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Bills Beat Blog

By Joe Buscaglia
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BUSCAGLIA: Mock Draft #3

With time to digest how each prospect looked in Indianapolis at the NFL Scouting Combine, the way the draft may play out has been altered.

Who might the Bills be interested in the first two rounds? I urge you to look below and read the reasoning behind each pick.

1) Carolina Panthers - DT Marcell Dareus, Alabama
- I think Dareus was the most impressive big man by a lot in Indianapolis. This is the number one position of need for the Panthers, and Dareus might be the best in the draft at the spot. He's quick off the snap, and has great size to be able to do that. The impact of Ndamukong Suh for Detroit last year highly influences this pick.

2) Denver Broncos - DE Da'Quan Bowers, Clemson
- Reports have surfaced about the Broncos being strongly interested in bringing Bowers in to the fold to help the defense. Makes sense, the way Julius Peppers impacted the Panthers for Fox's time in Carolina.

3) Buffalo Bills - QB Cam Newton, Auburn
- I've heard from a couple of places that the Bills are interested in Newton. And I think the interest is absolutely genuine. If Newton is there at third overall, I believe he will be the pick. With Fitzpatrick in the fold for another year, and with his success last season, it allows for flexibility to develop Newton where he wouldn't get it in other places. If there's one person I trust with a young, developing quarterback, it's Chan Gailey. The depth on defense that you heard Gailey and Buddy Nix allude to at the Combine, I think that speaks volumes as to what they'll do with the third overall pick. Meaning they can wait and still grab an impact player at the top of round two.

4) Cincinnati Bengals - QB Blaine Gabbert, Missouri
- Rumors out of Cincinnati indicate the Bengals are drafting as though Carson Palmer is out of the equation. That means a QB, with Gabbert being the guy.

5) Arizona Cardinals - CB Patrick Peterson, LSU
- It comes down to Von Miller vs. Peterson here, and Peterson is too tempting to pass up here. Peterson may be the most talented player in the draft, but the position he plays will hinder where he's ultimately drafted. The same thing happened with Eric Berry last year.

6) Cleveland Browns - DT Nick Fairley, Auburn
- With the Browns transitioning back to the 4-3, they need a defensive tackle pretty badly to put next to Atiyah Rubin.

7) San Francisco 49ers - OLB Von Miller, Texas A&M
- Picturing a linebacking core with Patrick Willis and Von Miller is a scary, scary thing.

8) Tennessee Titans - WR A.J. Green, Georgia
- I'll preface this by saying that if both quarterbacks are off the board, I believe the Titans are the most likely team to trade down from the Top 10 in this year's draft, especially since Green is on the board here. This is a best player available pick.

9) Dallas Cowboys - DE J.J. Watt, Wisconsin
- Watt is a beast who comes off as extremely motivated. He will go off the board around this range.

10) Washington Redskins - WR Julio Jones, Alabama
- Jones did very well for himself at the combine, and the Redskins are in desperate need for a wide receiver that is successful based on their past draft history at the position.

11) Houston Texans - CB Prince Amukamara, Nebraska
- The Texans' secondary cost their offense the post-season. Be sure that they address it in a big way on draft day.

12) Minnesota Vikings - DE Robert Quinn, North Carolina
- The Vikings in need of a defensive end get some big time help in Quinn, who will take over for departing free agent Ray Edwards.

13) Detroit Lions - OT Anthony Castonzo, Boston College
- The Lions still need a bookend left tackle for their offense, and Castonzo tested very well at the Combine, discerning himself from the rest at the position.

14) St. Louis Rams - DT Corey Liuget, Illinois
- With both wide receivers off the board, the Rams will likely go defensive tackle in this situation.

15) Miami Dolphins - HB Mikel LeShoure, Illinois
- LeShoure is someone building a lot of momentum through the draft process, and may just be the first back taken. Brown and Williams are both free agents, they need a halfback.

16) Jacksonville Jaguars - DE Cameron Jordan, Cal
- Having a good amount of success from last year's first round pick Tyson Alualu, the Jaguars go back to the California well and pickup Jordan to rush off the edge.

