The Bills have brought in a new coaching staff, a new QB (Kevin Kolb) and a few defensive players (LB Manny Lawson, DL Alan Branch…) and switched Aaron Williams to safety. Still there is much work to be done as the Bills have a number of needs and depth to fill for certain positions. The Bills are still entertaining a few free agents, but are unlikely to sign some until after the draft WHICH IS IN LESS THAN 36 HOURS!!
Now, if QB Geno Smith is available, the Bills will likely take a shot with him as Buddy Nix has indicated the need (finally) for a franchise QB. However, given that there is usually a run on QBs with several teams drafting before the Bills in need of a QB too, there is a good chance that Smith will be off the boards. The Bills could wait until the second for a QB, but if they wait, their favorites may be gone! I’d prefer to trade back or up into the mid/late first round if QB is the route we’ll be going, but it’s like playing Russian roulette. For this mock I have NOT included QB Geno Smith to see how that impacts people’s selection.
Draft needs include QB, WR, ILB, DE (hybrid OLB pass rusher), CB, TE and LG. The Bills could also seek additional depth at WR, DL, OL, HB and Safety. The draft is of utmost importance, one of the most hopeful times for Bills fans when a new season is about to begin. Below I have included 15 names as the Bills really have no set player in the draft that fits their needs with the 8th overall pick. Your guess is as good as mine. Therefore, vote, comment and rec’d in favor of your player of choice.
An asterisk (*) indicates that player is a junior and I used unofficial 40 times which are the faster recorded times. The way this draft has been done for the last few years is that the player FROM THE POSITION of the most votes wins the mock pick. Usually this coincides with the majority picked player as people tend to recognize the positional need. Information that I have compiled on the players below has come from the following sources: Walter Football, CBS Sports, NFL Draft Scout, Buffalo Bills Draft and CFB Stats.
Our mock 6.1 starts now. Go Bills!!
BIO BLASTS: (Note: Feel free to skip to the end to vote as this is a long list!)
QB Matt Barkley – USC [6-3, 227, 4.90]
Barkley had a lackluster 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, played in a pro-offense and has big hands (10.1"), but this California QB only has average arm strength…
QB E.J. Manuel – Florida State [6-5, 237, 4.59]
Manuel has perhaps the best physical traits for a QB in this draft class. And while has improved much during his senior year, Manuel still suffers from bouts of consistency and may need time to develop. In 2012 Manuel completed 263 of 387 passes (68.0%) for 3,392 yards, 23 TDs and 10 picks while rushing 103 times for 310 yards and 4 TDs. The year before, he threw for 2,666 yards completing 203 of 311 passes (65.3%) for 18 TDs and 8 INTs. Manuel has displayed mobility, has large hands (10.2) and has good arm strength.
QB Ryan Nassib – Syracuse [6-2, 227, 4.95]
Nassib has some analysts ranking him very high and others not so much. For the Bills, Nassib’s biggest advantage is his past experience with head coach Doug Marrone. Nassib showed a lot of progress with a no huddle offense this year completing 295 of 472 passes (62.5%) for 3,753 yards, 26 TDs and 10 picks. The year before Nassib was 259 of 415 passes (62.4%) for 2,685 yards, 22 TDs and 9 picks. Nassib also has some rushing ability and the second biggest hands of a QB in the draft (10.2"), but again lacks elite arm strength.
TE Tyler Eifert* – Notre Dame [6-6, 250, 4.65]
With Chandler injured, the Bills lack a starting tight end. The best TE (and potentially player) on the board is Eifert who has a great build, notched a 35.5” vertical, 22 reps on the bench and a 1.65’ split. He also has long arms 33.2” that makes him an effective blocker. In 2012 Eifert caught 50 passes for 685 yards (13.7 avg) and 4 TDs while in 2011 he made 63 receptions for 803 yards (12.8 avg) and 5 TDs.
WR Tavon Austin – West Virginia [5-9, 174, 4.28]
Right now the top receiver in the draft is Austin. Austin is not the typically tall #1 receiver the Bills are looking for, but has incredible speed with a 4.28’ 40 and a 1.50’ split at the combine in which he also notched a 32” vertical and 14 reps. Austin caught 111 passes for 1,287 yards (11.6 avg) and 12 TDs in 2012 while rushing 73 times for 652 yards (8.9 avg) and 3 TDs. In 2011 he had 101 receptions for 1,186 yards (11.7 avg) and 8 TDs.
WR Justin Hunter* – Tennessee [6-4, 196, 4.36]
Hunter had an up/down year along with the Vols, but as a starting receiver with the measurements the Bills are looking for, could be in the mix for a first round pick. In 2012 he notched 73 receptions for 1,083 yards (14.8 avg) and 9 TDs. Playing just three games in 2011 due to an injury, he caught 17 passes for 314 yards (18.5 avg) and 2 TDs. Hunter brought up his stock with a good combine/pro-day in which he had a good 40, a 1.56’ split and a 40.5” vertical.
