We are 3 weeks away from the NFL Draft and I’m giddy. One thing I’ll never understand is why the NFL Draft is so late. The season is over in February, The Combine is done by the end of the same month, Free Agency starts in the beginning/middle of March, Pro Days are done by this time and the draft is almost a whole month AFTER.
The NFL needs to change the draft to be the weekend after The Masters. Teams, scouts, evaluators etc should be ready by now to know who they like and don’t like. While everything we have read in the last few weeks has been about what Buffalo should do in the first round, I wanted to take a moment to look at some other prospects that could be available if Buffalo decided to trade down (not entirely out of the question) to the lower first round or guys who may be available for Buffalo in the 2nd round. This is where the Bills will need to start addressing the depth concerns on the offensive line, wide receiver and could possibly add another pass rushing end. So without any further ado:
Vinny Curry, DE Marshall – You can never have enough pass rushers, and I believe Buffalo will find another one within the first three rounds. Vinny Curry has first round potential, but depending on how draft day goes, he could find himself still available at the 41st pick. Curry had a fantastic junior season (94 tackles, 18 tackles for loss, 12 sacks and 16 quarterback hurries). He added 11 more sacks his senior year. At 6’3, 266lbs, he fits what the Bills are looking for in a defensive end. Scouts also believe he is more likely to add weight when he is drafted so he can play strong-side defensive end or even a five-technique if a team that plays a 3-4 decides to draft him. In Buffalo, Curry would fit nicely in the rotation. If Curry is available, Buffalo would have to give him a steady look.
Andre Branch, DE Clemson – We already know Buffalo is interested in Andre because back on March 28th & 29th, he made a pre draft visit to Orchard Park. The Nix/Gailey regime already has a short history with Clemson with taking a player there in each of their first two drafts (Spiller in 2010 and Chris Hairston in 2011). Branch, like Curry, is projected in the late first/early second round. Branch had a strong senior campaign, finishing second on the team with 78 tackles, including a team-leading 16 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks. He is tall at 6’4, but his weight at only 259 concerns me and some scouts. Here is what a scout over at CBSsports.com thinks about his run defense: Lacks the bulk and strength to consistently hold up at the point of attack at this time. Comes off the snap too high and relies on his arm length, initial punch and good lateral agility to shuck and elude blockers. Too often is blown off the ball in short yardage situations. So he will need to add a little bit of muscle to that 259lb frame. But I think if drafted by Buffalo, he won’t see many run situations.
Mike Adams, OT Ohio State – With Demetrius …excuse me, DEMETRESS Bell signing with the Eagles, the Bills lack of depth at offensive tackle is now a glaring need. As we talked about earlier, I just don’t see Buffalo reaching at the 10 spot for either Reiff or Jonathan Martin. Like the previous two prospects, Adams falls in that late first early to mid second round level. If you guys read BuffaloRumblings.com, which I’m sure the majority of you do, you would know that Mike Adams was the player they projected for Buffalo. I don’t see Buffalo taking him at ten, but the logic behind it was interesting and it goes something like this: If the Bills really covet that LT with the first pick, they can and SHOULD trade down to get him.
Adams fits the LT mold the Bills are after (6’7 323). For arguments sake, let’s say Adams is the #1 player on their board and that’s they guy they want, then Buffalo could/should/will move down anywhere from 10-15 spots (20-25) and select Adams while picking up additional picks along the way. Fairly simple to understand.
Pros on Adams: Big and strong, moves well for a guy his size, run blocking, down field blocking & gets off the ball well. Cons: Dealt with a lot injuries and suspensions while at *THE* Ohio State. Adams was one of The “Ohio St Five” who was suspended the first five games of last season for the tattoo and merchandise sale scandal. Here is more from CBSsports:.. In his final two seasons as a starter, Adams had issues on and off the field. He underwent shoulder surgery and then a season-ending left foot injury, both in 2008. Adams missed five games in 2009 with knee injury and was suspended for two games the same year for violating team rules. Adams could provide the depth and the competition the Bills are looking for.
Brian Quick, WR Appalachian St – *SLEEPER ALERT* I saw Mel Kiper’s latest 2 round mock and this is the player Mel has Buffalo going with in Round 2 (Kiper has Reiff at ten). Kiper is very high Quick. Quick graduated as the schools all-time leader in catches yards and touchdowns (202-3418-31). Here is an excellent highlight video on Quick to give an idea of what he can do: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oh5X0_c1DZo&feature=related . Quick is a player that would really need to be coached up at the next level. He was a standout basketball player before making the move to football his Senior Year of High School. His hands and size are his biggest strengths, while his lack of experience and speed (4.55 in the 40) are his weaknesses. Quick is projected to go anywhere between the 2nd-3rd Round.