By BBD Writer Glen Gifford
The last pick in every NFL draft has the dubious title of being called Mr. Irrelevant This horrible title is reserved for a player who historically never really amounts to much in the way of real NFL contribution. Interestingly enough, several undrafted players make serious contributions to several NFL rosters. Let’s have a look at just a few recent Bills who came in as UDFA’s. Donald Jones was a UDFA from Youngstown State who worked his way to our #2 receiver last year. Now say what you want about Donald and the quality of our WR corps, but I have a sinking feeling he will light it up in New England. He was also a great blocker and was given the opportunity to shine in Buffalo and he made the best of his opportunity.
David Nelson had a good couple of years here in Buffalo. Before injuries set in, the Florida Gator UDFA settled in as a solid slot receiver. Several NFL talent level players are never drafted. One only needs to look at Victor Cruz to see that the draft sometimes is more of a lottery. Remember James Hardy? Those teams who can hit not only on their draft picks, but on their UDFA’s are better teams. It is just that simple. Those who draft poorly seem to draft in very similar positions in the draft every year. Sound familiar? I have taken a brief look at some players that WILL be available after the NFL draft that may come in and contribute at the NFL level at the Wide Receiver position. Could the next Victor Cruz be listed below? Maybe the Bills are looking at these guys as well.
Sam McGuffie – Rice
I will admit that McGuffie’s inclusion on my list has a lot to do with their scouting of TE prospect Vance MacDonald from Rice. While I was looking at potential UDFA’s throughout several Big Board’s McGuffie kept coming to mind. I think what initially caught my attention was his 4.3 40 time. On tape, Rice had a very diverse offense and McGuffie demonstrated nice separation and soft hands. I think he may struggle a bit in press coverage. However his consistency as a receiver and his ability to make key plays throughout the Owls season has made McGuffie, for me, a real interesting potential UDFA gem. While he is only 5’10” tall, he is one of those guys that just have the ability to get open. Have a look at McGuffie and send me your thoughts.
Taylor Stockemer – WR Arkansas State
At 6’5” 217 pounds, Taylor Stockemer’s stock is on the rise. He is most certainly a UDFA but he will get a phone call after the draft. I hope the Bills have his number. We have drafted guys from Arkansas State recently and have attended their Pro Days. With great height and 4.5 speed and super soft hands, Stockemer finished his career as ASU’s all- time leader in Touchdown receptions and 5th all-time in receiving at ASU. He has been pretty durable and does not seem to have any problem going over the middle. He’s not a stretch the field type of receiver, but I’ll wait for track star turned wide receiver T.J. Graham to develop. I’ll let Stockemer hit the short to intermediate routes underneath in a Hackett West Coast Offense. Heck, let’s hope we have someone who can throw deep. I hear Kevin Kolb can throw deep so long as he is standing and not concussed!
Jaron Brown – WR Clemson
This is a bit of a cheat here because I have seen Brown mocked in a few (not many) as a 7th round receiver. I feel that with such a deep and diverse WR draft class Jaron Brown might be available as a UDFA on “Day 4” of the draft. He would be a steal in my opinion. He is 6’3” tall and runs a 4.4 40. I know Buddy Nix has spent time on the campus of Clemson University over the past few years and has seen Brown develop as a player. While all of the attention may be on D’Andre “Nuke” Hopkins, Brown had a really nice pro day. Good size, decent speed and may be a good partner for Hopkins if the Bills were able to land him in the 2nd round. Don’t sleep on Jaron Brown. If available after the draft, get on the phone.
Dan Buckner – Arizona
Buckner is a transfer from Texas and had a decent year for the wildcats. I think that Buffalo will have had their eye on this kid as they have watched QB Matt Scott this season. His measurables are solid in that he is 6’4” 214 pounds. The reason I think Buckner slips to a UDFA is that he pulled up lame during his 40 time at his pro day. He was on pace to run in the 4.4’s. He didn’t finish the workout. Being a bubble pick for the draft this did not help his draft status. He is however a big rangy receiver, who when healthy, can be a good possession receiver. Perhaps the Bills will capitalize on Buckner’s Pro Day mishaps and his injury history? When healthy, he is a quality receiver with great potential. Yes, I remember what potential means.
Well folks, there is just a brief look at some of the UDFA’s that will be available during DAY 4 of this year’s 2013 NFL Draft. I think some of these guys are going to get the call and I am certain that one of these 4 is going to be on an NFL roster in the fall. The draft roulette continues and here’s hoping that the Bills will find the next Victor Cruz.