After a flurry of free agency moves that saw Jairus Byrd make his exit and welcoming several new faces, I have decided to end OM2 early to reflect some changes in team needs. In addition, we have seen some players’ stock shift with the Pro-Days.
The Bills needs have no glaring holes (save maybe safety), but there are area wherein starting jobs can be upgraded, and depth added. These areas include FS, RT, WR, DE, TE, and P for starters with HB, OL, LB, and QB for depth. We could still add a free agent, but most of the better players are gone.
The way this works is that the player with the most votes wins, but if a position gets 40% of the vote, the winner will be the majority player from that position. Here’s my list of players that could be off the boards: OT Robinson, OT Matthews, LB Mack, DE Clowney, WR Watkins, QB Bortles, QB Manziel and QB Bridgewater.
This will likely be the last full mock. I will run one heading into and throughout draft day as best I can. Now especially with this first round, because I include a dozen names, there will be players that would be a better value in the later part of a round. Who can best help the Bills in the upcoming years? Let Our Mock 3 begin!
TE Eric Ebron – North Carolina [6-4, 250, 4.50]
The Bills retained Chandler, but the Bills could still go with an able #2 TE. Ebron is not a complete tight end, but had the strongest Combine showing at his position with good speed and measurements. He is an adequate blocker, but as a receiver, he’s a good mismatch having caught 62 passes for 973 yards (15.7 avg) and 3 TDs this past season.
WR Kelvin Benjamin – Florida St [6-5, 240, 4.53]
The Bills may shift Stevie to slot permanently and go with a big #1 target on the outside. Benjamin is the biggest receiver in the draft, needs refinement, but moves well for his TE-like size. Benjamin has big hands and 34" arms that help him be a red-zone threat. In 2013 he had 54 grabs for 1,011 yards (18.7 avg) and 15 TDs.
WR Mike Evans – Texas A&M [6-5, 231, 4.47]
Evans is another tall receiver who in my mind did a lot to solidify his draft stock at the Combine. He ran a fast 40, a 1.57’ split and had a 37" vertical to go with his big frame and 35" arms. Evans biggest asset is his use of his body to reach over and around defenders to catch the ball. He made 69 catches for 1,394 yards (20.2 avg) and 12 TDs.
WR Marqise Lee – USC [6-0, 192, 4.44]
Lee does not fit that tall WR mold the Bills may seek, but at USC, he and Woods formed a deadly, speedy duo. Lee’s stock took a hit this year having played through injury and poor QB play, but still managed 57 receptions for 791 yards (13.9 avg) and 4 TDs. While he had a slower 40 (due to those injuries), he had a 1.56’ split and 38" vertical.
OT Cyrus Kouandjio – Alabama [6-7, 322, 5.53]
The Bills could use a right tackle given that Erik Pears has been inconsistent down the stretch and Hairston is an injury enigma. Kouandjio is overrated to be taken at 9th overall, but right tackles are typically bigger guys and his compatriot D.J. Fluker (11th overall last year) has done well in San Diego. Kouandjio is a heck of a run blocker thanks to his long arms, but his speed concerns may affect his pass blocking.
OT Taylor Lewan – Michigan [6-7, 309, 4.85]
Lewan is a big tackle who also showed really well at the Combine in drills and physical tests alike. Lewan could have been a top-10 tackle last year as well. He logged 29 reps on the bench and has average 33.9" arms. Some have him ranked as the #2 tackle on the board over Matthews.
OT Zack Martin – Notre Dame [6-4, 310, 5.10]
Since the Senior Bowl, Martin has been proving critics wrong that his shorter frame would be better suited inside. In fact he looked much more able playing tackle than at guard. He did well at the Combine and had 29 bench press reps.
DE Anthony Barr – UCLA [6-5, 255, 4.63]
The Bills may be more traditional in their 4-3 look and could take a 4-3 end to complement Jerry Hughes. Barr has the pass rushing ability and great size, but hurt his stock a bit with a low bench press rep of 15. This season he posted 66 tackles (20 for loss), 10 sacks, 2 hurries and 6 forced fumbles (FFs).
DE Aaron Donald – Pittsburgh [6-1, 285, 4.68]
Though technically a DT, Donald’s athleticism and rushing ability are quite outstanding (and given me cause to dub him the Mini-Meatball). He notched 35 reps on the bench (2nd among DLs) and a really fast 40 and 10 yard split. In 2013 Donald made 59 tackles (28.5 for loss), 11 sacks, 16 hurries and 4 FFs. Teams really should overlook his height.
DE Kony Ealy – Missouri [6-4, 273, 4.84]
Ealy’s stock has risen a bit after a strong senior year, but he hasn’t really stood out, nor hurt himself at the Combine aside from a slow 40. Ealy had 42 tackles (14 for loss), 8 sacks, 7 hurries, 3 FFs, 6 passes blocked and a pick six in 2013.
FS Hasean Clinton-Dix – Alabama [6-1, 208, 4.50]
The Bills opted to let Byrd go and as such may have a void at free safety unless they plan to start Searcy or Duke Williams (and even then they have question marks). HaHa is one of the top safeties on the board, but was suspended for a few games this past season. He did well at the Combine with a fast 40.
FS Calvin Pryor – Louisville [5-11, 207, 4.58]
Pryor’s name has been slowly on the rise, given a decent outing at the Combine. Although he was slower than HaHa, he had a better bench press and vertical. Both are aggressive players. In 2013 Pryor logged 75 tackles (5.5 for loss), 3 hurries 2 FFs, 4 passes defended and 3 picks.