Buffalo Bills' Options in the Second Round of the 2013 NFL Draft
I have a confession to make.
I enjoy the second round of the NFL draft more than I do the first round.
In the first round, you have a general idea of who teams are interested in, especially as April approaches. The second round? You have no idea what teams are going to do, what prospects are going to fall or which may be coveted by talents and be picked early.
The Buffalo Bills hold pick 41 in the second round of the 2013 NFL draft. There is no doubt in my mind that the pick will hold a great deal of value.
When the Bills are on the clock in round two, what are some of their options?
Read on as I list prospects that may be available at the following positions: QB, WR, TE, OL, DE, LB, CB and S. Intentionally, I am omitting RB and DT as the Bills have no business looking at these positions this early in the draft due to the team having great talent at both spots.
Following the options, I'll briefly analyze each player.
After reading, leave a comment on which prospect or prospects you could see falling to the Bills in the second round of the 2013 NFL draft!
There is still almost two months until the 2013 NFL draft, but most people, myself included, expect Buffalo to draft their future quarterback in the second round. Unless the team falls in love with Geno Smith and Smith falls to eight, I cannot envision the team selecting a QB at pick eight.
At pick 41? Absolutely.
QB options: Ryan Nassib, E.J. Manuel, Mike Glennon and Tyler Wilson.
Ryan Nassib—The obvious choice. Nassib has three years of experience in Doug Marrone and Nathaniel Hackett's offense. In a league where you have to show results quickly as a head coach, Marrone may be tempted to draft Nassib. Entering training camp, Marrone would have a rookie QB that knew his entire playbook.
In the last three seasons, Nassib has improved yearly in passing yards, completion percentage, yards per attempt, touchdowns and quarterback rating.
E.J. Manuel—In my opinion, the highest ceiling of any QB available in the second round. Manuel is extremely athletic, has a big arm and ideal NFL size. Manuel is already drawing comparisons to Colin Kaepernick and there will be a team willing to take Manuel early in round two. Marrone's offense doesn't require an athletic quarterback, but there's nothing wrong with having someone with Manuel's skill-set on your roster.
Mike Glennon—Personally, I can't go along with the Glennon hype. Yes, he's tall and has a big arm. After that? Well I truly don't know. Glennon is not mobile and he's certainly not accurate.Glennon had a completion percentage of 58.5 in 2012.
At 6'7" Glennon also needs to bulk up significantly from his current weight of 225 pounds. If he doesn't add weight to his frame, he won't last the punishing hits he'll take in the NFL.
Tyler Wilson—Wilson seems like a good fit for Buffalo. He has experience in a West Coast Offense and can make every possible NFL throw. He may not have the arm of Glennon or Manuel, but he gets the job done. Wilson played behind a woeful Arkansas offensive line this season and still managed to complete 62.1% of his passes. Wilson has the ability to come in and start right away for the Bills.
Donald Jones and David Nelson were both restricted free agents for the Bills. Instead of tendering them, the Bills decided to let each player walk.
Not much remains on Buffalo's roster at the position. Stevie Johnson is left with the likes of T.J. Graham, Brad Smith, Marcus Easley and Chris Hogan. Not pretty.
WR options: DeAndre Hopkins, Robert Woods, Quinton Patton, Justin Hunter and Terrance Williams
DeAndre Hopkins—Hopkins is my favorite WR in this draft. In terms of being pro-ready, Hopkins is my top WR. He won't blow you away in any category, but at the end of the day he'll perform. I have a sinking feeling that Hopkins will be drafted in the tail end of round one by the likes of the New England Patriots, but if available he'd be a great value pick.
Robert Woods—Stevie Johnson 2.0. Woods in my eyes is a faster version of the Bills' number one WR. He is the best route runner in this draft class and will thrive in the passing game due to his great hands.
Quinton Patton—Patton played in a bit high powered offense at Louisiana Tech. He has a good frame for a WR and is plays extremely well in press coverage. Patton seems like he'd be a strong flanker receiver.
