Good thing that Buddy Nix and the rest of the front office had planned for various scenarios. The first round, which featured eight trades, was wild. But the Bills were not caught up in the flea market, as draft picks were being thrown around like confetti.
Still, even the Bills might have been caught by surprise when after the six blue-chip players went off the draft board with the first six picks, standouts Mark Barron and Luke Kuechly were also drafted before they were on the clock.
The choice looked like it was boiling down to Gilmore, Notre Dame wide receiver Michael Floyd or Alabama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick. From those options, the Bills jumped on Gilmore and are happy to have him.
Gilmore is a half-inch over 6' tall and weighs 190 pounds, He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.38 seconds and did the three-cone drill in 6.61 seconds, which demonstrated his extraordinary athleticism. He had a 36" vertical jump and did 15 reps on the bench press.
As a junior at South Carolina, Gilmore made 46 tackles and had four interceptions. He went up against the likes of A.J. Green and Julio Jones in the SEC, so he is already battle-tested for the NFL.
It was clear that the Bills thought drafting a tackle was going to be a reach. It turns out they were right. The tackle most frequently attached to the Bills in mock drafts was Iowa's Riley Reiff. He wound up sliding all the way to the Detroit Lions at No. 23.
Now that we know that the Bills have drafted Gilmore, who else can they add on Day 2 to continue to build their 2012 roster?
We will outline the best players available for Day Two options on the upcoming slides.
Here is Matt Miller's Big Board, choices 19-100. This assumed that the first 18 players were chosen in Round 1.
The Bills' picks in the second (No. 41) and third (No. 71) rounds should be coming from this list.
|19.||Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama|
|20.||Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State|
|21.||Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois|
|22.||Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech|
|23.||Doug Martin, RB, Boise State|
|24.||Dont'a Hightower, ILB, Alabama|
|25.||Lamar Miller, RB, Miami (FL)|
|26.||Peter Konz, OC, Wisconsin|
|27.||Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina|
|28.||Andre Branch, DE, Clemson|
|29.||Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State|
|30.||Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College|
|31.||Shea McClellin, OLB, Boise State|
|32.||Rueben Randle, WR, LSU|
|33.||Jamell Fleming, CB, Oklahoma|
|34.||Kelechi Osemele, OG, Iowa State|
|35.||Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis|
|36.||Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford|
|37.||Chris Polk, RB, Washington|
|38.||Kendall Reyes, DE, UConn|
|39.||Harrison Smith, SS, Notre Dame|
|40.||Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State|
|41.||Devon Still, DT, Penn State|
|42.||Mike Martin, NT, Michigan|
|43.||Kevin Zeitler, OG, Wisconsin|
|44.||Kirk Cousins, QB, Michigan State|
|45.||Vinny Curry, DE, Marshall|
|46.||Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M|
|47.||Mitchell Schwartz, OT, California|
|48.||Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers|
|49.||Casey Hayward, CB, Vanderbilt|
|50.||Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State|
|51.||David Wilson, RB, Virginia Tech|
|52.||Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama|
|53.||Chandler Jones, DE, Syracuse|
|54.||Dwayne Allen, TE, Clemson|
|55.||Zach Brown, OLB, North Carolina|
|56.||Jared Crick, DE, Nebraska|
|57.||Billy Winn, DE, Boise State|
|58.||Orson Charles, TE, Georgia|
|59.||Brian Quick, WR, Appalachian State|
|60.||Lavonte David, OLB, Nebraska|
|61.||Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama|
|62.||Bobby Wagner, OLB, Utah State|
