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Rumblings' Bills Draft Big Board, Post-Free Agency

Back on February 25, two days prior to the start of the free agent signing period, your humble editor took on the daunting task of putting together Rumblings' Bills Draft Big Board, Pre-Free Agency.  The list was, obviously, the names of ten prospects that, at the time, made the most sense for the Buffalo Bills.  The list hasn't changed a lot, but thanks to some help, it's been significantly tweaked.

In case you're unaware, there are ten of us here on the Rumblings team.  Each of us sacrificed our email inbox for the better part of 48 hours late last week in order to hammer out the second iteration of this big board "inner circle" style.  Of note: it's really hard to play the role of "inner circle member".  Total agreement is an impossibility.  However, since we like each other (or, rather, I like the other nine, and they merely tolerate me), we came to a consensus.  The fruits of our labor are below.

1.  Aaron Curry, OLB, Wake Forest
     6'2", 254 pounds, 4.56-second 40 yard dash
     Immediate role: starter at SAM linebacker
- Yeah, we know.  Curry won't be available when the Bills pick, and the team would be absolutely insane to trade up for anyone when they've got a franchise left tackle commanding a significant chunk of the team's luxury box funds.  But we can dream, right?  This guy is too good to not list.

2.  Aaron Maybin, DE, Penn State
     6'4", 252 pounds, 4.59-second 40 yard dash
     Immediate role: pass rush specialist, special teams
- I've had Maybin ranked as my top end available for quite some time, but I was surprised at how little convincing I had to do to get Maybin ranked second on the board.  There was obviously some disagreement - let's face it, Maybin and Everette Brown are neck and neck - but elite tools, elite potential and a killer work ethic put Maybin a hair ahead in our book.

3.  Everette Brown, DE, Florida State
     6'2", 256 pounds, 4.73-second 40 yard dash
     Immediate role: pass rush specialist, special teams
- See above.  We love Brown.  We'd be thrilled to land Brown.  Some of us like Brown better than Maybin.  You're already aware of the reasons we rank Maybin higher.

4.  Clay Matthews, OLB, USC
     6'3", 240 pounds, 4.67-second 40 yard dash
     Immediate role: starting SAM linebacker, pass rush specialist, special teams
- In terms of doing a lot of different things, Matthews takes the cake.  We love his versatility, his ability to rush the passer, his bloodlines, and his unparalleled work ethic.  He's a natural fit from that standpoint.  Since Curry is a pipe dream, Matthews is our highest-ranked non-DE on this board.  We think he'd be dynamite as a blitz specialist and special teams player as a rookie.

5.  B.J. Raji, DT, Boston College
     6'1", 337 pounds, 5.13-second 40 yard dash
     Immediate role: two-down run stuffer; possible starter
- This is another name that's iffy in terms of availability at #11, but naturally, we're in love with the idea of adding a beefy, strong and youthful player to a DT rotation highlighted by 30+ former superstar Marcus Stroud.  By this point, you might be noticing a pattern: we're pretty hell-bent on upgrading Buffalo's defensive front seven.

6.  Brian Orakpo, DE, Texas
     6'3", 263 pounds, 4.70-second 40 yard dash
     Immediate role: pass rush specialist
- Hey, look - another defensive end.  We rank Orakpo lowly not because we don't like him, but because we don't like like him.  Unlike Maybin and Brown, he's seen significant time on the field in which he hasn't been productive.  That scares us enough to rank the aforementioned ahead of Orakpo, even though it's Orakpo that is the scariest athlete of the trio.

7.  Michael Oher, OT, Mississippi
     6'5", 309 pounds, 5.19-second 40 yard dash
     Immediate role: starting left guard
- We're only going to rank one offensive lineman on our list of potential #11 picks, and it's Oher.  As discussed on Saturday, he's guard material, and protects the team against the possibility of Jason Peters not being with the team in 2009 or beyond.  But he's not a defender, so he ranks low on our list.  We love the logic of a potential Oher pick, however.

8.  Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Oklahoma State
     6'5", 263 pounds, 4.85-second 40 yard dash
     Immediate role: starting tight end
- If there were ever a tight end prospect that screamed "this guy is what the Bills are looking for in a tight end", it's Pettigrew.  We think he's by leaps and bounds the best tight end in the draft; certainly the only one we'd consider in the first round; and most definitely the only day-one starter at the position.

There it is.  Our big board.  Let us know what you think.  Oh, and you've got a job, too - figure out where "trade down" should rank on the list.  Have at it, folks.