The Buffalo Bills made a strong statement in the 2010 NFL Draft by selecting C.J. Spiller. While the dramatic pick came as a shock for many, Buffalo “Billieved” that Spiller was the difference maker they needed. Spiller was the best available player on the draft board, regardless of how many running backs they already had.
Why should 2011 be any different for GM Buddy Nix and the Buffalo Bills?
The Bills could go a number of directions with the third pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, and many are expecting them to select their quarterback of the future. Despite owner Ralph Wilson stating the Bills will be drafting a quarterback, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the Bills will use the third overall pick on one.
GM Buddy Nix stated last week that the Bills will not reach for a quarterback, exactly what drafting Auburn’s Cam Newton or Missouri Tigers’ QB Blaine Gabbert at number three would be. A more likely scenario is a quarterback selection in the second round, or a move back to the first to select a project to tutor during the upcoming year.
After the replacement of quarterback Trent Edwards, the offense was far more productive under Ryan Fitzpatrick, who averaged nearly 334 yards in his 13 games and was also given an assurance that he’ll remain the Buffalo Bills starting quarterback next season. That may not sit well with fans after spending a third round pick on our new quarterback.
Depending on who the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos select, the Bills have a number of defensive players to choose from, including Clemson DE Da’Quan Bowers, Auburn DT Nick Fairley, Alabama DT Marcell Dareus, and Texas A&M Linebacker Von Miller.
While there is no doubt that any of these players could make a strong impact on the defensive line of the Buffalo Bills, look for the Bills to make the safest pick in the draft by taking the best overall player, CB Patrick Peterson from LSU.
Patrick Peterson won the Maxwell Club’s Chuck Bednarik Award as the top defensive player in college football and is an ideal NFL corner. With the aging and injury prone Terrance McGee, the Bills will start to look for that lock-down player in the secondary to sit opposite of Leodis McKelvin.
Peterson ran an impressive 4.31 40-yard dash at the combine, a great cone-drill, and came in at an impressive 219 pounds. He played against top receivers in the SEC-A.J. Green (Georgia) and Julio Jones (Alabama)-so he comes to the NFL well prepared. He is also a dynamic kick returner, which the Bills notoriously select. Read any published mock draft and you will read that CB Patrick Peterson is the best available player. It could be a possibility that the Bills try to move Peterson to the safety position or rotate him defensively while Terrace McGee sticks around, but many say that moving him would be a mistake.
Mistakes are something that the Buffalo Bills cannot afford to make at this point. Following 11 years without a playoff appearance, it becomes imperative to continue improving. As the Buffalo Bills question their existence year to year, the Bills couldn’t survive a bust at the quarterback position.