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Bills Beat Blog

By Joe Buscaglia
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NFL Mock Draft: Final Cut

The day is finally here and the time for rumors and uncertainty will be put aside. Starting at 8 pm, the 2014 NFL Draft will get underway and the Buffalo Bills will get to finally add a piece to their roster that could help them get back to a place they haven't been in 14 years -- the playoffs.

What will end up happening in this year's version of the draft?

For the final rendition of the mock draft, once again we'll be doing it LIVE, starting at 1 pm. All you have to do is follow the countdown, and click refresh when the clock hits zero. We'll be going up to the Bills' third round selection.

Keep in mind, mock drafts should always be considered to be for entertainment purposes only. With that written, on to the mock! 

Round 1
1)  - DE Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina
- Despite their best efforts, they can't move out of the top pick and take the player that many are calling one of the best defensive ends to come into the league in quite some time. While GM Rick Smith might prefer Khalil Mack, consider this: Clowney is perhaps one of the best prospects to ever come out of the Univeristy of South Carolina, which just so happens to be owner Bob McNair's alma mater. He's not going to pass on that -- at least you wouldn't think.

2)  (from WSH) - OT Greg Robinson, Auburn
- They'll try to move down, but can't rope in the compensation that they prefer. They stay at second overall and take Robinson to help their running game and Sam Bradford in one fell swoop.

3)  - LB Khalil Mack, Buffalo
- The loser of the Mack/Clowney derby for first overall will likely land in Jacksonville pending a trade up by another team. Mack fits very well into Gus Bradley's defense. The Johnny Manziel to Jacksonville hype is there, but it seems a bit smoky this close to the actual draft. If Manziel is the pick, Jacksonville is going to be fun.

4)  - WR Mike Evans, Texas A&M
- Evans before Watkins? Although Watkins might be a better prospect, perhaps Evans is a better fit for what Cleveland is trying to do. The Browns are expected to bypass a quarterback with their first round pick and Evans could be their target.

5) TRADE  (from OAK) - WR Sammy Watkins, Clemson
- With Watkins on the board, Oakland is in a prime position to move out of their first round position and acquire an additional top 50 selection. Detroit and Buffalo will both likely be jockeying for this pick but the Lions win out by offering up their second and fourth round picks.

Detroit gets: 5th overall
Oakland gets: 10th overall, 45th overall, 111th overall

6)  - OT Jake Matthews, Texas A&M
- There's some thought that they would take Michigan's Taylor Lewan over Matthews, but the latter is far too consistent and technically sound to pass. He'll step right in at either left or right tackle and be an instant starter.

7)  - DT Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh
- This isn't the conventional pick, but Donald could fit into the defense next to Gerald McCoy and be a potential impact player. Defense wasn't the biggest problem in Tampa Bay last season, but they hired a defensive head coach.

8) TRADE  (from MIN) - WR Odell Beckham, Jr., LSU 
- The hottest name in the draft might require a big move up to get him, and the Jets are willing to meet Minnesota's demand of a second round selection. The Jets need offensive firepower and Beckham, Jr. could be just what they're looking for. By that logic, they get ahead of the heavily interest Buffalo Bills to secure the third wide receiver in the draft.

New York Jets get: 8th overall
Minnesota gets: 18th overall, 49th overall

9)  - TE Eric Ebron, North Carolina
- The Bills miss out on Watkins, Matthews and Evans, but have their pick of Eric Ebron, Taylor Lewan and Zack Martin. Out of those options the Bills opt for the tight end that could change their offense for the better. Ebron can be an elite player in the league with the right seasoning, and could provide the versatility that offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett likely craves. Not to mention, he can become the security blanket for EJ Manuel that turns small gains into bigger ones thanks to his speed against linebackers and safeties. If Odell Beckham, Jr. were on the board, this would make for a very, very interesting discussion in the war room during their 10 minutes. Since he isn't, Ebron is the pick.

10)  (from DET) - QB Derek Carr, Fresno State
- The first quarterback off the board is not Johnny Manziel, but Derek Carr out of Fresno State. The draft always has it's surprises, and this might be the biggest of them all.

11) TRADE  (from TEN) - OT Taylor Lewan, Michigan
- Seeing Lewan fall out of the top 10 makes the Ravens jump to their phones and call Tennessee to move up in the order to secure Lewan as their right tackle moving forward. If they don't, he'll be playing for the New York Giants.

