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Bills go RB in Round 2 of SBN Mock Draft

No. 43

Pick by Buffalo Rumblings

Antonio Pittman
Running Back
Ohio State

This pick came down to three different prospects, all of whom would have been excellent additions for the Bills: RB Antonio Pittman, RB/FB Brian Leonard and LB Jon Beason. In the end, Pittman was the choice, and here's why:

Leonard is one of the more intriguing prospects in the draft - he is a RB/FB 'tweener with solid speed, outstanding hands and he can block as well. He would be a good fit in Buffalo as a "change of pace", if you can call him that - his versatility would help out of the backfield as well. He is a very hard worker and does whatever the coaches ask him to. I just felt that a second-round pick was a bit too high for a player whose ceiling appears to be a bit lower than a lot of prospects remaining.

Beason was a far more serious consideration for me than Leonard was. Players of Beason's caliber should not fall this far - he by far represents the best value still available. He has played all three linebacking positions in college and projects extremely well to a Cover-2 scheme - which, obviously, the Bills run. But there were question marks - do the Bills have a need on the weak side? Angelo Crowell played there and with Patrick Willis on board in Round 1, Crowell would theoretically stay on the outside. Keith Ellison is also a natural fit on the weak side. Crowell could play strong side with Willis in the middle, so Beason would be able to find playing time at the weak side in competition with Ellison. Three-down linebackers are hard to find in the NFL, as well, which made him even more of a consideration. However, there are still players available in the middle rounds whom the Bills can select to develop and play special teams initially. You can always find athletes at linebacker in the middle rounds. With a need for offensive firepower, the Bills reluctantly take a pass on Beason.

Pittman, in reality, is the ideal choice for the Bills. He does have some questions surrounding his game - specifically blitz pickup and receiving - but he has traits that are simply not available with backs that are still available in this draft. One of them is his playmaking ability - there are few running backs available with the ability to run inside, hit the second level, bounce it to the sideline and take it the distance. Blocking and receiving can be taught; playmaking cannot. That is why Pittman is the pick.

Be sure to keep an eye on Field Gulls for write-ups of the rest of the first-round selections, as well as some analysis of the early second-round picks.

Much more on Pittman to come later.