As we move into the final quarter of the college football season and get closer to draft season, BBD will be ramping up the frequency in which we produce scouting reports, mock drafts, and projections. Every week new scouting reports will go up featuring our new grading system, and every week either our full two round mock draft, or our Bills seven round mock draft will get updated. We want to encourage everybody to tell us what you like about our projections and what you don’t like.
1. LB Vinny Curry-Marshall
6’5, 242 lbs.
Think of your prototypical 34 edge LB…now everything you just thought of is what DE Vinny Curry brings to us with this pick. Curry has a lightning quick first step that he uses to explode out of his stance, and speed off the edge that will test even the most athletic OT’s. Plus, he has the ability to drop the hammer and deliver the big hits. Curry is a 43 DE at Marshall so he will have to transition to 34 OLB, but he has experience playing with his hand up, and has dropped into coverage at times as well. Curry is the best pass rusher in this class, and that’s over guys like Upshaw, Coples, and Brown.
2011 Stats: 53 tackles, 18 TFL, 11.5 sacks, 6 FF, 4 QB Hurries, and 2 Blocks
2. CB Casey Hayward-Vanderbilt
6’0, 185 lbs.
If we are able to get Hayward in the mid to late 2nd round it could be considered a steal. Hayward has 1st round skills but has been overshadowed because he plays in the basement of the SEC. Hayward has great size, smooth hips, and the speed to run with the WR deep. He has the ability to play man coverage and is physical enough at the line to press. He’s not quite the playmaker that Jenkins, Dennard, or Minnifield are, but he’s a tough, hard-nosed CB who is consistent in coverage and will pitch in on run support.
2011 Stats: 36 tackles, 6.5 TFL, 5 INT’s, 9 PBU’s
3. WR Brian Quick-Appalachian State
6’5, 220 lbs.
First off, if you haven’t yet read our previous article on Quick, you need to stop right now and click here to read it first. OK, now that you’ve all done that, it’s pretty clear why Quick is the perfect fit for this offense. He’s a big physical WR who can be effective in Gailey’s short passing offense, along with having the ability to make the defense accountable with his deep ability. He adds the element we currently lack in our passing game, and provides the value at this point in the draft to make perfect sense.
2011 Stats: 46 receptions, 794 yards, 8 TD’s
4. OT Matt McCants-UAB
6’7, 295 lbs.
A very athletic OT who excels at the technical aspect of the game, he is extremely long and has perfect size. He has long arms that he uses to control the DE or LB, and his footwork is advanced for a player coming out of a mid-major conference. He will need to get a bit stronger and thicker but with his frame it shouldn’t be much of an issue. Given our issues with injuries on the OL, adding another OT is quickly becoming a must.
2011 Stats: Team Sacks Allowed: 1.78 per game
4. CB Trumaine Johnson-Montana
6’2, 204 lbs.
Not only do we think the Bills should target and select the #1 small school prospect in the nation, we think they should target the second best prospect as well. Johnson has a rare blend of size and speed that makes him desirable to any team. He is a little stiff in the hips and we’d like to see more explosion out of his backpedal when breaking on the shorter routes, but he has great ball skills and versatility. Not only can Johnson play in both man and zone coverage but he also can play any CB spot and the S position. His natural athleticism makes him a fit at almost any of the four defensive back positions.
2011 Stats: 35 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 9 PBU, 1 FF
5. QB Case Keenum-Houston
6’2, 210 lbs.
You were wondering when we were going to take a QB, weren’t you? Have no fear, we have one now, and he’s a perfect fit for what we do. Regardless of what you think about Fitz and his future on this team, the front office has shown they are committed to him for at least another 2-3 years. Now with that in mind, we knew we needed to bring a QB on who fits the Gailey scheme with short accurate passes, somebody who has some athleticism. Knowing Buffalo is unlikely to pick a QB early, it also needs to be a pick that can provide great value a bit later in the draft. That probably means a guy who is a bit raw and needs some time to adjust. Look no further than Case Keenum. While his numbers are partially a product of his offensive attack, our spread would work well with him, and he’s a solid back up early in his career, and possesses the potential to start some day.
2011 Stats: 257 of 347 (74.1%), 3,626 yards, 34 TD’s, 3 INT’s, 32 rushes, 27 yards, 2 TD’s
6. OG Antoine McClain-Clemson
6’5, 330 lbs.
McClain is an interesting prospect because he has phenomenal size, he plays very well, and he is strong. However, he lacks the elite level of athleticism of an earlier draft pick, he doesn’t always finish his blocks, and he’s not the classic road grader at OG despite his prototypical size. To say McClain is a finesse style OL would be wrong, but he’s also not the player who is going to always blow you off the ball. What he offers, however, is a consistent and heady level of play that is vital for a rotational OG who could start if needed. He’s not going to pancake his defender on every play but he’s also not going to get beat.
2011 Stats: 169.56 rushing yards per game
6. LB Jack Crawford-Penn State
6’5, 264 lbs.
We know, we know, not another PSU DE turned OLB! Yes, Aaron Maybin was one colossal failure, but there are two key differences between Maybin and Crawford. Maybin was a 1st round pick, this is a 6th, and Maybin played around 220 whereas Crawford is 40 pounds heavier coming in. Crawford actually comes from England and is still raw with his technique. He relies on freakish athleticism and speed off the edge to apply pressure and he’s a perfect candidate to make the move to stand up rush LB. OK, so he sounds a lot like Maybin, but you know what, you can’t worry that you might be picking the next bust because of something a player has in common with a previous bust. Sometimes, you just have to forget about the past and move on.
2011 Stats: 28 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 2.5 sacks, 5 PBU
7. DE Tony Jerod-Eddie-Texas A&M
6’5, 301 lbs.
It may seem like we are going a little defensive heavy. That’s only because we are. Despite the Bills’ impressive record thus far in 2011, we still see holes on this team that other teams are exploiting. Thankfully, those holes have more to do with a relative lack of depth than with anything else. We need to add another DE to the mix and Jerod-Eddie is a fantastic candidate for that. He’s a big DE who excels at shedding blocks. He’s not as strong at the POA as Dareus, but he gets off blocks effectively and provides a decent pass rush for a 34 DE. He has very good athleticism and if he can get just a little stronger, we could have a really good line.
2011 Stats: 34 tackles, 5 TFL, 4 Sacks, 1 PBU, 1 FF, 5 QBH
Our philosophy at this point when looking at the draft is that we need to get deeper and we need to get more athletic. Almost every pick did that, we picked up key depth at arguably our two weakest defensive positions (OLB and CB), we added a developmental QB for the future (Keenum), we found a big WR to paid with Stevie (Quick), and we added some key depth along both lines (McCants, McClain, and Jerod-Eddie).
These kinds of picks are the picks that build dynasties, it’s a mix of high potential players (Johnson, and Crawford) and NFL ready guys (Curry, and Hayward) to add the already young nucleus of the team.
What are your thoughts? Who should we take in your opinion? Tell us your thoughts here or on Twitter @BillsDraft.