Inside The Bills

What the first 100 mock drafts have told us

Posted by Chris Brown on April 8, 2014 – 11:59 am

There has been a steady stream of mock drafts for the better part of the last month and with a month still to go before day of the 2014 draft, they only figure to increase in frequency. The crack staff at Buffalobills.com has crunched the numbers on some of the projected picks for the Bills at nine overall and there are some clear favorites among the prognosticators.

Having now charted 100 mock drafts, here are a few of the more interesting notes and numbers that have emerged from our research:

1 – OT is for me
Forty mock drafts project that the Bills will select an offensive tackle. Linebacker has been projected as the Bills’ pick 22 times, good for the second most projected position to the Bills. Tight end and wide receiver have each been projected as the Bills pick 18 times.

2 – Popular names, big games
North Carolina TE Eric Ebron and Texas A&M OT Jake Matthews have been the most common Bills’ pick in the mocks, with each player being projected to the Bills 18 times in the first 100 mock drafts. Michigan OT Taylor Lewan (16), Clemson WR Sammy Watkins (9) and Texas A&M WR Mike Evans (9) have also been frequently projected as the Bills’ pick.

3 – Late surge
Considering the continually evolving nature of team needs, we have also broken down the mocks into separate time periods. Since the free agency period began on March 11, the most projected player to the Bills has shifted to Michigan OT Taylor Lewan (10). Texas A&M OT Jake Matthews (9), North Carolina TE Eric Ebron (5) and Texas A&M WR Mike Evans (5) have all been commonly projected to Buffalo as well.

4 – Latest polls
Offensive tackle has continued to be a popular pick for the Bills, accounting for seven of the last 10 mock drafts compiled:

o   Bleacher Report (April 1, Dan Hope) – Texas A&M WR Mike Evans

o   SI.com  (April 1, Doug Farrar) – Buffalo LB Khalil Mack

o   NFL.com (April 1, Bryan Fischer) – Notre Dame OL Zack Martin

o   Yahoo! Sports (April 1, Shaun King) – Texas A&M OT Jake Matthews

o   WGR 550 (April 2, Joe Buscaglia) – Texas A&M WR Mike Evans

o   USA Today’s The Big Lead (April 2, Jason McIntyre) – Michigan OT Taylor Lewan

o   ESPN.com (April 3, Mel Kiper Jr.) – Michigan OT Taylor Lewan

o   Pro Football Talk (April 7, Mike Florio) – Texas A&M OT Jake Matthews

o   SB Nation (April 7, Dan Kadar) – Texas A&M OT Jake Matthews

o   Sideline View (April 8, Lance Zierlein) – Michigan OT Taylor Lewan

5 – Can I get seconds?
Seven mock drafts have included second round selections.  Selections include: Washington TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (3), Wisconsin LB Chris Borland (1), Ole Miss WR Donte Moncrief (1), UCLA G Xavier Su’a-Filo (1) and Tennessee OT Antonio Richardson (1).

6 – Who had who first? 
The first mock draft charted was on December 18, 2013 from ESPN’s Todd McShay projecting the Bills to take Michigan OT Taylor Lewan.

Special thanks to the Bills media relations department for diligently charting the mocks.


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Latest mock goes OT for Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on March 4, 2014 – 2:48 pm

Here’s the latest mock draft from CBSSports.com’s Pat Kirwan. He’s got an interesting trade in the top five and an offensive tackle going to Buffalo at nine overall.

Kirwan has Michigan OT Taylor Lewan going to the Bills at nine. Here’s his synopsis.

9. Buffalo Bills — Michigan OT Taylor Lewan: Doug Marone is an offensive line coach by trade and he knows 6-foot-8 offensive tackles with athletic ability and a nasty streak don’t come along that often. EJ Manuel will be better with Lewan on the field.

Kirwan had Cleveland trading up from four to two to take UCF QB Blake Bortles.

