It’s official. The Buffalo Bills will have the 9th pick in the 2014 NFL draft. As many Buffalo fans have started to contemplate the draft, I have finally come to the conclusion as to who the Buffalo Bills absolutely need to snag in round one.
The Buffalo Bills need OLB Anthony Barr from UCLA.
Hear me out, Khalil Mack is a great inside linebacker and a 716 legacy, but as I watch the highlights of Anthony Barr on YouTube I can see he is the answer for the Buffalo Bills. Barr is an extremely speedy outside rusher who plays with great body control and instincts. He doesn’t simply beat a lineman with his feet. He beats them with explosion, fast hands, and having a nose for the football.
As a tackler, he brings the hammer every down and considering the play of our defensive line this season, we are a “hammer” away from being a top 10 defense. Kiko is a great linebacker and our defensive line can make plays, but you add Anthony Barr to the mix and the combination of speed and power is deadly. Barr has the speed to recover from blocks and relentlessly pursue the ball carrier, as well as excel in pass coverage from sideline to sideline. His ball instincts are phenomenal and he plays with his eyes, reading blocks, maintaining his position, then going in for the kill.
Whether or not the Buffalo Bills should reach for Anthony Barr, I strongly feel they shouldn’t. Even if he is what they need, the Buffalo Bills organization needs to play this draft smart. You take the best talent available at that position unless they gain leverage via trade. If the Buffalo Bills are able to trade up in the draft, they need to take the offensive guard they’ve been looking for. From there, they can wait it out and draft with patience and take the best players at the position they need.
Don’t get it twisted; if the Buffalo Bills were to draft Anthony Barr and Khalil Mack in the first round by some miracle, they wouldn’t be wrong in doing so. The addition of two linebackers of such quality would equal disaster for AFC East opponents and would give our offense time to mature by giving them a strong back to support the team in times of need during close games.
The best defense sometimes is a great offense. But the best support for a team with offensive struggles is a hard-hitting, fast defense with shutdown linebackers. The Buffalo Bills draft with that mentality, they have a chance to make great strides next year and playoffs will be more of a reality than they have ever been in Buffalo. AFC east quarterbacks would have a nightmare trying to score on the Buffalo Bills.
Comment below. BTW keep an eye out for an offensive assessment for potential draft picks as well as an in-depth analysis of some sleepers the Buffalo Bills should keep an eye out for.