Good morning, Buffalo Bills fans. Welcome to today's Morning Joe!
Today I will be getting back to discussing Bills football. As of late, I kind of got away from the very essence and spirit of the site, which is Bills football and everything that is related to the team. I like discussing controversial topics, because I enjoy the discussion and the many different perspectives that you get, but I'm left emotionally drained after I write them and comment on all the posts. Today, I decided to take a little break and discuss something a bit lighter.
The 2014 NFL Draft is upon us. If this was a year ago, we would be preparing for the draft in the next week or so, but the NFL, in an attempt to get ratings during sweeps month, decided to push the draft back to May. While we painfully wait to see the direction that our beloved team would be headed in, we are left with rumors, speculations, and mock drafts galore.
I get it though, it's fun to speculate on which player our team will take as we attempt to get back to our glory days. The problem that I have with so many mock drafts is that after the third round or so, I've never heard of the guys that are being mocked to our team. After the first two rounds of a seven round mock draft, I stop reading, because after that point it's a crap shoot.
So for today's Morning Joe, I wanted to do a simpler and easier version of a mock draft. I wanted to just focus on one school, who can conceivably have three of its players go in the Top 10 of the upcoming draft. The school that I'm talking about is Texas A&M, who has recently become a hot bed for NFL talent. Von Miller, Luke Joeckel and Ryan Tannehill are all recent Top 10 picks for the program.
The most interesting thing about the trio of players that are coming out this year is that they all can be possible targets of the Bills at No. 9.
Mike Evans, who may be the top receiver on many teams' boards, has the size, speed, athleticism, and production that the Bills covet. With the recent trade for Mike Williams, the need for such a receiver may be diminished a bit, but the Bills will have the opportunity to get a potential number one wide out. Also, if you believe some of the talks that the Bills are souring on now starter Stevie Johnson and will be reluctant to keep him after the season, Evans can be a legitimate target if available. A big target, Evans at 6'5" has the size and length that can help a team that struggled in the red zone, and help a young quarterback who struggled with his accuracy.
One of the weakest positions on the offensive line last year was at right tackle. Erik Pears wasn't the worst player on the line last year, but he definitely wasn't the best. After the 2012 season, many of us penciled in Chris Hairston at right tackle, but after an undisclosed medical situation that cut his season short before it even got started, Pears won the job by default - and even though he managed to stay healthy all season, his performance was less than remarkable. Jake Matthews, the son of Hall of Fame tackle Bruce Matthews, comes in as perhaps the most complete tackle in the draft. Blessed with good feet, technique, hand placement, and pedigree, Matthews can come in day one and start at either tackle position for the Bills. A line that features Cordy Glenn, Chris Williams, Eric Wood, Kraig Urbik and Matthews looks pretty good. Picking up Matthews may be the best weapon that the Bills can give a young quarterback that struggled with staying healthy last season.
We all can agree that last year's team was talented enough to make the playoffs. We were a quarterback away from reaching that goal. Some believe that EJ Manuel is the guy to get us to the playoffs, but needs more time to develop. Others feel like we have seen enough, and don't believe that he can stay healthy a full season due to three different knee procedures. Even when healthy, doubters questioned his pocket presence, ability to hit the deep ball consistently, and willingness to take shots down field. Johnny Manziel is one of the most enigmatic players to have come out of the draft in recent years. He has the improvisation of a Steve Young or a Doug Flutie, the scrambling ability of a Fran Tarkenton, and the cult-like following of a Tim Tebow when he came in to the league. A team like the Bills, who struggle to sell out home games and always a threat to have its games blacked out, can benefit immensely from having a guy like Manziel on its team. Can you imagine what a player like Manziel can do for a city like Buffalo? With all of the changes that are coming in the next year or so, a guy like Manziel can be the face of a new Buffalo Bills era. At least it would be entertaining.
Okay, so what do you think Bills fans? Which Texas A&M player do you want the Bills to draft if they were available? Is it the big play making receiver, the rock solid tackle who would be around for years to come, or the rockstar quarterback that, if he pans out, could be the face of a struggling franchise?