Draft Breakdown

Malcolm Kelly's recent downfall is reflected in this seven-round Bills mock draft. Wide receiver, cornerback and tight end all addressed early.

The Bills heavily addressed their defensive needs in free agency, by picking up Kawika Mitchell, Marcus Stroud, William James, and Spencer Johnson. It is quite obvious they need to start addressing their offensive needs in the upcoming draft. This isn't to say they are finished on defense, because they are still in need of another solid CB to help with their struggling secondary and that should also be addressed early on in the draft. Here's a Draft Day, seven-round prediction:

Round One: WR Devin Thomas, Michigan State. Many experts would say this is too high for Thomas, who has just recently crept up draft boards everywhere. However, he is just what the Bills are looking for: tall, athletic, great upward mobility and fast. He would be a perfect tandem with Lee Evans. Malcolm Kelly seemed as if he were the best receiver in the draft, but his most recent Pro Day workout has him slipping fast. Not to mention, he was shooting the blame around for his poor performance to anything but himself. The Bills love character, and they don't need a whiner who is already complaining… even before being drafted.

Round Two: CB Terrell Thomas, USC. Thomas is a solid corner, and the Bills would be wise to take him. At 6-1, he is taller than others in the draft class, which will give the Bills better matchups against tall receivers. He also runs a 4.5 40-yard dash. He is unlikely to go in the first round, and the Bills front office better make sure he doesn't get away in the second round, either by trading JP Losman or some of their extra draft picks.

Round Three: TE Brad Cottam, Tennessee. A big, aggressive TE is what the Bills need to help out their passing game next season. Cottam fits the bill, coming in at 6-foot-8, he can play physically and he comes in with one of the better 40 times for TEs, 4.70. With virtually no TEs going in the first round, he should still be available for the Bills to take in the third.

Round Four: Pick #1: DE Marcus Howard, Georgia. The Bills will need some depth at this position, mainly to keep their guys healthy. Chris Kelsay and Ryan Denney both suffered injuries last year and could use another guy in the rotation to help them out. Howard isn't the biggest DE around, but he is quick, coming in with a 4.51 40 time.

Pick #2: The Bills get an extra pick this round, and they should use it to bolster their RB list. Marshawn Lynch and Fred Jackson are a solid duo, but some more depth is needed. Thomas Brown, from Georgia, runs a 4.5 40 and could learn a lot from Lynch and Jackson.

Round Five: S David Roach, TCU. A very quick safety, who could provide a lot of depth for the secondary who will need to step it up this season. He plays at FS, so he could compete with George Wilson for the spot behind Ko Simpson.

Round Six: FB Ryan Putnam, Boise State. The Bills need to address this position sometime, and they might as well do it with Putnam. He's a 6-foot-1, 252-pound fullback, who can provide the size needed to help out the run game.

Round Seven: Pick #1: OLB Larry Grant, Ohio State. With the addition of Mitchell, the linebacker corps received an upgrade, and with Grant they'd be providing some depth and security at the position. He is a very athletic and quick LB who would provide some needed competition for Keith Ellison.

Pick #2: QB Kevin O'Connell, San Diego State. With JP Losman's status unknown, it may be smart for the Bills to pick up a QB somewhere along the line. O'Connell is big, athletic QB who could give the position some depth. Who knows, he could be the next Tom Brady.

Of course Draft Day never goes according to plan, and the Bills may not pick a single one of these players. The fact is, they do have some big areas of need, and they need to be addressed. The WR position is their biggest priority, to get out of the offensive basement, they need to draft one high. CB is another area that needs to be addressed in the first/second round.

The Bills have a total of six picks in the first 150 of the draft, so they have the power to orchestrate some trades, especially with Losman as trade bait. They have two picks in both the fourth and seventh rounds, which should give them some extra options as well. It will be interesting to see how the re-furbished front office performs in its first draft.

Marc Heintzman is a BFR Contributor. Contact him at mdheintz@syr.edu.

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