It’s so weird to have the Bills in the national news during the offseason but with the signings of DE’s Mario Williams and Mark Anderson that’s just where we find ourselves. It also tells us a lot about how the Bills drafts in April will go as well. The Bills addressed by far their biggest need of the offseason in their pass rush so now we are left wondering what they are thinking for the #10 pick in April. Well one key piece to that puzzle may just be in who comes in for visits.
Earlier this month it was discovered that stand out TCU LB Tank Carder was going to come to One Bills Drive for a visit and now we have two more names of players who will be visiting.
Alabama CB Dre Kirkpatrick and Stanford OT Jonathan Martin are both scheduled to visit OBD before this years draft and both fit key needs for the Bills. While Carder is more of a mid-round OLB option both Martin and Kirkpatrick are top 15-20 picks and could both be a fit at #10 overall.
Kirkpatrick was considered the top junior CB coming into this year but saw his stock drop off some this year. Personally we never quite understood the drop as Kirkpatrick was avoided more often than not when on the field. He is a big physical CB who could play in both zone or man coverage. He attacks the bubble screens well, and hits like a truck.
Listed at 6’1 ½ Kirkpatrick would easily be the tallest CB on the Bills and would give them that potential lock down CB that they so badly need. There is some concern about his consistency as he did get beat in a few games early (v. Arkansas) but he rebounded to close out the season like a pad lock.
Martin is a 6’5, 312 lbs LT prospect who has ideal arm length (34”) and is extremely athletic. He protected Andrew Luck’s blind side the past year and was considered to be one of the premiere tackle prospects. He moves very naturally in the open field and does a good job with his footwork staying on balance and mirroring his opponent.
There are some concerns about Martin’s overall strength. He played in college at around 280 and had put on nearly 30 pounds and there is no telling if he’ll be able to maintain that elite level of athleticism. He also only put up 20 reps on the bench press at his Pro Day which leads to a concern about his overall strength and ability to either anchor v. the bull rush or drive when run blocking.
Bother players are expected to visit OBD separately but both should be considered high priority targets for the Bills at #10.