With the third pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills select….
….Patrick Peterson, Cornerback, LSU.
Surprised? Hear me out.
The most popular name being thrown around is Texas A&M outside linebacker, Von Miller. Almost every expert has him being selected at the 3-spot.
I definitely won’t be surprised or upset if the Bills select Miller. I think he can be an im mediate impact player on the Bills’ roster. The Buffalo Bills’ pass rush was terrible last season and Aaron Maybin has been a huge bust. The Bills signed outside linebacker Shawne Merriman to an exten sion before the lockout went into effect. With Merriman and Chris Kelsay already signed to long-term deals to play off the edge… where would Miller fit? There’s no guarantee that Merriman will recapture his past form and Miller could give the Bills a hybrid player to go in and out of the 3-4/4-3 looks.
The only knock against Miller is his ability to stop the run at his size (6’2”, 246 lbs.) and his effectiveness in pass coverage.
Here’s why I think the Bills will take Peterson with the third pick instead….
Bills Coach, Chan Gailey has stated they wouldn’t pass on the best player on the board, even if that player didn’t fit one of their immediate needs (unfor tunately… they have many immediate needs).
If you’re looking at combined num bers alone, Peterson ran a 4.31 40-yard dash, measured a 38-inch vertical jump and excelled in all of the skills tests at the combine. More importantly, he had some amazing stats at LSU and played well against top receivers A.J Green (Georgia) and Julio Jones (Alabama) in the SEC, so he comes to the NFL well prepared. He is also a dynamic kick returner, which the Bills are notorious for selecting.
This season, he had four interceptions (which he returned for 134 yards), six pass breakups, a blocked kick, and 1.5 sacks. Peterson averaged 29.1 yards on 32 kick returns and averaged 16.1 yards on 26 punt returns, two of which he re turned for scores. He won the Jim Thrope Award, the Chuck Bednarik Award, and was named SEC Defensive Player of the Year and SEC Special Teams Player of the Year by the conference’s coaches.
With the aging and injury-prone Ter rance McGee, the Bills could also use a lock-down player in the secondary to sit opposite of Leodis McKelvin.
Do the Bills have more pressing needs than at the Cornerback position? Abso lutely. The Bills just have too many holes and not enough talent to fill those holes. Top priority in this draft: they MUST find a tackle. If it’s not in the 1st round (which it probably won’t be), then hopefully, it’s a priority in the following rounds. If the Broncos don’t select Alabama DT, Mar cell Dareus with the second pick, then the Bills should jump on drafting him….but I don’t see Denver passing on Dareus. Buffalo could also draft Auburn’s Nick Fairley, DT….but that may be a bit of a stretch at No. 3.
Here’s what scares me….If Auburn Quarterback Cam Newton falls to Buffalo at #3, it’ll be very interest ing to see what they decide. For a team like the Bills, who is on the brink of being shipped out of Buffalo, Newton can sell tickets, sell jer seys, and bring some attention and $$$ to an organization in need. However, it will take time to develop New ton into an NFL quar terback and the Bills have larger issues. Ryan Fitzpatrick played well enough last year and I think he can continue to help the Bills win some games, but I agree he’s not the long-term solution either. I believe (hope) they will try drafting a QB in the later rounds and try their luck (again) in developing a fu ture starter.
In all my years as a Bills fan, I know one thing….expect the unexpected come NFL Draft time. Hopefully, with all the projected talent in this year’s draft, they won’t (can’t) mess this one up. Can they? With the 3rd pick in the 2011 NFL draft, the Buffalo Bills select…Kicker….