Ryan Talbot’s Buffalo Bills Seven-Round Mock Draft: Version 1.0

Alabama inside linebacker C.J. Mosley stands out among senior inside linebacker prospects for the 2014 NFL draft. (Photo: John David Mercer — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Ryan Talbot

One of these years we’ll have Bills playoff football to discuss, but not this year. So with Bills fans in “maybe next year” mode, it’s time to look at the future of the team. Buffalo certainly has holes to fill on both sides of the ball, and they’ll have their opportunities in free agency and the 2014 NFL draft.

The Bills have the No. 9 overall pick in this year’s draft. While the draft stocks of many of the prospects below might change between now and the May draft, the following seven players could all be potential fits for Buffalo.

Round 1: C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama

The Bills defense needs help against the run. Enter C.J. Mosley. Mosley has had a terrific career at Alabama and is excellent against both the run and pass.

A lot of people would love to see Khalil Mack here, but Mosley is a better fit in my eyes. Adding Mosley to the mix would give the Bills one of the best defensive front sevens in the league. He and Kiko Alonso would be one of the NFL’s most exciting young linebacker duos.

Round 2: Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt

Buffalo should address its offense with the majority of its selection in this year’s NFL draft. One of its needs is for a big wide receiver who can cause matchup problems and make plays.

Jordan Matthews is 6’3″, 206 pounds and has made big plays throughout his career at Vanderbilt. He would be a welcome addition to Buffalo’s offense and be another target for EJ Manuel. Florida State wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin is another name you could see here in the future if he declares for the NFL draft as a redshirt sophomore.

Gabe Jackson could fill Buffalo’s need for a left guard. (Photo: Spruce Derden — USA Today Sports)

Round 3: Gabe Jackson, OG, Mississippi State

Buffalo needs to solidify its offensive line, especially at guard. Gabe Jackson would provide excellent value if he was available in the third round.

Jackson is one of the bigger guards in the draft, weighing in at 340 pounds, but he’s also extremely athletic. Jackson moves well on the field and could certainly help open a few holes for C.J. Spiller, Fred Jackson and another running back to come. It’s likely that Jackson would be a day one starter at left guard, allowing the Bills to use Doug Legursky as depth at all three interior offensive line spots. Buffalo needs to build depth on its offensive line, and this move would help accomplish that goal.

Round 4: Colt Lyerla, TE, Oregon

Buffalo showed they were willing to take a few character risks in 2013. Colt Lyerla has much bigger character concerns, but in the fourth round, the risk would be worth the potential reward.

If you’re unfamiliar with Lyerla, here’s what you need to know: He left Oregon after its first game of the season and recently pleaded guilty to cocaine possession. After reading that sentence, I’m sure many fans would rather pass on the former Oregon Duck, but he is one of the most talented tight ends in this draft class.

Lyerla is a large target at 6’5″, and he is an athletic freak. If he is in top shape at the combine, he should run close to a 4.6-second 40-yard dash. Lyerla is a dependable pass-catcher who is hard to bring down after the catch. Some will say Lyerla is undraftable due to his character concerns, but if the Bills want to roll the dice on Lyerla, they could get rewarded greatly.

Round 5: Pierre Desir, CB, Lindenwood

Desir is an extremely talented small-school prospect. Desir, a three time Division II All-American, recently won the inaugural Cliff Harris Award, awarded to the best small college defensive player of the year. Desir has good size for a cornerback (6’2″), and in two seasons with Lindenwood, he has recorded 13 interceptions and 30 passes defensed. Desir can play press coverage, off-man and zone coverages well. Desir would provide terrific cornerback depth for the Bills.

The Buffalo Bills could continue drawing from Florida State’s talent pool with a sixth-round selection of James Wilder. (Photo: Charles LeClaire — USA Today Sports)

Round 6: James Wilder, RB, Florida State

The Bills have drafted a lot of ACC players in recent years, and specifically from Florida State, so selecting running back James Wilder would be fitting.

Why take a running back? Simple. C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson will both be free agents in 2015. Spiller is a big-play threat, but he did not have the breakout year many expected this season. While Spiller could be a long-term piece for the Bills offense, is he worth breaking the bank for? As for Jackson, he is currently 32 yards old. He has been very impressive in spite of his age, but he cannot be depended upon much longer.

Wilder is an enticing prospect based upon his talent, and if he is anything like his father at the next level, then the Bills would get a good running back late. Wilder is a strong running back who would complement Spiller well if Spiller is signed long-term. The Florida State back is agile and shows good vision on the field. The biggest knock on Wilder is that he plays with a bit of recklessness, but in Round 6, he would be worth the pick for Buffalo.

Round 7: Keith Price, QB, Washington

In the seventh round you generally take depth, but Price is a good quarterback prospect to take late. He’s a bit undersized at 6’1,” but Russell Wilson is showing the league that height is just a number. That’s not to say that the Bills are getting someone as talented as Wilson in round seven, as that would be foolish. However, Price isn’t exactly a developmental quarterback either.

Price worked with Steve Sarkisian in a pro-style offense this season and performed well. He is athletic, has decent arm strength and can scramble. Price will likely be called a “poor man’s” Russell Wilson. I’ve heard a lot worse on seventh-round draft picks.

Tags: 2014 NFL Draft, Buffalo Bills, C.J. Mosley, Colt Lyerla, Gabe Jackson, James Wilder, Jordan Matthews, Keith Price, Lindenwood, Mock Draft, Pierre Desir, Version 1.0

8 Responses to “Ryan Talbot’s Buffalo Bills Seven-Round Mock Draft: Version 1.0”

  1. TJ Never says:

    Those first 4 picks would great.
    Getting Gabe Jackson in the 3rd would be the kind of luck the Bills need.
    But if he is gone they Bills should look at Nevada’s OT Joel Bitonio.
    Bitonio could kick inside to guard.

    James Wilder, RB in the 6th would also be great value.

    Go Bills!

    • Ryan Talbot says:

      It’s certainly tough to figure out where each player’s draft stock will be in May, but I used my rankings and looked to see where others had players. Jackson is a realistic option now in the third, but he’s talented enough to move up. Some just question his toughness. I’ll look more into Bitonio!

    • Bugs says:

      Great comment. Jackson 100% could be there (look at where Larry Warford fell to). I’d like to see a DL picked, probably not Lyerla in the 4th. Could see either DaQuan Jones, DeAndre Coleman, or Ed Stinson possibly making it that far.

      • Ryan Talbot says:

        I certainly understand everyone’s hesitation in regards to Lyerla. He’s a real wild card due to his off-the-field antics, but has first round talent.

  2. Grif says:

    I’d like to pick up a right tackle as well, but you can’t have everything I guess.

  3. John C says:

    Great mock. This is my favorite in this young off-season.

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