NFL Draft 2011: Cam Newton and 4 Other Possible Buffalo Bills Selections
The 2011 NFL draft is upon us. With just under two weeks until the big weekend many Bills fans are anxious, hopeful, and hopefully, prayerful about the decisions that will be made by Buddy Nix, Chan Gailey and company.
But let's face it as much as we care about all the picks that will be made throughout the weekend, our main focus is on what they will do with that third overall pick.
A great majority of fans judging from some votes I have read in various Bills draft articles are clamoring for the Bills to scoop up a defensive stud.
Some fans are a little more patient and would prefer the Bills do something major and finally draft a franchise-type quarterback to build around.
In this article we will look at five possible players that could be drafted with the Bills thirrd overall pick. We'll call them PossiBILLS for the sake of this article.
These guys, Cam Newton, Blaine Gabbert, Marcell Dareus, Nick Fairley and Von Miller all are worthy of a top-five selection, and since there are five of them it is quite likely that at least, one, of them will be on board when the Bills finally get to pick, after waiting to see what the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos do with their selections.
No. 1: Cam Newton
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Scouting Report: (For more visit New Era Scouting)
At the Combine, Newton was a media magnet, drawing attention for his athletic attributes as well as his controversial persona and past.
As an athlete Newton presents a rare-skill set, he possesses the athleticism and quickness of a very athletic tight end, think Kellen Winslow, coupled with an elite level arm, able to make all the throws with ease.
Newton's playing style compares favorably to Ben Roethlisberger's, although at the collegiate level he ran around quite a bit. Like Roethlisberger, Newton is dripping with saavy and guile, with a bent towards winning at all costs. Also like Big Ben, he is more likely to improvise rather than come into the game with a set protocol in place ala Peyton Manning.
His experience is limited, but throughout that time he has been quite successful.
He has been a part of three different teams that won National Champions and leading two of them as the starting Quarterback, he did leave the University of Florida during the season in which they won their second National Championship of the Tim Tebow era.
Scouts have major questions about Newton's accuracy and his ability to transition to the pro game. However, in the right situation, and with a veteran Quarterback in place, Newton could develop into the type of player that redefines his position.
Why Bills Fans Should Love this Guy:
Simply put, he is not only a winner but he is an athletic freak of nature. While his measurables at the combine left signs that he is human. After all, he did not run a 4.2 forty yard dash.
However, aside from his throwing accuracy, Cam Newton seems to be like a player you would create in Madden to force your will upon opponents.He would give the Bills star power and charisma that they have perhaps never had.
How he could get Buddy Nix Fired:
If he does not develop further as a passer and turns into the next Vince Young Newton would put tremendous pressure on Nix and Gailey. Also if he has not gotten past, his past, and invites that to be a part of his professional career the Bills could be in major trouble.
High End Pro Comparison: Newton is perhaps like no quarterback seen before. Overall, it might be safe to say either a more consistent Daunte Culpepper or a more mobile Ben Roethlisberger.
Low End Pro Comparison: Everyone likes to compare him to Jamarcus Russell, but I don't see it. If there is a floor for the guy I would say that his game would be like Randall Cunningham's earlier in his career, only with more running power and less explosiveness.
Buddy Nix or Chan Gailey on him: In the past it has been reported that Buddy Nix is watching Cam Newton very closely. He also took to defending Newton against claims knocking his character in an attention grabbing scouting report. Gailey on the other hand had this to say.
No. 2: Blaine Gabbert
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Scouting Report: (For more visit New Era Scouting)
Gabbert is seen as the pocket passing alternative to Cam Newton, while he is a more scaled down athlete than Newton, he is no slouch. Based on size and skills he compares favorably to a Phillip Rivers or a larger Drew Brees, although based on the combine he is a better athlete than both of them.
The biggest concerns for Gabbert are all related to the things he can or cannot do on the field as opposed to his off-the-field escapades. He chose to stay close to home which shows his willingness to be loyal.
However, one could also argue that he didn't put himself in the best position to succeed by getting into a program with a pro-style offense or more challenging competition. After all, Gabbert was a top QB prospect coming out of High School. Ranked ahead of..Andrew Luck.
Scouts also question Gabbert's decision making on the field, as last season, he threw way too many interceptions and also caused his team to lose a bowl game with a pick thrown at a crucial time.
His throwing has been heavily guarded by his representatives and the film shows him playing in an offense that does not project well to the pros.
Why Bills Fans Should Love this Guy: Blaine Gabbert is athletic, and looks the part of a franchise quarterback. He is somewhat of an intriguing pick, based on the fact that his name was in no one's mouth this time last year.
In fact, Bills fans have to know there is so much more to see out of Gabbert than what he is already done simply because they have not seen too much of him. Also he has that loyal blue-collar feel to him that could endear him to fans very quickly.
How he could get Buddy Nix Fired: If Gabbert continues to regress as a player and struggles with consistency and interceptions. Some also question his ability, as he declined to throw at the combine. Despite glowing reviews from many scouts, there are a lot of unknowns about Gabbert.
