Many draft gurus around the league have the Buffalo Bills tied to either Auburn quarterback Cam Newton or Texas A&M defensive end/outside linebacker Von Miller.
With the 2011 NFL draft approaching quickly, the Bills can't afford to miss on the No. 3 overall pick. The last time they picked that high, the Bills selected defensive end/outside linebacker Bruce Smith, who currently holds the record for career sacks with over 200.
Assuming the Carolina Panthers don't select Cam Newton, he will be on the board when the Bills are on the clock.
Bills General Manager, Buddy Nix, stated that "now is the perfect time to take a quarterback." However, Von Miller would bring outstanding talent from day one and wouldn't have to sit a year on the bench to understand the defense, as Newton would most likely have to.
Don't get me wrong, Newton is an intriguing prospect due to his listed size of 6'5" and 250 pounds with a cannon for an arm, but playing under a spread system at Auburn will limit his ability to be a playmaker early on, which is something the Bills need.
In ESPN's John Gruden's Quarterback Camp Special, Newton was put to the test and said he was "put on the spot" and struggled when asked to describe a play that had a bit of "verbage" as Gruden put it.
Newton accounted for 50 touchdowns in his one-year wonder season at Auburn, in which he was the recipient of the Heisman Award and a BCS National Championship title, but Miller will be a much better pick for the Bills at this time.
Ryan Fitzpatrick was a serviceable quarterback, passing for 3,000 yards, along with 23 touchdowns and 18 interceptions in his first full year as a starter. With the right defense and offensive line in place, he could help the Bills do big things.
Fitz is a leader on the team, and I can already see Newton bringing disgruntlement to the locker room, as their was when the Bills traded for Rob Johnson when Doug Flutie was on the roster.
Buddy Nix said they needed to draft a "day one starter" with the No. 3 overall pick, and that is exactly what Von Miller brings to the table.
Last year, the Bills draft consisted of all seniors, and it looks like they willl continue that trend by selecting Miller, who improved statistically in each of his four seasons with the Aggies.
He finished his career with 182 tackles, 50.5 tackles for a loss and 33 sacks.
Miller's forte is pass rushing and getting to the quarterback, but he does have the speed to play coverage against tight ends and cover the screen to the running back.
In the AFC East, tackles like Miami Dolphins' Jake Long and New York Jets' D'Brickishaw Ferguson have dominated Bills' pass rushers for the last several years, and Von Miller looks to be the guy to put Tom Brady or Mark Sanchez on the ground, rather than allowing them a five-plus second pocket.
His explosiveness is unmatched, and would force guys like Shawne Merriman, Chris Kelsay and Arthur Moats to work harder to earn a starting role.