|63.||Ben Jones, OC, Georgia|
|64.||Brandon Boykin, CB, Georgia|
|65.||Josh Robinson, CB, Central Florida|
|66.||Marvin Jones, WR, California|
|67.||George Iloka, FS, Boise State|
|68.||Brock Osweiler, QB, Arizona State|
|69.||Nick Toon, WR, Wisconsin|
|70.||Trumaine Johnson, CB, Montana|
|71.||Cam Johnson, DE, Virginia|
|72.||Ron Brooks, CB, LSU|
|73.||Isaiah Pead, RB, Cincinnati|
|74.||Jonathan Massaquoi, OLB, Troy|
|75.||Josh Chapman, DT, Alabama|
|76.||LaMichael James, RB, Oregon|
|77.||Amini Silatolu, OG, Midwestern State|
|78.||Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska|
|79.||Tyrone Crawford, DE, Boise State|
|80.||Brandon Thompson, DT, Clemson|
|81.||Markelle Martin, FS, Oklahoma State|
|82.||A.J. Jenkins, WR, Illinois|
|83.||Mychal Kendricks, ILB, California|
|84.||James-Michael Johnson, ILB, Nevada|
|85.||Dwight Bentley, CB, LA-Lafayette|
|86.||Terrell Manning, OLB, North Carolina State|
|87.||Brandon Washington, OG,Miami (FL)|
|88.||Ronnell Lewis, OLB, Oklahoma|
|89.||Josh Kaddu, OLB, Oregon|
|90.||Marvin McNutt, WR, Iowa|
|91.||Zebrie Sanders, OT, FSU|
|92.||Bobby Massie, OT, Mississippi|
|93.||Jarius Wright, WR, Arkansas|
|94.||Joe Adams, WR, Arkansas|
|95.||DeQuan Menzie, CB, Alabama|
|96.||Jayron Hosley, CB, Virginia Tech|
|97.||Sean Spence, CB, Miami (FL)|
|98.||Brandon Mosley, OT, Auburn|
|99.||Bruce Irvin, OLB, West Virginia|
|100.||Greg Childs, WR, Arkansas|
The Bills have the ninth pick in Round 2 at No. 41 overall. If they are going to go with the offense in this pick, you would think the choice would boil down to either an offensive lineman or a wide receiver.
Here are the 12 best options for offensive line or at wide receiver:
Wide receivers: Alshon Jeffery (South Carolina), Stephen Hill (Georgia Tech), Rueben Randle (LSU) and Mohamed Sanu (Rutgers).
Offensive linemen: T Bobby Massie (Mississippi), C Ben Jones (Georgia), G/T Cordy Glenn (Georgia), C Peter Konz (Wisconsin), T Mike Adams (Ohio St.), T Jonathan Martin (Stanford), G Kelechi Osemele (Iowa St.) and T Mitchell Schwartz (California).
If the Bills are tempted to land a quarterback who they can develop, two names that are still available are QB Brock Osweiler (Arizona St.) and Kirk Cousins (Michigan St).
The Bills don't have any plans to draft a tight end, but they might be open to taking Coby Fleener (Stanford) as a great value pick if he is still on the board at 41. That seems remote, however, as I suspect that the Indianapolis Colts will take him at pick No. 34.
Should the Bills continue to pump up the talent on defense, here are the 14 best options for the pick at No. 41:
DE Andre Branch (Clemson), DT Devon Still (Penn St.), CB Janoris Jenkins (North Alabama), DE/OLB Courtney Upshaw (Alabama), DT Alameda Ta'amu (Washington), DT Brandon Thompson (Clemson), LB Zach Brown (North Carolina), DE Vinny Curry (Marshall), NT Mike Martin (Michigan), DT Jerel Worthy (Michigan St.), LB Lavonte David (Nebraska), DE Jared Crick (Nebraska), DL Kendall Reyes ( U. Conn) and CB Jamell Fleming (Oklahoma).
My personal three favorite choices are T/G Cordy Glenn, WR Stephen Hill and T Jonathan Martin. If any of those names are still on the big board when the Bills are up at 41, that is my call. Other strong possibilities are T Mike Adams, C Peter Konz, LB Zach Brown, WR Alshon Jeffery and CB Janoris Jenkins (if the Bills decide that they can put up with his off-the-field choices).
One other thought: This pick at No. 41 is right around where the Bills drafted Thurman Thomas (No. 40). If there is any player who could be playing with a big chip on his shoulder after being passed over, it would be Alabama DE/OLB Courtney Upshaw. He is my wild-card pick for this round.
As you can see, there is still plenty of talent left for the Bills to land a very good player with the pick at No. 41. Now let's examine the options that should be there for pick No. 71.
