In the first post I wrote here, we talked about the top five guys I would like Buffalo to target in the draft.
The players at the time I liked were: Quinton Coples (High ceiling, questionable motor and work ethic), Melvin Ingram (versatile pass rusher, very athletic), Dre Kirkpatrick (Physical CB and more on him later), Courtney Upshaw (Pass Rusher, Undersized but strong) and Robert Griffin (LOL).
I thought it would’ve been smart for Buffalo to trade up to grab RG3, but kudos for the Redskins for recognizing the importance of a franchise quarterback. Some pundits and skeptics thought what Washington gave up was too much. Yeah, about that.. NO, it wasn’t too much. You can not put a price on a potential franchise saving quarterback. The Redskins sent their first round (sixth overall), second round picks in this year’s draft, and first-round picks in 2013 and 2014, for presumably what will be Robert Griffin. Redskins went from sixth up to the second pick. Could you imagine what Buffalo would’ve had to give up to go from ten to two? *shutters*.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock or on planet hoth, the last two weeks you are well aware that the Bills immediately upgraded their pass rush in the free agency period with the signing of Mark Anderson and some guy named Mario Williams. For those who know me are well aware that I’ve been pretty cynical on this team and franchise for the last twelve years, but I’m beyond impressed that the Bills brought in the top two pass rushers in Free Agency and neither left. Kudos to the Bills brass for not messing around. When the Bills upgraded their pass rush it immediately opened a lot of doors for their NFL Draft. Prior to free agency, the Bills were linked to all the pass rushers mentioned above. And who knows, maybe they’ll surprise us and take one of them still. Although I highly doubt that. The Bills also attempted to find a number two WR in free agency by bringing in and eventually losing out on Robert Meachem. By the looks of how FA played out, it seemed the Bills were only interested in Meachem and kinda sorta kicked the tires on Mario Manningham. Needless to say, finding a #2 WR is still a need for this team.
Since Buffalo aggressively attacked and upgraded a massive need via free agency, it removed them out of a “box” for the tenth pick. Since the Williams and Anderson signing, I did some reading and additional research on who the Bills should and may target a month from now. Here are three players I think the Buffalo Bills will take a serious look at with the number ten pick:
3. Luke Kuechly, LB Boston College: A potential every down LB who had a really good performance at the scouting combine last month in Indianapolis. He ran a 4.58 40 which really got the attention of the scouts and his showing in the position drills also impressed the masses in Lucas Oil Stadium. Luke totaled 532 tackles in just three seasons at Boston College. If the season started today the Bills starting Linebackers would be: Nick Barnett at SLB, Kelvin Shepperd at MIKE and Kirk Morrison at WLB. Buffalo may like Kirk Morrison, but I still feel like they maybe a dominate LB away from a real elite defense. Kuechly can come and compete for one of those LB spots. Very intelligent , aggressive player who is solid against the run, and a very good open field tackler who doesn’t miss. The Bills are looking to upgrade their defense and get depth. Luke can provide both. Other guys you need to pay attention to in the later rounds: Vinny Curry, DE Marshall and Andre Branch, DE Clemson.
2. Dre Kirkpatrick, CB Alabama: If you go back to my first post I wrote here, I raved about Kirkpatrick’s size and strength. More importantly he comes from a winning program and played for a head coach who made his mark on coaching secondary players. Here is what Dan Kader from MockingTheDraft.com has to say about the 6’0 corner:
“Kirkpatrick is a powerful, physical cornerback who can push wide receivers around at the line of scrimmage. Could easily get up to more than 200 pounds with losing quickness. Possesses the agility and quickness of a much smaller and more compact defensive back. Can turn and run with just about any receiver and keep up. Has quick feet to flip open his hips and mirror vertically. Gave up only one touchdown in 2011, which was reportedly the first of his career” Anything more you want to know? Oh there is.. Please continue Mr Kader: “He’s arguably the most physically impressive cornerback in this year’s draft. He’s tall with long arms and a frame to get stronger.”
The Bills corner back situation looks like this: Leodis McKelvin, Terrence McGee, Justin Rogers, Drayton Florence, Prince Miller (Who?) and Aaron Williams. We know McKelvin is shaky in coverage while McGee is often injured and is getting older. It’s quite possible, but highly unlikely that McGee gets cut. In today’s NFL with the pass happy offenses and playing Tom Brady twice a year, you can never have enough corners. Dre comes in and starts IMMEDIATELY. Would you be ok with McKelvin regulated to returns, Florence and Rogers as your nickel and dime corners with AJ Williams and Dre Kirkpatrick as your starters? Yeah, me too. Here is what Buddy Nix has to say about this from Jan 9, 2012: “And you could never have enough corners. We would like to add two corners, whether it’s through free agency or whether it’s through the draft.”
Before I change my mind and make Dre my number one choice, let’s get to number one.
1. Michael Floyd, WR Notre Dame: I’m a die hard Notre Dame fan. I’ve been following Notre Dame football as long as I’ve been following the Bills. Michael Floyd is probably the most pro ready player Notre Dame has had since Tim Brown. Again I’m going to defer to the General Manager and his take on what he looks for in a WR: ” I think even signing Stevie (Johnson), I know all you guys watched the games this weekend and there’s only one Calvin Johnson but there’s some more similar to that, that you throw it up there. They’re not covered when they’re covered.”
Hmmm…let’s see if I understand. You want a guy similar to Calvin Johnson who is “open without being open”.. Does a catch like this qualify?.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUHY4IcQMuU . Amazing. I watched this live and his rewind on the DVR 12 times I think. We all know Fitz isn’t the most accurate on deep balls, but with a player like Floyd, if you throw in his area code he will catch it.
He has the height (6’3), the body control and his hands got much better during his time at Notre Dame. Now I have to mention his three alcohol related arrests. Two of them were drunk driving which landed him off the time last off season. He fought he was back on and had a very good Senior season. After re-reading the Buddy Nix January 9th post season press conference, I really believe now that Dre Kirkpatrick and Michael Floyd are the top two guys they’re targeting. That is just my belief. Can they go a different direction? Sure, but we all know Nix to be a straight shooter and I think this is the way they’re leaning. What could be the most interesting thing from all of this however is how the Demetrius Bell saga (is it a saga?) plays out. The Bills do need a Left Tackle. They really like Chris Hairston and they want Bell back, but I think you can grab another tackle in the later rounds.
Can I interest you in Mike Adams from Ohio St? I just don’t see them reaching, and it would be a reach, for Reily Reiff or Jonathan Martin at the ten spot. Remember in 2010, when everyone just about penciled Bryan Bulga from Iowa to the Bills at the 9 spot and they drafted Spiller? Same sort of thing can pan out here.
Thoughts Bills fans? Give me your Top 3 or Top 5.