Alabama CB, Dre Kirkpatrick: Face it, we need a corner. McGee’s old and broken, Florence is washed up. Kirkpatrick is one of the best zone corners to come out in years and is a very smart, physical presence in the secondary. Has great instincts and uses them to read his assignment’s break as well as the quarterback’s eyes. Kirkpatrick's tall, quick, and from a southern school - Nix' dream and instant impact starting material.
Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame: During the Bills 2011 downward spiral, the lack of premier receiving talent was far more apparent than any offensive line deficiencies. Floyd has the skill set to become the team's true No. 1 receiver and would formulate a fantastic duo with Stevie Johnson.
Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame: Because neither Riley Reiff nor Cordy Glenn entice me enough to want to buy NFL Sunday Ticket from my remote log cabin in Alaska. Also, while signs point to Floyd having No. 1 receiver ability, the fact is he can at least come in immediately and start at No. 2 opposite Stevie Johnson. Johnson and Floyd can form a solid 1a, 1b tandem for years to come. Who knows, maybe one day the team will develop a tight end that can expose the middle of the field left open by these two bookends on the outside. (Hey, a guy can dream, can't he?)
Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina: In high school I was the kid that everyone copied from during exams; turnabout is fair play, so I went and stole WalterFootball.com's pick. By process of elimination, it actually makes a lot of sense. The pick won't be OT, because the Bills never draft them in the first round (thanks, Mike Williams!) and because Buddy Nix apparently thinks Chris Hairston is a potential Pro Bowler (uh-huh, Buddy). It won't be WR, because Buddy believes this is a deep receiver draft. That's fine by me - so many first-round WRs bust out, so unless it's a Calvin Johnson, which Michael Floyd is not, I want no part of them. It could be LB, where tackle machine Luke Kuechly might make sense - but the more I read about him, the more he screams "Paul Posluszny" and not "London Fletcher". No thanks. That leaves CB as the glaring need, and Gilmore appears to be the top-rated one. Even though drafting eleventy billion CBs seems like a very Buffalo Bills thing to do, it's actually a smart choice (for once) since Terrence McGee is getting old and it seems obvious that Leodis McKelvin is a bust at this point.
Stephon Gilmore, CB South Carolina: I'm inclined to take the easy way out and agree with the majority who say the Bills will select Michael Floyd to place opposite Stevie Johnson, but that wouldn't be much fun, would it? So I decided to go with the more unconventional pick in Gilmore. I know, we're weary of taking cornerbacks this high since the McKelvin experiment and receiver and offensive line are greater needs. But after listening to Buddy Nix gush about Gilmore during a WGR interview, this pick makes a lot of sense. Gilmore is bigger and an all-around more complete, talented player than McKelvin was and, honestly, I think Floyd might even be off the board before the Bills pick at No. 10 (See Jaguars, Jacksonville). Besides, Nix pretty much killed the notion of going receiver with his first pick in the same WGR interview, saying he thinks he can find a wideout he likes in the second or third round (which makes a lot of sense, actually). It's much more difficult to find that shutdown corner in the late rounds than it is a receiver. I'm not sure passing on a tackle is the best way to go, but I have a gut feeling Nix will surprise people with his pick Thursday and calling Gilmore's name would qualify as a surprise.
Stephon Gilmore, DB South Carolina - Buddy Nix was on WGR on April 19th. In that interview he spoke very highly of Gilmore and Dre Kirkpatrick. If Gilmore is gone (which he could be, his stock is rising) look for Buffalo to grab Dre Kirkpatrick but I'm going with Gilmore here. Gilmore at 6'1 would come in and compete for the starters job immediately. What a nice pairing of Aaron Williams and Stephon Gilmore. Two tall physical corners. Luke Kuechly? Maybe. But remember last years first three picks were all players who played below the Mason Dixon line. Nix covets the South.
Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame: I really have no idea where they'll go. I don't know enough about the draft to make an accurate prediction. I'd like them to go with Michael Floyd, or, failing that, a DB.
Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina: It has been 4 years since the Bills selected a defensive back in the 1st round. We are talking about a franchise that has selected 8 defensive backs with their top pick since 1990. Oh, and San Diego/Buddy Nix selected 4 DBs in the first round from 2002-2008. I just think the secondary is getting older and with Buddy always talking about selecting 2-3 corners a draft, I just think they get the best DB on the board. I know this Barron fellow is the talk of the town now, but of the 12 DBs selected between SD/Buffalo only one guy was a safety (Whitner). I couldn't tell you the difference between Floyd and Gilmore because I've never seen them play, but Gils seems to be a more physical imposing corner. If you look at the CBs the Bills/Nix have picked in the 1st round, most of them were better hitters than coverage guys (See: Winfield, Clements, Whitner, Burris and Thomas Smith).
Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
I jumped around to a lot of different names, mainly because I don't know a heck of a lot about the draft. After doing some research and asking people who know more than I do, I think Reiff is the best bet. Fitzpatrick needs pass protection. With the departure of Bell (whose first name I won't even attempt to spell anymore) the offensive line could use a boost. Not to mention, our defense is pretty stacked, so those needs can be addressed in the later rounds.
In case you missed any of our draft posts, here are the archives:
- Five hidden gems in the Draft
- QB prospects for the Bills
- 2nd round prospects for the Bills
- 5 things to avoid during the draft
- Examining Buffalo's draft history
- Mocking the draft
- Draftwatch: Dre Kirkpatrick
- Draftwatch: Luke Kuechly
- Draftwatch: Riley Reiff
- Draftwatch: Michael Floyd
- Buffalo Wins Mock Draft
- Q&A about Dre Kirkpatrick
- Q&A about Michael Floyd
- Bills New draft targets post free agency
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