I did a fake draft before the season was completed. May still do one next week, but it’s fun to look back and see how things have changed. Why didn’t Matt Barkley come out, the jerk?

Among the many, many things that annoy me about NFL Draft coverage is the chameleon-like ability prospects gain between their last college game and the day their name is called by an NFL team at the draft; It’s ridiculous to me that “He measured one-inch shorter than we thought” costs a player renown despite remarkable success in college ball.

So as we slowly make our way to the beginning of next week’s event, through a parade of pundits proclaiming “Don’t be surprised if…” 900 different things happen, how about I just tell you how I feel? Feel free to be surprised or expectant. It’s America, man.

This Mo has g.u.t.s.

1) I am extremely happy that my team doesn’t seem to be in the Ryan Tannehill sweepstakes. Nothing like finishing near the bottom of the bottle and using your first-round pick 0n a guy who likely won’t be ready for a couple years. Look, if Tannehill somehow slipped into the second round, I might bat an eye for Buffalo. That doesn’t mean he’s done much of anything besides look good without defenses. Reminds me of Matt Schaub. That’s not bad, but  He’s my fifth-ranked — whatever that means — quarterback in this year’s crop and he slots in the third pack of that position.

Class One: Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III

Class Two: Brandon Weeden, Brock Osweiler

Class Three: Ryan Tannehill, Kellen Moore (podcast link), Nick Foles, Russell Wilson

Class Four: Kirk Cousins, Chandler Harnish

2) Bills at Pick Ten, there are precious few ways that would be a genuine surprise. Buddy Nix takes talent and — on a relative scale — he doesn’t care whether you went to Alabama or Arkansas State. If Nix takes a quarterback, d-lineman, center, running back or safety, you’re allowed to be surprised. All bets are off besides that.

I don’t feel the Bills trading up and if they do move I don’t think it’ll come a moment before they are on the clock. Buddy wants to hear the offers from behind and he also wants to make sure one of several players who could unexpectedly drop — Mo Claiborne, Justin Blackmon, even Matt Kalil — are unavailable. Claiborne is going to dominate in the NFL.

3) Why I wouldn’t take Michael Floyd at 10. Forgive me for reiterating yet again my philosophy about wide receivers, but I don’t think Floyd fits in snugly behind Justin Blackmon (who I view in that once-in-a-great-while talent cloud just below Megatron but above nearly everyone else).

If you’re willing to take a wide-out at 10, you should be willing to wait til the second round OR be willing to move back into the first-round. Here are some players I find with potential quite similar, if not better, than Mr. Floyd:

Alshon Jeffery of South Carolina: if I’m taking a dude with character risks, it’s Jeffery. He’s just as explosive as Floyd, but might like sandwiches too much.

McNutt (left)

Marvin McNutt of Iowa: I’m a longtime admirer of Mr. McNutt (that was fun to type). He’s a freak of nature that I believe is as certain an NFL success as any wide-out in the draft. He just may not be a game-breaker. May not.

Devier Posey of Ohio State: he’s raw, but he could be a bigger Mike Wallace. That sounds good, right?

Also worthy of consideration: Nick Toon (Wisconsin), Mohammad Sanu (Rutgers), LaVon Brazill (Ohio).

4) When in doubt, trust your gut: Do you see a mock draft with healthy, size players you loved watching in college… players without notable character issues? They are going to be fine. LB Tank Carder, TE Dwayne Allen, OT Zebrie Sanders, CB Chase Minnifield… if you find yourself on late Friday or early Saturday saying, “HE’S really still available?”, then I’m looking at them and even considering trading up in that  round.

5) There are two great tight ends in this draft: If the Bills call out Coby Fleener or Dwayne Allen, you win. As I’ve detailed before, I think Allen is a lock as a star-to-superstar tight end. Freak show. Fleener won’t miss, but lacks the over-the-moon potential I see in Allen. Otherwise, UDFAs.

6) Of the names above and unnamed, do any scream “Buddy Nix or Chan Gailey type of guy?” Yep: Minnifield, Sanders, Sanu, Moore and Weeden among the named. BC’s Luke Kuechly, Oklahoma WR Ryan Broyles, Texas LB Emmanuel Acho, Ok St OT Levy Adcock,

7) Name me three wild cards: How about three guys who could be Day One guys in another world for various reasons (some of them character-related):

Edge rusher Bruce Irvin from WVU

Linebacker Vontaze Burfict from Arizona State

DE Brandon Lindsey from Pitt

8) How about the most impressive guys in the draft that you’ve seen from the sidelines at UB? Why, I am so glad you asked. First off, there’s a guy named Robert Griffin III. After that, I like Temple beast Bernard Pierce. He’s got a lot of Fred Jackson to him. Wide receivers Eric Page (Toledo) and Brazil (Ohio) are both very interesting.

Jackson

Tennessee DL Malik Jackson earns “Studs McGuds” status. He can be a decade-long roster player. Pitt DL Chas Alecxih was nasty against the Bulls, but I can’t say I’ve thought of him too often since that game.

Just some thoughts: nick@fcbuffalo.org