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Buffalo Rumblings Authors Mock: Rounds 4, 5

Why do I love this blog? Because no matter what project we're undertaking, Buffalo Bills fans far and wide can bring each other down a peg. We're all equals here, and y'all have proven that through the first three days of this week as we've unveiled the Buffalo Rumblings Authors Mock. I applaud each and every one of you who have taken the time to share your thoughts on the Bills' roster over the past few days, and offer further applause to those of you who have taken the time to critique our mock selections intelligently. We encourage you to keep up the good work - we've had fun defending our selections (well, I've had fun reading your comments while on vacation, at least), and we're learning a lot as we plan to do a similar project much closer to draft day.

The first three rounds are in the books. Discussions on those selections have been outstanding. Here are our fourth and fifth round picks; once again, we can't wait to hear what y'all have got to say about not only these two selections, but each author's draft as a whole. Without further ado, we offer you rounds 4 and 5:

Brian Galliford's Picks

4-110. Gary Barnidge, TE, Louisville.
- Barnidge isn't an elite tight end talent, and weighing in at just 243 pounds, isn't likely to be a good in-line blocker at the pro level. What makes him an intriguing prospect is his height (6'6") and speed (4.65 40). He's a reliable target over the middle, and 17 career touchdowns means he's great in the red zone as well. This guy has "poor man's Jason Witten" written all over him - he can stretch the seam effectively, but isn't naturally athletic enough to be taken higher than Round 3. A potential steal who could do to Buffalo's offense what Kevin Boss did for the Giants last year.

5-135. Ezra Butler, LB, Nevada.
- Excellent timed speed (4.55 40) for his size (6'2", 245 pounds). Butler is an outstanding special teams player who would fit in well in any scheme at the pro level. He's also a terrific blitzer and plays very physically. He's not overly stout against the run and his block-sheding technique is pretty severely lacking, but he has enough raw talent to be a worthwhile project player. His special teams abilities make him an ideal replacement for Mario Haggan and Josh Stamer, though the Bills may have to reach for him in the fourth round to ensure they snag him.

Sireric's Picks

4-110. Earl Bennett, WR, Vanderbilt.
- I'm willing to bet this the lowest that anybody else will have the Bills taking a receiver. I'm also aware that Bennett isn't the biggest or fastest receiver in the draft, but he is the only one who has caught at least 75 passes the last three years. Bennett is one of those guys who isn't flashy so he's way down on everyone's draft board, but in three years I would be interested in seeing his numbers compared to every other receiver taken ahead of him.

5-135. Gary Barnidge, TE, Louisville.
- At 6'6" and 244 pounds, Barnidge is probably the most under-the-radar TE prospect in this draft. He's put up solid numbers the last 2 years (53/655 in '07 and 31/511 in '06), plus he ran a 4.63 40 at the Combine. He's got the size, speed and hands to be a solid TE at the pro level. Barnidge most likely won't have a huge impact as a rookie but could develop into a real find.

Jri111's Picks

4-110. Owen Schmitt, FB, West Virginia
- Here is a draft position that I had the hardest time to decide on. The last mock I did, I had DE Jason Jones from Eastern Michigan here. It seemed like a good fit at the time. Now, however, I go back to all the draft resources that I used then, and many of them have him rated a lot higher than they did two weeks ago (i.e. as a second or third rounder). If he's there in the forth, he's my guy, but I'm going on the assumption that he won't be. I really like Owen Schmitt and think he would be a great pick-up here. Some believe that FB here is a luxury pick; however, I don't see it that way. I think it's just the opposite. Think about it this way: who is going to get more playing time, a DE that is fourth on the depth chart? A CB that is fourth or fifth, or a receiver that is fifth? No - a FB who is starting will. Schmitt is tough and physical, and would be an excellent lead man for Lynch. He also could be an asset in the passing game as well.

5-135. Kory Lichtensteiger, C, Bowling Green.
- Here is a sobering fact for you: Four Bills offensive linemen are entering the last year of their contracts. That includes starter Marvin Fowler and top reserves Kirk Chambers, Duke Preston, and Jason Whittle. The Bills are arguably set at 4 of the 5 starting positions, but can improve in the middle. I would love Mike Pollak in the 3rd round; however, TE was a bigger need. Kory Litchenstegier is the next best option. He's smart, he's tough, and he's a leader. He actually possesses a lot of the same traits as a former Bills center Kent Hull. Not a bad guy to be compared to. The Bills need to start addressing O-line depth or one injury up front could be detrimental to the entire offense.

Kurupt's Picks

4-110. Jermichael Finley, TE, Texas
- I think the TE class is deep this year, but not overly impressive. By that I mean there is no sure-fire future Pro Bowler. There are a lot of niche players, whether they're known for being a strong blocker or receiving threat only. I had this pick narrowed down to a handful of tight ends: Finley, Jacob Tamme, Kellen Davis and Martin Rucker, all of whom would make sense here. I chose Finley because I think he's got the biggest receiving upside. I really expect the front office to target a TE with receiving skills first, and blocking ability as a bonus. Finley didn't run particularly well at the Combine, but he looks fluid and athletic in games. He's got nice hands and decent size. He may not be fully ready mentally to be a major impact right away, but down the line I really like what Finley could offer our offense in the passing game.

5-135. Dwight Lowery, CB, San Jose State
- I know this is probably a little late for this guy, but the CB position is pretty deep this year and he's a borderline Top-20 CB in this draft. Because he didn't run well at the Combine, I think there's a great chance of him being available at this point. Lowery has nice size at 5'11", 200 lbs, and above average ball skills. His lack of straight line speed may relegate him to a zone D only. I think he'd be a nice fit for our D. If Zack Bowman was available, I'd look at taking him too.

It's a long read, we're aware; we hope it's enlightening and valuable information for y'all as well. To get everyone up to speed, here's how each author has drafted throughout the first five rounds:

Brian Galliford
1-11. Limas Sweed, WR, Texas
2-42. Jason Jones, DE, Eastern Michigan
3-71. Tyvon Branch, CB, Connecticut
4-110. Gary Barnidge, TE, Louisville
5-135. Ezra Butler, LB, Nevada

1-11. Derrick Harvey, DE, Florida
2-42. Reggie Smith, DB, Oklahoma
3-71. Josh Johnson, QB, San Diego
4-110. Earl Bennett, WR, Vanderbilt
5-135. Gary Barnidge, TE, Louisville

1-11. Limas Sweed, WR, Texas
2-42. Brandon Flowers, CB, Virginia
3-71. Dustin Keller, TE, Purdue
4-110. Owen Schmitt, FB, West Virginia
5-135. Kory Lichtensteiger, C, Bowling Green

1-11. Derrick Harvey, DE, Florida
2-42. Antoine Cason, CB, Arizona
3-71. Jordy Nelson, WR, Kansas State
4-110. Jermichael Finley, TE, Texas
5-135. Dwight Lowery, CB, San Jose State

We're getting deep into this thing, and there's still plenty to discuss - mostly from a strategy standpoint, in terms of how each author has approached filling Buffalo's remaining needs. Again, feel free to pick favorites, trash picks (not people), and have fun with this. Let's hear it, folks.