Okay, now we want to cover some options that should still be there for the Bills' No. 71 pick in the third round.
TIght Ends: Dwayne Allen (Clemson) and Orson Charles (Georgia).
Offensive Linemen: Tackles Nate Potter (Boise St.), Matt McCants (Alabama-Birmingham), Brandon Mosley (Auburn) and Zerbie Sanders (Florida St.). Guards Amini Silatolu (Midwestern St.), Brandon Brooks (Miami, Ohio), Brandon Washington (Miami, Fla.), Jeff Allen (Illinois), Tony Bergstrom (Stanford) and Lucas Nix (Pittsburgh).
Wide Receivers: Devon Wylie (Fresno St.), Marvin Jones (California), Joe Adams (Arkansas), Jarius Wright (Arkansas), Nick Toon (Wisconsin) and Brian Quick (Appalachian St.).
Linemen: DE Billy Winn (Boise St.), DE Cam Johnson (Virginia), DE Malik Jackson (Tennessee), Josh Chapman (Alabama), DE Tyrone Crawford (Boise St.) and DT Brandon Thompson (Clemson).
Linebackers: Bobby Wagner (Utah St.), Jonathan Massaquoi (Troy), Mychal Kendricks (California), James-Michael Johnson (Nevada), Terrell Manning (North Carolina St.), Ronnell Lewis (Oklahoma), Travis Lewis (Oklahoma), Sean Spence (Miami, FLA) and Demario Davis (Arkansas St.).
Secondary: CB Casey Hayward (Vanderbilt), CB Brandon Boykin (Georgia), CB Josh Robinson (Central Florida), S Markelle Martin (Oklahoma St.), CB Alfonzo Dennard (Nebraska), S George Iloka (Boise St.) CB Trumaine Johnson (Montana), CB Ron Brooks (LSU), CB Dwight Bentley (Louisiana-Lafayette), CB Coryell Judie (Texas A&M), S Brandon Taylor (LSU), Christian Thompson (South Carolina St.) and CB Josh Norman (Coastal Carolina).
We obviously don't know how the Bills have graded any of these players, but you can bet they will have their big board adjusted accordingly. For me, I am partial to WR Marvin Jones, T Nate Potter, DE Cam Johnson and S Brandon Taylor.
QBs Gone from Round 1: Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Ryan Tannehill and Brandon Weeden.
QBs Available on Day 2: Brock Osweiler (Arizona St.), Kirk Cousins (Michigan St.), Russell Wilson (Wisconsin) and Nick Foles (Arizona).
While it is possible that the Bills could invest a draft pick in a prospect like Osweiler or Cousins, my guess is that they will address other positions such as wide receiver or tackle first.
If the Bills were to draft a quarterback in Round 2 or 3, it would be a player they want to develop behind Ryan Fitzpatrick. That player eventually could challenge Tyler Thigpen for the backup job.
From the group of available QBs, the Bills brought in Osweiler, Wilson and Cousins for a personal visit. To have invested that much time in those QBs, it leads me to believe they do want to draft one. The question is, which round will they pull the trigger?
Wide Receivers Gone from Round 1: Justin Blackmon, Michael Floyd, Kendall Wright and A.J. Jenkins.
Wide Receivers Available on Day 2: Alshon Jeffery (South Carolina), Stephen Hill (Georgia Tech), Rueben Randle (LSU), Mohamed Sanu (Rutgers), Devon Wylie (Fresno St.), Marvin Jones (California), Joe Adams (Arkansas), Jarius Wright (Arkansas), Nick Toon (Wisconsin) and Brian Quick (Appalachian St.).
The Bills passed on Michael Floyd at No. 10 when they had the chance to draft him, so they must have placed greater value or a higher grade on Stephon Gilmore.
From the Day 2 group, it is easy to like Jeffery, Hill, Randle, Sanu, Wylie, Jones or Quick. They are all talented and had either strong efforts at the NFL Scouting Combine or at their NFL Pro Day.