 


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Mixed bag of picks in 4 CBS mocks for Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on February 19, 2014 – 7:05 pm

The draft analysts at CBSSports.com have put together their mock drafts on the eve of the NFL Combine and all four have different picks for the Bills at nine.

CBSSports.com’s Rob Rang, Dane Brugler, Pete Prisco and Pat Kirwan all selected different players for Buffalo at ninth overall. Rang and Kirwan picked offensive tackles while Brugler chose a tight end and Prisco took a linebacker for the Bills. Here were their assessments.

Rang’s pick

9. BUFFALO BILLS

(6-10)
Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M: Cordy Glenn has quietly starred at left tackle, but upgrades could be had at right tackle and left guard. Matthews warrants a top 10 grade in part because of his versatility. Powerful and technically sound, Matthews is as pro-ready as it gets.

Brugler’s pick

9. BUFFALO BILLS

(6-10)
Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina: The Bills need to add a big, physical presence in the receiving game, whether at wide receiver or tight end. Ebron is a freak athlete who will instantly help the Bills offense and second-year quarterback EJ Manuel.

Prisco’s pick

9. BUFFALO BILLS

(6-10)
C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama: They need speed next to Kiko Alonso. Mosley will be a 10-year starter.

Kirwan’s pick

9. BUFFALO BILLS

(6-10)
Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan: The Bills head coach is a former offensive line coach and he knows the Bills need better people up front. Lewan is sliding in the eyes of some, but Michigan has produced a lot of NFL linemen.

Of the four players listed here I’d probably be happiest with Jake Matthews. He’s the most athletic and technically sound lineman in this draft class and is the most NFL ready. Plus his NFL bloodlines don’t get much better with a Hall of Fame OL for a dad in Bruce Matthews.

 


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McShay’s final mock has QB to Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on April 25, 2013 – 11:14 am

ESPN NFL draft analyst Todd McShay has released his eighth, yes eighth mock draft, here on draft day and he’s got the Bills taking a quarterback.

McShay has Buffalo taking Ryan Nassib with the eighth pick.  He only has one quarterback coming off the board prior to Buffalo’s pick at eight with Cleveland taking Geno Smith with the sixth pick.

If that proves to be the case it’s likely that moving down becomes an option that’s a bit less risky if they want to wait on landing a quarterback.


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Cosell mocks OLB to Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on April 22, 2013 – 4:44 pm

Quarterback has been the dominant pick for Buffalo at eight overall in the 2013 NFL draft, but that’s not the case with Yahoo Sports Greg Cosell’s mock draft.

Cosell has LSU OLB Barkevious Mingo to the Bills at 8. Here’s what he wrote about his pick for Buffalo.

8. Buffalo Bills: LSU DE/OLB Barkevious Mingo makes perfect sense for the Bills. They do not have a pass rusher at the linebacker position, and new DC Mike Pettine, formerly of the Jets, feature scheme multiplicity with athletic players who can align in different spots. Mingo flashed explosive traits, and the kind of closing speed you cannot teach. He’s a work in progress, not yet close to a finished product. He did not show elite body flexibility, with the ability to bend the edge. He needs an NFL weight room. But you put on the Clemson tape, and you see the kind of burst and speed that can impact games.

Mingo is a talented pass rusher, but young in the game and needs polish when it comes to the run game and dropping into coverage. His potential however, is likely to make him a top 10 pick. For more on Mingo check out our draft profile on the LSU pass rusher in our Draft Profile Tuesday morning on Buffalobills.com.


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Breakdown of Bills mock drafts

Posted by Chris Brown on April 13, 2013 – 8:24 am

There have been 79 mock drafts tracked here at Buffalobills.com in this pre-draft season and not surprisingly quarterback has been one of the most popular projections. There have also been some other interesting trends in all the 70-plus mock drafts tracked. Here’s a closer look.

With special thanks to Kevin Kearns in the Bills media relations department for compiling most of the information, here are some of the more interesting figures.

