2010 NFL Mock Draft: Buffalo Bills Select Iowa Hawkeye OT Bryan Bulaga
If success was a cup of coffee, the Buffalo Bills would need a blowtorch to defrost the caffeinated delight.
They were really good in the 90s, going to four straight Super Bowls, and despite losing all of them, they were one of the greatest teams of all time.
Now they have fallen off a cliff and are dropping into the valley below. There was talk about the franchise moving to Canada after Ralph Wilson eventually died and the name that came up most often was Toronto, Ontario.
The Bills have even played a regular season game in Toronto, and the loyal fans of the North Pole of the United States were terrified.
However, Roger Goodell stated in 2008 that the Bills will indeed be in Toronto for a very long time.
The Bills have plenty of needs, particularly on the offensive line, the defensive line, quarterback, and tight end.
They recently hired Chan Gailey to be their new head coach, and since he was the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, I may be able to give some insight as to Gailey.
I don't think Gailey's a great hire. He took an already very good Dallas team to playoffs and lost in the first round twice.
He's a proponent of running the football. He wants to smash mouth that ball into the endzone the way it was done in the old days when the televisions showed only black and white pixels.
The man could do that in Dallas because he had easily one of the top ten greatest running backs of all time in Emmitt Smith, whose greatest quality was his durability.
Emmitt's two years he spent with Gailey were Pro Bowl years, so Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch should be dancing with glee because Gailey is going to run the ball.
He's a good hire, not a great one. A great one to me would have been a defensive guy like Bill Cowher or Leslie Frazier because even though the Bills were 6-10, they had the number two passing defense in terms of yards and touchdowns allowed, and in interceptions recorded.
The Bills will now have an offensive focus when it comes to the ball now, and I can practically give a guarantee as to the position they draft.
They are drafting an offensive tackle. No question in my mind about it. They haven't had a great tackle since they traded Jason Peters for a first rounder last year from the Philadelphia Eagles, which was another one of the dumb ideas executed by Buffalo this previous decade.
Peters is an All-Pro beast at left tackle, and they gave him up for a first round draft pick that wasn't even in the top 20. In fact it was the 28th pick used to select center Eric Wood.
They will be looking for a real left tackle now since their last one, Brad Butler, unexpectedly retired this past month.
With Russell Okung and Bruce Campbell already of the board (Seattle's pick at no. 6 and Oakland’s pick at no. 8 respectively), the best left tackle available in my opinion is Iowa's Bryan Bulaga, who forwent his fourth year of college to enter the draft.
He's 6'6, 312 pounds, and just looks like one of those guys who would be called Goliath back in biblical times.
The guy is a tremendous run blocker. He basically carts the defenders forward and the running back follows. He ran a 5.26 forty time with 26 bench reps of 225 pounds, he recorded a 27.5 vertical, and a 8'02 broad jump at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis.
My main concern with him is his pass protection because I've seen speed guys like Brandon Graham blow right past him or give him a lot of trouble.
Its not like it is with Okung, who hardly ever has to shift backwards and/or to his left in order to maintain the block, Bulaga does the Dosey Doe quite often. He prevents the sack the majority of the time, but the quarterback does feel pressure.
I wonder if they may want to try to convert him to guard possibly so that he'll worry more about pushing the man in front of him forward rather than pivot to keep pass rushers in front of him.
Whatever the position, I think he's worthy of a first round draft pick. Maybe not this high, but he's a guy who can certainly become a powerful, if not dominant, offensive lineman with the right coaching.
The thing that does bother me about Bulaga is his past medical problems. He's had a thyroid condition that made him shed weight, increase his heart rate, lose stamina, and create fatigue.
That led to a somewhat slow start for him at the beginning of the season, but he finished strong, and in Iowa's bowl game, he held another first-round prospect, Derrick Morgan, to zero sacks in a 24-14 win in the Orange Bowl, Iowa's first major bowl victory in 51 years.
He has stated that it is behind him though.
That all said, I definitely think Buffalo should make a serious attempt at Bulaga. He's capable of going to multiple Pro Bowls in a good career blocking for Buffalo backfields.
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