From that group, the only receiver that the Bills brought in for a personal visit was Brian Quick. So if you want to read that as an indication of their preferences, so be it.
Offensive Linemen Gone from Round 1: Matt Kalil, Riley Reiff, David DeCastro and Kevin Zeitler.
Offensive Linemen Available on Day 2:
Tackles: Cordy Glenn (Georgia—pictured), Mike Adams (Ohio St.), Jonathan Martin (Stanford), James Brown (Troy), Bobby Massie (Mississippi), Mitchell Schwartz (California), Nate Potter (Boise St.), Matt McCants (Alabama-Birmingham), Brandon Mosley (Auburn) and Zerbie Sanders (Florida St.).
Guards: G Kelechi Osemele (Iowa St.), Amini Silatolu (Midwestern St.), Brandon Brooks (Miami, Ohio), Brandon Washington (Miami, Fla.), Jeff Allen (Illinois), Tony Bergstrom (Stanford) and Lucas Nix (Pittsburgh).
Centers: Ben Jones (Georgia) and Peter Konz (Wisconsin).
Of the Day 2 group, the Bills brought in Cordy Glenn,James Brown, Jonathan Martin and Mike Adams for personal visits. Clearly, one of the those tackles will be there at No. 41, but I am not sure if any of them will still be there at No. 71. That's why I wouldn't be surprised if the Bills draft a tackle in the second round.
As for my preferences, I have been impressed by Glenn and Martin. Adams has the size but has some issues that make him less desirable. I'm not that up on James Brown.
Who knows, maybe the Bills draft their wide receiver at 41, and trade back into the bottom of the second round and take a tackle then. After eight trades in the first round, maybe Buddy Nix will want to get in on the fun.
If you are wondering why I am paying so much attention to the guards and centers, it is because a number of the Bills' guards will be free agents in 2013. So it's a good idea to have a future starter on the roster who can take a year to get ready, especially if you can one in the third round or later. As for center, Eric Wood has a history of getting hurt, so that is the rationale there.
Tight Ends Gone from Round 1: None
Tight Ends Available for Day 2: Coby Fleener (Stanford), Orson Charles (Georgia) and Dwayne Allen (Clemson).
Buddy Nix had an interview with Chris Brown on Buffalo Bills.com before the draft, and stated that he didn't plan to draft a tight end. With that being the case, we aren't going to dwell on the position. The top choices are listed in case a great value happens to fall in the Bills' lap.
That makes it two straight years that a tight end wasn't drafted in the first round of the draft.
Defensive Linemen Gone from Round 1: Dontari Poe, Fletcher Cox, Michael Brockers, Quinton Coples and Chandler Jones.
Defensive Linemen Available for Day 2:
Tackles: Devon Still (Penn St.), Alameda Ta'amu (Washington), Brandon Thompson (Clemson), Mike Martin (Michigan), Jerel Worthy (Michigan St.), Kendall Reyes (U Conn) and Josh Chapman (Alabama).
Ends: Andre Branch (Clemson), Courtney Upshaw (Alabama), Vinny Curry (Marshall), Jared Crick (Nebraska), Billy Winn (Boise St.), Cam Johnon (Virginia), Malik Jackson (Tennessee), Tyrone Crawford (Boise St.) and Olivier Vernon (Miami, Fla.).
The Bills have to have some concern over the age of players like Chris Kelsay and the health of Shawne Merriman. While it is very likely that some of the Bills' veteran defensive linemen will be released in training camp because they are not an appropriate fit for the new 4-3 scheme, the Bills might want to add somebody from the Day 2 group for depth purposes.
Only two players listed above, Vinny Curry (pictured) from Marshall and Olivier Vernon from Miami, Fla., were brought in by the Bills for a personal visit.
I have always been high on Curry. So if the Bills wind up drafting him in Day 2, you will hear no complaints from me.
Linebackers Gone from Round 1: Luke Kuechly, Bruce Irvin, Melvin Ingram, Shea McClellin, Dont'a Hightower, Whitney Mercilus and Nick Perry.
