AFC East: Ohio State

The Buffalo Bills reportedly are "very interested" in former Alabama safety Mark Barron just one day before the NFL draft. Here are some additional thoughts on Buffalo potentially adding a safety at No. 10:
  • As we mentioned earlier, this smells like a smokescreen. The timing is peculiar. Barron hasn't been linked to the Bills this entire offseason, but suddenly that's the case on draft week. Buffalo could be one of the teams looking to trade down, and this may be a case of drumming up interest in the pick. Teams like the Dallas Cowboys (No. 14) and the New York Jets (No. 16) are strong targets for Barron. The Bills would benefit if one of those teams or someone else wants to move up to No. 10 to grab Barron.
  • On the flip side, Buffalo does have the tendency to draft the best available player. Remember C.J. Spiller? The Bills were fine at running back and took Spiller with the No. 9 overall pick in 2010. Spiller is still fighting starting running back Fred Jackson for playing time three seasons later. It's debatable whether Barron is a top-10 pick, but that may be the case on Buffalo's board.
  • Speaking of top 10, safety usually is not a position taken that high. The last time it happened in Buffalo, it didn't work out well. The Bills drafted former Ohio State safety Donte Whitner at No. 8 in 2006. The move was considered a major reach for the Bills, which turned out to be true. Whitner wasn't a bad player. He just wasn't a dominant player and was criticized for it in Buffalo. That is the kind of pressure that comes when a safety is drafted in the top 10. It's expected that safety must be a special talent.
  • Finally, I think it's a mistake for Buffalo to draft Barron. Yes, Barron is a great prospect and the best safety in this draft. But the Bills are fine with George Wilson and Jairus Byrd at safety next season. Barron would have to compete to take one of those jobs, and it's possible Barron wouldn't start right away as a rookie. The Bills have other needs at left tackle, receiver, corner and linebacker where a rookie is sure to make an immediate impact. There should be quality players available at those four positions that can better help the Bills.

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