2011 NFL Mock Draft: Buffalo Bills 7-Round Projections 2.0
I did a seven-round mock draft for the Buffalo Bills a while back. Things have changed considerably since then.
Prospects have participated in pro day workouts and teams have leaked information about the direction they are headed in.
I wanted to update my projections to reflect these changes.
I have also done more research on late-round possibilities since then. I won't be including the prospects I highlighted in that article. Instead, I'm bringing all new ones in.
As always, let me know what you think in the comments section.
First Round (No. 3 Overall)
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Previous Pick: Marcell Dareus, DL Alabama
I still think Dareus would be a good pick for the Bills. He fills a massive need for a run-stuffer and he is one of the best players in the draft.
The only reason I moved him out of this pick is because I no longer think that he will be available at No. 3. Both Carolina and Denver could use defensive line help. The way things stand now, I think Carolina picks Cam Newton at one and Denver takes Dareus at two.
If that scenario plays out, I believe Buffalo has to take Von Miller. You could make an argument for Patrick Peterson or Blaine Gabbert here, but Miller is the combination of need and value.
Miller is the real deal. He is one of the most athletic players in the draft. In college, he was mainly seen as a pass rush specialist, but he will have to do more than that in the NFL. He proved he can do that in the Senior Bowl.
Senior Bowl rules prevent linebackers from blitzing the quarterback. Miller was arguably the best player there. He made plays all over the field and showed he could drop back in coverage.
He would provide immediate help for a Bills defense that was ranked in the bottom half on sacks.
The thought of Von Miller and a rejuvenated Shawne Merriman on the field at the same time should give Tom Brady nightmares.
Current Pick: Von Miller, OLB Texas A&M
Second Round (No. 34 Overall)
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Previous Pick: Colin Kaepernick, QB Nevada
Colin Kaepernick is my favorite quarterback in this class. I believe his ceiling is higher than any quarterback in the draft, with the exception of Newton, and he can be had for a lesser price.
That being said, I don't think Buffalo is as high on him as I am. They have not brought him in for a pre-draft workout while they have worked out several others.
The logic behind my pick of a quarterback in the second round still applies. A quarterback with a great deal of potential can be drafted here with minimal risk.
That's why I still have Buffalo taking a quarterback here. Christian Ponder is the guy that I believe the Bills are targeting here.
Chan Gailey and the rest of the staff have gotten a close look at Ponder at the Senior Bowl and in pre-draft workouts.
I believe that this isn't just for show. Ponder is a very accurate quarterback and highly intelligent with the football. He is a leader and played through pain last year.
While I don't think he will be as good as Kaepernick, Ponder would be a very good pick.
Current Pick: Christian Ponder, QB Florida State
Third Round (No. 67 Overall)
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Previous Pick: Kelvin Sheppard, ILB LSU
After missing out on Dareus and drafting Miller, Buffalo needs to address the defensive line. Because of the miserable performance of the defense against the run last year, it needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.
Jarvis Jenkins would fit the profile for a 3-4 defensive end. At 6'4" and 300 pounds, he has the size to be a major factor in the run game.
He was overshadowed at Clemson by Da'Quan Bowers, but he still managed 51 tackles (nine of them for a loss), a sack and 16 quarterback pressures. Also of note, he blocked four placekicks in his college career.
Jenkins would also give Buffalo scheme versatility. In Clemson's 4-3 scheme, he played inside at defensive tackle. If Buffalo continues using multiple fronts, Jenkins could get playing time no matter what the situation.
Along with Alex Carrington and Torell Troup, Jenkins would give the Bills a nice young nucleus on the defensive line that can develop over time.
Current Pick: Jarvis Jenkins, DE Clemson
Fourth Round (No. 99 Overall)
Previous Pick: Jason Pinkston, OT Pittsburgh
I debated having the Bills draft an offensive tackle in the third round. There would be some good ones available there like Joseph Barksdale of LSU. Buffalo hasn't used a draft pick on an offensive tackle in the first three rounds since Mike Williams in 2002.
It may be high time to do so this year, but I'm taking Nix and Gailey at their word that the focus of this draft will be on defense.
A prospect with a great deal of potential is Jah Reid, out of Central Florida.
At 6'7" and 325 pounds, Reid certainly has the size to play against NFL defenders. He needs some work on his technique. He relied mostly on his size against Conference USA defensive lineman.
Reid's potential will get him drafted fairly high. Some people have him being picked as high as the second round so there is a good chance he doesn't even last this long.
I like Reid's ability to develop into a solid NFL starter in a few years. He would help solidify one of the shakiest spots on the Bills' offensive line at right tackle.
Current Pick: Jah Reid, OT UCF
Fourth Round (No. 121 Overall)
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Previous Pick: Ross Homan, OLB Ohio State
I believe that the Bills go back to the linebacker corp with this pick. Gailey has stated that he wants to get bigger at the inside linebacker position.
I'm not entirely sure how Buffalo's front office would evaluate Mario Harvey in light of that goal. He's only 5'11", on the small side for linebackers, but weighs in at an impressive 250 pounds.
With that stocky build, you would think speed would be a concern. Not so in this case. Harvey ran a 4.46 40 time at his pro day, making him one of the fastest linebacker prospects in the draft.
This combination of size and speed translated to a high level of production at Marshall. In his senior season, he posted 117 tackles and 7 sacks.
It would be nice to have a play-maker of that sort on the inside for Buffalo. At the very least, he should be a stand-out performer on special teams.
Current Pick: Mario Harvey, ILB Marshall
Fifth Round (No. 131 Overall)
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Previous Pick: Julius Thomas, TE Portland State
Some of my favorite prospects in this draft are defensive backs that have flown under the radar. One of those guys that I like is Cortez Allen.
Allen is a big and physical cornerback that has the size to play free safety in a pinch. He was mostly asked to play man coverage in college.
His combination of size and speed was too much for the FCS opponents that he faced. He will need some help with his technique at the next level, but he has all the measurables to succeed.
Allen would be a good fit in Buffalo. He could provide much needed depth at the cornerback and safety positions.
His size also makes him a nice change-of-pace corner as compared to Buffalo's smaller cornerbacks. He could be a perfect nickel-back, covering slot receivers and tight ends.
Current Pick: Cortez Allen, DB The Citadel
Sixth Round (No. 163 Overall)
Previous Pick: Chris L. Rucker, DB Michigan State
The late rounds are all about producing quality depth. One of the most valuable qualities in a depth player is the ability to play multiple positions.
That's why I have the Bills taking Darius Morris here. Buffalo could still use depth on the offensive line despite a couple decent free agent signings last year.
Morris played right tackle in college, but some think he can also play guard in the NFL.
Morris started all 11 games for Temple and was selected to the All-MAC team in his senior year.
He needs some work with his technique, but he could turn into a solid lineman.
Current Pick: Darius Morris, OT/G Temple
Seventh Round (No. 193 Overall)
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Previous Pick: Ryan Bartholomew, C Syracuse
I believe Buddy Nix has gone on record saying that he wants to add two more inside linebackers. Tarpinian should be the second one here in the seventh round.
He had an excellent Pro Day that has put him on the radar. At 235 pounds, he ran in the 40-yard dash in 4.55 seconds. That's quite impressive for a linebacker.
Tarpinian would provide depth at the linebacker position and could be a major contributor on special teams with that speed.
Is drafting three linebackers in one draft too many? Possibly, but it could be argued that the linebackers were the weakest part of Buffalo's roster. They are the reason why Gailey had to switch the defense to a mixed front last year.
Please let me know what you think in the comments section below. Thanks for reading!
Current Pick: Jeff Tarpinian, ILB Iowa