With the 2011 NFL Draft closing in, it's time to convey my final projections for the three-day event.
I've included the Bills' first, second and third round pick in this year's draft, all of which addressing major positions of need.
Keep in mind, I do not project trades, but I did talk about the possibilities of certain willing partners in the explanations of the picks.
Enjoy, and have a great draft day! Be sure to join myself and Brian Koziol starting at 7 p.m. for full draft coverage, extending all the way until the first round is complete!
1) Carolina Panthers - QB Cam Newton, Auburn
- This is closing in on lock status, but it's not there yet. Seeing a report that the owner of the Panthers 'loves' Cam Newton is usually a pretty good indication.
2) Denver Broncos - DT Marcell Dareus, Alabama
- The Broncos have voluntarily made defensive tackle a vast area of need. They could select Von Miller, but ultimately I think Dareus is the pick.
3) Buffalo Bills - OLB Von Miller, Texas A&M
- I've been saying it since January, but I'm of the full belief that if somehow Cam Newton is on the board at number three, he will be the pick. After that, I think they would prefer Dareus to Miller, but still love the both of them. They're getting a premiere prospect no matter which way you look at it. The way it looks like it's shaking out, this is how the first three picks will pan out.
4) Cincinnati Bengals - WR A.J. Green, Georgia
- I'm shocked that the Bengals would go with a wide receiver without having a quarterback to throw him the football, but I trust the several beat writers in Cincinnati who think that Gabbert will not be the guy at number four.
5) Arizona Cardinals - CB Patrick Peterson, LSU
- Cardinals beat writers have also been adamant that the Cardinals would rather fix everything else and get a veteran quarterback. Peterson is the best on the board. Gabbert continues to sit.
6) Cleveland Browns - WR Julio Jones, Alabama
- Every year, the first five or six picks usually become predictable the closer you get. Jones to Cleveland makes a lot of sense especially with the developing Colt McCoy.
7) San Francisco 49ers - DE/OLB Robert Quinn, North Carolina
- The Niners need a pass rusher. I think they could move down here and allow a QB hungry team to snap up Gabbert.
8) Tennessee Titans - DT Nick Fairley, Auburn
- Tennessee gets their guy that they covet. I think there's a good chance that the Titans attempt to trade back in to the first round to get Andy Dalton. New England at 17 could be waiting for their call.
9) Dallas Cowboys - CB Prince Amukamara, Nebraska
- The Cowboys need secondary help, and getting one of the best in the class makes the most sense.
10) Washington Redskins - QB Blaine Gabbert, Missouri
- Gabbert's slide is over. Washington could trade up to get him just to make sure, but I don't project trades, so here he sits. Gabbert to Washington feels right. It's just a gut thing.
11) Houston Texans - DE/OLB Aldon Smith, Missouri
- I will never, ever question John McClain of the Houston Chronicle. He might be the most connected local team beat writer in the country. He says this is going to be the pick, and by golly, I believe him.
12) Minnesota Vikings - QB Jake Locker, Washington
- QBs will go much earlier than they should this year, and this is the start of it. The Vikings go with the take your guy no matter what type of strategy, especially since the top seven quarterbacks will be long gone before their up again in the 2nd round.
13) Detroit Lions - OT Tyron Smith, USC
- The Lions could use a corner, but taking the first tackle in the draft isn't such a bad consolation prize.
14) St. Louis Rams - DT Corey Liuget, Illinois
- This is closing in on lock territory.
15) Miami Dolphins - QB Ryan Mallett, Arkansas
- Mallett ultimately gets in to the first round I think. If Andy Dalton is going to be gone before Thursday is over, so will Mallett. He's got big play potential, and the Dolphins need a playmaker at quarterback.
16) Jacksonville Jaguars - DE Cam Jordan, Cal
- The Jags dip back in to the California well. It worked last year, and Jordan has the makings of it working again.
17) New England Patriots - DE J.J. Watt, Wisconsin
- A dream fit for the 3-4, Watt is the perfect five-technique.
18) San Diego Chargers - DE Cameron Heyward, Ohio State
- The Chargers really wanted Watt I think, and go with their biggest position of need anyway.
19) New York Giants - OT Anthony Castonzo, Boston College
- This hasn't changed in a while.
20) Tampa Bay Buccaneers - DE Ryan Kerrigan, Purdue
- I'm pretty sure Tampa Bay will take a defensive end in the first round. It's a very
21) Kansas City Chiefs - NT Phil Taylor, Baylor
- The Chiefs are in desperate need of a nose tackle. I know about his foot condition, and no, I don't think it will affect him in the draft all that much, especially with the lack of true nose tackles.
22) Indianapolis Colts - OT Nate Solder, Colorado
- Bills scout Rashaan Curry sold me on Nate Solder. The Colts definitely need a left tackle to give Peyton Manning some help.
