The Buffalo Bills 2010 Draft. So many holes to fill and so few picks to do it with.
In conducting research for this article by visiting many web sites, it is clear that one individual player can be found being projected as many as six rounds above or below another draft expert.
Using those findings as an illustration of how unscientific mock drafts can be, we will attempt to delve in this year's draft looking at three specific options per draft round, under the heading of Best Bet, Realistic Scenario, and Worst Case.
To show you how crazy the mocks are, one specific web site had four of their six writers predicting that the Bills would use their first pick and number nine overall on an offensive tackle.
That is fine, but then you realize that none of the four writers could agree on who the tackle was, as they each identified someone different. And that was for the No. 9 pick.
So, needless to say, don't fall off your chair if my results and your results vary. Expect it, but I hope you enjoy the article anyway.
Since no crystal ball was used in this exercise, nor any card reader or palm readers were hired, I have no idea what round the Bills will draft their future QB, LB, RB, Offensive Line help, Defensive Line help, etc. So you will see these positions addressed in multiple rounds throughout the slide show.
Finally, the leading slide picture is that of Oklahoma State shutdown left tackle Russell Okung.
If for some strange reason he is still there at No. 9, and the Bills don't select him, I will be all over Buddy Nix and Co. for neglect and lack of judgment skills.
The Bills need a tackle to take over the left side of the line. Control the blind side for the Bills QB.
Depending on who is drafted ahead of the Bills, there are so many quality tackles in this year's draft, that the Bills could even think about trading down in the first round to acquire additional draft picks.
Once Russell Okung is drafted, there is a wide range of projections as to who the second best tackle is for the draft.
Pictured here is Anthony Davis of Rutgers. He is a beast at 6'6" and 325 pounds. He is graded out as better in run blocking than in pass blocking, but there will be something wrong with everyone compared to Okung.
Davis left Rutgers after his junior year to join the NFL. He was named to the Walter Camp All-America team as a second team tackle this year, but made the first team All-America team as a freshman. He was All Big East first team tackle this year.
The other tackle possibilities for first round selection include: Bryan Bulaga (Iowa), Bruce Campbell (Maryland), Trent Williams (Univ of Oklahoma).
If the Bills don't see their preferred tackle still on the board at No. 9, they may opt to wait until the second round to grab their tackle. If that happens there are a number of standout players that could still be there.
For my money, I would be delighted if the Bills added a playmaker at the linebacker position, something the Bills really need.
The best playmaking linebacker in the draft is Rolando McClain of Alabama. McClain is a Butkus Award winner. Alabama's coaches named him their defensive player of the game six times out of his nine games this year.
Imposing physical specimen at 6'4" and 258 pounds. Is also a junior, and left school early to declare for the NFL draft.
One other defensive player has been linked to the Bills lately and that is Defensive End Derrick Morgan from Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets junior is big (6'4" and 272 pounds) and fast.
We mention him because he is the best defensive end in the draft and due to the Georgia Tech connection with new head coach Chan Gailey.
Many Bills fans would love to see the team use their first pick on a quarterback. The problem from my viewpoint is that this year's QB class does not have anyone worthy of a first-round selection, and nobody is ready to come in and start as a rookie for an NFL team.
So that is why a QB comes under the category of worst-case scenario.
Sam Bradford is talented but has proven to be injury-prone. Would the Bills really want to follow up all the games that Trent Edwards missed due to injury with Bradford, only to see him go down as well?
To his credit, Bradford won the Heisman Trophy in 2008, but followed that year up by getting hurt not once but twice in his junior campaign.
Bradford completed 36 touchdown passes as a freshman QB and is used to winning against strong competition. Some question how he will transition to the pros.
At 6'5" and 215 pounds, he has the size that teams like, but is he tough enough? That remains to be seen.
Other quarterback possibilities for the Bills in the first round are Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen. A Southern California QB is something that Jim Kelly has warned the Bills against doing.
Clausen has some leadership issues and character flaws. I don't see the Bills drafting a QB in round No. 1, since they need a tackle much worse.
If Brian Price is sitting there still at No. 41, the Bills would be well-advised to grab him. Price is a huge clog in the middle of the line at 6'2" and 300 pounds.
He has a NFL-ready body and is a good pass rusher too, totaling 11 and a half sacks over the past two seasons at UCLA.
The Bills need help at stuffing the run and Marcus Stroud is no longer a youngster.
