Just wanted to say thank you to all those fellow rumblers that participated in my post on Free Agency Big Board. If you guys have any additional ideas, now that we have a new coaching staff on defensive side of the ball feel free to add any new ideas.
This will be a brief post just a mock draft drawn up after a SuperBowl that left a lot to desire and now full attention to the offseason starting with a few more staff hires and free agency followed by draft workouts.
Bills are on the Clock:
Round 1 Pick number 9:
My Draft is based on the premise:
- Clowney is off the board, along with Jake Matthews/Greg Robinson and Sammy Watkins.
- Team Needs: More impact guard, right tackle. Better Red zone threat WR/TE. Sideline to Sideline LB. Depth at OL/DL and DB.
- Quarterback unlike last draft will be a hot position more teams will want to lock down early.
- We are a team that can't wait for players to develop in 2-3 years. We need impact players that can earn their spot on the team and get us to the next step.
The Buffalo Bills trade the pick to either:
- The Dallas Cowboys or Baltimore Ravens. To pick number 16 in the 1st round and for that teams 2nd round pick as well. Swap 3rds. Similar to last years deal with the Rams.
You never know what the Cowboys will do they took a Center in the 1st round. There will be a dynamic QB, OT, DB ,LB and DE available at our position the Cowboys have needs in all those areas.
- Another trade partner: Carolina Panthers at #28.
Who may feel they are on the cusp of being a threatening playoff team. They could be willing to give up a lot for #9 and the chance to add a tall, big, young WR in Mike Evans who would compliment and eventually take over for an aging Steve Smith.Mike Evan's attitude good,bad or indifferent wont bother the Panthers after having Steve Smith for so long.
Round 1 Pick number 16:
Aaron Donald, DL Pittsburgh.- Cue the disappointments it isn't a WR, OL,TE or LB. All of which I agree are needs of the Bills however I believe Donald is the best player available. He is a consistent play maker.
Our Key Reason/Stats to add:
- Our defense seems that it will be moving into the direction of getting more pressure from the D-line along with needing a boost when it comes to stopping the run. Donald provides that.
- Over his career Donald has 66 tackles for loss, and 29.5 sacks, 43 QB Hurries, 6 FF, 10 PD as an every down player in college. For two different conferences. He also played special teams, blocking an extra point this year against Syracuse that ended up costing SU the game.
- He has the intangibles more important than rare measurable physical attributes. He is a leader, with a high motor that never takes a play off.
- You can't teach how to be a play maker and Donald just finds a way and his consistency shows the diligence he places in studying his opponent.
- He is aggressive, the best in the draft at beating his opponent in one on one match-ups even when he is doubled teamed Donald is never really taken out of the play.
- Best possible chance to have an immediate impact to our team. Ebron is a popular name many place in this slot due to his comparison to Vernon Davis. Despite all that athletic skill and eye popping work out numbers it took Davis 3 years to really make an impact and even he gets shut out for games in San Francisco. Tackle is another area most have us selecting with Greg Robinson. When it comes to the Bills we do not select OL that high especially a guy that at best would be our starting RT and possibly at worst would have to slide to guard. Marrone made his name and reputation from plucking names from obscurity and making them pro bowl talent on the OL. I'd be shocked if the organization selected any one remotely mentioned on a draft analyst/experts or Brian's mock draft :P ;)
- Always plays with something to prove no matter the amount of awards and stats. He has a permanent chip on the shoulder.Aaron's Passion for Football (4 min vid)
- Aggressive, yet discipline and technician of his craft/position. A stud defensive player that shouldn't be picked apart about his lack of height and weight since he has produced consistently and at a high level. With no real blatant counter part on the line.
- Always competing. He went to the Senior Bowl and when given the opportunity to participate in one on ones he wanted to be challenged the most. Winning 12 times and only losing 3 times. Hageman was the only other DL attempted more than 10 times.Senior Bowl Breakdown (nice breakdown Donald & Will Clarke)
ADDITIONAL NOTE: We were lucky to get through the season with a Healthy DL, if you watched the Bengals after they lost Aktins or Pats when Wilfork went down their defense was completely different. Kyle Williams is not getting any younger and our depth with Alan Branch in DT doesn't provide as much of a threat to the offense.
Honorable Mention: Jace Amaro TE Texas Tech. He is just a player you enjoy watching. He is physical, gifted pass catcher who has the size to be a great blocker. Lines up in multiple positions. I wouldn't mind him at all. I went a different direction because Big Targets like him and other elite Tight Ends have issues staying healthy. He is a guy that loves contact and he will find plenty of it in the NFL. TE are not as protected as star WR and QB yet.
