Buddy Nix was Assistant GM of the San Diego Chargers from 2001 to 2008. While Nix did not have GM duties, he was heavily involved in drafting alongside A.J. Smith. Since coming over to Buffalo, Nix has drafted for the Bills from 2009 to 2011. Here is a look at his first round picks:
2001: LaDainian Tomlinson, RB
2002: Quentin Jammer, CB
2003: Sammy Davis, CB
2004: Eli Manning, QB (Later traded for Philip Rivers, the Giants’ third round selection in this draft ( Pick 65) and their first and fifth-round selections in 2005.)
2005: Shawne Merriman, OLB (Pick acquired from Giants)
2005: Luis Castillo, DT
2006: Antonio Cromartie, CB
2007: Craig “Buster” Davis, WR
2008: Antoine Cason, CB
2009: Aaron Maybin, OLB (Nix was promoted to GM in December of 2009, but was our National Scout and had say in the pick).
2010: CJ Spiller, RB
2011: Marcell Dareus, DT
At the end of the day, here is the breakdown:
QB (1), RB (2), WR (1), DT (2), LB (2), CB (4)
One position not listed on this list? LT or any OL for that matter. Again, this doesn’t mean that the Bills won’t draft Johnathan Martin, Cordy Glenn, or Riley Reiff, but I do believe that Nix feels like he can find LTs later in the draft.
I won’t sit here and say that this logic isn’t flawed, but I just have a feeling that this will not be the first year Buddy Nix drafts a LT in the first round. Who will he pick? These are just hunches, but here are the three players I see the Bills taking in Round 1 on April 26th:
1. Michael Floyd, WR
Michael Floyd is the player I’ve had the Bills drafting since my 2nd mock draft and truly, if he is on the board I do not see us taking anyone else. That being said, I feel that the Jaguars and Dolphins are both likely to take Floyd. The Jaguars need a target for Blaine Gabbert and reports have come out that Mike Thomas gave up late in the season. As for the Dolphins? They traded away Brandon Marshall right before free agency started as they could no longer tolerate his behavior problems. Michael Floyd hasn’t been a saint, but he is in no way the headcase that Brandon Marshall is and was during his tenure with the Dolphins.
2. Luke Kuechly, ILB
This is my dark horse pick for the Bills. They have a young Kelvin Sheppard starting this season at ILB, but every team has to be impressed with Kuechly’s consistency at the college level. In all three of his collegiate seasons, Kuechly has either finished 1st or 2nd in solo and combined tackles. Throw in the fact that Kuechly is well above average in coverage as well, and you have a can’t miss pick in my opinion. Buddy Nix has let it be known that he’ll take the best player available and I guarantee you that Kuechly is going to be high on the Bills draftboard.
3. Stephon Gilmore/Dre Kirkpatrick
Okay, this is more than one player but I keep going back to the CB position. Even before looking at Buddy Nix’s draft history I feel that Nix realizes that CB is a weakness on our team. Terrence McGee when healthy can still play CB at a high level, but keeping him on the field has been quite a battle. Leodis McKelvin hasn’t panned out as the CB we thought he’d be, and while I actually think AJ Williams is going to be a very good CB, you can always add talent to this position. I truly hope that Morris Claiborne (name not listed above) falls down the draft board so that the Bills select him, but either of these two CBs would help improve our CB position.
At the end of the day, Buddy Nix and the Buffalo Bills have gone out and done a lot to improve the Buffalo Bills this off-season, so whatever direction they go on April 26th will have my full support.