Some things I think about the Bills' draft needs

by Nick Smith in


Here a few points concerning what I think the Buffalo Bills need to accomplish tonight and this weekend in the NFL draft. 1. I think in the first 5 rounds, the Bills need to mix and match the following: 1 Nose Tackle, 2 Offensive Tackles, 1 Quarterback, 1 Wide Receiver.  We have no nose tackle.  We need a left tackle and I don't know if I necessarily trust Cornell Green on the right side.  Trent Edwards may be fine for now, but he's not taking us to the Super Bowl.  Lee Evans will have a hard time open with the scrubs we have to put up across the field from him.

2. I think in the first 2 rounds, we need to pick a NT and a LT.

3. Our first round draft board should read like so. 1. Russell Okung 2. Trent Williams 3. Bryan Bulaga 4. Dan Williams If by some tragic event all four are gone, then it is likely there are still some players left that teams will be looking to trade up to get, and we should take advantage of that fact.

4. We can't blow a pick in the first 2 rounds on a quarterback unless we get an extra 2nd round pick in a trade.  The needs at NT and LT are simply too glaring to pump a draft pick into the QB prospect slot machine.  Clausen is the only NFL-ready QB we have a shot at taking.   We can't afford to waste our first round pick on him (see Losman, JP).  In the first 2 rounds, we need guys who can start effectively in impact positions on day 1.  Neither Colt McCoy nor Tim Tebow can take the field on day 1.  And I don't think we can really get a ready-to-go LT or NT in the 3rd round or later. And we have Trent Edwards.  I'd like to see what Edwards can do with a little more time than Buffalo's "Just count to 2-Mississippi and go" pass protection they've had for years now.  I think Trent Edwards has more to show us than he has in the last 3 years.

5. A 3-5 round QB is a shot in the dark worth taking.  He spends a few years on the sidelines learning on the knee of Chan Gailey or whoever they replace him with when the wheels come off in the next 2 years.  The only meaningful predictor I've seen of quarterback success is how long he waits until his first NFL start.   Of the top NFL QBs, the best ones on average waited the longest to get their first start.  Just think of all the 1st round flops since '98.  Leaf, Harrington, Carr, Russell, Quinn, and that's just off the top of my head.  Picking a Jevan Snead or John Skelton in a later round and giving him 2-3 years to get used to NFL football could make for a franchise QB.  And if  it doesn't work out, at least we didn't blow a 1st round pick on him.

6. I think we should take a RB in the last 2 rounds.  You never know when a no-name running back will explode in the NFL (see Thomas, Pierre & Jackson, Fred, etc.).  I'm sure there's a talent out there.  Hopefully Buddy Nix can go out and find him.   That way when Marshawn gets suspended for the rest of the year in October, this kid can come in and blow everyone away, making a formidable 1-2 punch with Fred Jackson.  I can dream, can't I?

7. People say we really need a pass-catching TE.  I'd like to give Shawn Nelson another year to develop.  It may just be my excessive Madden playing (and his B potential) but I think the kid can turn into a solid option over the middle.  He's no Shannon Sharpe, but I think in a draft where we have so many glaring needs, we don't need to pick something that may well be already covered.

8. This draft is not about winning this year.  We aren't winning this year.  Frankly, I'll be surprised if we win a single game in our division.  The draft needs to be planned so that in 2013-2014 or so, the (Los Angeles?) Bills can make a playoff run.

9. I know we could probably use a linebacker or 2, especially if Schobel retires, but I think we have guys we can put in the spots still that we don't need to use a high round pick.  Paul Posluszny and Kawika Mitchell/Andra Davis on the inside and Aaron Maybin and Schobel/Chris Kelsay/Kawika Mitchell on the outside should work for a little while.  I hope we resign Pos this year.  Letting him walk would be silly.  Maybe 1 guy inside or outside in the last 2 rounds is a good idea, but I wouldn't go nuts.

Some scenarios:

1. Bryan Bulaga LT 2. Cam Thomas NT 3. Jevan Snead QB 4. WR 5. OT 6. RB 7. OLB

I'm not so sure Mount Cody will be there in round 2.  Also, Bulaga falling to us may be a stretch.

1. Dan Williams NT 2. Rodger Saffold LT 3. WR 4. John Skelton QB 5. OT 6. ILB 7. RB

I think this is pretty much the best we can hope for.  We'll see how it goes.

Keep your stick on the ice, Nick

Bullshit, Klaus!  I'm going to find Rebecca.