The 2011 NFL Draft is quickly approaching and teams have already begun to scout the college prospects available. With the possible threat of no football in 2011 due to the expiring Collective Bargaining Agreement, teams are trying to make big splashes in order to get prepared for whatever happens come March. One team in particular is the Buffalo Bills.
The Bills are one of the teams that have a high chance of relocating in the near future, due to their current owner Ralph C. Wilson Jr. being 92 years old and with the small chance of one of his daughters buying the team after his death.
Former Bills QB Jim Kelly has been trying to get a group together to buy the team so it will remain in Buffalo, while former Buffalo Sabres owner Tom Golisano has stated that, “I'd consider buying Buffalo Bills if team was in danger of moving,” but these stories have generated little interest or excitement from Bills fans, including myself. The team hasn’t made the playoffs since the 1999-00 season (see Music City Miracle) and fans are getting tired of the team’s poor play in recent years.
Therefore, the Bills need to address their team needs in April, while making a splash that will excite fans; much like the team did last year with their improved play towards the end of the season. The Bills have the third overall pick in this year's draft and many mock drafts have had the Bills taking Patrick Peterson, a CB from LSU.
While Peterson is praised for his stellar play at LSU, trust me, Bills fans will be outraged with another high DB draft pick. Just look at how outraged they were when the Bills drafted Jairus Byrd two years ago and Leodis McKelvin the year before.
Then there's Cam Newton, the Heisman Trophy-winning and BSC Championship-winning QB from Auburn. While this will generate excitement, I don't like Newton. He reminds me too much of JaMarcus Russell, a big quarterback with a nice arm and good legs, won a national championship, but didn't really contribute to the national championship team. And we all know how Russell turned out in the NFL; the biggest bust since Ryan Leaf.
AJ Green, the WR from Georgia, is another mock draft favorite. But with the emergence of Stevie Johnson, a former Pro Bowler in Lee Evans, along with the good play of Roscoe Parrish, David Nelson, David Jones and Namaan Roosevelt last season, WR is one of the Bills' deepest positions. Green would get lost in the shuffle and it'd be a waste of a pick, something the Bills simply can't afford this year.
The Bills need to address the defensive line, which was a major contributor to the Bills 32nd-ranked rush defense of the lasts two years, even worse with the cutting of former Pro-Bowler Marcus Stroud this offseason.
This leaves three options: Nick Fairley, Da’Quan Bowers and Marcell Dareus. Fairley will probably be off the board by that time and between Bowers and Dareus, I’d go with Dareus, a former BCS Champion from Alabama.
Bowers is a one-year wonder (Aaron Maybin anyone?) and I feel with Dareus, the Bills get a solid player that can team with Kyle Williams to help produce the start to a solid D-line for years to come. It also helps that Dareus can play in either the 3-4 or the 4-3 defense, since Bills seem to enjoy using both.
That's my personal opinion, what do you all think? Please comment and I hope you enjoyed my first article for the Bleacher Report.