2011 NFL Mock Draft: Marcell Dareus Headlines Buffalo Bills 7 Round Edition
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
The 2011 NFL Draft is gaining buzz with April 28 just around the corner. As teams rush to put the finishing touches on their final draft boards, the Buffalo Bills must hit a home run with their No. 3 overall selection.
The Bills haven't made the postseason since 1999, and they absolutely cannot afford to miss on another high draft choice.
The roster is filled with holes, and there are many quality players who can fill them.
Round One, No. 3 Overall- DT/DE Marcell Dareus, Alabama
Jeff Gross/Getty Images
The Bills defensive line was one of the worst in the National Football League a year ago, allowing opposing offenses to gash them for roughly 170 yards per game on the ground. Adding space eater, Marcell Dareus would bring size, strength, and versatility to the Buffalo front seven.
Marcell Dareus has played on a 3-4 defensive line ever since he was a true freshman at Alabama.
His pass rushing skills are great, and would present major problems to opposing offensive lines—who also have to account for Bills nose tackle Kyle Williams. He has the size to play inside when the Bills use a four-man front as well.
In his two seasons at Alabama, Dareus recorded 71 tackles, 20 of those for a loss, 11 sacks, a forced fumble, and 17 hits on the quarterback.
Round Two, No. 34 Overall- ILB Martez Wilson, Illinois
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Martez Wilson is a guy that hasn't been getting a lot of national publicity, despite being the consensus No. 1 overall inside linebacker prospect entering the 2011 NFL Draft. That changed after his impressive combine performance, in which he ran a blazing 4.49 40-yard dash.
At 6'4", 250 pounds, Wilson would be a great addition next to Paul Posluszny (assuming he re-signs) at the same inside linebacker, allowing Poz to use his instincts while Wilson engages the fullback to stop the run.
Wilson had a great career at Illinois, where he recorded 222 tackles (111 of them this past season), forced two fumbles and sacked the quarterback nine times.
Round Three, No. 68 Overall- QB Colin Kaepernick, Nevada
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Assuming the Bills don't select Cam Newton in the first round, Colin Kaepernick out of Nevada has seen his stock significantly rise after the Senior Bowl and the NFL Combine.
At 6'6" and 225 pounds, Kaepernick has the ideal size for an NFL quarterback. Similar to Newton, he has a strong arm and uses his legs to gain extra yards.
Kaepernick might be the sexy pick for coach Gailey, who ran a version of the Pistol offense that Colin ran in college. He is the only quarterback in NCAA history to pass for over 2,000 yards and rush for over 1,000 yards in three seasons.
In his four years at Nevada, Kaepernick completed 59.9 percent of his passes, throwing for 10,098 yards, 82 touchdowns to just 24 interceptions, while adding another 4,112 yards on the ground, scoring 75 touchdowns.
Round Four, No. 100 Overall- OT Joseph Barksdale, Louisiana State
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images
One of the Buffalo Bills greatest needs is an offensive linemen, and finally in the fourth round, they find someone whose value matches their selection.
At 6'5" 315 pounds, Joseph Barksdale will most likely begin his career holding down the right tackle position, where the Bills are very weak and thin, and can eventually slide over to the left side.
He runs the 40 yard dash in under 5.0 seconds, and is solid in his pass protection and run blocking, as displayed by the potent Louisiana State Tigers rush offense. Barksdale is extremely durable as he has played in just about every game since his freshman year.
Round Four, No. 122 Overall (From Seattle)- ILB Kelvin Sheppard, Louisiana State
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Kelvin Sheppard will bring not only dominance to whichever team selects this LSU standout, but leadership as well.
Vastly overshadowed by his fellow defensive teammate, Patrick Peterson, Sheppard has quietly amassed 311 tackles, five forced fumbles, five sacks and two interceptions.
Weighing in at 240 pounds, he can add some beef to his frame to play strong side, while Posluszny can get to the ball carrier.
Round Five, No. 133 Overall- DT/DE Lawrence Guy, Arizona State
The Buffalo Bills continue to address the front seven in the fifth round, selecting Lawrence Guy out of Arizona State, who projects to play defensive end in a 3-4 defense.
Guy already has the bulk and the frame to play, as he stands 6'4" weighing 305 pounds, but is still fairly raw. He will need a season or two on the sidelines to work on his game, but he could prove to be a steal in the fifth round.
At Arizona State, Guy recorded 108 tackles and eight sacks in his three years as a starter.
Round Six, No. 169 Overall- TE Rob Housler, Florida Atlantic
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
The Bills need production from the tight end position, and Florida Atlantic University standout Rob Housler could be the answer. Former fourth round draft pick Shawn Nelson hasn't really done anything to separate himself from the other tight ends on the roster, much less earn a full time starting role.
Housler needs to put on some bulk to his frame, as he weighs just 215 pounds at 6'5", but he is a lot like David Nelson.
In his two years as a starter, Housler caught 71 passes for 1,148 yards, while finding the endzone eight times.
Round Seven, No. 206 Overall- C Ryan Bartholomew
Chris Gardner/Getty Images
Geoff Hangartner is in jeopardy of losing his starting job at center to Eric Wood, but adding Ryan Bartholomew would add depth and skill to the offensive line.
The Bills need all the depth they can get, especially on the offensive line, and adding a solid center in the seventh round is a great pick.
Round Seven, No. 237 Overall- OT Kyle Hix, Texas
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
In these later rounds, the Bills add another offensive tackle to add depth and competition. Kyle Hix stands 6'7" and weighs 325 pounds, and has played both right and left tackle since joining the Texas Longhorns as a true freshman.
His elite size and length make him a sexy option for the Bills, especially in the seventh round.