If Khali Mack is available at #9. I think the Bills should select him unless the value in a trade is overwhelming. I do believe he wont be around but like the idea of adding Buffalo University player that is active from sideline to sideline and consistent play.
Round 2 Pick 9:
Kyle Van Noy LB BYU- Yes the Bills shock everyone again and select yet another Defensive player. Again given the attitude we want to evoke on our defense this guy brings everything we want to the table.
Our Key Reason/Stats to add:
- He isn't one dimensional linebacker. Many fans have stressed the need for a "thumper" and have opted for later round additions at LB for run plays. I believe the Bills will value versatility and every down potential.
- He can play in any system and his size at 6'3'' 245 he has the ability to drop into coverage, to blitz, run defend and cover the field sideline to sideline.
- Aggressive, yet disciplined on the field and an unquestioned play maker.
- Loyal and a leader of himself. What I mean by that is he didn't give in to the temptation of leaving school early after a monster Junior season.
- In 4 seasons at BYU 226 total tackles (70 last season), 62 tackles for loss, 26 sacks, 32 QB hurries (12 last season, 17 Force Fumbles, 7 ints, 21 PD,3 blocked kicks on special teams.
- In the early rounds you have to get as near to success as you can. This is safe guarded by the Bills based on position versatility. For instance Cordy Glenn former 2nd round pick, if LT didn't work out for him he would be either a RT or LG/RG he had experience at all positions maximizing the Bills value in that pick in case the transition to NFL LT couldn't be made. Same story with Aaron Williams 2nd round pick they originally tried him out at corner-back knowing he had the chance to play Safety. Corner-back wasn't the best fit for him so we didn't bust on a 2nd round pick instead now he is even more valuable to the team as he proved this past season, handling spot minutes at CB then being our starting SS. Kiko Alonso as well offers that ability.
- Ziggy out of BYU transitioned well to Schwartz defense and I'm sure he saw a lot of Van Noy on tape as well so his input certainly wouldn't hurt to add to Noy's profile.
- Stayed 4 years in college and had to bounce back from not always getting the headline catching numbers but still making an impact on the field.
- Comparable to becoming a higher impact Keith Bulluck in Schwartz's defense.
Round 2 Pick 16:
Jordan Matthews. WR Vanderbilt: In short I would leave this selection up to the best WR/TE available. Whether it is Troy Nikols or ASJ available. Matthews get the nod from me for a number of reasons.
Our Key Reasons/Stats to add:
- Jordan Matthews is a football player. I don't expect him to be #1 at any category in the underwear Olympics.
- Ultimate competitor and student of the game. Asked for scouting tape on DBs for the Senior Bowl.
- He stands 6'3'' 206 pounds and played on a team most wouldn't remember plays in the SEC.
- He is a pure hands catcher. You can hear the ball muffle as he gets his hands on it.
- If you look at his 4 years at Vanderbilt he improved every year statistics wise and physically.
- For his career he registered 262 receptions, 3,759 yards and 24 TDs.
- Played great in big games against great competition.
- I couldn't name another offensive weapon for Vandy for the life of me. Defenses prepared for him and he still produced.
- He always attempts and is mostly successful in making the catch despite being held or interfered with.
- Watch him in Practice. Here on his Helmet.(about 3 min video)
- Irony is his cousin is Jerry Rice who was selected in the 1st round 16 pick overall. Who also was knocked for speed.
- You can all the power, strength, speed in the world but if you can't catch or run a route correctly you are useless as a WR and Matthews is one of the best at catching the ball and running the route.
Honorable Mention: Troy Nikolas: He is a solid all around Tight End prospect. Better all around game than Chris Gragg.
ASJ is a less athletic prospect than Nikolas. He wont bust a 40-50 yard catch but he will work the middle and can block, while also providing a Red Zone threat.
Davonte Adams is another Big WR that produced well 233 catches, 3,021 yards and 38 Tds in just two seasons. Improve by leaps and bounds just after RS freshman year to Sophomore.
Antonine Richardson OL out of Tenn. He is a huge though I don't believe in taking a RT or Guard this early I think he fits the Bills profile for what they look for in OL.
Round 3 pick 9:
Billy Turner. OL North Dakota State. By far the toughest pick because the Bills tend to go for athletes in the 3rd. Turner fits into this spot to fill the Bills OL needs. His versatility makes him less of a chance to bust. They have invested in speed the past two years with Graham and Goodwin even though both sacrifice the stats and resume. Turner played at the Senior bowl and struggled at times but certainly would be a step up on our current OL starters in either Eric Pears or Doug Legursky. Wouldn't be surprised if they went for boom or bust playmaking type of pick here. The Bills like to take risks in the 3rd round.
