2011 Mock Draft: 7 Round Buffalo Bills Edition
My first attempt at pulling together a full mock draft for the Buffalo Bills, using scout's projections and my own personal opinions. I currently have Nick Fairley and A.J. Green off the board at No. 3 overall for Buffalo in my latest mock draft.
After round two, selections are based on best case scenario, and the projected round(s) players will be picked.
Round 1, Pick 3
LSU Cornerback: Patrick Peterson
Peterson is arguably the best cornerback prospect in recent memory and will help the Bills' overrated secondary. Not only was he the best corner in the nation this year, but he did so playing against the nation's top prospects in the SEC as a shutdown cover-corner.
I say that the Bills' pass-defense is overrated because it is. They may have ranked third in the NFL in terms of yardage allowed through the air, but they gave up 28 touchdowns, TWENTY-EIGHT! That is ugly. What that stat tells me is that teams ran it down the field, and threw it in for the touchdown.
With Peterson on an island, players like Leodis McKelvin can benefit by covering a team's secondary option. This pick would also benefit Jarius Byrd immensely, getting him back to Pro-Bowl form in 2011.
Round 2, Pick 34
LSU Offensive Tackle: Joseph Barksdale
Standing 6'5" at 315 lbs, Barksdale certainly passes the eye test. But not only does he measure up, he plays with great athleticism.
He played right tackle until moving to the left side this year, making the shift pretty seamlessly. Either way, having the ability to play both tackle positions is a great thing to have, especially if the Bills plan on moving Demetrius Bell to the right side. If the Bills plan on keeping Bell at left tackle (where he played pretty well coming off an ACL tear), Barksdale can certainly play on the right side and be an anchor for the Bills for years to come.
Barksdale has a reputation for being an excellent technician; while being a bit weak in his run-blocking strength, he makes up for it with his exceptional pass-protection skills.
Disclaimer: No I am not an LSU fan.
Round 3, Pick 68
Oregon Inside Linebacker: Casey Matthews
Look familiar? That's because you know his brother, all-pro linebacker Clay Matthews. Now, Casey is no Clay, but he is still a talented player who can help the Bills anemic run-defense, while still being able to get pressure on the quarterback.
Round 4, Pick 99
Arkansas Tight End: D.J. Williams
Arguably the best receiving tight end in this year's class, Williams is a bit sluggish in his blocking abilities. Yet, with what I saw from Chan Gailey this year, he would rather have a tight end that can catch and run with the ball. Jonathan Stupar is a disgrace, and Shawn Nelson has yet to prove he is worthy of the starting job.
Williams will add another weapon to the Bills arsenal, which is slowly gaining respect around the NFL, and with the Bills running multiple shotgun-spread packages, Williams can focus on his specialty: receiving.
Round 4, Pick 121 (from Seattle)
Florida State Quarterback: Christian Ponder
I have Ponder falling to the end of Round 4 because he is injury prone and has consistency issues. Yet, with his flaws, Ponder is a great athlete that possesses a solid arm and the ability to move around outside the pocket if he needs to do so.
Pat Devlin is a guy that I would keep an eye on in earlier rounds, but I think the Bills have too much confidence in Fitzpatrick to take a quarterback in Round 2.
Round 5, Pick 130
Central Arkansas 3-4 Defensive End: Cedric Thornton
A small school product with great upside. At 6'3" 295 lbs, Thornton is prototypical size and has all the physical tools to make it in the NFL, it's just a matter of adjusting to stiffer competition. Also, the Bills took chances on small school products like Arthur Moats and Danny Batten, why would it be any different this time around?
Round 6, Pick 164
Georgia Guard: Clint Boling
Depending on his performance in the East-West Shrine Game, Boling could be picked higher than this. But, the fact is that Boling will not be a Pro-Bowl guard; he'll be a decent starter or a very reliable reserve. Either way, the Bills need depth on their offensive line in a bad way.
Round 7, Pick 195
Central Florida 3-4 Rush Linebacker: Bruce Miller
Miller has had a solid college career, but scouts question his athleticism and ability to transfer to the NFL game. Regardless, Miller is an outstanding pass-rusher, and has an uncanny ability to find his way into the backfield. He wont be seen as a starter, but he could be effective as a special teams player and as situational rush linebacker.