High End Pro Comparison: Blaine Gabbert could become a taller Drew Brees, with the mobility to make things happen outside of the pocket and the size to see throwing lanes that perhaps even Brees can not.
Low End Pro Comparison: Alex Smith, perhaps the last guy to come out of nowhere from a spread offense with a paper thin resume, is the guy Gabbert could be like, if things break the wrong way.
Buddy Nix or Chan Gailey on him: Buddy Nix recently compared Blaine Gabbert favorably to Cam Newton in terms of his athletic capabilities. Is this a smoke screen or just a valid assessment?
No. 3: Marcell Dareus
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Scouting Report: (From New Era Scouting)
Dareus is a proto-typical jack of all trades. Scouts across the board peg him as a good fit for either the 3-4 or 4-3 defense. Even more surprisingly, is that he, not Nick Fairley or Da'Quan Bowers is now the stand alone top defensive lineman available. This coming after months of conversation in which Dareus was barely a footnote in the Bowers/ Fairley hoopla.
Dareus is a stout, and active defensive lineman, who is about as versatile as they come while being solid enough to anchor a line,yet quick and powerful enough to provide pressure in the pass rush from the outside.
Why Bills Fans Should Love this Guy: What can't this guy do? He is like an allen wrench for any defensive line set-up. Whether its a 4-3 or a 3-4 he could swing between end and tackle his whole career and be fine with it.
His ability to get to the passer and plug the run will get Bills fans excited and if he can slow down the opposing running game Bills fans will recommend him for knighthood.
How he could get Buddy Nix Fired: If Dareus becomes a jack of all trades and a master of none, Bills fans could get anxious. Also this versatility could also increase the Bills odds of sticking him in the wrong spot and making it take longer for him to make an impact and develop.
High End Pro Comparison: Richard Seymour, like Seymour Dareus plays with both passion and versatility. If he pans out he could significantly make the defense more respectable.
Low End Pro Comparison: A less athletic Justin Tuck. Like the current New York Giant, Dareus offers the refined athleticism and versatility needed for a top defensive linemen.
Buddy Nix or Chan Gailey on him: Chan Gailey recently commented on the strength of Dareus's career and the versatility he has shown.
No. 4: Nick Fairley
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Scouting Report:see more on New Era Scouting)
Depending on who you ask this guy could be anything from the next Warren Sapp, to current Redskins DL Albert Haynesworth (without the sacks). Not that Big Albert had too many this past year to begin with.
Character issues aside, and there have been many, it is obvious that Fairley has talent. He is able to command a double team and dominate the line of scrimmage.
He was an absolute terror this past season against the most talented competition in the country. He was able to deal with the power blocking schemes present in the SEC, the spread of the SEC and also the ultra finesse filled offensive front put up by the Oregon Ducks in the National Championship Game.
Looking at Fairley on tape shows a player that plays hard, but also dirty, this dirtiness could stem from poor work-out habits which leave him to act on his frustration or they could be evidence of a required mean streak.
Why Bills Fans Should Love this Guy: Nick Fairley could be the next Warren Sapp, only bigger and nastier. His playing style would make the toughest Bills fans proud to watch him duke it out on Sundays. But aside from bringing the wood, he will bring the size and attitude necessary to match up with the best in the division.
How he could get Buddy Nix Fired: If Fairley takes his big contract and eats himself out of the league or becomes a magnet for off the field problems, ala Tank Johnson. Fairley would set the Bills back for years. Out of all the top defensive prospects, he has the highest risk associated with him.
High End Pro Comparison: A bigger Warren Sapp or a more physical Albert Haynesworth
Low End Pro Comparison:Albert Haynesworth( when its not a contract year)
Buddy Nix or Chan Gailey on him: Buddy Nix was indifferent when talking about Fairley but expects him to perform to his caliber on Sundays.
No. 5: Von Miller
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Scouting Report: (From New Era Scouting)
Miller is a guy who put up less production this year (10.5 sacks) than his outstanding junior year (17 sacks). But simply put, he was a terror. He started out slowly but once he got going he sacked everyone in sight this past fall.
Miller shows true skills as a pass rusher and has also shown himself to be a hard worker, putting on added weight since the season concluded, and not from McDonalds.
He already had a pro body now he is trying to make sure it lasts. Combining strength with power and speed Miller has impressed scouts with his production and ferocity.
There are others who do have valid concerns about this guy though, some see him as a "one-move" guy.
Why Bills Fans Should Love this Guy: Von Miller is a quarterback assassin. He will rattle enough QB's to excite Bills fans for years to come. He has it all as a pass rusher and has a quiet passion about him that would seem to be contagious.
How he could get Buddy Nix Fired: If Miller becomes the next Vernon Gholston or Aaron Maybin and forgets how to get to the Quarterback and fails to use his athleticism and strength in the most effective way.
High End Pro Comparison: A less explosive Lawrence Taylor
Low End Pro Comparison: Adalius Thomas.
Buddy Nix or Chan Gailey on him: Chan Gailey who got to coach Miller at the Senior Bowl still had praise for him when prodded recently.
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So you've got 15 minutes with Mr. Nix, who do you tell him to pick third overall and why?
Feel free to comment.