For those of you that aren’t aware with my love for the NFL Draft, every season I spend 7-8 months scouting for the draft and grade the players. Then, when draft day rolls along, I not only analyze what the Bills did, but I make picks when the Bills do.
Since this is going to be my first draft at Buffalowdown, I figured I would fill the readers in on my last draft class.
9th overall: OT Bryan Bulaga, Iowa
The knock on Bryan coming out of college was primarily his shorter arms. While they are not ideal, I still viewed him as a potential left tackle at the next level. While he is not there yet, he was a solid starting right tackle for the Super Bowl Champion Packers this past season. He had his ups and downs this season, but with Chad Clifton already 34, I believe it’s only a matter of time before Bulaga shifts over to protect Aaron Rodgers blindside for the next decade.
41st overall: ILB Brandon Spikes, Florida
Brandon was viewed as a first-round talent with great physicality, leadership, and instincts. However, he had a horrible day running at his Pro Day (which I felt was more due to circumstance than anything) and he dropped to the 2nd round. Some actually projected him to go as late as the 3rd round after his 40-time. I was more than excited when Spikes fell to this pick and was happy to pick him up. Brandon had a very solid rookie campaign with the Patriots. He was a starter Day 1 and was effective until missing the final four games of the season because of a suspension (he took medication that had an ingredient banned by the league). Spikes has the look of a promising player that I’ll now have to watch play against us twice a year for a while.
72nd overall: CB Perrish Cox, Oklahoma State
Perrish looked to have a promising rookie year physically, but his major off the field mistake wiped out anything positive about the season on the field. With the Broncos secondary beat up a bit, he was able to crack the starting line-up. While he was inconsistent at times, I still view him as a guy that could eventually become a #1 corner. Of course, that was before his problems off-field took center stage. Cox had some character issues coming out of college, but I didn’t view them as issues that would be repeated. Instead, they got worse. He was arrested in December for felonious sexual assault. While the details of the case won’t be released, if the charges stick, he has little chance of scraping together an NFL career. I took a gamble and it looks like I got burned if he gets jail time.
107th overall: QB Levi Brown, Troy
I know, he ended up going in the 7th round. However, some projected him to go in the middle rounds and I wasn’t missing out on my guy. I viewed him as one of the top QB’s of the class and I still feel he will prove to be just that. Levi is a raw guy, and I figured he would have to red-shirt his first season to get up to speed. However, he has all the tools and the confidence to get it done at the next level. My gut tells me the Bills will never give him a fair shot, though. If they don’t believe in him, I’d rather we just cut him so he can catch on with another team and start there. (If you can’t tell, I’m still pretty miffed about it).
140th overall: S Reshad Jones, Georgia
Jones is a guy with all the physical attributes. He’s a good tackler and has decent hands, but he only showed bursts of production in college. I feel Jones is a guy who will eventually start at the next level. I was actually pretty surprised he didn’t win a starting spot in Miami this past season, but I feel it’s only a matter of time. He has a ton of upside.
178th overall: OG Ciron Black, Louisiana State
This is a guy that really bothers me. Black played LT at LSU, but he was much too slow-footed to play that position. I felt that he would be an ideal guard, because he was a mauler off the snap and could pull block surprisingly well for a guy of his size. However, he went undrafted. Instead of taking his rumored UFA deal with the Steelers, Black decided to shun the NFL. Now, I’ll have to wonder what could’ve been.
192nd overall: WR Dorin Dickerson, Pittsburgh
Dorin played TE in college, but he wasn’t really built for the position (6-4 226). With good hands and a 4.4 40, I figured I would just put him at WR. It will take an adjustment period, but I feel he has a lot of potential there. The Texans apparently also felt that way, as he is listed as a receiver for them. He made the roster in Houston, but didn’t get any catches on the season. He was active in seven games and made some plays in the preseason, though.
209th overall: DE/DT Vince Oghobaase, Duke
Vince played DT at Duke, but I feel he has the size and quickness to play the 5-technique in a 3-4. He signed an UFA deal with the Dolphins to play that position, but was unable to make the roster. He has the potential and I hope he gets another shot this off-season.
216th overall: ILB Micah Johnson, Kentucky
Micah ran a pretty poor 40 time, but he was somewhat nicked up around combine time. He showed instincts and faster football speed than his timed speed. Johnson spent the 2010 season on the Kansas City Chiefs practice squad. He has already signed a reserve/future contract with the Chiefs for next season as well. I’m excited about Johnson’s upside.