What concerns (if any) do have about the Bills' draft?
I thought the Bills had an under-the-radar type of draft. I thought they got quality in all of the rounds and addressed some pressing areas. But the one area they failed to address was left tackle. After trading Jason Peters to Philadelphia this offseason, left tackle had to be their No. 1 priority. I understand that applying pressure on the quarterback was also a major concern, but protecting your quarterback takes precedent over everything else.
I will continue to say that drafting Aaron Maybin over Michael Oher will come back to haunt the Bills. Maybin may develop into a nice pass rusher, but it will take a few years until he matures as a player. He's not physically ready for the punishment he will face as an every down player in the league, while Oher will be a monster protecting Joe Flacco for the next decade.
A few months back you told me that Xavier Omon has some big upside in the NFL. Now that Marshawn Lynch, Dominic Rhodes and Fred Jackson are ahead of him on the depth chart, does Omon stand any shot at getting on the field and do you think he could break out at some point?
I still believe Xavier Omon has the talent to be a successful running back in the NFL, but that's a tough question, because I'm not sure if it will ever be in Buffalo. I think when I said that Omon had upside; I mentioned that it probably wouldn't come to fruition with the Bills. But, with Marshawn Lynch likely out of the lineup for the first three games, despite his appeal of the suspension, the Bills may keep Omon on board to start the season. However, being the 53rd man on a roster doesn't allow you to make an impact, and ultimately for him to live up to his potential, it will have to be elsewhere.
As someone who is very familiar with the Philadelphia sports scene, how is Jason Peters being received in Philly?
I think the consensus in Philly is that everyone's happy with the trade for Jason Peters; I don't know how you can't like this deal. The Eagles got a young, two-time Pro Bowl OT, who's coming off a suspect year where he allowed 11.5 sacks. But everyone around the league agrees he's one of, if not the best left tackle in the NFL. It also doesn't hurt Peters that he was the college roommate of Shawn Andrews at Arkansas. Andrews has been dealing with depression, and with the Eagles surrounding him with his brother, Stacy Andrews, and Peters – they're hoping they get one of the best guards in the league back on track.
In your opinion, did the Bills do the right thing in trading Peters for the 28th overall pick?
They had no choice… Jason Peters wanted a big money deal; the Bills didn't want to pay him what he wanted, so why have a disgruntled player, who admitted during his press conference in Philadelphia that the contract bothered him last year and may have been a factor in his lackluster play. The true test of how this trade ultimately turns out will be based on Peters' play and how the two draft picks – No. 28 (Eric Wood) and No. 121 (Shawn Nelson) – the Bills acquired from Philadelphia develop. On paper, I think both teams made out well.
Now that the off-season is winding down and teams are taking on an identity, how do you feel the Bills stack up in the AFC East? What's your prediction?
Based on my 2010 Mock Draft, which was posted on May 1st, I don't see the Bills taking that next step and making the playoffs. In my mock draft, I had them finishing with the 10th pick, which would put them in that 7 – 9 area once again. The Bills play in a tough division, and the New England Patriots, New York Jets and Miami Dolphins all improved their rosters this offseason. It's going to be a tough division, and at first it may be a tight race, but in the end here's how I believe it will turn out:
1. New England Patriots
2. New York Jets
3. Miami Dolphins
4. Buffalo Bills.
For Part I of this Q&A, click here.
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 Scout.com network and on FoxSports.com. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.