WR Cord Patterson* – Tennessee [6-2, 216, 4.33]
One receiver with incredible upside is Patterson. 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 needs improvement in route running and being more consistent with his hands, but has incredible upside with his physical ability. He notched a fair 37" vertical at the combine.
OG Jonathan Cooper – North Carolina [6-2, 311, 5.06]
The Bills have a big hole to fill with the absence of Andy Levitre. With the Bills having to reach in other areas for the first round, they could target a stud guard. Cooper has been steadily rising on the board since the combine in which he posted a 1.72’ split and 35 bench press reps. He has decent arm length at 33” and has been a solid asset in both pass and run blocking.
OG Chance Warmack – Alabama [6-2, 317, 5.50]
One of the best guards 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 due to his 34.7" arms, absolutely dominating the Irish front seven at the BCS title game. He also looked good in drills despite a slow 40 time and 1.90’ split at the combines.
DE Ezekial Ansah – BYU [6-5, 271, 4.56]
Ansah is one of the biggest names in the draft despite only emerging this past year as a good pass rusher. Ansah, a former track star, has great athleticism and it showed at the senior bowl. His speed and build allows him a lot of versatility and make plays, but like Jason Pierre-Paul, didn’t produce a lot in college. In his senior year, Ansah recorded 62 tackles (13 for loss), 4.5 sacks, 6 hurries and 9 passes broken up. Ansah looked good at the combines with 35.2" arms, 21 reps on the bench press and a 1.56 second 10 yard split. Ansah at the combine had a fast 40, a 1.62’ split, 21 bench reps and a 34.5” vertical.
DE Jarvis Jones* – Georgia [6-2, 245, 4.88]
I contemplated taking Jones out of first round consideration for the Bills between the signing of Manny Lawson and Jones poor showing at Georgia’s pro-day. But given his amazing rate of production over the last two years, the Bills need for pass rushers and Mark Anderson not a three down starter at the Jack LB spot, I kept him on. In 2012, Jones recorded 85 tackles (24.5 for loss), 14.5 sacks, 20 hurries and 7 forced fumbles. The year before, he recorded 70 tackles (19.5 for loss), 13.5 sacks, 26 hurries and 2 forced fumbles. At his pro day he looked sluggish with a 1.66’ split and a 30.5” vertical but had 20 bench reps.
DE Dion Jordan – Oregon [6-4, 241, 4.54]
To be frank, I do not believe Jordan will be on the boards by time the eighth pick rolls around, but he has some consistency issues and could drop. Jordan is probably the best rated pass rusher in the draft with a solid combine in which he had a 1.61’ split and a 32.5” vertical (he is recovering from a shoulder injury). In 2012 he made 44 tackles (10.5 for loss), 5 sacks and 3 FFs. In 2011 he made 42 tackles (13 for loss) and 7.5 sacks.
DE Barkevious Mingo* – LSU [6-4, 241, 4.53]
Mingo was not as productive as he was last year, but played better than his stats indicate. Like Jordan, Mingo needs to add some bulk so as to be a bigger factor against the run which is why I listed him as a linebacker. In 2012, Mingo had 38 tackles (8.5 for loss), 4.5 sacks, 12 hurries and 3 passes deflected. In 2011, Mingo emerged with 46 tackles (15 for loss), 7 sacks and 11 hurries. At the combine he had a 1.57’ split and a 37” vertical.
LB Alec Ogletree* – Georgia [6-2, 242, 4.68]
With Nick Barnett out, the Bills may opt to strengthen their weak interior linebacker corps as they have no true 3-down inside. Ogletree is a first round talent, but after failing a drug test that caused him to miss a few games, has some off-field concerns. Most recently he was arrested for a DUI. Ogletree has made 111 tackles (11.5 for loss), 3 sacks, 5 hurries and 5 passes defended in 2012 while making 52 tackles (7.5 for loss), 3 sacks, 3 hurries, 2 forced fumbles and 2 passes defended in 2011. At the combine he had a 1.56’ split, 20 bench reps and a 33.5” vertical and is a good pass defender having been a former safety.
CB Dee Milliner* – Alabama [6-1, 201, 4.35]
Milliner dominated receivers (and TE Tyler Eifert) in 2012; I’ll be shocked if Milliner is still available after the top 5 picks. In 2012 he made 54 tackles (4 for loss), had 2 picks and 20 passes broken up! The year before he made 27 tackles (1 for loss), 3 picks and 9 passes defended. Milliner continued with a strong showing at the combines with a very fast 40, a 1.52’ 10 yard split and a 36" vertical.