Before I begin, let me start with letting you know that I am assuming you know who Buddy Nix is, not just as the General Manager of the Buffalo Bills, but also how he operates. By this, I am talking of his drafting style as well as his way of talking to the media in the weeks leading up to the draft. Many Bills’ fans believe that with hindsight, Buddy gives more information than is originally perceived. Buddy, as the ultimate poker player in the draft game, picks each word very carefully, though at times he seems to fly off the cuff. He knows what he is doing, what he is saying, and I believe that he has fooled everybody after his draft luncheon presser held at One Bills Drive yesterday.
Buddy Nix was asked many questions about the incoming Quarterback class, naturally, and he and his group didn’t shy away from questions. It’s no secret that QB is a concern, and the staff has done their homework on each prospect this off season. QBs they have met with are Ryan Nassib, Matt Barkley, EJ Manuel, Geno Smith, Tyler Wilson, Matt Scott, Landry Jones, Tyler Bray, and Jeff Tuel.
After the luncheon, two names really stuck out to many people, including Joe Buscaglia, a very well-respected on-field reporter covering the Bills for WGR. Matt Barkley and Ryan Nassib. Joe B has updated his mock draft (http://www.wgr550.com/Buscaglia–NFL-Mock-Draft–5/16072053) to reflect his breakdown of the luncheon. Apparently, Joe’s ability to break down the luncheon has been phenomenal. In 2010, he predicted CJ Spiller. In 2011, he predicted whoever was left out of Cam Newton, Von Miller, and Marcel Dareus. This year, Joe has predicted Barkley at 8. If Joe says Barkley, people listen, as well they should. But did Buddy know this going in?
It reminds me of The Princess Bride. You know, the battle of wits scene? Buddy is this kind of guy, a guy that will think, possibly out-think himself. You are fooling yourself if you don’t think Buddy told his staff how to answer certain questions, whom to expound upon and whom to dance around. They sure did talk up Tavon Austin. Holy cow, did they talk up Austin. It was too obvious, too pronounced. Will other teams buy it? Hard to say, but I ask you this: was it too obvious on purpose? I think it very well could have been. You can make an argument for Austin to be the top player in the draft. He is electric, and pair him on the field with CJ Spiller? Defensive Coordinators would have nightmares.
Buddy has talked about wanting a big, fast wide receiver who is open when he isn’t open. That’s not Austin, so we can rule that out. But wait…Buddy was talking about Marcus Easley being that guy. He said that if you draw up the wide receiver that you want, it’s Easley. DO NOT COUNT AUSTIN OUT AS THE 8TH PICK!
The silence of defensive talk was deafening. Buddy talked briefly of adding LBs, be it in the draft or free agency. He talked about Mark Anderson not really having much of a chance due to his injury last season. To most people, Anderson sin’t the greatest run stopper. Also with the change happening towards a 3-4 defense, a true 3-4 pass rush OLB is needed. Personally, I love the thought of Mario Williams and Kyle Williams at the DE positions, with Marcel Dareus anchoring the middle. Alan Branch being brought in adds depth to NT and DE in odd fronts and DT in even fronts, with Alex Carrington and Torell Troup. Jarvis Jones is an obvious choice for OLB, but do not rule out Barkevious Mingo.
At 240 lbs, many people think "Aaron Maybin!" There is a big difference between the two, I promise. First and foremost, Maybin was a hand in the dirt DE, while Mingo will be an OLB standing up in a two-point stance on the edge. Their positions are different, and their assignments will be completely different. Nobody in college football got to the QB quicker than Mingo. He started for a top defense for multiple years, and didn’t come out of nowhere; he was Second Team All-SEC in 2011.
For me, it comes down to Austin, Jones, and Mingo at 8. With Buddy saying that he believes there are 2 or 3 QBs that will be franchise guys, I think he will be waiting until 41 to get one of those 2 or three. I assume they have a contingency in place for if/when 1 or 2 of those "franchise" guys are taken and they’re down to their last guy. I think that is the only way he’ll move up, and it could make this draft a short one for Buddy. For the teams that really want Tavon Austin, you had better move in front of the Bills to get him, because after the luncheon, I think Austin is #1 on the board for the Bills. Mingo and Jones will be plan B, in that order, and one of those three will be there at 8, and I believe Buddy will be ecstatic to have any of those guys.
Just another great fan opinion shared on the pages of BuffaloRumblings.com.