Buffalo Bills: The Effects of Drafting CB Stephon Gilmore

Brendan BoskoContributor IIIApril 26, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 26:  Stephon Gilmore of South Carolina holds up a jersey as he stands on stage with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after he was selected #10 overall by the Buffalo Bills in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 26, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

Many "draftniks" that expected the Bills to make a defensive selection were expecting Luke Kuechly or Mark Barron.  Both players were gone when the Bills selected at No. 10, so they decided to improve their pass coverage by selecting Stephon Gilmore, CB from South Carolina.

Stephon Gilmore has all the physical attributes you look for in a CB.  He measured 6'0" and 190 lbs at the NFL Combine, and ran the 40 yard dash in 4.40 seconds.  He was rated by Mike Mayock as the second-best CB in the draft, behind Morris Claiborne.  He also has three years of starting experience after starting for the Gamecocks as a true freshman.   

The Bills entered the offseason with one of the best interior defensive lines, anchored by hard-working, blue-collared types Kyle Williams and Alabama stud Marcell Dareus.  They spent free agency strengthening their pass rush, by adding former No. 1 overall pick Mario Williams and the productive New England Patriots Mark Anderson.  

Playing corner for the Bills should be much easier this season now that opposing QBs will have less time to sit back in the pocket.  The Bills have an aging secondary, with both Terrence McGee and Drayton Florence both over 30 years old.

Aaron Williams was added in the second round last year and showed promise to be a reliable NFL starter. Justin Rogers exceeded expectations and played well as a rookie, despite being a late-round pick.  He looks like he should be reliable in nickel and dime packages throughout his career, but the Bills still need a CB that can start opposite Aaron Williams for the rest of the decade.  

Enter Stephon Gilmore.  He has the physical tools, the college experience and the type of character that should allow him to experience success in the NFL.  

The only hole on our defense that I feel needed to be filled now is the LB position.  We have three capable starters (Barnett, Sheppard and Morrison) but, like the CB position, two of those starters are getting old and may experience some injuries.  If a linebacker gets hurt this year, I'm nervous about our lack of depth.  

How do you feel about Stephon Gilmore as our first-round draft pick?  Who do you think the Bills should target in Round 2?