Key reasons to add:
- He posses the size Whaley, Marrone and Bills like at the OL position at 6'5'' 316. 33 1/4 arms & 10 1/4 hand
- Despite that size he has great feet and punch. He could really be scary if he has the right development.
- Versatility is another thing that will delight the Bills who could start him out at RT and then move him inside if needed.
- Played LT in college so that plays into the versatility because we have been lucky enough to have a healthy OL.
- Won 3 straight FBS championships at his school.
- Explosive to the 2nd level of the defense when run blocking.
- When you watch his team especially against Kansas State. You can clearly see where he handles his assignments where others struggle and how he holds up the line to the left side.
Other Later Intriguing Prospects:
- Stanley Jean-Baptiste-DB. 6'3'' 215. Ball Hawk with ideal size at DB. Range 2-4. You give Donnie Henderson anyone intriguing it will be interesting what he could do with thim. 11 PD 4 ints last season 35 tackles.
- E.J Gaines. DB. 5'11'' 195. Mizzou. Range 3-4 He is a physical corner. Everyone loves Mike Evans and he shut him down despite the size difference. He is a thick corner not lanky. Great run defender and we wont have to worry about him in coverage like Searcy and Brooks. Fights through blocks, great pursuit. One of my favorite Cornerbacks def would have a place on the Bills.
- Marcus Smith-DE. 6'4'' 258. Louisville. Range 2-4. He is a little shorter and arm length not ideal to what Schwartz likes in the past but always makes an impression in every game he plays. 8 FF, 25 sacks, 35 TFL in his career. We didn't get many Forced Fumbles as a defense which leads to more turnovers.
- James Hurst-OL.UNC. 4th round. He graded out very well in his games at UNC. Suffered a broken leg in bowl game that could drop him a few rounds since he wont be 100% going into the draft.
- Justin Britt-OL. Missouri. 5th-7th round. Wasn't an elite prospect in college. Worked hard to earn LT duties. He plays with grit and posses mobility with 6'6'' 315 physique. Good feet had an ACL injury and battled back to start again. Needs to add weight and develop for a season.Swing tackle/LG.
- Will Clarke. DE. 6'6'' 272. WVU. 3rd-5th round. He has 34 inch arms. Great edge rusher who is flexible and can bend the corner. Has a lot of agility. Will need to develop just similar to Kareem Martin.
- Kareem Martin-DE. 6'6'' 272.UNC. 3rd-5th round Schwartz defense likes Defensive ends that are tall with long arms. Not as polished a pass rusher as Clarke but both are a poor man's version of Chandler Jones who Pepper Johnson has a familiarity with from the Pats.
- Jared Abbrederis- WR 6'1'' 190. Wisconsin.3rd-4th round. He is Chris Hogan only with more of play making threat after catching the ball. Not a jump up and grab it kind of player. He gets his catches by finding space and YAC.
- Donte Moncrief- WR 6'2''225.Ole Miss. 3rd round Big physical WR. I would have liked to see more catches. Certainly is Red Zone threat with tools to develop.156 catches, 2,371 yards, 15.2 yards per catch and 20 tds in his 3 year career.
- Dontae Johnson. 6'2'' 199. DB. NC State. 6th-7th round. Physical DB that is listed as a FS but can certainly play CB. We will be playing some physical WR this season he would add great depth. Long and lanky could thrive in press man to man/red zone situations.
- Richard Rodgers. 6'4'' 245. TE. California.3rd-5th round. He fits the mold of Julius Thomas, Rogers is basically a big WR. Like Coleman he would be a great Red Zone threat right away with time could develop.
- Brandon Coleman. 6'6'' 220. Rutgers. Big WR. 3rd-5th round. With long striding speed. Instant Red Zone threat scoring threat with his size and jumping ability. Questionable hands and inconsistent production. Played well against SU.
- Xavier Grimble. 6'5'' 250. TE. USC. 5th-7th round. Played with Robert Woods so the Bills scouts have seen him. He has all the tools just not the stats to back it up. He had trouble staying healthy in college. Has decent hands and physical runner after the catch Highlights and Plays. Jordan Cameron like ability and lack of stats in college. Could add more muscle.
