The Buffalo Bills need an offensive tackle badly, and many expect some of the 2010 NFL Draft's top OT prospects to be heavily considered at Buffalo's No. 9 overall pick. If they're available, that is - and that's certainly debatable at this point in time, particularly given the skyrocketing draft status of Oklahoma OT Trent Williams.
Daniel Jeremiah, a former NFL scout with Cleveland and Baltimore who now provides league and draft analysis largely on Twitter, has been busy discussing Williams over the past couple of days. Some of his remarks may surprise you; what follows are direct quotes from Jeremiah, with the language spruced up a bit to eliminate Twitter-isms, and anything in parentheses are my additions:
"I personally like (Oklahoma State OT Russell) Okung better than Trent Williams, but I know a few teams that have it the other way around."
"Okung is safer than Trent Williams, but everyone I talk to believes Williams has a much higher ceiling. Not a done deal Okung is first OT (taken)."
"Last year, Michael Oher dropped because he had lapses versus bad players. Teams don't want to repeat that mistake with Trent Williams."
NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock, meanwhile, believes that Williams, and not Okung, is the better bet for the Washington Redskins, who hold the No. 4 overall pick and are a lock to take a tackle. Says Mayock, "Williams fits Washington's scheme better. He's a little bit more athletic for the Redskins' zone-blocking scheme. I think Williams makes more sense for the Redskins at pick No. 4."
If Jeremiah's reports are accurate, and if Mayock's Williams-to-Washington hunch is correct, things get very interesting. Okung would be a favorite to be taken by Kansas City, who have also been linked to Iowa OT Bryan Bulaga. There's also a prevailing theory that if Scott Pioli takes a tackle, the other of the top three will be snapped up by either Seattle (No. 6) or Oakland (No. 8). Even if Mayock is wrong, Okung will likely be a Redskin, Bulaga still has ties to KC (Arrowhead Pride has been all over this) and Seattle, and Williams' workout numbers make it a virtual certainty that he won't get past Oakland.
Prepare yourselves, Bills fans, for a scenario in which the team could be stuck pondering Rutgers' Anthony Davis at No. 9, or waiting until the second round for either a sliding prospect (such as Maryland's Bruce Campbell or USC's Charles Brown), Indiana's Rodger Saffold, or perhaps even a project like UMass product Vladimir Ducasse.
Given Mel Kiper's reports that Buffalo isn't overly interested in Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen at No. 9, and given the fact that the draft's top three tackles could very well be off the board, Buffalo could be looking at NT Dan Williams, the aforementioned Davis, or perhaps even a pass rusher with their top pick. We won't even mention He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.