With the draft less than a week away, it’s time for my final mock draft.
Buddy Nix spoke very highly of Kuechly this past week and stated that the coaching staff believes he can play all three LB positions. Kuechly would be best as an ILB, but the Bills want to give Kelvin Sheppard a fair shot at the position. The Bills aren’t the only people speaking highly of Kuechly. Mike Mayock of the NFL Network said of Kuechly, “He’s the best pass-dropping linebacker from the inside I’ve ever seen coming out of college football.” That is high praise considering how many prospects Mayock has studied over the years. Last, many scouts have compared Luke Kuechly to Zach Thomas. I’m sure that this is music to Dave Wannstedt’s ears. The addition of Kuechly gives the Bills one of the top front seven’s in the NFL.
At the Bills pre-draft luncheon the Bills stated that the WR depth in this year’s draft is deep and that they could find a speed receiver in the 3rd or 4th round. In my final mock draft, I have Randle on the board at pick 41. If he’s available something tells me the Bills don’t wait an extra round to pick up a wide receiver. Evan Silva recently tweeted that an NFL Scout compared to James Lofton based on his good hands and being such a vertical threat. Randle being paired up with Stevie Johnson will make for a lethal combination. The Bills also seem to like Brian Quick and there are other targets who the Bills could take this round or next (Alshon Jeffery,Sanu, and an outside chance that Stephen Hill falls).
I could be proven wrong Thursday, but I don’t think the Bills are enamored with many of the first round LT options. Mitchell Schwartz in the third round is an intriguing prospect. Schwartz has played both LT and RT for Cal. He was being projected as a RT, but at the Senior Bowl many scouts raved at how Schwartz handled some of the best pass rushers in college football. The Bills do seem to have confidence in Chris Hairston at LT, so drafting Schwartz and allowing him to start as a RT would further solidify our OL.
Maybe I have some kind of fascination with Russell Wilson, but I’ve watched all of his games and every game I say, “He’s a perfect fit for the Bills offense.” If Russell Wilson was 2-3 inches taller, there’d be talk of him being a 1st round pick. Due to Wilson’s height, maybe he’s just a career backup in the NFL. If that’s the case he’ll be one of the best backups in the NFL. That being said, I don’t buy it. Russell Wilson will be an NFL starter and he’ll be an upper echelon starter within 3-4 years.
As much as I respect Dre Kirkpatrick, I feel that DeQuan Menzie is not getting the credit he deserves coming out of his senior year. Menzie did an exceptional job this season at Alabama and recently, Reuben Randle said that Menzie was one of the toughest DBs he faced all season. Menzie may not be a starter for the Bills this season, but he’d be rotated in heavily, and by the end of the season I wouldn’t be surprised if he and Aaron Williams were both starting DBs for the Buffalo Bills. Menzie is known for his physical play and is an effective blitzer.
I haven’t mocked Peterson to the Bills before, but I really like him as an NFL TE. He’d also be the perfect compliment to Scott Chandler. Whereas Chandler is a great redzone target, he isn’t a guy who is a mismatch with linebackers. Deangelo Peterson has a quick, fast burst that does create a mismatch when covered by LBs and he has excellent footwork. Peterson added 40 pounds to his frame since he’s enrolled at LSU and it helped him become a solid blocker. Peterson’s hands have been questioned, but he has large hands and you aren’t going to find a perfect TE in round five. Peterson and Randle continue their careers together from LSU to the NFL.
I’ve seen Bequette in some mock drafts going in round two or three and others in rounds five or six. Maybe he’ll go much earlier than this, but based on my draft grade Bequette is a fifth round quality player. Bequette is 6’5″ and 274 pounds and was very productive at Arkansas. He finished last season with 28 total tackles, 10 sacks, 5 forced fumbles, and five QB hurries. With a much improved DL, Bequette is a solid depth pick who could learn a lot under the tutelage of Mario Williams and Mark Anderson.
Molk, much like Russell Wilson and DeQuan Menzie has appeared in my mocks before. Molk is a C prospect who will provide depth in the case of another injury to Eric Wood. Hopefully Wood has a healthy season, as when he is playing he’s one of the top center’s in the NFL. Molk has also had issues with injuries at the collegiate level, but in round six he’s definitely worth drafting.
Burris is my diamond in the rough for the NFL Draft. The guy looks the part and had an outstanding senior season. Burris led the Aztecs in tackles (72), tackles for loss (19), sacks (8) and fumble recoveries (3). Miles has been climbing up draft boards a bit lately, but if Burris is still on the board at pick 200, the Bills would be wise to take him.
Wilson would have a shot to make the Bills. Wilson was named Most Outstanding Defensive Back for Illinois and has the intangibles to play in the NFL. Most likely just a career backup in the NFL.