Baltimore gets: 11th overall, 112th overall
Tennessee gets: 17th overall, 48th overall

12)  - OT/G Zack Martin, Notre Dame
- The Giants are in the business of adding more offensive linemen and Martin certainly helps them in that regard. Eli Manning needs to get back to the form of old and try to put 2013 behind him. Perhaps the best way to do that is to keep pass rushers away from him as best they can.

13)  - QB Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
- Manziel drops down to 13 in what is a dream scenario for the Rams. They take the offensive tackle with their first pick to fortify their line, and then get Johnny Manziel to try and pave the way to the playoffs.

14)  - S Calvin Pryor, Louisville
- The Bears are in a position to get their pick of the litter to add to the woeful secondary. The hard-hitting Pryor could be the best option available.

15)  - CB Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech
- The Steelers were probably hoping for Beckham to get to them at 15, but they'll settle for Fuller who is a good fit for their defense.

16) TRADE  (from DAL) - QB Blake Bortles, Central Florida
- With Carr off the board, the Cardinals move up to get ahead of both Tennessee and Minnesota to secure Blake Bortles as the man to backup Carson Palmer this season and perhaps take over in 2015. This is a very good situation for Bortles in working with Bruce Arians.

Arizona gets: 16th overall
Dallas gets: 20th overall, 84th overall

17)  (from BAL) - CB Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State
- The loss of Alterraun Verner will need to be fixed in some capacity, and with only one cornerback off the board the Titans make Dennard their selection.

18)  (from NYJ) - ILB C.J. Mosley, Alabama
- The term that sticks with the Vikings for their first round pick is to find someone that is an impact player for the front-seven of the defense. They'll stick Mosley in the middle of their defense and start him right away.

19) TRADE  (from MIA) - WR Brandin Cooks, Oregon State
- Cooks likely wouldn't last much longer past Green Bay, Philadelphia and Kansas City, so San Francisco finds a willing trade partner in Miami and moves up to secure the wideout.

San Francisco gets: 19th overall
Miami gets: 30th overall, 61st overall

20)  (from ARI) - DE/OLB Anthony Barr, UCLA
- A bit lower than previously mocked, late movement for other players makes Barr available around this area of the draft. The Cowboys are looking for help along the defensive line in any way, and Barr is a gamble worth taking at this point.

21)  - S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Alabama
- The Packers need a safety, and Clinton-Dix falls right into their arms. They won't think twice in this scenario.

22)  - CB Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State
- Thought by some as the top cornerback available, the Eagles pick Gilbert in hopes that his playmaking ability can translate to their defense. Simply put, they need to be better on that side of the ball.

23)  - WR Marqise Lee, USC
- The Chiefs need a running mate for Dwayne Bowe and Lee has the ability to start right away if they need him to.

24)  - CB Bradley Roby, Ohio State
- Even with his off-the-field troubles, Roby is immensely talented and could become one of the better cornerbacks to come out of this draft if brought through the right program. The Bengals are betting that theirs can do just that.

25)  - NT Louis Nix III, Notre Dame
- With the top four cornerbacks off the board, the Chargers go for the best pure nose tackle available in the draft and take the ultra-talented Nix. They'll look to address corner in the second round.

26)  (from IND) - QB Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville
- The slide ends here for Teddy Bridgewater, who instantly enters the conversation for the starting quarterback in Cleveland in 2014 with Brian Hoyer. Going to a place that boasts Josh Gordon, Jordan Cameron and now Mike Evans as their receiving options, there isn't much more a young quarterback could ask for.

27) TRADE  (from NO) - OT/G Joel Bitonio, Nevada
- Wanting to complete their offensive line, the Browns slide ahead of the Carolina Panthers to draft the versatile Bitonio. He could slot in at either guard or at right tackle, whichever the Browns are more comfortable with. They have an additional third round pick, so they move up for their third first-round pick without losing much ammo.

Cleveland gets: 27th overall
New Orleans gets: 35th overall, 83rd overall

28)  - WR Cody Latimer, Indiana
- The Panthers need two things desperately in this draft: someone to protect Cam Newton and someone for Cam Newton to throw the ball to. They had their hearts set on Bitonio, but with Cleveland swooping in they decide to draft one of the hottest names in the draft in Cody Latimer. He instantly becomes their top receiver, but that really isn't saying much considering their current crop of players.

29)  - C/G Marcus Martin, USC
- With the ability to play anywhere on the interior, the Patriots decide that protecting Tom Brady in what could be his final years in the NFL might be the avenue for them to get back to the promised land. A bit of a surprise first round pick, but the Patriots would be the ones to do so.