Chan Gailey and Buddy Nix want the Bills to get tougher and stronger and Brian Price would be a huge positive step in the right direction.
Other defensive tackle options include: Dan Williams (Tennessee), Jared Odrick, (Penn State), Arthur Jones (Syracuse) and Terrence Cody (Alabama).
If the Bills did not see the tackle they wanted in Round One, there are enough quality guys this year that someone could easily slip down in to Round Two.
Examples of that could include Bruce Campbell (Maryland) pictured here. Campbell is 6'7" junior that is 310 pounds and still has some room to add more size to his imposing frame.
Other possible tackles that could fall to round two are: Trent Williams (Oklahoma University), Charles Brown (USC), and Ciron Black (LSU).
My worst case scenario is that the Bills are persuaded by the likes of Paul Posluszny and Aaron Maybin and decide to reach for another Penn State defensive player: Sean Lee, linebacker.
It is well documented that Penn State is known as LBU (Linebacker University), but the Bills have greater needs in the first two rounds. Lee doesn't compare to Rolando McClain by the way.
Other possible second round worst case scenarios would be to take a RB (Jahvid Best), or other linebackers Sergio Kindle (Texas) or George Selvie (South Florida).
The Bills need to be tougher and stronger on both sides of the line. So far, I have the Bills taking an offensive tackle, a defensive tackle, and now a defensive end, that could be converted to an OLB depending on what defensive alignment that Chan Gailey and the new defensive coordinator ultimately go with.
Pictured is Ricky Sapp, defensive end from Clemson. Sapp is one of the few actual seniors we have profiled here. Big kid at 6'5" and 240 pounds. Athletic and quick first step are his trademarks.
If I didn't know better, I could have sworn we were talking about Aaron Maybin. Other defensive end possibilities include: Willie Young (N.C. State), Everson Griffen (USC) and Greg Hardy (Mississippi).
After addressing both sides of the line in the first two rounds, the Bills may very well be looking for some other help for the struggling offense.
By the time of the draft, it is conceivable that Gailey and Nix will have determined that the Bills need to add to their receiver corps with Josh Reed a pending free agent, and Terrell Owens gone after the one year trial basically flopped.
Jordan Shipley had an impressive campaign for the Texas Longhorns and was the roommate and favorite target of QB Colt McCoy. Shipley is another senior, and is 6'0" tall and is 190 pounds.
Good speed and moves, he could also get involved in the return game as he was more than adequate as a punt returner for the Longhorns.
To give you an idea of his skills, over the last two years Shipley logged the following: 205 catches, 2545 yards, and 24 TDs, in addition to three more return TDs.
Impressive stuff. Needless to say, adding Shipley would make Roscoe Parrish more than expendable.
Other wide receiver options include: Demayryius Thomas (Georgia Tech), Damon Williams (USC), Mardy Gilyard (Cincinnati) and Eric Decker (Minnesota).
What round will Tim Tebow go in? Is he a QB, is he a H-back, or is he a running back? No doubt he is a football player, and Chan Gailey may be tempted to pick up Tebow if he is sitting there in the third round. He is another Florida alumni, so don't discount that connection.
Problem I have with Tebow, is that the Bills could think they have their future QB drafted now, so will ignore the rest of the QB draft options. That would be a mistake, as I am not convinced that Tebow is a starting NFL QB.
Too many flaws in his QB skill set. Do I want him on my team, sure, just not as a QB. He would be fun guy to have for wildcat formation plays however.
Don't forget that he is a southpaw, so there will be an adjustment for all the WR's to get used to catching his passes.
Other options to mull over and pass on here would be: Toby Gerhart (Stanford RB), and WR named WIlliams (Jeremy from Tulane and Damian from USC).
I suspect that whichever QB the Bills draft, it will be somebody that should plan to be on the sidelines for at least the first year, if not the first two years, learning under the guidance of Chan Gailey and whatever veteran QB he brings in.
Dan Lefevour to me is the right type of quarterback to draft and if he is sitting there in the fourth round, he would make tremendous sense.
Lefevour is out of the MAC Conference, and before you say so what, just note that he shares that distinction along with Ben Roethlisberger, Byron Leftwich and Chad Pennington, who could be the veteran QB the Bills sign to mentor Dan.
During his career at Central Michigan, Lefevour put up some staggering numbers. He is the all-time NCAA leader with 149 touchdowns in his career. He is second all-time career yardage leader with 15,898 yards gained.
