8 than I was with my first or second mock; nonetheless, the mock must go on.
1) Cordarrelle Patterson (WR, Tennessee) 6’2 216lbs
I want so badly for the Bills to man up and draft their favorite QB with this pick, but my gut tells me that Buddy Nix’s style (the one where he avoids “reaching” and effectively undervalues the quarterback position) continues. Instead, the Bills wind up with Patterson.
Good luck finding a guy whose 6’2” and 215+ pounds that is as good with the ball in his hands as Cordarrelle Patterson. Seriously: go look; let me know when you find one. He makes people miss in tight areas like a waterbug back, is strong enough to break through arm tackles, and has the acceleration to blow right by the defense. His raw route running and iffy jump ball ability are meaningless to me when weighed against his elite body control and twitchy movement skills.
2) Landry Jones (QB, Oklahoma) 6’4 225lbs
With Buddy Nix passing on QBs with the 8th pick, the Bills settle for a guy everyone else passes on (some teams twice).
Landry Jones, in my mind, is the type of QB that Buddy Nix will wind up with a very high grade on. He has all the physical tools, good off-field intangibles, and ridiculous production at a big time program in the American South. I think Jones’ reputation of crumbling under pressure is a bit overhyped, and that his biggest problem lies in his internal clock. He tends to hold onto the ball too long before taking an unnecessary sack or forcing a throw into good coverage. If you can coach Jones into playing faster, then I believe there is a good NFL quarterback here.
3) Jelani Jenkins (LB, Florida) 6’0 243lbs
Jenkins is an excellent athlete with a convenient blend of burst, speed, and change of direction ability. He can flip his hips like a defensive back, which makes him a natural in coverage. Jenkins is also a very physical player that makes the most of his size in his tackling and the aggression he displays when challenging blockers.
4) Michael “Duke” Williams (S/CB, Nevada) 6’0 190lbs
Duke Williams is an absolute stud. He is an incredibly fluid and explosive athlete with track speed and the ability to easily flip between safety and CB. He also plays aggressively and is more than willing to throw his weight around. Williams is a perfect fit in Mike Pettine’s defense, which emphasizes both versatile athletes and quality defensive backs. His less-than-ideal size and some (relatively) minor off field problems could easily cause him to slide into the mid rounds.
5) Mychal Rivera (TE/FB, Tennessee) 6’3 242lbs
Oddly enough, I have the Bills selecting two Tennessee Volunteers in the same draft (and why not, Nix did the same with UNC…). Rivera is an underrated TE/FB hybrid player who could prove useful as both a fullback and flex tight end in the pros. As the Bills don’t really have either of those currently on the roster (unless you count Dorin Dickerson... which I don’t), Rivera makes plenty of sense for them in the later rounds. He has the potential to produce in various roles because of his sure hands, reasonable athleticism, in-line physicality, and natural skills as a lead blocker from the backfield.
6) Darrin Moore (WR, Texas Tech) 6’4 230lbs
If you have seen me gush about Darrin Moore at any point in the last couple months, then you probably knew this was coming. I am still flabbergasted at the complete lack of hype (as in, none whatsoever) surrounding his name. Moore is up to 230 pounds now, in case you were wondering.
Bonus! Some potential undrafted free agents to keep an eye out for:
Kyle Juszczyk (TE/FB, Harvard), Malcolm Bronson (S, McNeese St.), John Boyett (S, Oregon), Justin Tuggle (OLB, Kansas St.), Andrew Starks (LB, Princeton), Emory Blake (WR, Auburn), Quentin Sims (WR, UT-Martin), and if you take one name seriously off this list: Michael Carter (CB, Minnesota).
Questions? Comments? Mock drafts are always best when treated as conversation starters.