Oregon OL Max Unger (AP Photo)
The 2009 SB Nation NFL Mock Draft has been chugging along over at Mocking the Draft - and tonight, the Buffalo Bills made their second round pick. Naturally, the pick was made by Rumblings - and we used the No. 42 selection on Oregon guard/center Max Unger.
You can read about the pick here - and you can check out the rest of the mock draft picks, made by the rest of SBN's fine NFL bloggers, at that link as well.
How did we come to the consensus of selecting Unger? It's simple, really - the decision was made for us.
First, a recap
Just in case you missed it, we also made the Bills' first-round pick in this draft, selecting Penn State DE Aaron Maybin at No. 11 overall. The pick was announced here, and we explained (in far more depth than you'll find here) our selection of Maybin here. Now, two weeks later, we've added Unger to the list - and needless to say, if the Bills were to emerge from day one of the draft with Maybin and Unger as new team members, we'd be pretty pleased.
Thought process for Round Two
After selecting Maybin in the first round, the editorial staff here at Rumblings really only spoke briefly about the round two pick. Our thought process was essentially unversal and simple: we did not factor in the situation at left tackle, and we narrowed down our list to two names. We felt sure that one of the two would be there.
In regards to Jason Peters and his impending trade/holdout/irritance: as this was a mock draft with no trades, it only made sense to assume that Peters would play. We didn't even discuss left tackles, mostly because it was two weeks ago, but also because it just didn't really fly with the way the mock has been conducted.
The two names we had on our very short list for round two were Oklahoma State TE Brandon Pettigrew and Unger. There were other guys we discussed briefly, but it became clear pretty quickly that these two guys topped the list by a mile. Once that decision was made - and for the record, the priority was Pettigrew, not Unger - we merely had to play the waiting game.
Names of interest disappear
Many names that are mentioned frequently here were gone by the time we could get our hands on them. For example...
- California C Alex Mack went No. 32 overall to the Pittsburgh Steelers
- Oklahoma OG Duke Robinson went No. 33 overall to the Detroit Lions
- Arizona OT Eben Britton went No. 37 overall to the Seattle Seahawks
- Cincinnati DE Connor Barwin went No. 38 overall to the Cincinnati Bengals
By the time we got to pick 40, both Pettigrew and Unger were on the board. Only the Raiders (Zach Miller) and Packers (Donald Lee) to go, and both had starting tight ends. I was surprised. Then the Raiders took Georgia Tech DE Michael Johnson, and I became practically giddy. Pettigrew was ours!
And then he wasn't. (Alas, I'm a gun-jumper.) The Packers took the top guy on their board - and that player just happened to be Pettigrew. Bring on Unger, then - a fine consolation prize, to be sure, but we were so close!
How Unger fits
Unlike our first-round selection, we feel reasonably confident that the Bills actually like Unger. We already believe that the team won't see eye-to-eye with our assessment of Maybin's talents; the Unger pick, however, is a different story. Max is exactly the type of interior lineman that the team prefers - versatile, smart, and, of course, talented.
The Bills clearly have a hole at guard. In our scenario, Peters is still the starting left tackle (by default), so we're plugging Unger in at left guard to start immediately. In the event that Peters is traded, however, an Unger selection still makes sense - we'd just switch Brad Butler to left guard (to play next to a rookie LT or Kirk Chambers, conceivably), and slide Unger in on the right side next to Langston Walker.
Any time you can add an immediate starter in the second round of the draft, you're doing pretty well - and that's exactly what we believe we've done. Maybin gives us an ultra-talented defensive playmaking presence, if only situationally as a rookie. Unger helps to fortify our interior offensive line and plugs one of our holes in the starting lineup with a talented youngster. All in all, we're pleased with our work in the mock. And we'd like to know how you feel about it as well - cast a vote in the poll on our two selections and apply a letter grade to the "inner circle" at Buffalo Rumblings!