For an offense that has been down as long as the Bills have been, the fans will have to exhibit more patience than is probably possible, while waiting for him to learn the NFL game before he is thrown in to the fire.
Good-sized QB at 6'3" and 229 pounds. He is a good runner as well, having gained over 700 yards in his senior year and had 15 rushing touchdowns.
Other QB's available around this pick could include: Jevan Snead (Ole Miss) and Jonathan Crompton (Tennessee).
Pat Angerer has a great name for a defensive player. He is a linebacker that is actually stronger in pass coverage but found a way to average over 11 tackles a game.
The 6'1" 235 pound linebacker is a senior for Iowa and made the second team All-America team this year.
Other linebacker options include Daryl Washington (TCU), Antonio Coleman (Auburn) and Jermaine Cunningham (U. of Florida).
Snead led Ole Miss to two straight Cotton Bowl wins, but since he had already completed his education and graduated, Snead decided to forgo his senior year of eligibility and turn pro.
Some experts prefer that he go back and improve his game, as there was a noticeable dropoff in his production from his sophomore year to his junior year.
He did manage to pass for 5,394 yards at Ole Miss, the second best two-year total and fifth on the career list.
Snead set records for yards per pass attempt (8.0) and completions (14.4), established a new mark with multiple touchdown passes in eight straight games and is second to Eli Manning on the career touchdown passes list with 46.
Be aware that there is the SEC connection that exists so all bets are off. With so many scouts or experts down on him, I would prefer to see the Bills take Lefevour as their future QB.
Coming in to the fifth round I have the Bills taking an offensive lineman, defensive lineman, a defensive end and a quarterback.
Running backs tend to be plentiful in drafts, so which ones have surprisingly fell down to the fifth round? If a quality running back is still there, that would be great insurance for troubled Marshawn Lynch.
Toby Gerhart had a monster year. The senior running back from Stanford rushed the ball 343 times for 1,871 yards and a whopping 27 touchdowns.
Gerhart wasn't used much as a receiver out of the backfield. He goes 6'1" and 235 pounds.
Other running backs for consideration: Joe McKnight (USC), Montero Hardesty (Tennessee), Anthony Dixon (Mississippi State) and Ben Tate (Auburn).
Who knows how well Brad Butler and Eric Wood return from their season ending injuries? What is the possibility of other injuries hitting the offensive line in 2010?
We have talked about the draft class having an abundance of offensive tackles, so is it possible that good ones will be forced down in to the fifth round?
If that happens, I would be keeping an eye out for Sam Young of Notre Dame. Sam is huge, going 6'8" and 320 pounds.
He has been starting for the Fighting Irish since his freshman year. I imagine wherever Clausen goes, he will be lobbying for Young to join him.
Sam is known as a better run blocker than pass blocker and may be better suited for the right tackle slot. Could give the Bills some size and depth on the offensive line and Gailey likes to have competition for all players.
Other tackle prospects found in later rounds are: Vladimir Ducasse (U of Mass), Selvish Capers (West Virginia), Tony Washington (Abilene Christian) and Kyle Calloway (Iowa).
Chances are that the best linebackers have been snatched up by the 136 pick. If the Bills still have not drafted a linebacker by now, and if Roddrick Muckelroy is still there, I could live with the selection.
We will need help on special teams and some depth at linebacker could be a good thing as well.
Muckelroy is a 6'2" 235 pound senior that started 29 games over his career with Texas. Twice named to the Big 12 all conference team.
Big part of the NCAA's leading defense versus the rush as he had at least 11 games with double digit tackles during his Longhorn's career.
Other linebackers that might still be there are Jamar Cheney (Mississippi State), Antonio Coleman (Auburn), and Darryl Sharpton (Miami).
We haven't talked much about the wide receiver situation, but the Bills will need to do a combination of bringing in new blood and figuring out which receivers from the crew of Josh Reed, Steve Johnson and James Hardy are going to be solid contributors in 2010.
Will Terrell Owens be coming back for another year? What about signing a free agent like Owen Daniels? What about drafting a receiver or two? Please give Lee Evans some help.
Blair White is a wide receiver from Michigan State that goes 6'2" and 200 pounds. Not known for his speed, but will run accurate routes and shield the ball from smaller cornerbacks.
Came up with a big senior year, as he had 70 catches for 990 yards and 9 touchdowns.
