2011 NFL Draft: Patrick Peterson and Prospects the Buffalo Bills Will Target

Robert Quinn@@RQuinn619Correspondent IFebruary 9, 2011

BATON ROUGE, LA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Patrick Peterson #7 of the Louisiana State Univeristy Tigers runs for a touchdown against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Tiger Stadium on September 25, 2010 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The Buffalo Bills organization has completely blundered their drafts for about a decade, constantly passing on future Pro Bowlers, only to select flashy, one-year wonder guys. This year, the Bills hold the No. 3 overall pick in the draft, and while I love the idea of an elite prospect joining the Bills, I'm extremely nervous about who they will select once they are on the clock.

The Bills have needs all over the board, from depth on the offensive line, especially at the right tackle position, inside linebacker and defensive ends. However, there isn't a sure-fire offensive lineman or linebacker worth taking with the third overall pick, which leads me to take a look at the prospects Buddy Nix and the scouts at One Bills Drive may be eyeing.

This is part one of a two part series, evaluating six players that have a chance to play for Buffalo next season.

CB Patrick Peterson, Louisiana State

The Bills secondary was primed to be an elite corps of guys this past season, after free safety Jairus Byrd was coming off of a nine interception rookie campaign and cornerback Leodis McKelvin "developing." The Bills have one of the best ranked pass defenses in the league, however, their league-worst run defense inflates that number significantly.

So why add another skill position, especially at cornerback where we have Leodis McKelvin and Terrence McGee? Well, McGee is getting up there in age and hasn't been able to stay healthy in recent years, while McKelvin never really developed into the top tier corner the Bills thought they had when they grabbed him in a draft class that featured Arizona Cardinals corner Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.

Peterson, who stands 6'2", weighing in at 222 pounds, has blazing speed, the strength to jam receivers at the line of scrimmage, and the ball skills to break up passes. Add a few pounds to him and he can move to safety, which would bring a ton of versatility to the defense. He can play the run and is a force on special teams.

At LSU, he racked up 135 tackles, while intercepting seven passes, all while teams weren't throwing at him. He added another 70 kick/punt returns for 1,350 yards, scoring four times.

DE/OLB Da'Quan Bowers, Clemson

While most draft gurus have Bowers off the board at No. 1 or No. 2, I think he slides down the board a little bit due to his measureables. At 6'4", 280 pounds, he is best fit to play defensive end on a team featuring a 4-3 defensive front. Watching tape of Bowers, you can see that he has great strength and burst off the line, but he has only played with his hand in the dirt.

Bringing in Bowers would put him in a position where the Bills coaching staff would be moving him back and forth between end and linebacker, making his transition to the National Football League even more difficult.

At Clemson, he had a standout 2010 season, finishing his collegiate career with 150 tackles and 20 sacks, 16 of which coming last year.

DE/DT Marcell Dareus

Marcell Dareus is a guy I'd love to have in a Bills jersey. With Marcus Stroud and Dwan Edwards rapidly aging and losing a step, Dareus could step in as the big, nasty defensive linemen the Bills haven't had in years. At 6'4", 304 pounds, Dareus would instantly improve the defense in stopping the run, and despite his 300 pound frame, he can get to the passer pretty often.

With second year defensive end Alex Carrington developing, a defensive line with Marcell Dareus, Kyle Williams and Dwan Edwards/Marcus Stroud/Alex Carrington sounds pretty good to me.

Check back in a few days for the evaluation of the last three prospects the Bills will be keeping an eye on!

This article was originally published on http://buffalowins.com/