I’m big on hunches, and the biggest one I have is that the Buffalo Bills have gone out of their way to talk about how much they love draft picks; The rhetoric has been so overwhelming that I believe they could trade up as high as No. 3.
Remember: this is a Bills world where Mario Williams comes to town. So while the guy I believe they want will slide to 10 in my fake draft below — here comes some hated draft parlance — I wouldn’t be surprised if they traded up for Morris Claiborne or the fella I have them selecting. It’s also absolutely worth noting that after improving the pass rush with Williams and Mark Anderson, the Bills could (using the draft value chart) trade their second and third-round picks and get back into the first round as high as No. 25).
Anyway, read on…
1. Indianapolis – Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
2. Washington – Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
3. Minnesota – Morris Claiborne, CB, Louisiana State
4. Cleveland – Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
5. Tampa Bay – Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College
6. St. Louis – Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
7. Jacksonville – Melvin Ingram, DE, Alabama
8. Miami – Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A & M
9. Carolina – Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
10. Buffalo – Matt Kalil, OT, Southern California
— OR —
A) Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina
B) Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
C) Mark Barron, S, Alabama
D) Dont’a Hightower, LB, Alabama
THE WHY: First off, I totally bought this the moment I read it with the exception of Buffalo passing on the tackle. If I’m Minnesota, I know I need a tremendous piece at No. 3 because the goal of drafting No. 3 is DON’T DRAFT NO.3 AGAIN FOR A LONG, LONG TIME. The question about Mo Claiborne is related to his smarts. The question about Matt Kalil is can he gain and retain mass to play left tackle at an elite level in the National Football League. I look at the drop down in grade by the time my next pick shows up. Will I be able to get a starting tackle and wide-out with picks Nos. 35 & 66? Absolutely.
So how does Kalil slide to Buffalo? Cleveland has a LT, Tampa’s linebackers are horrendous, St. Louis & Blackmon have been wedded for months, Jacksonville needs a pass rush, Miami is insane and Carolina would love to give Newton a prime weapon. It’s extremely possible.
Pick No. 41: Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina
A) Mohammad Sanu, WR, Rutgers
B) Dwayne Allen, TE, Clemson
C) Bruce Irvin, OLB, West Virginia
THE WHY: The risk here is that Alshon Jeffery may like sandwiches too much for his own good. I’m going to trust that this locker room can do its best to keep the cold cuts away from the South Carolina stud once rated the top player in the nation’s top conference. Set the freak show loose with Stevie Johnson and open it up even more. If Fitz fails, you’ll know it’s Fitz.
Pick No. 71: Chase Minnifield, CB, Virginia
A) Tank Carder, LB, TCU
B) Emmanuel Acho, LB, Texas
C) Ryan Broyles, WR, Oklahoma
D) Marvin McNutt, WR, Iowa
THE WHY: I firmly believe that US American football teams will regret passing on Minnifield, who has the potential to be a close-to-lockdown corner at the NFL level. He didn’t run at the combine thanks to January knee surgery, but it was precautionary to clean things up in there.
In any event, I would imagine the following three spots will be filled first unless some crazy talent the Bills adore drops to a certain nearly unfathomable place (as in the case of Kalil):
THEN significant drop-off in urgency for:
I also think the Bills would love to bring in a rookie quarterback who wouldn’t murder them if Fitz goes down. Brandon Weeden’s age is a huge deterrent to a team like Buffalo because nurturing him for a few years ages him at the same rate as their current starter, Ryan Fitzpatrick. In fact, Fitz’s mom would’ve barely had time to cook Weeden if the Fitzes started right after Fitz was born (10 months and 20 days). This just got weird.