1st round (11th overall) – Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (Tennessee State)
'07 Stats: 37 tackles, 11 pass breakups, 2 int.
Mock 1.0: Malcolm Kelly-WR
As the NFL Draft nears, the uncertainty of the wide receiver class seems to build every day. There isn't a clear-cut No. 1 wideout – a position of dire need for the Bills. No doubt. Buffalo needs a big, physical receiver to complement its deep threat, Lee Evans. But the Bills may not find that here. Unless the scouting staff is dead-set convinced on one prospect, Buffalo may go cornerback. Whereas the wide receiver class is thin at the top and deep in the middle, the cornerback crew is very top-heavy. Four corners could easily be drafted in the first round.
Buffalo would be smart to snag one. William James and Jabari Greer are below-average starters at best. If the Bills realistically want to close the gap on New England, Rodgers-Cromartie is the best choice. The lanky 6-foot-1, 184 lb. "DRC" has 4.3 speed that doesn't fade when shorts are swapped for pads. He had four interception returns for touchdowns at Tennessee State.
The Patriots would love for Buffalo to take a receiver. They'd gladly welcome a shootout any day. You can't fight fire with fire against New England. To catch the Pats, Buffalo needs a shutdown, playmaking corner to match-up toe-to-toe with Randy Moss. Rodgers-Cromartie has that ability.
For more on the WR-CB debate, check out this story that was in the BFR last week: http://buf.scout.com/2/739162.html.
'07 Stats: 46 rec. 538 yards, 3 TD
Mock 1.0: same
Nothing new here. Like Rodgers-Cromartie, Bennett is a classic risk/reward prospect. The offensive system at Texas A&M didn't cater to a pass-catching tight end nearly as much as Buffalo's would. Trent Edwards showed last year that he prefers to locate tight ends underneath, particularly on play action. The 6-foot-7, 253-pound Bennett is also an adequate blocker, although it's his natural hands and smooth route-running that is most appealing.
'07 Stats: 67 rec. 1006 yards, 8 TD
Mock 1.0: Jack Williams-CB
This is where Buffalo can address its wide receiver needs. The difference between Malcolm Kelly and Bowman isn't nearly as big as Rodgers-Cromartie and a third-round talent at cornerback. Bowman is a thick 6-2, 220. He willingly sacrifices his body in the middle of the field and runs precise routes. He played only two years at Oklahoma State, but ranks fourth all-time on the school's yards and receptions list.
Check out Ed Thompson's exclusive interview with Bowman here: http://buf.scout.com/a.z?s=24&p=2&c=740235
'07 Stats: 71 rec. 1159 yards, 7 TD
Mock 1.0: Josh Johnson-QB
Three straight receivers should freshen up Buffalo's dull passing game.
Douglas lacks bulk, but is NFL-ready. Having playing in Louisville's pro-style offense, Douglas will be a natural slot receiver. Unlike Buffalo's current slot man, Josh Reed, Douglas rarely ever drops passes. According to one set of scouts, Douglas caught 91 percent of the passes thrown his way. His upside as a No. 1 receiver isn't high. Douglas' lack of size hurts him in jams. But in the fourth round, he's a great value.
'07 Stats: 41 tackles, 12 TFL, 10.5 sacks
Mock 1.0: same
Howard looks like he could play safety. At 5-11, 230 lb., he's lacks a defensive end build. The epitome of a ‘tweener. But Buffalo desperately needs his 4.42 speed off the edge. Chris Kelsay and Aaron Schobel were major letdowns last season rushing the passer (8.5 combined sacks). With free agent James Hall returning to St. Louis, the Bills will draft a hybrid DE-OLB at some point to spice up its poor pass rush. Howard was a terror in the brutal SEC. At the very least, he'd instantly become a core special teams player for Buffalo.
'07 Stats: 3419 yards, 21 TD, 15 int.
Mock 1.0: Ryan Grice-Mullen-WR Hawaii)
If J.P. Losman is traded (as expected), the Bills need to add a veteran quarterback to mentor/back-up Trent Edwards and a rookie to add depth. Brink has four solid seasons of playing time under his belt.
7th round – Derrick Doggett-S (Oregon St.)
'07 Stats: 93 tackles, 3 sacks, 4 Int.
Mock 1.0: same
An undersized college linebacker (6-3, 200 lb.) that could be a darkhorse contributor at safety.
7th round – Breno Giacomini- OT (Louisville)
Mock 1.0: same
Converted tight end that started all 11 games last year. The athletic Giacomini is a very green project, but after Jason Peters' successful transition, the Bills may look for another TE-to-OT transition.
To see Bills Mock Draft 1.0, check out: http://buf.scout.com/2/736984.html
Tyler Dunne is the Publisher of the Buffalo Football Report. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org