Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Three draft options: Buffalo Bills
By James Walker
This week the AFC East blog is taking a look at draft possibilities for each team in the division. Next we take a look at the Buffalo Bills, who hold the No. 8 overall pick.
Option No. 1: WR Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee
Analysis: Now that the Bills have plugged their biggest need at quarterback with veteran Kevin Kolb, they can focus on other needs. Buffalo has been searching for years to find a legitimate and consistent No. 2 receiving threat to 1,000-yard receiver Steve Johnson. Patterson has the physical tools to be that player. Buffalo's passing offense can get predictable at times. Former quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick could not throw the deep ball and Johnson was the only dependable receiver on a weekly basis. Adding Patterson to a group that already includes Johnson and dynamic tailback C.J. Spiller at least provides the Bills a foundation to build an offense around.
Option No. 2: G Chance Warmack, Alabama
Analysis: Despite Buffalo's lean years under former coach Chan Gailey, one aspect of the team that was consistently solid was the offensive line. It is one of the primary reasons tailbacks Spiller and Fred Jackson have been successful and Fitzpatrick was well-protected. But Buffalo lost arguably its best and most versatile lineman -- guard Andy Levitre -- to the Tennessee Titans in free agency. Warmack could be a natural replacement for Levitre. Although taking a guard is high at No. 8, Warmack is considered one of the best guard prospects to come out in the past several years. He could step in right away for Buffalo in Week 1.
Option No. 3: QB Geno Smith, West Virginia
Analysis: Smith would have been at the top of this list several days ago. But Smith's stock with the Bills dropped after Buffalo signed Kolb to a two-year, $13 million contract in free agency. The Bills invested enough in Kolb to assume he's the heavy favorite to start in 2013. This also means Buffalo is not desperate for an immediate starter at quarterback in this draft and can look to the second or third round for a quarterback without apprehension. That reduces the chances of the Bills taking Smith or USC’s Matt Barkley in the first round. But if Smith is on the board at No. 8, the Bills should still consider the option.