- Rajion Neal. 5'10'' 211. RB. Tenn. 5th-7th round. Senior running back could fall due to underclassman entering the draft. He is physical, powerful runner that has the speed to break away and great cuts to be elusive. Explosive and balanced North and South runner the type of back that we need.Reliable hands he was moved to WR and then moved back to RB.
- James Wilder Jr. 6'2'' 229 RB. FSU. 4th-6th round. Used to being part of a running back committee. Based on Ronnie Wingo and future signing the Bills are looking for a physical runner. Wilder is exactly that however he possess the explosive quality to take a North/South run the distance. Caught passes out of the backfield from EJ Manuel. Also played special teams well. Did suffer shoulder and concussion injuries this past season.
- DJ Adams. 5'9'' 200.RB. Portland State.6th-Undrafted. Here are his Stats. He is a Senior here are his highlights. He is a flat footed runner that has speed and agility but doesn't dance around. North to south type of runner. Not a huge fan of how he holds the ball but only fumbled 1 time so it works for him. Career numbers 27 tds with 271 carries.
UD Free Agents:
- Chris Boyd-WR. Vanderbilt is only one that comes to mind at WR. 6'4'' 205 he was on verge of becoming an impact star before getting caught up in a serious alleged crime involving his teammates. 2012 Music City Bowl #80 watch him. Invited to the Combine. A lighter Marques Colston if he surprises at the Combine probably wont go undrafted. Would be my 1st call if he escapes the 7th round.
- Kenarious Gates. OT/Guard. 6'4'' 327. Georgia. He took over for Cordy Glenn at Georgia at LT. I think having him as our LG and pairing them together could create quite the force on Left side of our line. He also has experience playing RT and RG at Georgia. Not invited to combine.
- Reggie Jackson. TE. 6'3'' 240. Missouri Western State. 17 of his 50 catches were TDs. He is athletic as they come and he is great at catching the ball with his hands as opposed to his body at the highest point. Invited to the combine.
- Zach Moore- DE. 6'6'' 285. He is from a Div II. This is not including 2013 season stats. 26.0 sacks in 28 games 35.5 tackles for loss. Plays special teams.Invited to the combine.
- Chris Young- LB. He is "short" at 6ft and 244. Played for ASU 2 seasons. Improved each year. Accumulated 194 tackles, 31.5 tackles for loss, 6 PD, 3 FF, 2 recoveries. Safety/Linebacker hybrid player. Runs 4.5. Physical hard hitting player. Plays special teams
- D.J Tialavea- TE. Utah State. 6'4'' 260. Former DL turned Tight End, who also played basketball. Had a great catch vs Auburn. Invited to the draft combine.
- Quarterbacks that need to change their position:
- Jordan Lynch. NIU who could develop into a solid Running back. He makes great cuts and can catch out of the back field. 6'1'' 220 pounds running in the 4.5s he is a great athlete.
- Logan Thomas. VA Tech I suspect someone may take a gamble on him late in the draft as a QB because of his height/weight and strong arm, but I see him as a potential great TE in the NFL.6'6'' 250 runs about a 4.5.
Rounds 4-7 Direction:
It is anyone's guess truly any time the Buffalo Bills are picking. Based on my picks above here is what I believe the Bills will zoom in on.
- A Defensive Back that may be raw but has size to handle big WR/TE especially in the red zone. Allow Donnie Henderson to coach him up and avoid allowing Searcy or Brooks to have to handle that match up, that burned us time and time again last season.
- An immediate red zone threat that will need coaching up to be an every down player, but can make up for it playing special teams in the meantime. Whether this player will be a Tight end or generally just big WR.
- Defensive End prospect that is tall and has long arms like Schwartz prefers in his schemes.
- It will be a balanced of play-makers and developing prospects. I can't see the Bills going all offense at the top of the draft nor can I see them selecting only defense through the first 3 rounds. It will be a balanced draft with play makers on both sides of the ball.
Undrafted Prospects of Interest:
- I believe there will be quality seniors and underclassmen who will be overlooked with record high numbers of underclassmen declaring. Teams will get drawn to potential and combine warriors.
- Running Back
- Tight End
- LB/OL competition
My Dream Draft Combinations:
No free agent additions other than Byrd and Chandler.
Aaron Donald DE/DT
Kyle Van Noy LB, Jordan Matthews WR
Billy Turner OT
Will Clarke DE
Xavier Grimble TE
Donte Johnson DB/S
Rajion Neal/DJ Adams RB
If they pick up a Right Tackle like (Zach Strief out of New Orleans in FA):
Swap: Billy Turner for E.J Gaines DB out of Missouri
Donte Johnson for Justin Britt OL.