ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper has released his update mock draft (Kiper 2.0), but he kept his pick for the Bills at 10th overall the same.
At 10 he’s still got Buffalo taking Alabama pass rusher Courtney Upshaw. Here’s what he wrote.
10. Courtney Upshaw, LB, Alabama – This is another pick that I’m staying with for now. The pass rush still needs a lot of help, and Upshaw is currently the best 3-4 outside linebacker in the draft. Even as Buffalo looks to shift that defense to a 4-3 (see Denver’s draft strategy at No. 2 last year) Upshaw can still easily fit. Don’t pass talent because of small scheme questions. He should be able to apply a lot of pressure to opposing quarterbacks from the edge for whoever gets him for 2012. Remember, nobody on the Bills managed more than 5.5 sacks in 2011, and as a team, they simply haven’t been able to get pressure unless they bring numbers. This is an energetic talent, an edge linebacker in the mold of a more athletic LaMarr Woodley, a guy who has been well-coached and can start early.
Most teams have been grading Upshaw as an outside linebacker because that’s where he played at Alabama in their 3-4 scheme, but he certainly has the build to handle the point of attack as a defensive end and appears to have enough natural pass rush ability to be a fit as a 4-3 end.
Tags: 2012 NFL draft, Courtney Upshaw
Posted in Inside the Bills