2013 NFL Mock Draft: Buffalo Bills 7-Round Mock Draft
Whether he has to trade down for extra picks or simply find the right player, general manager Buddy Nix will need to put together a good draft class this season.
When the dust settles, the following selections could end up representing a bright future for the Bills.
But First, a Trade
In the trade, the Bills net the 16th and 46th overall selections in the draft. Both sides benefit from the deal, as there is no player available at No. 8 (assuming Dion Jordan is gone at this point) that the Bills desperately need to add.
By moving down, Buffalo nets another second-round pick while maintaining a solid position in the middle of the first round.
First Round, 16th Overall (via STL): G Jonathan Cooper, UNC
The Bills lost a very integral part of their offense when they let guard Andy Levitre go to the Tennessee Titans in free agency.
With the sixteenth pick, Buffalo would have the opportunity to draft North Carolina guard Jonathan Cooper, a selection which would ensure success for Buffalo's running game in 2013. At North Carolina, Cooper blocked for Giovani Bernard, one of the most athletic runners in all of college football, and did an admirable job at that.
The lineman is one of the most athletic guards in the draft and can block extremely well in space, a must-have quality for offensive linemen blocking for C.J. Spiller.
No, it's not the flashiest pick, but for the Bills' skill position players can be successful, talented players like Cooper must be brought in to bolster the offensive line.
Armed with two second-round picks, the Bills have the ammunition to trade back into the first round and get "their guy."
In this trade, Buffalo moves the 41st and 71st overall selections to Green Bay for the Packers' first-round pick, No. 26 overall.
With one of the league's most talented rosters, Green Bay may decide to stockpile picks and address issues on the defensive side of the ball later in the draft.
First Round, 26th Overall (via GB): WR Robert Woods, USC
By trading for the 26th pick, the Bills manage to jump just ahead of the receiver-needy Houston Texans, who pick 27th overall.
Robert Woods is a sure thing—he runs great routes, catches the football and scores touchdowns. He's a true No. 1 receiver and has drawn comparisons to Reggie Wayne.
Woods has experience playing alongside a dynamic receiver in Marquise Lee, so he should have no problem deferring to Stevie Johnson. Adding Woods would allow the Bills to move Johnson into the slot, where he'd be able to make a Victor Cruz-like impact.
Surprisingly, a Third Trade
With the needs at guard and wide receiver filled, Buffalo can afford to move the 46th overall selection for a better 2014 draft outlook.
The New Orleans Saints don't even have a pick in the second round and considering the talent that figures to be available at cornerback (think Jamar Taylor and Blidi Wreh-Wilson), New Orleans could consider trading up.
This proposed trade would send New Orleans' 2014 first-rounder as well as their 2013 fifth-rounder (144th overall) to the Bills for the 46th pick, where Sean Payton would presumably add a defensive back.
The 2014 draft figures to boast top talents like quarterbacks Teddy Bridgewater and Johnny Manziel, so having two first-round picks in 2014 would allow the Bills to move up the board and get a quarterback they really want next year, instead of forcing themselves to overlook the flaws of one of this year's prospects.
Fourth Round, 105th Overall: QB Zac Dysert, Miami (Ohio)
After a long wait, the Bills finally get to pick again in the fourth round and make a move that will pay dividends down the line.
I believe Zac Dysert is the second-best quarterback in this draft class (Tyler Wilson being the best). His ability to make the other players around him better, together with his toughness and pocket awareness, make him a very interesting prospect.
The worst-case scenario is that Buffalo flips him for a second-round pick at some point down the line. If Kevin Kolb gets injured this season, Dysert could step in and hold down the fort. This pick wouldn't be in place of taking a quarterback in the first-round next season; rather, the Bills replenish their depth chart under center with a low-risk, high-reward selection.
Fifth Round: 143rd Overall: LB Kevin Reddick, UNC
After picking three offensive players with their first three picks, the Bills address a defensive need with their fourth selection.
Kevin Reddick was a first-round prospect before an underwhelming 2012, but he's still a solid tackler who can make a serious impact with Buffalo.
The Bills get a second player from North Carolina, nabbing a good inside linebacker who is scheme diverse and can have success in Mike Pettine's defense. Buddy Nix needs to add a linebacker and Reddick is a good fit.
Fifth Round: 144th Overall (via NO): TE Mychal Rivera, Tennessee
Buffalo adds another very good offensive weapon with their own fifth-round pick and selects Tennessee tight end Mychal Rivera.
While the Bills do have Scott Chandler, adding a receiving hybrid like Rivera would stretch opposing defenses and open up the offense for whoever is under center. Chandler is a big target, while Rivera is more of an Aaron Hernandez-type who can play anywhere on the field.
Even though he played with talented receivers like Justin Hunter and Cordarrelle Patterson last year, Rivera still found a way to showcase his skill set, and he looks like a very solid prospect.
Sixth Round, 177th Overall: DE Stansly Maponga, TCU
With their final selection, the Bills add another player on the defensive side of the ball. That player, TCU's Stansly Maponga, is something of a poor man's Cornelius Washington and can play all over the field.
New defensive coordinator Mike Pettine values versatility and, at this point in the draft, Buffalo can afford to take a chance on a very solid pass-rusher.
Maponga has a great frame and enough athleticism to be competent either on the defensive line or at linebacker. The former Horned Frog could spell Mario Williams every now and again or potentially work his way into the starting lineup.
Should the draft go this way, the Bills would finish with the following assets:
G Jonathan Cooper (16th overall)
WR Robert Woods (26th overall)
QB Zac Dysert (105th overall)
LB Kevin Reddick (143rd overall)
TE Mychal Rivera (144th overall)
DE Stansly Maponga (177th overall)
NO Saints' 2014 1st Round Pick (TBD overall)