17) New England Patriots - HB Mark Ingram, Alabama
- The Patriots need some value on offense at skill positions, and Ingram could be the workhorse Tom Brady and company needs.

18) San Diego Chargers - DE/DT Stephen Paea, Oregon State
- The strongman will find a nice home in San Diego at defensive end in their three-man front. Remember who I said the Titans would be willing to trade down most likely? Well, I think the Chargers would be the first in line to get up to 8th overall to get someone like Wisconsin DE J.J. Watt.

19) New York Giants - OT Tyron Smith, USC
- The athletically gifted Smith will be a fine pickup for the Giants, who desperately need a tackle.

20) Tampa Bay Buccaneers - DE Aldon Smith, Missouri
- The Buccaneers need a defense to keep up with their offense, and pressure on the quarterback is essential to that. The rebuilding of the defensive line is almost complete.

21) Kansas City Chiefs - Mike Pouncey, Florida
- Sure, the Chiefs could use a tackle. But a high value center usually goes around this range, and with the impact Mike's brother had in Pittsburgh, it's hard to overlook someone like that.

22) Indianapolis Colts - OT Gabe Carimi, Wisconsin
- The Colts definitely need a left tackle, and Carimi would be a solid fit.

23) Philadelphia Eagles - CB Jimmy Smith, Colorado
- Smith's talent is there, but off-the-field concerns cause him to drop a bit. That, plus the fact that usually wide receivers and cornerbacks drop on draft day as a whole.

24) New Orleans Saints - DE Ryan Kerrigan, Purdue
- The Saints need defensive line and linebacker help in any capacity. Kerrigan would be a nice fit for their four-man front.

25) Seattle Seahawks - QB Christian Ponder, Florida State
- Ponder has done everything right since the end of the college football season, and is the best fit for Pete Carroll's style of offense.

26) Baltimore Ravens - CB Brandon Harris, Miami (FL)
- The Ravens weakness all of last year was their secondary, especially at cornerback. They need to address it during the draft.

27) Atlanta Falcons - OG Danny Watkins, Baylor
- Despite his age, Watkins plays at a high level at his position. The best part is that he's still young in to his football playing career. A good pickup for Atlanta here.

28) New England Patriots - OLB Justin Houston, Georgia
- Houston is someone used to playing as a 3-4 rush linebacker, and the Patriots need someone that can step in right away at that position.

29) Chicago Bears - OT Nate Solder, Colorado
- The incredibly tall Solder falls a bit, but can still be the left or right tackle of the extended future for someone.

30) New York Jets - DE Cameron Heyward, Ohio State
- Ironhead's son heads to the loquacious Jets. Heyward is a good fit in to a 3-4 scheme.

31) Pittsburgh Steelers - OT Ben Ijalana, Villanova
- With all due respect to the Steelers current pair of tackles, Ijalana would be a nice upgrade over the likes of Jonathan Scott.

32) Green Bay Packers - DE/DT Phil Taylor, Baylor
- Much in the way that the Packers utilize B.J. Raji, Green Bay can line Taylor up all over their three-man front. His explosiveness off the line of scrimmage is very enticing. Character concerns with him, however.

33) New England Patriots - DE Adrian Clayborn, Iowa
- It seems Clayborn's best fit will likely be as a 3-4 end rather than a regular pass rushing defensive end. Clayborn at one point was considered a top ten pick.

34) Buffalo Bills - DE/DT Muhammad Wilkerson, Temple
- Wilkerson has been rising in the past month or so, and he's right on the fringe of sneaking in to the first round. Whatever order the 3-4 defensive ends go, I'm convinced that one of them will drop to the Bills at the 34th pick. And with the stress to get better against the run and after the release of Marcus Stroud, I believe a 3-4 defensive end is the biggest need area for that side of the ball this off-season. The depth of the draft on the defensive line allows the Bills to get a starter at that position in round two.

Twitter: @JoeB_WGR

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