2012 NFL Draft: The Bills Play It Safe In The First Round and Day 2 Preview


If Stephon Gilmore’s name was announced as the first pick and your reaction was a depressing thud, don’t feel like you were the only one. I’m sure a lot of Bills nation were hoping for a new receiver or cornerstone on the offensive line, but it didn’t happen. At least not in the first round.
Instead they take the second best cornerback off the board. It’s one of those picks where when you think of our need at that position you say to yourself “oh yeah, that makes sense we really need help there.” Florence and McGee are going to be 32 this year and McKelvin can’t cover a dead turtle so Gilmore fills a giant need.
There are many reasons why I like this pick. First off tip your hat to Buddy Nix and the front office. They didn’t reach and they didn’t give up the farm to get a guy like Kalil or Kuechly. Gilmore was rated a top ten player and that’s exactly where he went. In addition, other players that fans wanted at ten are actually still available like Cordy Glenn and Jonathan Martin. Whether or not Nix and Gailey are wizards that saw those two drop we’ll never know, but they’ll look like geniuses if we can get one of them in the second round.
Gilmore has the “bling” that a lot of teams were looking for. He has good size at 6’0 (some have him listed as 6’1) and ran a 4.40 time in the 40. Just to give you a comparison, Lee Evans ran the 40 at 4.39 and most of us considered him a speed burner. He also started all twelve games as a true freshman in the SEC. That’s like being promoted on your first day at new job. He finished his career with 40 total starts.
Gilmore is also considered to be the most physical corner in the draft. He likes to jam receivers at the line and stay tight in man coverage, which will allow our talented group of safeties to do their job. He has also had no off field problems which in this day and age is becoming harder to find. Gailey and Nix like SEC players with squeaky clean records (I think it’s a southern values type of thing) and a track history of success, and Gilmore fits this.
Another great positive is that with this pick our defense continues to get better and better. Even though are corners are getting older, we still have talent back there and with the addition of Mario Williams and Mark Anderson they will have less pressure on them.
Of course with the positives there always has to be negatives and there are things I don’t like about the Gilmore pick. The most glaring aspect is it’s a depth pick when we needed immediate starters. Gilmore will not be a day one starter. He never played corner in high school and is still learning the position so he’s raw.
Another area of concern is he actually reminds me of Mr. Inconsistent Leodis McKelvin. Athletic but will get beat on big plays and will need a lot of help. Gilmore will also be overaggressive and play out of his position, also reminding me of McKelvin. I don’t want another McKelvin and I hope Gilmore turns to out to be his opposite, but you can never have enough good cornerbacks.
So what do the Bills do in the second round? The obvious answer is left tackle and receiver and there are plenty of good ones out there. The obvious reality is we have no idea what they are going to do. How many of you predicted Gilmore in the first? I’m sure some of you did, but if ten people tell me they did I would say nine are lying. So let’s check out some players we can get in the second or possibly the third.
Cordy Glenn, OT/Guard Georgia: Once projected to be our first round pick, Glenn has great size and is able to play multiple positions on the offensive line. I’m shocked he didn’t get drafted in the first round and he would be a steal in the second.
Jonathan Martin, OT Stanford: Another first round projection that at times had the Bills taking him at ten. Martin is a bit polarizing. Some think of him as a top fifteen talent while some think of him as a second round guy. The latter turned out to be correct, but regardless Martin is a nice player.
Mohammed Sanu, WR Rutgers: Possibly the guy with the worst luck in the draft when a prank caller believed to be from the Bengals organization informed him he would be taken by them, and then wasn’t. He has good size at 6’2 and could be a great addition.
Stephen Hill, WR Georgia Tech: A very possible selection with Gailey being an old GT guy. He’s a first round projection that fell to the second. Sanu or Hill could really complement Stevie Johnson across the field.
Courtney Upshaw, LB Alabama: The first round projections continue to fall. Some had him going to us at ten and now he could be there for us in the second. He’s a hybrid LB/DE that the Bills covet since we play a hybrid defense.
Either way, it should be an exciting day at the NFL draft when we find out who the newest members of Bills Nation is, and welcome to Buffalo Stephon Gilmore!