Allow me to preface this post...
RT is a need. It is a huge need. Pears is getting older and is unreliable, Hairston, well I don't know what the hell is going on with Hairston and neither does anyone else it seems. My opinion in this post has noting to do with that, and has everything to do with getting the most value out of our number 9.
Let's take a look at the 2 players we are most rumored to pick up with pick 9. First off we have Jake Matthews, who is the most reliable OT coming into this draft, and with the amount of amazing playmakers going in picks 1-8, we stand a realistic shot of Matthews falling to us. If we wind up calling out his name during the draft, I as well as most Buffalo fans will be elated. Getting Matthews to sure up our RT spot could make it so Buffalo has one of the best OL's in the NFL for the next 5 years, and that in itself would be amazing. We had enough close games last year that perhaps giving our OL a little more strength is all it would have taken to get us into playoff consideration.
Next we have Eric Ebron.
Our offense has certainly been getting by for a while without big time receiving threats. I, like many Buffalo fans, thought that would change (with a big) "if" Mike Evans fell to us. Now it seems likely Tampa will grab him at 7, so who's the next big guy on the board?
Eric Ebron is in fact, an athletic TE capable of going into tight coverage and coming down with the ball, making defenders miss, and as you can see from the gif, he has an amazing catch radius. This guy on our team will give defenses a hard time, there is no doubt, so once again, if he is called at 9 I'm still gonna be grinnin'.
Now here's the rub. The ninth pick is still a pretty high pick. If we grab Matthews, we are essentially spending a ninth pick for a Right Tackle. There are plenty of teams that are eyeballing him for their LT spot, that would love to dump off picks to us to move up.
With Ebron it's a different story. If you grab him at 9, you are most likely severely overpaying for a TE. The next best TE is going no less than 20+ picks later is the mocks. Plus there's the fact that if you look at the Combine numbers from the top 5 TE talents coming into the draft vs. Chris Gragg's, our 7th ROUND PICK from last years draft, Gragg has them beat in almost every measurable category. Honestly, I want to start shifting focus on how much improvement he could make in his second year as a pro, and if that works out, then that's just one more reason I love Doug Whaley. With Chandler, Moeki, Smith, Caussin, and a potential steal in Gragg, I'd rather leave TE to a 3rd round at best need. There's 5 decent guys coming in to the draft and I'd bet 2 of them make it into round 3.
So what's the best case scenario then if we don't go OT or TE at 9? My goal, and I think everyone's goal, should be on trading back. Similar to last year, we should potentially trade back into the teens, pick up an extra 2nd and call it a day. What's some good value at that point? We could grab CJ Mosley right away. I love the idea of Kiko Alonso and CJ Mosely being on the field at the same time. You add that to the run stuffing we're gonna get out of Spikes and the picture in the AFC East looks much different (No more anchoring the division, yayyyy!!!) Now we have 3 picks within the next 2 rounds. I say we take a look at BPA with those 3 picks and grab a great 4-3 DE, RB and make up for passing on Matthews by grabbing a RT. Not gonna lie, if Carlos Hyde lands with us in those picks, I'm gonna be a happy fella.
Lastly, notice how I didn't mention QB in any of those picks? That's because EJ is a hard working, team leader, who is going to make the naysayers eat a big ole bowl of the S@#% they talk. I love how he's handled himself already in the offseason, and can't wait until September to see his second year. That is all.