Bills should go for an end at No. 23

It's a good year for defensive ends in the 2003 NFL Draft, and that's good news for Buffalo because it needs an end to make an immediate impact and help develop a four-man rush. The Bills aren't likely to find someone with that fine blend of speed and physical dominance past the first round.

Despite recording 8.5 sacks last season, Aaron Schobel would be better suited on the left because he's not a pure pass rusher. Ends Marcus Jones, 29, and Keith McKenzie, 29, are probably not going to be the pass rushing right ends they were earlier in their careers because they've suffered serious leg injuries that cast doubt on their effectiveness. As for defensive tackle, Sam Adams' presence means that position is no longer an early-round necessity.

Penn State's Michael Haynes, Texas' Cory Redding and Nebraska's Chris Kelsay are pass-rushing ends who could be available when Buffalo picks 23rd.

Haynes is the best pass rusher of the group. He's also a good run-stopper. There is a slim chance he'll be around. Redding is not as quick as Haynes and sometimes gets pushed off his angle, but he's still a competent pass rusher. Kelsay, an undersized end, might have a hard time adjusting to the NFL and is likely better suited as an outside linebacker. That's a risk for that high of a pick, but considering Buffalo needs an outside linebacker too, that might be a risk worth taking.

Tom Donahoe watched Ohio State's Kenny Peterson closely during the January Senior Bowl practices. Peterson, who played tackle his senior year, is also projected as an end. But he weighed 298 pounds at the combine, 15 to 20 pounds heavier than most ends. His experience at tackle makes him versatile, and he's intriguing at left end because he excels at stopping the run. But at 298, that's really tackle territory.

As a pure pass rusher, Peterson is not the guy.

Buffalo Football Report Top Stories