Part Two: Bills Draft Q&A with Chris Steuber

In Part II of this exclusive series, draft expert Chris Steuber covers all the hot-button issues at One Bills Drive. Premium members, check out who he thinks the Bills will select at No. 11, what Jason Peters' trade value could be and whether or not James Hardy will develop into the receiver the Bills envisioned...


Tyler Dunne, What are the chances that Brian Orakpo and/or Everette Brown slides to Buffalo at the 11th overall pick?

Chris Steuber, I think there's a better chance that Everette Brown will be on the board at No. 11 rather than Brian Orakpo. Even though I have Brown as my No. 1 defensive end, Orakpo's versatility will attract more teams that run a 3-4 scheme; Cleveland and Green Bay will have the most interest in him. Even though teams are interested in Brown as an OLB, he has the potential to be one of the best pass rushers in the NFL as a DE. The Bills could use a player with his motor, as they tied for the third worst total in sacks last season with 24.

TD: If both defensive ends slip to Buffalo, who do you think is better?

CS: I think they're both very good, but I prefer Everette Brown. As I stated, he's my No. 1 defensive end. He reminds me a lot of a young Dwight Freeney. He's an impact player who will collect a bunch of sacks as a rookie. Here's a breakdown of Brown and Orakpo:

Brown is a dynamic rush end who plays with a high motor and has tremendous quickness. He has an elite first step and a few signature moves that allow him to get up field. He's incredibly strong, featuring a 480-pound bench press, and uses quickness and strength to his advantage. He uses his hands effectively, demonstrates good balance and coordination, and transitions well with the action. He's a streaky performer who gets his sacks in bunches, and can be overwhelmed at the line of scrimmage.

Orakpo is a versatile pass rusher who makes a lot of plays. He has a quick first step and plays with good pad level and balance. He possesses a strong upper-body and is able to compete against bigger tackles. He has a great burst and closes in quickly on the quarterback. He gets around the field well in every direction and changes direction fluidly, flowing towards the ball. He doesn't possess a large repertoire of moves and relies on his quickness. Durability is a concern.

TD: Let's say Mark Sanchez or Matthew Stafford slip through the cracks to Buffalo. Should the Bills draft a potential franchise quarterback, especially considering they've bypassed some in the past (Jay Cutler, Brady Quinn)? Or do you see Trent Edwards as the undisputed long-term answer?

CS: It still remains to be seen if Trent Edwards is the answer in Buffalo, but with the Bills having more pressing needs, I don't think Matthew Stafford or Mark Sanchez are in their plans. The biggest problem Edwards has had is staying healthy, and with J.P. Losman as the backup, the Bills have two young QBs already in the fold. Adding another one wouldn't make much sense.

TD: There are rumors that some teams may be interesting in trading for disgruntled left tackle Jason Peters. What kind of value do you think Buffalo could get for Peters, and do you believe the team should trade him?

CS: I'm sure Jason Peters will generate a lot of interest if the Bills want to trade him. He's a two-time Pro Bowler and one of the best OTs in the league. He's just entering the prime of his career at 27 years old, and the fact that the two sides are far apart on a new contract could trigger a trade. The Bills will probably have to give Peters a similar contract to the one Carolina gave Jordan Gross this offseason, which has the biggest first-three-year payout to an offensive lineman in NFL history; $30.5 million over the first three years of the contract. If the Bills don't reach an agreement with Peters in the next couple of weeks, a trade is highly possible. Peters will command a first round pick in a trade, if not more. But personally, I think the Bills have to keep Peters, because if they don't, Trent Edwards is going to have a tougher time staying on the field.

TD: Last year, the Bills figured they cured their wide receiver woes by drafting James Hardy in the second round. Signing Terrell Owens gives Hardy time more time to develop, but do you think he'll ever be a bonafide receiver? Should the Bills consider drafting another wide receiver in the mid-to-late rounds?

Any time a receiver, especially a young receiver, has a serious leg injury, you have to be concerned. Hardy is a talented receiver who has a great frame. My biggest concern with him coming out was his lack of physical play. A majority of the passes he caught at Indiana were on the outside; he didn't challenge across the middle. If Hardy gets back in time and is able to play this season, as temperamental as T.O. can be, he's actually a good mentor for young receivers. Owens has a great work ethic and is truly professional when it comes to his craft. His presence around his fellow wide receivers on his team is well received, and he usually takes a couple of players under his wing. Hardy seems to be an ideal candidate to be under his wing this season. I think Hardy still has a chance to develop into a good receiver. He'll probably never be a No. 1 guy, but he can be a solid No. 2.

It's possible that the Bills will draft another receiver in the mid-to-late rounds. Here are a few they could target: Aaron Kelly (Clemson), Patrick Turner (USC) and Brandon Gibson.

A member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America, Chris Steuber has provided his analysis of the NFL and NFL Draft prospects on the web and on the radio since 1999. Steuber's features are published across the network and on You can contact him at

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