30)  (from SF) - OT Ja'Wuan James, Tennessee
- The Dolphins have been linked to James time and time again, and the trade with San Francisco gives them better value to take him at 30 and acquire an additional second round pick. He'll instantly be Miami's new right tackle.

31)  - ILB Ryan Shazier, Ohio State
- Shazier could probably go a lot earlier than this, but the importance of his position just isn't that great which could force him down the order. The Broncos will jump all over him if he's still there.

32) TRADE (from SEA) - QB Zach Mettenberger, LSU
- Despite all the negative talk on Mettenberger recently, he likely remains the apple of Minnesota's eye for this draft. After moving down earlier in the first round, the Vikings can trade back into the first round to secure Mettenberger ahead of Houston and maintain a second round selection. The fifth-year option is also a major incentive for moving back into the first round.

Minnesota gets: 32nd overall
Seattle gets: 40th overall, 96th overall

Round 2

33)  - QB AJ McCarron, Alabama

34)  - S Jimmie Ward, Northern Illinois

35)  (from CLE) - CB Jason Verrett, TCU

36)  - DT Ra'Shede Hageman, Minnesota

37)  - DE/OLB Dee Ford, Auburn

38)  - WR Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt

39)  - G Xavier Su'a-Filo, UCLA

40)  (from MIN) - OT Cyrus Kouandjio, Alabama

41)  - OT Morgan Moses, Virginia
- A brief run on offensive linemen ahead of their selection scares Buffalo a little bit, but Moses finds his way to the Bills with their second round selection. If he makes it down to 41, he could walk in as the new starting right tackle for the Bills. He has the size to play the position and some even believe he has first round talent. He'll form a solid bookend opposite Cordy Glenn for the next two years at least. The Bills could also consider a wide receiver, defensive end or cornerback here, but getting a player like Moses that can start right away for the team is the play here for Buffalo.

42)  - DE/OLB Jeremiah Attaochu, Georgia Tech

43)  - DE Kony Ealy, Missouri

44)  - S Deone Bucannon, Washington State

45)  (from DET) - WR Allen Robinson, Penn State

46)  - DE Stephon Tuitt, Notre Dame

47)  - DT Timmy Jernigan, Florida State

48)  (from BAL) - TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington

49)  (from NYJ) - DE/OLB Demarcus Lawrence, Boise State

50)  - DE/DT Dominique Easley, Florida

51) TRADE  (from CHI) - TE Jace Amaro, Texas Tech

New England gets: 51st overall
Chicago gets: 62nd overall, 130th overall

52)  - WR Bruce Ellington, South Carolina

53)  - TE Troy Niklas, Notre Dame

54)  - WR Kelvin Benjamin, Florida State

55)  - HB Carlos Hyde, Ohio State

56)  (from KC) - CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Nebraska

57)  - CB Bashaud Breeland, Clemson

58)  - C Weston Richburg, Colorado State

59)  - S Terrance Brooks, Florida State

60)  - WR Davante Adams, Fresno State

61)  (from SF) -  ILB Chris Borland, Wisconsin

62)  (from NE) - DE Scott Crichton, Oregon State

63)  - CB/S Lamarcus Joyner, Florida State

64)  - WR Martavis Bryant, Clemson

Round 3

65)  - ILB Kyle Van Noy, BYU

66)  - OT Antonio Richardson, Tennessee

67)  - OT Jack Mewhort, Ohio State

68)  - HB Bishop Sankey, Washington

69)  - QB Jimmy Garoppolo, Eastern Illinois

70)  - HB Jeremy Hill, LSU

71)  - CB Phillip Gaines, Rice

72)  - HB Devonta Freeman, Florida State

73)  - DE Marcus Smith, Louisville
- With a bunch of cornerbacks flying off the board ahead of them and already 12 receivers being selected before this pick, the Bills select Smith as a versatile defensive lineman that will serve as the third pass rusher for Buffalo in 2014. The position desperately needs depth behind Mario Williams and Jerry Hughes. Although some view him as a 3-4 outside linebacker (6-foot-3, 251-pounds) in the NFL, his pass rushing ability coming off the edge cannot be ignored. With the right teaching, he could become a complete player down the line. After all, he only switched to the defensive side of the ball from quarterback in 2010. This is the time in the draft to take a chance on raw ability and potential, especially for a pass rusher.

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia

**Photo courtesy of the AP

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