-          First mock draft charted was on December 12, 2011 from ESPN’s Todd McShay selecting Notre Dame LB Manti Te’o for the Bills.

-          38 drafts project that the Bills will select a quarterback. Wide receiver and offensive guard are the second most frequent positions, each appearing 10 times.

-          Most names selected for the Bills in mock drafts – West Virginia QB Geno Smith (18), Tennesee WR Cordarrelle Patterson (8), Alabama G Chance Warmack (8), USC QB Matt Barkley (7), Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib (6), Oregon DE Dion Jordan (5) and North Carolina St. QB Mike Glennon (5)

-          Since free agency began April 12, 34 mock drafts have been charted—18 of which have projected the Bills will select a quarterback. West Virginia QB Geno Smith accounts for nine of those selections.

-          There has been a recent trend projecting the Bills will draft an offensive guard, with six of the last 10 mocks charted projecting the Bills either select Alabama G Chance Warmack or North Carolina G Jonathan Cooper

-          Last 10 mock drafts tracked

  • ESPN.com (April 4, Mel Kiper) – North Carolina G Jonathan Cooper
  • WGR 550 (April 4, Joe Buscaglia) – USC QB Matt Barkley
  • ESPN.com (April 4, Todd McShay) – LSU DE Barkevious Mingo
  • Pro Football Talk (April 7, Mike Florio) – Alabama G Chance Warmack
  • Houston Chronicle (April 7, John McClain) – North Carolina G Jonathan Cooper
  • NFL.com (April 8, Bucky Brooks) – Alabama G Chance Warmack
  • ESPN.com (April 10, Todd McShay) – Alabama G Chance Warmack
  • NFL.com (April 10, Daniel Jeremiah) – West Virginia WR Tavon Austin
  • WGR 550 (April 10, Joe Buscaglia) – Clemson WR DeAndre Hopkins
  • Sports Illustrated (April 10, Don Banks) – Alabama G Chance Warmack

-          NFL.com has produced the most mock drafts – 26

-          Seven mock drafts include second round selections.  Selections include: QB Ryan Nassib (3), G/C Justin Pugh (2), QB Matt Barkley (1) and T/G Kyle Long (1)

 


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A hybrid DE/LB for Bills in latest mock

Posted by Chris Brown on February 8, 2013 – 1:04 pm

NFL.com’s draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah has published a new mock draft. He’s got Geno Smith going first overall to Kansas City, and he’s got a new option for the Bills at eighth overall.

Jeremiah has Buffalo taking Oregon DE Dion Jordan. Jordan is a unique physical talent and at 6’6″ and 243 pounds he played a hybrid role for the Ducks. He’s largely seen as a first-round prospect. What makes the pick for the Bills more interesting is Jeremiah worked in Baltimore scouting when Pettine was a linebackers coach with the Ravens.

Pick No. 8 – Dion Jordan – DE – Oregon
I was with new Buffalo defensive coordinator Mike Pettine for four years in Baltimore. He loves versatile defenders who allow his creative mind to mess with opposing quarterbacks. Jordan is a perfect fit for that role.
 
One item worth noting was Jordan did sustain a shoulder injury late last season. That will certainly be checked out during the medical exams at the NFL Combine. Jeremiah doesn’t have another QB going in round one after Smith.

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McShay’s mock goes QB for Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on February 7, 2013 – 3:46 pm

ESPN NFL draft analyst Todd McShay, joined colleague Mel Kiper in posting his latest mock draft Thursday. While Kiper chose a linebacker for the Bills with the eighth overall pick, McShay went the route of quarterback.

McShay picked West Virginia’s Geno Smith for Buffalo. He was also the first quarterback off McShay’s board. Here was his analysis.

8 – Buffalo Bills – Record: 6-10
Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
Smith has had some trouble in bad weather, which is clearly a concern for Buffalo, but he is a good fit in offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett’s version of the West Coast offense. When he’s on his game, Smith’s mechanics, smarts and confidence are impressive. Where he lands is perhaps the most intriguing storyline leading up to draft day, with Kansas City, Jacksonville and Philadelphia all possibilities in the top five.

