As the 2014 NFL Combine winds down, the only thing that stands between us and the draft are collegiate teams’ pro days. But the nice thing of seeing the top 300 players working out is that we get a better idea of players’ physical ability and capabilities. Combine that with their previous work and stats, we can better gauge who may be targeted and when.
With their ninth overall pick, some fans believe this may be the year the Bills can finally end their playoff drought. The loss of DC Pettine to the Browns was a blow to be sure, but the Dougs did a nice job to bring in another hard hitting DC in Jim Schwartz.
What this does to our needs is that the Bills may be looking to build up a 4-3 defense with an interior linebacker AND a 4-3 defensive end. With their secondary, it all hinges on retaining 3x pro-bowler safety Jairus Byrd and adding some depth at corner. Free agency will affect these plans, but until it does, everything is fair game.
Offensively, needs are a little clearer. The Bills need a left guard ASAP. We also have some areas to improve being right tackle, a tall #1 receiver, a tight end, depth at halfback and potentially securing a long-term backup to Manuel who will be having a more prosperous second year.
For this mock, I am changing things up a bit. We are going to follow the Best Player Available formula in which the majority player is the draft pick.
The caveat is that if a position gains at least 40% of the vote, the vote will go to the highest voted player of that position. That means, hypothetically, Texans fans vote 30% for DE Clowney, 28% for QB Bortles and 21% for QB Manziel, the vote would go the highest QB – Bortles, because more fans recognize that area as the way to go.
I will supply 12 players each round for Bills fans to vote on. Especially with later picks, some may be higher ranked than the round I put them in, but most will be aound or below that pick’s value. I do try to do my research to match players in the draft to the draft slot the Bills have to best fit their needs. There may be a few surprises and a few names that you do not see. Should the latter be the case, don’t worry as there will be at least one other Our Mock before the draft to add them next time. Or I may be saving that person for a later draft round.
The last thing is that if you like someone, argue your case constructively in the comments below. I try to include a blurb and their most recent stats on each player, but if you like the guy, convince others to vote for him too. Our Mock 2 starts tomorrow.