2011 NFL Draft: Options for the Buffalo Bills in Rounds 1 and 2
The 2011 NFL Draft is less than two weeks away, and the prospects seem to rolling into One Bills Drive.
After research and speculation, this list and preview was compiled to give a tentative list of prospects that the Bills could be pursuing. However, one must take into account that some of the visits and workouts are merely a smokescreen for each team's actual draft plan.
The next couple of slides will outline the prospects I believe have the best chance to be selected by the Bills come draft day.
Also, be sure to check out my latest mock draft: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/654106-2011-nfl-mock-draft-two-round-mock-draft-with-team-needs-and-options
Round 1, Pick 3
Von Miller, Texas A&M, 3-4 Outside Linebacker
Miller has emerged as the favorite for most fans to be picked third overall by the Bills. He has top five talent without question, but will Buddy Nix see Miller as the pick to help turn this team around in the long-run? That is not for me to decide, but linebackers are not typically picked this high.
Blaine Gabbert, Missouri, Quarterback
Gabbert has seen his stock rise dramatically throughout the draft process, and ultimately has put himself into a position to be a top 10 pick. Most fans are comfortable with Ryan Fitzpatrick at the helm, but is he the long-term solution for the Bills at quarterback? This team cannot afford to have Fitz regress to his 2009 form and bottom out. If the organization feels like Gabbert is the long-term solution for this team he will be the pick. Nix and Gailey have maintained this statement for months.
Patrick Peterson, LSU, Cornerback
His name is not thrown around as much as it was two months ago, but Peterson is still a viable option for the Bills. However, Terrance McGee will be returning along with Leodis McKelvin after a fairly solid year.
A.J. Green, Georgia, Wide Receiver
Probably not being considered as seriously as the aforementioned prospects, but Green is arguably the best player available if he is there when the Bills pick third overall. Green has a tremendous skill set, and has drawn comparisons to Randy Moss and Calvin Johnson.
Marcell Dareus, Alabama, 3-4 Defensive End
I highly doubt that Dareus will make it past Denver, but he is an option nonetheless. After a solid campaign for the Crimson Tide he looks to be a game-changing run-stuffer at the line of scrimmage.
Cam Newton, Auburn, Quarterback
Like Dareus, I doubt he will make it to the Bills as Carolina has their sights set on Newton. It's no mystery that Chan Gailey likes Newton, but will he fall to Buffalo after his stellar Heisman Trophy winning season?
Round 2, Pick 34
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Ben Ijalana, Guard/Tackle, Villanova
He was the most recent prospect to visit One Bills Drive and looks to be a late first or early second-round pick. Ijalana's versatility will probably intrigue the coaching staff due to the constant scrambling of the offensive line. He isn't as battle tested as guys like Derek Sherrod or Gabe Carimi, but Ijalana has lots of potential.
Derek Sherrod, Tackle, Mississippi State
Probably will not fall out of the first round, but the Bills have shown a bit of interest in Sherrod. He projects as a left or right tackle in the NFL and has all of the skills to be a solid tackle for years to come.
Corey Liuget, Illinois, 3-4 Defensive End
Another prospect that probably will not fall out of the first round, Liuget possesses the versatility that Buddy Nix has said he is looking for in his defensive lineman. He has played defensive tackle, 3-4 defensive end and nose tackle for Illinois. How is that for versatile? His strength lies in his bull rushing, which allows him to get to the running backs before they can hit their holes. This is exactly the type of guy the Bills need.
Christian Ballard, Iowa, 3-4 Defensive End
A bit of a finesse rusher, but Ballard can get the job done. He has been called out for being too soft throughout his years at Iowa, but his stats beg to differ. I question how much he can produce without Adrian Clayborn on the line with him.
Brooks Reed, Arizona, 3-4 Rush Linebacker
Reed was a defensive end at Arizona, but he has the speed and athleticism to make the conversion to rush linebacker for the Bills. We are all aware that the team needs help producing sacks, and Reed would be a welcome addition. He is also a great locker room member and team captain, the Bills seem to like bringing these types of guys in.
Christian Ponder, Florida State, Quarterback
Chan Gailey knows Ponder in and out at this point. The only question surround Ponder is whether or not his arm is healthy enough to battle the tough Buffalo winters.
Colin Kaepernick, Nevada, Quarterback
Another quarterback option for the Bills, Kaepernick has shot up draft boards in recent months. He has the mobility that Gailey likes to see in his quarterbacks, as well as a good enough arm to get the job done. He'll probably have to bulk up a bit, but Kaepernick has a ton of potential regardless.
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
It looks like the Bills will be drastically improved no matter who they take with their first two picks.
Let me know who you would like with the Bills' first and second picks. Get the discussion going and see which fans are thinking alike and who is thinking differently.