2012 NFL Draft: Buffalo Bills Shouldn't Pick Courtney Upshaw—Team Needs OL

Eli NachmanyCorrespondent IIIFebruary 7, 2012

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 06:  Courtney Upshaw #41 of the Alabama Crimson Tide talks to the media at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 6, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  LSU and Alabama will play in the BCS National Championship on January 9th.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The Buffalo Bills find themselves near the top of the draft order in 2012, a trend that is a painful recurrence for fans of the team.

Mock drafters, who don't understand the plight that Bills fans have gone through, are content to give players like Courtney Upshaw or Nick Perry to Buffalo with the 10th overall pick.

I won't speak for Buddy Nix or Chan Gailey, for they may well end up drafting a pass rusher to add a dynamic component on defense.

Instead of predicting what the Bills will do, I offer my humble opinion on what Buffalo should do in the upcoming draft.

Reports have surfaced that Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick suffered cracked ribs in Week 8, which is certainly a feasible explanation for why the Bills trailed off as the season winded down.

Taking this into account, Buffalo brass needs to realize that franchise quarterbacks are at a premium in the NFL today and they've got a special player on their hands with Fitzpatrick.

Past Fitzpatrick, the Bills patchwork offensive line is not getting the job done.

The team tried to progress from a West Coast system early in the season to a more wide-open shotgun set later on, a natural progression that a number of teams successfully made this year.

Without a solid offensive line, though, the Bills were unable to make the transition and were stuck making short throws and having a stagnant offense.

At the 10th overall pick, Buffalo has the opportunity to draft one of Jonathan Martin, David DeCastro or Reilly Reiff.

Martin or Reiff would be a major upgrade at either tackle position and the Buffalo brass needs to seriously look at building from the inside out.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Stevie Johnson and the two-headed monster of Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller is entrenched. Now the team needs to grab an offensive lineman to complete the team.

With the Bills in a state of perpetual ineptitude, it's time to finally make the pick that will turn around the franchise.

While many fans may think that the pick is either a top-flight pass rusher or a franchise quarterback, the true franchise-changer would be a star offensive lineman.

Be it Martin, Reiff or even Cordy Glenn (please, not Cordy Glenn), the Bills have a unique opportunity this year and must take advantage of it in the 2012 NFL draft.