The Bills have met with 6 potential picks over the past two days. Yesterday, we hosted FSU QB Christian Ponder, Georgia DE/OLB Justin Houston, and Auburn DT Nick Fairley. Today, Bills brass met with Arizona DE/OLB Brooks Reed, Missouri QB Blaine Gabbert, and UNC LB Quan Sturdivant.
Ponder is my #2 rated QB and I think he can be a solid NFL starter as long as he can stay healthy.
Houston is probably a better fit at 4-3 end, but he played and was productive at both end and 3-4 rush backer at Georgia. He’s still a bit raw dropping into coverage, but he has excellent burst and strength. I have him graded out as a late 1st round pick. Not likely, but he may sneak to the 34th pick.
Fairley is my second best overall player, but I’d be surprised if the Bills decide on him 3rd overall. Buddy has stated he prefers guys that have been productive their whole lives (as opposed to one-year wonders) and Fairley can come off as cocky in interviews. I believe Nix puts a lot of stock into the type of person the players are. From what I’ve heard, Spiller was very impressive when the team met with him last year. He’s also a gifted player, but I bet it helped.
Reed’s meteoric rise of late has been surprising to me. I keep watching tape on him hoping to see something different, but I keep walking away with the same opinion that he’s just an average guy. He tested well, but I don’t think his measurables show up on tape. He has two moves: he will either try to take the outside, or rip a spin move inside. He doesn’t shed blocks particularly well, which isn’t aided by the fact he has smaller arms (32 1/2). I don’t even really think he’s that much of a hustle guy. You can catch him watching plays develop. I think he’s a contributor that can rotate in, but late 1st/early 2nd? I know I wouldn’t sign off on that.
Gabbert is a 2nd/3rd round prospect that suddenly became a franchise QB after Andrew Luck decided to stay at Stanford for another season. I graded him out to be a 3rd round prospect that will probably struggle to establish himself at the next level, despite his physical tools. More than anything, he just feels the rush too much.
Sturdivant has a passion for the game and shows the instincts to diagnose plays. Unfortunately, he takes poor angles and doesn’t have great speed. He also tries to arm tackle too much as opposed to being physical against the run. Despite his favorite players being Ray Lewis and Jon Beason, he’s not an attacking player and he lets plays come to him at times. There are some character concerns, considering the fact that Quan was cited for marijuana possession in 2010. Sturdivant has a tattoo that reads: “Only the strong survive.” He’ll need to live by that mantra if he’s going to ever be more than a contributor at the next level. I think he best projects inside in a 34.