Tuesday, April 24, 2012

On The Clock: Buffalo Bills

By: Ray Beamesderfer

An early Cinderella story in 2011, the Bills quickly faded in the second half of the season when injuries and poor quarterback play struck the team. Injuries to Fred Jackson, George Wilson, and Kyle Williams certainly didn't help matters, but Buffalo's main concern was the worst starting OLB duo in the league in Chris Kelsay and Spencer Johnson. Johnson is a converted DT, while "fan-favorite" Kelsay is a mediocre LDE at best who was asked to be the Bills primary pass rusher. As a result, opposing quarterbacks had all day to throw, and running backs found it very easy to run to the outside.

However that shouldn't be a problem this season, as the Bills had one of the better off seasons in the league. They signed former #1 overall pick Mario Williams, and Mark Anderson who is coming off of a stellar 10 sack season. That's not to say the Bills don't have their fair share of holes still. They have no one across from Stevie Johnson, and with the departure of left tackle Demetress Bell, they only have 2011 fourth round pick Chris Hairston to protect Ryan Fitzpatrick's blind side. 

1. Stephon Gilmore - Cornerback - 
South Carolina
Gilmore has went from relative unknown in a very strong corner class, to almost a sure fire top 15 pick in a matter of two months. It's often wise to be weary of late risers, but I believe Gilmore is the real deal, and it's not hard to see why he's probably the hottest prospect going right now. He's a three year starter in the SEC so you know he has played top competition, a former quarterback so you know he's smart, and absolutely no injury history so you know he's durable. Then you watch him play and you see a kid with long arms, who is very physical while smooth in coverage. I usually hate comparing guys who went to the same school, but Gilmore reminds me a lot of former Gamecock standout Jonathan Joseph who was a draft day sleeper and has turned into one of the very best corners in the league. 

2. Cordy Glenn - Offensive Tackle - Georgia
Another option for the Bills who has been steadily climbing draft boards since the combine is CordY Glenn. He showed great athleticism in Indy, and despite some experts thinking he is more of a guard in the NFL, I believe Buddy Nix is seriously considering this young man as the LT of the future. He started a lot of game in the SEC, which automatically catching Buddy's eye, but I also think he compares quite favorably to former San Diego left tackle Marcus Mcneil. Nix saw plenty of Mcneil during his time as Assistant GM with the Chargers. 

3. Michael Floyd - Wide Receiver - Notre Dame
In my opinion this is as low as Floyd will drop in this draft. He didn't make an official visit to Buffalo, but if he falls past Jacksonville at 7 and Carolina at 9, I do not think there is any way the Bills pass on a guy that big and that fast. They could use a compliment to Stevie Johnson and could give Ryan Fitzpatrick another offensive weapon. 

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