Wes Bunting (National Football Post) has put out a list of 2011 NFL Draft prospects by tiers, and it presents an interesting venue for discussion in relation to the Buffalo Bills and their No. 3 overall pick.
If the idea is for the Bills to get an elite player with their first-round pick this year, it's pretty handy, indeed, that Bunting believes there are three such players available: wideouts A.J. Green and Julio Jones, and cornerback Patrick Peterson. The intriguing part: if the Bills took a receiver, the fan base might implode, and while most acknowledge Peterson's talent, they opine that corner isn't the Bills' "biggest need."
OK. Maybe the Bills just want an instant starter and a player that the team can build around, or "feature" as Bunting puts it, for the foreseeable future. That tier is comprised of three defenders: tackle/end Nick Fairley, end/outside linebacker Robert Quinn, and outside linebacker Von Miller. These are three of the draft's elite pass rushers this year, and all would fill a need for the Bills - even if all of them carry question marks, as well.
What if the Bills are looking for a featured player, but not necessarily an instant starter? An offensive tackle (Tyron Smith), three defensive ends (Da'Quan Bowers, Cameron Jordan and Aldon Smith) and - oh, the screaming - a running back (Mark Ingram) are on the list in Bunting's third tier.