Justin Hunter—Hunter put up great stats at Tennessee, but it's his teammate, Cordarrelle Patterson, that everyone is talking about. That being said, it wouldn't surprise me if Hunter had a better career than Patterson. Hunter ran a strong 4.44 40-yard dash and a great vertical of 39.5 inches. Hunter played as the X, Y and Z receiver at Tennessee, so his versatility would benefit Buffalo. At 6'4" Hunter is a large target that the Bills would covet.
Terrance Williams—The former Baylor WR is an intriguing prospect, but he has to work on his route running. He's a bit raw in this area, but does have the potential to be a deep threat for Buffalo. Out of all of the WRs listed, he may need the most work.
The Bills have a decent tight end in Scott Chandler, but after tearing his ACL, it's no sure thing that he plays at the same level. This leaves Buffalo with H-Back Dorin Dickerson, blocking TE Lee Smith and Mike Caussin.
TE options: Zach Ertz and Vance McDonald
Zach Ertz—Some draft experts had Ertz listed as their top TE listed before the combine. Personally, I didn't see it. Ertz is a strong TE, but he is an average blocker at best. Tyler Eifert, the top TE in the draft is excelling in terms of receiving and blocking. Ertz's greatest strength may be in his route running. He does a great job of running his patterns.
The only other knock on Ertz besides his blocking is his arm length (31 3/4"). While the length of his arms is not ideal, it's nothing that will scare teams off from him.
Vance McDonald—The Rice TE has flown up the draft board after a strong combine. He ran an impressive 40-yard dash at 4.69 and has long arms at 34 3/8". McDonald has great hands and is another strong route runner.
At times, McDonald looks up the field before catching the ball which leads to dropping catchable passes.
Buffalo's offensive line is in better shape than many teams in the NFL. If guard Andy Levitre leaves, the team could have a major void to fill. In terms of offensive tackles, it's never a bad idea to look for franchise tackles.
OT Options: D.J. Fluker, Terron Armstead and Menelik Watson
OG Options: Larry Warford
D.J. Fluker—Fluker is a powerful run blocker out of Alabama. He has the build of an ideal OT at 6'5" and 335 pounds. The biggest knock on Fluker is his supposed lack of agility. Due to this, many teams believe that Fluker is a right tackle at best and may have to eventually kick inside to guard.
Terron Armstead—The talk of the NFL combine. Armstead stands at 6'5" and weighs 306 pounds. Despite this large frame, Armstead still was able to run the 40-yard dash in a 4.71 seconds. It's almost unheard of to see someone this size with that type of speed. He's an incredible athlete, but that doesn't necessarily mean that he'll develop into a great NFL offensive lineman. Buyer beware.
Menelik Watson—The former Seminole has plenty of potential. Watson is 6'5" and 305 pounds so he possesses the ideal frame of an offensive lineman. That being said, he is extremely raw. Buffalo would be wise to let another team take a chance on Watson. Like Armstead, Watson could develop into something special, but it will take time.
Larry Warford—Warford is ranked as the third best guard in the draft behind Chance Warmack and Jonathan Cooper. Warford possesses strong hands and excellent balance. He is a bit on the slow side, and may not be much better than Justin Pugh out of Syracuse. If Buffalo re-signs Andy Levitre to a new deal, it's likely that the team doesn't address offensive guard until late in the draft, if at all.
In 2012, the Buffalo Bills signed Mario Williams to a contract that could reach up to $100 million.
They then went out and signed Mark Anderson to play on the other end of the line.
Williams may never live up to the extremely large contract he signed, but when healthy he played well and he finished the season with 10.5 sacks.
Anderson only played in five games for Buffalo in 2012 and notched only one sack.
Kyle Moore, a backup defensive end is a free agent and Chris Kelsay recently retired.
The Bills need to add depth to the DE spot and in the second round they could find one intriguing choice.