23) Philadelphia Eagles - OT Derek Sherrod, Mississippi State
- Sherrod could go in and start at right tackle if need be. The Eagles are prime candidates to trade down.
24) New Orleans Saints - DE Da'Quan Bowers, Clemson
- The slide ends here. It's a bit of a risk pick, but the Saints are in the position to do that. If he's healthy, they get what could have been the first overall pick if fully healthy throughout the draft process.
25) Seattle Seahawks - QB Andy Dalton, TCU
- I think Tennessee or Cincinnati likely trades ahead of Seattle, but if not, Dalton will be off the board. I believe the Seahawks will take a QB with this pick.
26) Baltimore Ravens - OLB Martez Wilson, Illinois
- Wilson is a versatile linebacker that can rush the passer. Perfect for the Ravens' scheme.
27) Atlanta Falcons - WR Randall Cobb, Kentucky
- I truly think Cobb is a healthier version of Percy Harvin. If you've ever seen him play, you know what I'm talking about.
28) New England Patriots - QB Christian Ponder, Florida State
- I'd be willing to bet this pick will not belong to the Patriots when it's on the clock. One team, whether it be the Bengals, Titans, Cardinals or anyone else, will trade back in to get a quarterback.
29) Chicago Bears - OG/C Mike Pouncey, Florida
- The Bears could use help along the line, Pouncey fits right in.
30) New York Jets - OLB Akeem Ayers, UCLA
- Ayers can get after the passer, a trait we all know Rex Ryan loves.
31) Pittsburgh Steelers - CB Jimmy Smith, Colorado
- Despite his red flags, Smith's talent will win out.
32) Green Bay Packers - DE Muhammad Wilkerson, Temple
- A five-technique end along with a pass rusher is needed in GB.
33) New England Patriots - HB Mark Ingram, Alabama
- Again, I don't think this will be New England's pick when Friday the 29th rolls around.
34) Buffalo Bills - QB Colin Kaepernick, Nevada
- I'm not fully convinced that one of the top seven quarterbacks will be there when the Bills pick at 34th overall. They may very well need to trade back in to Round One to get a signal caller. It wouldn't take much to get back in to the 20's in the first round especially including this pick. But if this is the case and Kaepernick is there at 34, they're getting a guy that will put every ounce of effort towards being the best. Rocket arm, great speed, good accuracy: these are tools Chan Gailey can work with. But like I said, they may need to trade up to get him.
35) Cincinnati Bengals - OT Gabe Carimi, Wisconsin
36) Denver Broncos - DT Marvin Austin, North Carolina
37) Cleveland Browns - DE Adrian Clayborn, Iowa
38) Arizona Cardinals - DE/OLB Justin Houston, Georgia
39) Tennessee Titans - OLB Bruce Carter, North Carolina
40) Dallas Cowboys - S Aaron Williams, Texas
41) Washington Redskins - NT Stephen Paea, Oregon State
42) Houston Texans - CB Jalil Brown, Colorado
43) Minnesota Vikings - DE Jabaal Sheard, Pittsburgh
44) Detroit Lions - CB Brandon Harris, Miami (FL)
45) San Francisco 49ers - DE/OLB Brooks Reed, Arizona
46) Denver Broncos - HB Mikel LeShoure, Illinois
47) St. Louis Rams - WR Titus Young, Boise State
48) Oakland Raiders - G Danny Watkins, Baylor
49) Jacksonville Jaguars - S Rahim Moore, UCLA
50) San Diego Chargers - WR Jonathan Baldwin, Pittsburgh
51) Tampa Bay Buccaneers - OT James Carpenter, Alabama
52) New York Giants - TE Kyle Rudolph, Notre Dame
53) Indianapolis Colts - WR Tandon Doss, Indiana
54) Philadelphia Eagles - CB Ras-I Dowling, Virginia
55) Kansas City Chiefs - WR Greg Little, North Carolina
56) New Orleans Saints - DT Jurrell Casey, USC
57) Seattle Seahawks - OG Clint Boling, Georgia
58) Baltimore Ravens - CB Buster Skrine, Chattanooga
59) Atlanta Falcons - LB Mason Foster, Washington
60) New England Patriots - OG John Moffitt, Wisconsin
61) San Diego Chargers - ILB Kelvin Sheppard, LSU
62) Chicago Bears - HB Ryan Williams, Virginia Tech
63) Pittsburgh Steelers - OG William Rackley, Lehigh
64) Green Bay Packers - DE/OLB Sam Acho, Texas
68) Buffalo Bills - ILB Quan Sturdivant, North Carolina
- The Bills have shown interest in Sturdivant throughout the off-season, and I believe they see him as a potential long-term replacement at inside linebacker in the 3-4.