Four Possible Picks for the Buffalo Bills in the First Round of the NFL Draft
The Bills are a team with a large number of holes to fill this offseason.
With most problems focusing on offensive woes, should the Bills go the route of a strong-armed QB or a stonewall LT? Or should they address their LB hole or DT problem?
In this slideshow I give my opinions of some options for the Bills to look at.
The Bills are looking to fill their void at QB again. They are currently holding former starting QB Trent Edwards on their roster, but all signs are pointing in a different direction.
The Bills need a strong-armed QB who can deal with the elements, and Mallett may have the biggest arm of the 2010 draft. Mallett has not yet declared for the draft, but many reporters are saying it looks like he's on his way.
Mallett finished the '09 season with only one game with a QB rating less than 95.
He played a very tough schedule, including games at Florida, at Alabama, at Mississippi, and at LSU. In those games he compiled 865 yards, four TDs, and two INTs, so his staggering numbers are not due to lack of competition.
Mallett finished his 2009 campaign with 3,627 yards, 30 TDs, seven INTs, and a 152.2 rating.
The Buffalo Bills will enter the 2010 season with a big hole at LB. Kawika Mitchell has been a huge disappointment with the Bills. Paul Posluszny is a fan favorite and coming off his best season as a Bill.
Keith Ellison is just awful as a LB. He had a good number of tackles when playing, but he is constantly out of position and makes terrible mistakes. He's almost a liability to have on the field.
Rolando McClain may be just what the doctor ordered for the Bills. A three-year starter at Alabama, he has become the best LB in college football. McClain finished his 2009 season with 101 tackles, four sacks, one forced fumble, and two interceptions.
On top of his physical stature, he runs a 4.6 40-yard dash—a deadly combination when allowed to roam free in defensive schemes.
Another notch in his belt: He won the Dick Butkus Award this season, which is awarded to the nation's top LB.
The Bills made arguably one of the worst moves of their 50-year history last offseason. They traded away their now three-time Pro Bowl LT in hopes of Demetrius Bell being the answer.
Unfortunately for them, they were dead wrong. Bell is one of the worst LTs in recent memories and is responsible for more false start penalties than any LT in the NFL.
The Bills desperately need to build their line, and Bulaga would be a perfect fit for them. The Bills need a quick LT to deal with the speed rushers they face in their own division.
Bulaga has very quick feet for a big offensive lineman and uses his long arms to ride speed rushers right out of plays. He is not as strong as fellow Big Ten linemen Joe Thomas or Jake Long, but he's still very young and has time to develop.
Bulaga's run blocking has also improved steadily over the last two seasons. He is no longer satisfied just blocking the man in front of him; he moves on to the next level and tries to get a block on a linebacker as well.
With T.O. looking like he's on his way out, along with Roscoe Parrish and Josh Reed, that leaves the Bills with speedster Lee Evans, Steve Johnson, James Hardy, and Justin Jenkins. This is hardly a threatening receiving corps.
The Bills need a true No. 2 to help take the double teams away from Evans.
Dez Bryant was hailed by many to be the best WR in the nation. Heading into the 2009 campaign, Bryant was right up there with Arrelious Benn and Brandon LaFell as the top draft-eligible receivers in the nation.
For different reasons, all three of those players are having some issues, but it is hard to blame any of the receivers for their lack of production in 2009.
However, there was a time when Bryant was a productive receiver. As a freshman he caught 43 passes for 622 yards and six scores.
In 2008 Bryant turned into the team's top receiver and had an amazing season. He caught 87 passes for 1,480 yards and 19 touchdowns. There were only six passing touchdowns that went to somebody besides Bryant.
The 2009 season started fine for Bryant. In three games he caught 17 passes for 323 yards and four touchdowns. It looked like Bryant might keep up with his numbers from the 2008 campaign, but then trouble happened.
Bryant lied to the NCAA over matters that were not illegal as far as his eligibility was concerned, but the NCAA suspended him for the entire season anyway.