For a team already having a very good offseason, the Buffalo Bills managed to step it up again this past week with what appears to be a pretty good draft class for the Bills.
Buffalo entered this year’s NFL Draft with three key positions of need (CB, WR, LT) and managed to fill each position with quality talent with their first three picks overall.
In round one, the Bills selected Stephon Gilmore out of South Carolina. Gilmore has all the tools and physical traits to become a very good corner in the NFL.
Gilmore comes to Buffalo as a player that should instantly compete for playing time. He joins Aaron Williams as another young talented corner whom the Bills consider the future of their secondary.
The Gilmore pick helps solidify a Bills defense that has dramatically improved this offseason and has the makings of a top 10 unit.
In round two, the Bills got an absolute steal in taking left tackle Cordy Glenn out of Georgia.
Many mocks and people close to the Bills thought that Buffalo might target Glenn with their 10th overall pick but I doubt many thought that he’d fall all the way to the Bills at #41 overall.
But give the Bills credit. Buffalo was patient and took the risk that Glenn would fall to them in round two. Each team passed on Glenn and the Bills are now hoping they got their future left tackle in a steal at pick #41.
Glenn is a big player. He comes to Buffalo at 6-6, 345 lbs.
There have been some questions by draft analysts if Glenn can make it as a tackle in the NFL, but rest assured, that is the Bills plan.
Buffalo believes he has the physical build and ability to make a nice transition into the NFL and that could lead him to becoming the Bills day one starter at left tackle this season.
In round three, the Bills took a massive reach but got the “speed guy” that Chan Gailey coveted by drafting T.J. Graham out of North Carolina State.
After getting rid of Roscoe Parrish and Lee Evans during the last year, the Bills offense lacked any deep threats on their current roster.
By drafting T.J. Graham, it looks like the Bills offense might finally have their deep threat. While not a star in college, Graham did produce quite well for the Wolfpack in 2011, catching 46 passes for 757 yards and 7 touchdowns.
Graham’s 40 time is in the low 4.40’s and his 16.5 yards per reception during his senior year of college shows that Graham can get down the field well as his long reception on the year was 87 yards.
The Bills draft didn’t end in round three though. Buffalo continued to draft well in the middle rounds, picking up some very good depth guys that could potentially start in the future for the Bills.
Three names to look out for in the future drafted late by the Bills include Nigel Bradham (OLB, FSU), Zebrie Sanders (OT, FSU), and Tank Carder (LB, TCU).
Bradham and Carder are both very talented linebackers coming out of big name programs at Florida State and TCU.
Bradham was being looked at as a 3rd round pick before the Bills got great value by drafting him in the fourth round. Bradham was a leader on the Seminoles defense and finished last year with 86 tackles.
Carder brings value as well. The 2011 Rose Bowl Defensive MVP was an absolute beast at TCU winning Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year twice during his time with the Horned Frogs.
By bringing in Bradham and Carder, the Bills have brought in two quality linebackers that have had good college careers and will have the opportunity to contribute for the Bills in the future.
Lastly, the Bills appear to have bolstered their offensive line depth with the addition of offensive lineman Zebrie Sanders.
Sanders, a 6-6, 320 lbs. tackle out of Florida State has the potential to be a starter in the future and another possible steal for the Bills.
Before the draft, Sanders was thought to be a 3rd or 4th round draft pick but fell due to some weight concerns.
NFL scouts believe that Sanders will need to add at least 20 pounds in order to be a contributor in the NFL.
With the Bills, Sanders should be given the time to develop and grow into a NFL type body.
So there you have it.
The Bills look to have a pretty decent draft class coming to One Bills Drive this year.
Buffalo has filled multiple needs while getting stronger and filling depth at positions such as linebacker and their offensive line.
The Bills are a team on the rise and their future looks brighter now than it did at this point last season.
Depending on how this current draft squad pans out could have a large impact on how the Bills continue to grow heading towards the future.
While it’s impossible to tell right after a draft how it’ll pan out for each team, it looks good for the Bills right now.
Bills fans just have to hope that it turns out that way.