Linebackers Available on Day 2: Courtney Upshaw (Alabama), Zach Brown (North Carolina), Lavonte David (Nebraska), Bobby Wagner (Utah St.), Jonathan Massaquoi (Troy), Mychal Kendricks (California), James-Michael Johnson (Nevada), Terrell Manning (No. Carolina St.), Tank Carder (TCU), Ronnell Lewis (Oklahoma), Travis Lewis (Oklahoma), Sean Spence (Miami, Fla.) and Demario Davis (Arkansas St.).
There are still quite a few linebackers available for Day 2 consideration. How highly do the Bills think of them from a grading standpoint is the real question.
If Courtney Upshaw is still there at 41, I wonder how tempted Nix will be to grab him. The trio of Brown, David and Wagner all offer some value from a depth and talent perspective.
The only player from this group that the Bills brought in for a visit was Tank Carder from TCU. But I suspect he could still be there for the Bills on Day 3.
Cornerbacks Gone from Round 1: Morris Claiborne, Stephon Gilmore and Dre Kirkpatrick.
Cornerbacks Available on Day 2: Janoris Jenkins (North Alabama), Jamell Fleming (Oklahoma), Casey Hayward (Vanderbilt), Brandon Boykin (Georgia), Josh Robinson (Central Florida), Alfonzo Dennard (Nebraska), Trumaine Johnson (Montana), Ron Brooks (LSU), Dwight Bentley (Louisiana-Lafayette), Coryell Judie (Texas A&M), and Josh Norman (Coastal Carolina).
With Stephon Gilmore now in fold, it is doubtful that the Bills would take another corner so soon on Day 2. But Nix has stated that he wants to draft two corners in the draft, so picking up the second player on Day 3 seems like the more likely scenario.
From the Day 2 group, the Bills did bring in Jamell Fleming and Josh Robinson for a personal visit.
I would be very curious to see where the Bills have Janoris Jenkins on their draft board, or if they crossed him off due to his many red flags.
Safeties Gone from Round 1: Mark Barron and Harrison Smith.
Safeties Available on Day 2: Markelle Martin (Oklahoma St.), George Iloka (Boise St.) Brandon Taylor (LSU-pictured), De'Quan Menzie (Alabama) and Christian Thompson (So. Carolina St.).
While safety isn't thought to be a pressing need, the Bills were still very interested in Mark Barron. Should one of the safeties represent a great value pick at 41 or 71, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Bills grab one of these guys, depending on their respective grades.
Of the Day 2 group, I am high on Brandon Taylor from LSU. The Bills did bring in De'Quan Menzie from Alabama for a personal visit.
Based on the offseason acquisition of defensive ends Mario Williams and Mark Anderson, combined with the drafting of corner Stephon Gilmore, I think the Bills have done a great job at shoring up some of their weaknesses on defense.
Now as we head into Day 2, I believe it is time to address the offense. Picking up a tackle and a wide receiver should be the main targets today. While it is conceivable that Buddy Nix could go in a different direction, I believe he wants to make Chan Gailey and Ryan Fitzpatrick happy as well. Drafting a solid tackle and wide receiver would please everybody, Bills fans included.
From an AFC East perspective, I was mostly concerned with what the New England Patriots would do with their two draft picks in the first round. Coming out of that round with Chandler Jones and Dont'a Hightower were two feathers in the cap for Bill Belichick, and you know that they will wind up being vital cogs on the Patriots' defense for years to come.
As for the Jets and Dolphins, I wasn't as impressed with what they did. We all know how the scouts and personnel evaluators expressed doubts about the motor of Quinton Coples, so I thought the Jets reached for him at No. 16. As for Ryan Tannehill, he is probably best served to sit on the bench for the 2012 season and learn from the sidelines for a year. The Dolphins still have Matt Moore, and I suspect he will be running their offense for the majority of the year.
Still, you would like to draft a guy at No. 8 who is going to be a starter for you this year, but I also realize that the Dolphins haven't had a franchise QB in a long time.
It should be an interesting day for the Bills. They have the chance to land two more quality players today. We hope you liked the options that we presented, but if you have any other thoughts or ideas of what you would like to see the Bills do today, feel free to leave a comment.