Other wide receivers available to consider are: Mike Williams (Syracuse), Andre Roberts (Citadel), Danorio Alexander (Missouri), and Jacoby Ford (Clemson).
The tight end position is manned right now by the trio of Derek Schouman, Derek Fine and Shawn Nelson.
Schouman lost most of the year due to injury, Nelson showed some glimmers and Fine basically excelled at catching passes that covered two to three yards. Some competition may be in order for this group.
Aaron Hernandez is a strong tight end from the U. of Florida. This Gator had a solid campaign as he was voted the top tight end in the country, winning the John Mackey award.
Hernandez is 6'2" and weighs 250. He passed up his senior year to play in the NFL.
In the 2009 BCS National Championship Game against Oklahoma, he led the Gators in receiving yards with 57 on five receptions. Hernandez finished his college career with 111 receptions for 1,382 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Other tight end options are: Ed Dickson (Oregon), Garrett Graham (Wisconsin), Dennis Pita (BYU), Jimmy Graham (Miami) and Nate Byhem (U. of Pittsburgh).
The Bills had Corey McIntyre on the team last year, but it doesn't really seem like he had much of a role. He caught a few passes, ran a few dives, but wasn't much of a factor or a weapon.
So, that begs the question, is it even necessary to draft a full back? Is it more realistic to sign some free agents that went undrafted and let them come in and try out?
It was hard to find a fullback to recommend, much less a quality picture for the presentation. This mug shot belongs to Rutgers fullback Jack Corcoran.
He can catch the ball out of the backfield, but that really wasn't something that Rutgers did much. Like I said, do we really need to draft a fullback?
For what it is worth, other fullbacks are: Garrett Graham (Wisconsin) and Rashawn Jackson (Virginia).
This is the second pick the Bills have in the sixth round, which is part of the Jason Peters trade to Philadelphia.
Considering that Peters was an undrafted free agent it would be fitting if the Bills came up with a gem on this pick to make up for Peters unwillingness to report to training camp and work out a deal.
So far, if you are following this mock draft, the Bills have gone: Off Tackle, Def Tackle, Def End, QB, RB, WR and now.... another defensive lineman. We have recently talked about the concerns that many of the Bills defensive years are either up there in age or threatening retirement (Shobel), or their contract status makes it questionable that they will all be back (Denney, and Kelsay), so adding another defensive end makes sense.
Pictured is Wyoming's Koa Misi. He is 6'3" and 263 pounds. He registered 200 tackles in his three years at Utah, 24 of those were for a loss. He is athletic and brings pressure on the quarterback.
Other defensive end considerations are: John Fletcher (Wyoming), Lindsay Witten (U. Conn), O'brien Schofield (Wisconsin) and C.J. Wilson (East Carolina).
As we just explained, defensive line help is a concern, so adding some more depth and competition there is a good thing.
A defensive lineman like Lamaar Houston, from the Univ.of Texas would make sense. He is big roadblock at 6'2" and 300 pounds. Played both defensive end and defensive tackle for the Longhorns.
Other defensive tackles worth considering: Al Woods (LSU), Tyson Alualu (Cal), Aleric Mullins (No. Carolina), Brandon Deaderick (Alabama) and Vince Oghobaase (Duke).
The Bills own two picks in the seventh round, with the pick at number 195 coming from Detroit due to the Ko Simpson trade. One possible pick could be one of the top targets that Dan Lefevour threw to at Central Michigan, which was wide receiver Bryan Anderson.
Anderson is lanky at 6'5"and 215 pounds. The senior runs the 40 in 4.55 and caught 28 touchdown passes during his career at Central Michigan. You know that he and Lefevour will have tremendous chemistry, so he could be worth a pick in this round if the Bills land his quarterback in the draft.
Pictured is Univ. of Buffalo WR Naaman Roosevelt. This would be the ultimate last round pick, local boy makes good type of selection. Talented wide receiver that could help out on special teams, and develop slowly in to a wide receiver at the next level.
In conclusion, I hope you have enjoyed the slideshow. This is created three full months before the draft, so there will be plenty of changes that occur due to the all-star games, combine results, experts and scouts opinions, agent representation, and personal interviews conducted with team personnel.
Through it all, these players will be zooming up and down the board, and if they get injured over the next 90 days, there draft rank will plummet. So, feel free to comment, and if you want to make your case why a certain player should be added in to the mix, have at it.