How can the Buffalo Bills address all their biggest needs in one draft?
They'll have done just that if things go how Emory Hunt of footballgameplan.com envisions in his seven-round Bills mock draft.
His first pick to Buffalo is Tennessee wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson.
You're not supposed to be 6'3", 210 pounds and move like a running back. This guy has superstar potential, and adding him on this roster allows Stevie Johnson to go to the more natural [position] No. 2 receiver, and I think this is just going to open up that passing game.
Patterson is considered the lone standout wide receiver prospect in this class, and after him there is a sizeable dropoff from an athletic standpoint.
The concerns with Patterson are twofold:
- He played football at the FBS level for just one year, and
- He (reportedly) didn't exactly dazzle scouts at the combine in the meeting rooms.
The Bills were widely projected to take Notre Dame receiver Michael Floyd last year and although he didn't pan out like many thought he would, the Bills would still be wise to pull the trigger on Patterson.
Their next pick falls right in line with the prime directive of the Bills offseason: land a franchise quarterback. Hunt has the Bills taking Florida State quarterback EJ Manuel in the second round.
A lot of people want to mock Ryan Nassib with his former coach, but you also have to remember your old coach also knows your weaknesses, and I think EJ Manuel fits perfectly with what Marrone wants to do offensively. Get a mobile guy back there that's away from Jimbo Fisher.
Considering Manuel has been on his way up the boards recently, the Bills would have to be thrilled to get him in the second round.
They have been connected to Manuel already in the pre-draft process, having hosted him as one of their designated pre-draft private workouts.
Manuel is considered a work in progress as a passer, but his elite athleticism makes him an intriguing prospect with read-option offenses all the buzz in the NFL these days. Bleacher Report draft analyst Sigmund Bloom thinks he'd be a fit for the Bills, but thinks whoever takes him will need to tailor the offense to his skill set, at least at first.
The rest of Hunt's seven-round mock draft worked out very well for the Bills. Here's the complete haul:
- Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
- EJ Manuel, QB, Florida State
- Barrett Jones, OL, Alabama
- David Bass, DE, Missouri Western
- Vance McDonald, TE, Rice
- Jawan Jamison, RB, Rutgers
McDonald has already been connected to the Bills in this space as a name they should have their eye on following his stellar performance at the combine. Scott Chandler has been a monster converting first downs and touchdowns, but they could use another receiving option to complement him with Dorin Dickerson slow to develop.
My favorite pick in this mock draft is Barrett Jones. The Bills sorely need to find a tough interior lineman to compensate for the loss of both left guard Andy Levitre and backup Chad Rinehart this offseason. Jones helped the Crimson Tide rank in the top three in the SEC in rushing three of the past four years. His stock has dropped due to a Lisfranc injury, but if he recovers, the 2011 and 2012 All-American can still add great punch at either guard spot.
What do you think of Hunt's mock draft? Leave your thoughts in the comments.
Erik Frenz is also a Patriots/AFC East writer for Boston.com. Follow Erik on Twitter and "like" the AFC East blog on Facebook to keep up with all the updates. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes obtained firsthand or via team press releases.