DE Option: Alex Okafor
Alex Okafor—The former Longhorn finished his collegiate career with 4.5 sacks against Oregon State in the Alamo Bowl. Okafor is a good athlete and has multiple moves to get past offensive tackles. He is best suited to play in a 4-3 defense but may have the ability to play OLB in a 3-4 as well. His versatility may be appealing to Buffalo.
According to projections there are other players listed as being second rounders. However, I feel that two of these players, Margus Hunt and Tank Carradine will be first rounders. Talent-wise, Sam Montgomery is a second rounder, but after admitting he didn't always give his best effort, I don't see Buffalo jumping at the chance to take him at pick 41.
Buffalo needs plenty of help at linebacker. The Bills recently released veteran Nick Barnett leaving them with Nigel Bradham and Kelvin Sheppard as the only two starters returning to the team in 2013.
Sheppard has struggled as a ILB, but Buffalo have give him one more chance in Mike Pettine's hybrid defense.
OLB/ILB Options: Arthur Brown, Manti Te'o and Kiko Alonso
Arthur Brown—Let me start by saying, I love Arthur Brown. If available in round two, I'd be thrilled if Buffalo selected him. In round one? I'd be furious. Brown is all over mock drafts right now. He's a bit undersized which is why he's not a lock to go in round one. However, he probably has the best instincts of any of the linebackers in this draft. Brown can also play in coverage and is a great open field tackler.
Manti Te'o—We all know about the Lennay Kekua story and his slow 40-yard dash time. At the end of the day, the guy can still play football. James Laurinaitis and London Fletcher are two examples of players with slow 40 times who can flat out play. If he's available in round two, he'd be of great value to Buffalo.
Kiko Alonso—Alonso has a third round grade, but at least one team has Alonso ranked ahead of Dion Jordan according to former scout Russ Lande. Alonso can be moved around on the defense due to his versatility and athleticism, which Mike Pettine would love. Buffalo probably shouldn't gamble on Alonso in round two, but he may be worth the risk.
At cornerback, the Bills have 2012 first round pick Stephon Gilmore and then a lot of unknown. While I think cornerback is a position the Bills address in free agency, it never hurts to draft more young talent.
CB Options: Johnthan Banks, Jamar Taylor, David Amerson
Johnthan Banks—Banks has a nose for the ball. At Mississippi State, Banks had 16 career interceptions and showed that he was one of the best press coverage corners in the nation. His biggest concern is his speed and ability to keep up with NFL wide receivers. Unfortunately for Banks, speed is pretty important at his position and Buffalo may be better off passing on the corner if available at pick 41.
Jamar Taylor—May be a sleeper to go in the end of round one. Taylor, the former Boise State corner, ran a 4.39 40-yard dash at the NFL combine that wowed many teams. Taylor has great athleticism and plays the ball extremely well. The one area where Taylor struggles is in press coverage which Buffalo may do more of in their aggressive defense.
David Amerson—Amerson stands at 6'1" and ran a 4.44 40-yard dash. His combination of speed and size will be intriguing to teams in round two. Amerson, unlike Taylor is a great fit in a press coverage defense. He'd be a good addition to Pettine's defense.
I'm going to focus on strong safeties here as there is no doubt in my mind that Jairus Byrd is a member of the Buffalo Bills in 2013. The team has the cap space to work out something long-term and in a worst-case scenario, the team could franchise him.
SS options: Jonathan Cyprien and Matt Elam
Jonathan Cyprien—I am very high on Cyprien and there's a great chance he gets drafted in round one. However, if available, Cyprien would make for an incredible safety combination with Byrd. Cyprien is very aggressive and can cover in space. He'd also help Buffalo significantly against the run. Safety probably isn't very high on Buffalo's list of needs, but I can't help but drool over his potential alongside Byrd in Mike Pettine's defense.
Matt Elam—I think Elam is more likely to be available than Cyprien personally. Elam, like Cyprien is physical and can cover in space. He also has shown great instincts. Some teams worry about Elam's size. He is 5'10" in jump ball situations, he'd struggle against larger wide receivers.
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