[editor's note, by Brian Galliford] Author sireric, in continuing our search for the next star at defensive tackle for the Buffalo Bills, takes a look at the top names available in the draft. With the free agent pool thinning tremendously at the position, get used to these names - one of them could be in a Bills uniform in a couple of months. End Note
Now that arguably the best free agent DT is off the market, the question that is begging to be asked is, "What now?" Where do the Bills turn for the DT that they need? Looking at the list of free agents, it is clear that the best answer is the draft. This may prove more difficult than it seems however; the two best DTs in the draft are most likely going to be gone by the time the Bills pick at #11. Here is a list of arguably the top ten DTs in the draft.
1- Sedrick Ellis, USC - at 6-1 and just over 300 pounds Ellis is quickly becoming the top DT. Teams running a 4-3 defense are falling in love with this guy.
2- Glenn Dorsey, LSU - Once considered the premier defensive player in the draft, Dorsey won't disappoint any team that drafts him.
3- Kentwan Balmer, North Carolina - Has the size (6-4, 308) to be a solid 4-3 DT, he needs to do some wowing at the combine to be worthy of the 11th overall pick.
4- Pat Sims, Auburn - Sims is very similar to Balmer, in both size and the need to show something in order to move up draft boards.
5- Trevor Laws, Notre Dame - Trevor Laws is flying up draft boards, so this is my sleeper pick. Dick Jauron will love this guy, he has a great work ethic and is a leader. If the Bills pass on a DT at #11, I wouldn't be shocked to see them trade up in the 2nd and take Laws.
6- Dre Moore, Maryland - Moore is very similar in size to both Balmer and Sims, but he runs a sub 5.0 in the 40, and he is known as a work out warrior which could really boost his draft stock. Look for him to move up as well.
7- Marcus Harrison, Arkansas - Harrison is another guy over 300 pounds who can put up a sub 5.0 time in the 40, but he has had some knee injuries that will likely keep him out of the first round.
8- Red Bryant, Texas A&M - I ranked Bryant a little lower than some of you may have thought, he is huge (6-4, 326) but may be better suited as a 3-4 NT. Plus he had knee surgery recently which will hurt him as well.
9- Letroy Guion, Florida State - Guion has the size (6-4, 295) to be a solid DT in the 4-3, and a lot of scouts seem to think pretty highly of him.
10- Ahtyba Rubin, Iowa State - Another guy who is better suited as a NT in a 3-4. Rubin is a large man (6-3, 325) who, like Bryant, will excel at stopping the run.
There may be some guys that you like that didn't make my cut (DeMario Pressley, Frank Okam); I had to be picky and trim the list to ten. This class is pretty deep at the DT position and the Bills should have an easy time finding a capable player; it's just a matter of who fits the best and where can he be had.
So where do the Bills fit with these potential draftees?
Ellis and Dorsey are assuredly off the board before the Bills pick at 11, so barring a trade the Bills can forget about those two. Balmer, Sims and Laws, are all moving up the boards, are candidates to be selected at #11, but unless they continue to impress, they are more than likely not going that high. Moore and Harrison are probably late first early second material, depending on what happens with the Balmer, Sims and Laws trio. Bryant could be a possibility for the Bills in the second, but my guess is that a team running the 3-4 who picks before the Bills in the 2nd (think Fish and Jets) might just gobble him up. Guion and Rubin are 3rd round picks right now, but remember the Bills have two of those.
You will most likely hear a lot about Balmer and Sims as being good fits for the Bills, but if I'm putting my money on anybody right now its Trevor Laws. He's coming off of a great Senior Bowl, and scouts are in love with his work ethic. He is known as the type of guy who will do what is asked of him, and is a team leader. I think Jauron already has him marked as the guy he wants. (Just my suspicion.)
So to review: plan on Balmer, Sims, or more likely Laws. Hope for Ellis or Dorsey, and be willing to settle for Moore, Harrison, Bryant, Guion or Rubin. This is a pretty deep draft class and the Bills should be able to add a DT with solid upside. The problem will be getting the guy they want.