NFL Draft: Rating Each Player The Buffalo Bills Could Take at #3 Overall

Chris FranjoineContributor IFebruary 25, 2011

NFL Draft: Rating Each Player The Buffalo Bills Could Take at #3 Overall

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    The NFL Draft is beginning to take shape as we get closer to the big day.

    For the most part, we know which talented players will be chosen in the first ten picks. However, as a Bills fan, I know that almost any player is a possibility.  

    Last year, we surprised the whole league by taking C.J. Spiller at the ninth pick overall. I was not a big fan of that pick since the 2010 Draft was full of players at positions that we actually needed.

    That said, let's take a look at who the Bills could take...

1. Da'Quan Bowers, DE (Clemson)

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    Bowers would be a great addition to Bills defense.  

    The team ranked last against the run in a year where they couldn't really figure out whether they wanted to run a 4-3 or a 3-4. The nice thing about Bowers is that he could probably fit into both systems.

    He has not had too many problems with injuries, although he did miss two games last year due to knee problems. Bowers is an amazing talent, but he is still pretty raw. While it is a little bit disappointing to not be drafting a finished product, Bowers' raw ability means he will get much better than he already is.

    If he is still available when the Bills are on the clock, it would be difficult to pass him up. He is extremely talented, and he plays a position the Bills need help at.

2. Nick Fairley, DT (Auburn)

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    Nick Fairley looked unstoppable during the National Championship.

    He is a more finished product that Bowers, but unlike him, Fairley's work ethic has been questioned. Nevertheless, it would be difficult to pass up Fairley's talent. He is well rounded in that he is a great pass-rusher and run-stopper. The Bills need help in both departments; Kyle Williams cannot do it all on his own.

    It is unlikely that the Bills will be able to choose between Bowers and Fairley, but I personally think they would be quite happy with either player. The Bills need help now, which is why I would rather have Fairley.

3. Patrick Peterson, CB (LSU)

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    Patrick Peterson has been compared to the great CBs of the NFL.  

    I would love to be able to put him out on his own island so we can worry about the run. That is not something I am comfortable doing with the current CBs, especially McKelvin.

    Peterson is a well rounded CB with the ability to return punts as well. He is great at covering WRs, and he is at least above average in terms of stopping the run. Just as important, Peterson has something that none of the current Bills CB have—durability.

    The Bills secondary has been called the strong point of our defense, but that is not saying much. Our DBs are only strong in comparison to our ability to stop the run, which is non-existent. Peterson would be a great upgrade to the current CBs, but it would be difficult to take him over Fairley or Bowers just because we need them that much more.

4. A.J. Green, WR (Georgia)

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    Please Bills, please do not do this.

    I love drafting WRs, and I am 100 percent against this pick. It is the equivalent to taking Spiller last year. It is what the Bills will do if they are put on the clock and they do not know what they want to do. Don't get me wrong, Green is very good, and while he has the talent, the Bills do not have the need.

    Any "Draft Expert" who has given Green to the Bills in a mock draft has not done their homework. Last season turned the Bills WRs into a position of strength and depth.

5. Von Miller, OLB (Texas A&M)

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    Similarly to Bowers, Miller has the talent to be effective in a 4-3 or a 3-4.

    He would be a great replacement for Kelsay even though the Bills decided that Kelsay deserved a brand new contract. All the hype surrounding Von Miller seems to be well founded, although he has certainly climbed up the rankings a lot in the past few months.  

    OLBs taken in the first round tend to adjust to the NFL pretty quickly and that is what the Bills need out of this pick.

6. Blaine Gabbert, QB (Missouri)

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    Blaine Gabbert was projected to be a 3rd round pick at best a few months ago.  

    What happened?

    I still am not really sure. That said, he definitely has some good qualities for a QB. He has good speed and has shown the ability to be a great leader on and off the field. Gabbert may be the most NFL ready QB in this draft, but he is still pretty raw.

    Third overall seems like a pretty steep price for a QB who will need a a year or two.

    The Bills should draft a QB in this draft, but they should be targeting one of the later round QBs like Ponder or Dalton. That said, Buffalo has gone years without a true QB so it would be tough to be upset with a possible franchise QB.

7. Cam Newton, QB (Auburn)

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    Watching Cam Newton is incredibly exciting, and so is the idea of drafting him.  

    Just not at the #3 overall pick.  

    There are just too many questions surrounding him. His run-ins with the law, cheating, decision making, and ability to read a defense are among those questions.  

    The fact that he has been able to attract this much hype despite all of those reasons is amazing. He is a player that I would love to have on my team, but hopefully the Bills will not have a pick this high in the near future and we cannot afford to waste it.

Honorable Mention

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    Marell Dareus: Could actually end up being our pick depending on what the Broncos and Panthers do. He would be a solid player who I cannot see being a disappointment. The other prospects are just that much more enticing.

    Mark Ingram: NO! But the Bills have been known to add RBs to an already crowded backfield.

    Robert Quinn: He does not warrant the #3 pick considering his durability problems.

    Prince Amukamara: If the Bills really decide to go with a CB in the first round, Amukamara is a good consolation prize, although that would mean that we are passing up on either Fairley or Bowers.