Getting swept by any divisional team is never easy to swallow for a fan base. When it’s your most hated rivals however its 100x times worse. Losing to Miami not once, but twice is inexcusable for this organization and we as fans will not stand for it. With that in mind we wanted to take to what our specialty is and that’s the draft. What happens this off season with this staff and organizational leadership is yet to be determined (and we’ll have a piece on that later) but one thing we can at least comment on is who we should be looking at draft wise if the draft was tomorrow. So without further ado:
1. OT Mike Adams-Ohio State
Left Tackle is still a mess for this team and with Demetrius Bell a free agent this pick makes all the more sense. This will allow you to kick Hairston over to RT, where he belongs, and groom him to hopefully set up decade long bookends. Adams is a strong LT with good athleticism who is a better pass protector than run blocker at this point. He has struggled some with speed rushers but we think some refinement of his footwork and coaching on hand placement could do wonders to take him to the next level. He’s our top senior OT and we think he’s a blessing in disguise.
2. LB Bruce Irvin-West Virginia
For those that may have noticed Irvin was the 2nd Round pick we mocked to the Bills in our latest Mock Draft. He’s an ideal 34 OLB who has a lightning quick first step, flies around the field, and knows how to rush the passer. He’s a little light in the loafers as of now but he has the frame to put on weight and can come in from Day 1 and play as a pass rusher who could develop into a 3 down LB one day. Over the last two years Irvin has 21.5 sacks and 28 TFL, if there is one thing this guy knows how to do, it’s get after the ball carrier.
3. CB Casey Hayward-Vanderbilt
This defense needs help at both rushing the passer and covering WR’s, too often we’ve seen fans thinking that if we solve one the other will solve itself and we don’t think that’s true. While there is some measurable success by exceling at one of these facets of defense it’s not enough to ignore the other. Hayward offers us a man cover CB who can stick into the WR’s hip pocket and press at the line of scrimmage. He’s a tough nosed CB whose not afraid to mix it up and offers some ST potential early on as a gunner. Adding Hayward to the mix of Williams and Rogers could give the Bills a nice young nucleus of CB’s to work with in the near future.
4. QB Kirk Cousins-Michigan State
I’m sure there are plenty of people wondering why Cousins and why here, well the answer to that is quite simple really. The first being right now we sit at 9th overall and there is no way we will get one of the top three QB’s (Luck, Barkley, or RGIII) and I just don’t like many of the other QB’s for the value of the picks we have. Cousins is a guy who could sit behind Fitz for a little while and then as Fitz fades we could move Cousins in. Remember the big money from Fitz contract are in years 1 and 2, so after next year the numbers should play to our favor we believe.
4. WR Tommy Streeter-Miami
Streeter is the junior that turned heads when left school early could become a surprise pick for the Bills given their need for a down the field WR threat. Streeter is arguably a top 50 talent in 2013 had he returned and continued to work on his routes and refined his game. Instead he has opted come out and BBD has been told expect him to run a blazing time in the low 4.4 range. If he does that at 6’5, 215 lbs his stock may not stay that low for long. Streeter went from six career catches coming in 2011 to 46 this year alone. He totaled 811 yards, snagged eight TD’s, and averaged 17.6 ypc. He utilizes a long stride to get behind defenses and seems to have a second gear in the open field to separate. Has the frame to add even more size and could become a potentially dominant down field threat.
5.OG Amini Silatolu-Midwestern State
Many of you probably don’t know this name but Silatolu is widely considered to be the top small school OL in this draft. He is powerful at the point of attack and does a great job clearing out lanes and redirecting his man. He played OT at Division II Midwestern State which speaks to his athletic ability but it almost guaranteed a move inside in the NFL. He played in a top level Division II conference for one of the top teams in the nation so his level of competition concerns isn’t as bothersome as in other situations. Nothing, however, can simulate lining up across from some of the 34 NT’s that he’ll see in the NFL.
6. ILB Korey Williams-Southern Miss
Williams is the ideal 34 ILB for this defense playing next to Kelvin Sheppard. He’s a little undersized at around 6’1 but he flies to the ball like a train. Williams has above level instincts that are made better by his pre-snap awareness. Williams does a good job using pre-snap indicators to try and predict where plays are going to go. He fills holes very well and does a good job attacking the line of scrimmage and getting after players in the backfield. The one part of Williams’s game that he struggles with is getting off blocks and working in traffic which is why working in this 34 defense would be ideal for him. His aggressive and instinctive nature of playing LB should lend itself very well to Sheppard’s read and react style.
7. OLB Adrian Hamilton-Prairie View A&M
Our pass rush is so bad this season that I don’t think we should just draft one, I think we should draft two. Hamilton lead the entire country in sacks this year with 20.5. He’s 6’2 and plays around 255. Our scouting director Matthew Elder saw Hamilton up close in practice this week and came back with rave reviews about his athleticism, ability to rush the passer, and personality. Hamilton is a guy who we would want to see brought along a little slower at first working him in on special teams and occasional pass rush situations but he’s a guy you project a year or two down the road as a starting OLB in a 34. He was a Texas Tech recruit who transferred down so this kid had FBS level talent, but got squeezed out in a numbers game.
7. DB Jerrell Young-South Florida
Young is a prospect that is starting to get some looks now but coming into this season was often over looked. He’s arguably the best player on this Bulls defense, if not the whole team, and has good size and speed for the position. The thing we like about Young and how he fits into this team is that he can deliver shots over the middle that none of our others safeties currently can. Young also has some ball hawking skills and can play CF when the coverage calls for it. He has solid range and lateral mobility, does a good job reading the QB’s eyes and breaks on the ball extremely well. He would be a ST’er from Day 1 who would need time to continue to fill out and learn the coverages we run.