Smith is the only quarterback McShay has coming off the board in the first round. For the record he has Ogletree (Kiper’s pick for Bills) going 19th overall to the Giants.


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Wide range of picks for Bills in mock drafts

Posted by Chris Brown on January 15, 2013 – 1:39 pm

With today (Jan. 15th) being the deadline for underclassmen to declare for the 2013 NFL draft, the mocks are coming fast and furious. NFL.com has four of their draftniks submit their initial mock drafts, and the picks for the Bills at eight are all over the board with only one of the four choosing a QB for Buffalo.

Here are the choices at eight overall for the four mock drafters for the Bills.

Bucky Brooks – QB Mike Glennon – N.C. State
Dan Jeremiah – WR Cordarelle Patterson – Tennessee
Charles Davis – ILB Manti Te’o – Notre Dame
Gil Brandt – LB Alec Ogletree – Georgia

Patterson is thought by some as too talented to pass up despite just one year at Tennessee at the FBS level. Glennon is a strict pocket passer, who doesn’t offer much in the way of escapability.

 


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McShay mock goes WR for Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on March 29, 2012 – 11:35 am

It’s become more and more popular with some of the more recent mock drafts, and ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay is leaning in that direction as well. After a bevy of offensive tackle picks at 10 for Buffalo, McShay goes wide receiver.

In McShay’s fourth mock draft he has the Bills taking Notre Dame WR Michael Floyd. Here’s what he wrote.

 
10. Buffalo – Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame

Floyd is a bit of a reach here, but no more so than OTs Mike Adams and Jonathan Martin. It’s a tough call on the Bills’ top two needs in this scenario, and they could look to trade down in a situation like this. They could also pull the trigger on a value pick such as Coples.

Floyd is widely considered the second best receiver in the draft class after Oklahoma State’s Justin Blackmon. With 4.47 speed and a 6’3″ 220-pound frame he could certainly be an option to line up opposite Stevie Johnson on the outside. Whether the Bills see him as proper value for the 10th overall pick is the big question.

Perhaps even more interesting is McShay has Buffalo taking Brock Osweiler, the quarterback from Arizona State in round 2 with the 41st overall pick. Osweiler did meet with the Bills at the NFL Combine, but so did a host of other players including QB Robert Griffin III.


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2 round mock goes OT, WR for Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on March 27, 2012 – 9:38 am

One of the latest two-round mock drafts has Buffalo taking an offensive tackle at 10 and then a big WR with pick 41.

The Sideline View’s Mark Zierlein has the Bills taking Iowa OT Riley Reiff, a popular pick of late among draft prognosticators. Then in round 2 he’s got Buffalo taking Rutgers WR Mohamed Sanu.

Sanu (6’2″ 211) recently made up for a poor 40-time at the NFL Combine (4.67) with a 4.41 and 4.48 at the Rutgers pro day last week. His accurate 40 time is probably somewhere in between those two (4.45 or so). Most believes that solidifies him as a second-round pick, so there’s a good chance he’s on the board when the Bills are on the clock in round 2.

Sanu set a school record last season at Rutgers with 115 receptions for 1,206 yards and 7 touchdowns.


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Bills mock leaders

Posted by Chris Brown on April 26, 2011 – 9:34 am

Courtesy of the Bills media relations department here are the most popular selections made by draft prognosticators during the pre-draft process. Over 140 mock drafts have been tracked and here are the results as to which players have appeared the most in Buffalo’s draft slot at third overall.

37 – Von Miller
26 – Cam Newton
24 – Marcell Dareus
23 – Blaine Gabbert
8 – Da’Quan Bowers
7 – Patrick Peterson
4 – Nick Fairley
4 – Other
2 – Cameron Jordan
2 – Ryan Mallett
2 – Robert Quinn
1 – A.J. Green


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