2012 NFL Draft: Buffalo Bills Latest News, Rumors and Storylines
The Buffalo Bills are ready to surprise a lot of people in 2012 with new acquisitions like Mario Williams and Mark Anderson, but their final chance to improve the roster is coming very soon.
Coach Chan Gailey and general manager Buddy Nix run a tight ship on draft day and their franchise is headed in the right direction after a number of solid draft classes.
Their biggest test is coming up with the 2012 draft in which the Bills will pick 10th overall and then will try to fill their roster with talented players from a bevy of picks.
Look for the Bills to come away from the draft armed with a number of young players who can win ballgames for the team.
Rumors and Speculation
The draft season is also the lying season, so a number of rumors are mere speculation and must be taken with precaution.
Chris Brown of the Bills' official website mocked Riley Reiff to the team with the 10th overall pick, which would fill a huge left tackle need for Buffalo.
On the other hand, in an interview with the NFL blog Nachmany Football, Bills writer Chris Trapasso pegged Luke Kuechly and Michael Floyd as the two options for Buffalo at No. 10, not even mentioning Reiff.
AFC East blogger Erik Frenz comprised a 'big board' of sorts for the Bills, ranking Floyd just ahead of Reiff yet ranking Kuechly behind both.
In the most interesting twist of all, NFL columnist Gil Brandt mentioned that the Bills were showing signs of interest in quarterback Ryan Tannehill, which we'll discuss further in the next slide.
Workouts and Visits
The Bills made sure to have a host of prospects come down to their facilities for a workout and a private interview, doing their due diligence on the top prospects in this draft.
Below is a list of all of the potential draftees, by position, that the Bills brought down to the stadium for workouts. Information here was provided by the folks at BuffaloBillsDraft.com:
NOTE: A handful of these workouts are not confirmed yet.
Russell Wilson, Wisconsin
Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M
Kirk Cousins, Michigan State
Brock Osweiler, Arizona State
Trent Richardson, Alabama
Brian Quick, Appalachian State
Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State
Rueben Randle, LSU
Stephen Hill, Georgia Tech
Mike Adams, Ohio State
Matt Kalil, USC
Jonathan Martin, Stanford
Cordy Glenn, Georgia
Fletcher Cox, Mississipi State
Vinny Curry, Marshall
Chandler Jones, Syracuse
Andre Branch, Clemson
Whitney Mercilus, Illinois
Shea McClellin, Boise State
Tank Carder, TCU
Bruce Irvin, West Virginia
Dont’a Hightower, Alabama
Dre Kirkpatrick, Alabama
DeQuan Menzie, Alabama
Stephon Gilmore, South Carolina
Morris Claiborne, LSU
On Trading out of the 10th Pick
This is very doubtful considering Buddy Nix's track record, but don't rule out a move up the board if a certain prospect begins to fall.
Take Southern California tackle Matt Kalil, for instance. If a team is to trade up to the third pick and take Ryan Tannehill, look for Buddy Nix to at least dial up the Cleveland Browns and look to grab the fourth pick.
Speaking of Tannehill, there's a possibility that a team tries to jump the Chiefs (who have the 11th pick) to take the quarterback if the Texas A&M product falls past the Dolphins with the eighth pick.
Again, as stated earlier, this is a very unlikely scenario and I truly doubt that the Bills will pick anywhere other than 10th overall in the first round.
Where Will the Bills Draft a Tackle?
With the recent loss of Demetress Bell, the Buffalo Bills have a real need for a starting tackle and could look to satiate their need in the first round.
If Nix decides to go with Michael Floyd or Luke Kuechly at No. 10, look for the team to consider second- and third-tier options at tackle, like Mitchell Schwartz and Kelechi Osemele.
Buffalo will bring in another tackle but the team needs to decide whether or not they're comfortable going into training camp with Chris Hairston as the starter at left tackle.
Making a move to grab Riley Reiff in the first round can only help the team fill their gaping hole on the left side.
What Is the Best Bet at Wide Receiver?
Michael Floyd is the very glamorous pick, but he might not make that much sense for the team in the long run.
He has size, certainly, but his inconsistent hands and below-average seperation will prevent him from being a factor in the Bills' offense.
This draft is too deep in terms of wide receivers to tab Floyd as the first-round pick.
Look at second-round options like Rueben Randle, Alshon Jeffery and Mohamed Sanu to be safer bets. The team is also considering Appalachian State's Brian Quick.
Don't Forget About Linebacker
If the Bills don't call Luke Kuechly's name in the first round, expect to wait until the third round for help at linebacker.
Players like Zach Brown, Lavonte David and Mychal Kendricks all seem like solid fits for Buffalo as the team tries to acquire players with experience in the 4-3 defense.
The Bills need athletic players who can stop the outside run, and Kendricks certainly fits that bill. With pass-rushers at defensive end, the outside of the defense is susceptible to the run.
Kendricks is a sure tackler, and don't be surprised if the Bills select him in the third round.
As for later-round players, the Bills are considering Tank Carder from TCU.
As for Ryan Tannehill
If Tannehill is still available in the second round (which is borderline impossible), maybe the Bills take a chance on the converted wide receiver.
The Bills are looking like they have more interest in Michigan State's Kirk Cousins, who has more experience at quarterback and is a better pocket passer.
Neither Cousins nor Tannehill, though, look like probable picks for the Bills in the high rounds as the team tries to patch up holes.
Buffalo just put a lot of money into current starter Ryan Fitzpatrick and the team is trying to win now—I doubt they spend one of their first few picks on a future quarterback.
Any Other Positions?
The Bills could use another defensive back after a below-average season against the pass in 2011.
With the addition of some solid pass-rushers, look for the team to target cornerbacks and safeties who can cover their men long enough for the quarterback to be sacked. Markelle Martin out of Oklahoma State is a definite option.
On offense, the Bills could use a second tight end and possibly some depth at offensive guard. Look for the team to get solid role players as the draft approaches the last few rounds.
Other than that, some special teams players certainly wouldn't hurt the cause, so look for Buffalo to make its rounds with punt gunners and kickoff chasers.
Odds for the 10th Pick
The team is pretty much split between glamour and grit with Michael Floyd and Riley Reiff. This one could come down to the time the team is on the clock.
Something about Reiff says "guard" and the Bills need to be sure they're getting a tackle with the Iowa product or the pick could be a waste.
On the other hand, Floyd just doesn't seem to be a good fit and the draft is a lot deeper with wide receivers than it is with impact tackles.
Odds at 10th Overall
Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa: 1 in 3
Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame: 1 in 3
Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College: 1 in 12
Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M: 1 in 12
Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina: 1 in 12
Trade up/down: 1 in 24
Other: 1 in 24