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Mock Draft Watch 10.0

Posted Apr 26, 2014

The 10th edition of Mock Draft Watch – a rundown of the latest mock drafts compiled by Buffalobills.com via local and national NFL reporters.


April 25 – SI.com, Chris Burke and Doug Farrar Twitter Mock Draft
No. 9 – T Jake Matthews, Texas A&M
Jake Matthews? At No. 9? Even with Cordy Glenn in place at LT and Mike Evans available, this is a steal for the Bills. They would have their anchors set on both sides of the O-line. Matthews is arguably a top-three talent in this draft. – CB

April 24 – ESPN, Todd McShay
No. 9 – TE Eric Ebron, UNC
The Bills need offensive line help, but there aren't any good values in this scenario, and I really think they need to add another pass-catcher to help second-year QB EJ Manuel. Ebron is a playmaker after the catch and as a seam-stretching vertical threat because of his outstanding movement skills and very good top-end speed. He also has the versatility to line up in-line, flexed out in the slot or split out wide. Ebron is the 10th-ranked prospect on my board, so he makes sense in terms of value, too.

April 24 – FOX Sports, Peter Schrager
No. 9 – WR Mike Evans, Texas A&M
Buffalo likes what they've got at quarterback in E.J. Manuel and feature one of the top front sevens in the entire league. Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin -- two rookies from a season ago -- have promise at wide receiver along with Stevie Johnson. Doug Marrone and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett's offense is obviously still a work in progress, but adding Evans would take it to new heights. The biggest need? Hardly. But what an addition this would be. As one position coach put it to me last week, 'You can't teach 6-foot-4. The sky is the limit with Evans.'€There have been comparisons to both Alshon Jeffery and current Buccaneers No. 1 Vincent Jackson, but Brandon Marshall might be the more appropriate projection for Evans. He goes and gets the ball.

April 23 – WGR 550, Joe Buscaglia
No. 9 – TE Eric Ebron, UNC
For three out of the four mock drafts before this one, the Bills were taking an offensive tackle with the ninth overall pick. Last time around, both Greg Robinson and Jake Matthews were off the board, and the mock featured the Bills selecting Michigan's Taylor Lewan over Ebron. So why the change of heart? It all comes down to two separate reasons. Firstly, if EJ Manuel is going to succeed as a quarterback in the NFL they need to surround him with as much playmaking talent as possible. While tight end isn't an outrageous, crying need, adding an explosive player that can change the way defenses play you is far more important than what a right tackle could bring along. Back when the Patriots featured their two tight end sets, they had a super-athletic player that was used for receiving purposes only. This is what the Bills could have envisioned for Ebron, who is head and shoulders above the rest of the tight end class. The second reason, and perhaps the most important, is that the offensive tackles outside of the top three have a very real chance to slip down farther than initially thought. Buffalo could end up with tremendous value in the second round, coming away with two impact starters for their offense.

No 41 – T Morgan Moses, Virginia
The depth at the position allows this situation to happen. Opinions on Morgan Moses are wide-ranging, but the common notion is that he can play right tackle in the NFL. He's got the size (6-foot-6, 314-pounds) and the arm length that the Bills covet in their tackles, making Moses a likely immediate starter in Buffalo. Even if Moses is off the board, there will be options available at 41 to upgrade right tackle if they so choose.

No. 73 – CB Bashaud Breeland, Clemson
The Bills could go with a defensive end, wide receiver or running back at this selection, but the potential of Bashaud Breeland wins out over the likes of North Carolina defensive end Kareem Martin, Clemson wide receiver Martavis Bryant, Ole Miss wideout Dontie Moncrief and Towson running back Terrance West among a plethora of others. They can find a running back in the fifth round, and a situational pass rusher could be had in the fourth round. In the end, the longterm starting potential of a player like Breeland wins out. He's got the size (5-foot-11, 197-pounds) and the hips to be a starting cornerback in the NFL. With the flexibility that Leodis McKelvin brings during Breeland's rookie season, they can develop him with defensive backs coach Donnie Henderson the proper way and not force him into action too early.

April 22 – SI.com, Don Banks
No. 9 – TE Eric Ebron, UNC
As much sense as Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Lewan continues to make for the Bills, who need to improve their protection of second-year quarterback EJ Manuel, finding an explosive receiving weapon to exploit the middle of the field should also upgrade Manuel's game. The draft's top tight end prospect could pose matchup problems for defenses and give Buffalo a potent one-two punch at the position in tandem with the reliable Scott Chandler.

April 22 – Yahoo Sports, Eric Edholm
No. 9 – DE/LB Anthony Barr, UCLA
The Bills don’t have a ton of pressing needs, and a pass-rushing linebacker/end might not be atop the list, but there is a lack of depth behind Mario Williams and Jerry Huges. Jim Schwartz runs the wide-9 scheme and needs his edge rushers to crash down hard and yet have the athleticism to stay balanced and flexible. That’s Barr, who could use a little more seasoning. But his upside is undeniable.

April 21 – SB Nation, Matthew Fairburn
No. 9 – TE Eric Ebron, UNC
If there is one team in the top 10 that hopes quarterbacks don't slide, it's Buffalo. With the quarterbacks on the board here, Buffalo misses out on the two best offensive tackles and wide receivers in the draft. Ebron, whom the Bills brought in for a visit, is a joker tight end to the highest degree. He would provide mismatches for the offense and give the team the No. 1 receiver it does not currently have.

April 21 – Bleacher Report, Andrew Garda
No. 9 – T Taylor Lewan, Michigan
While the Bills’ offensive line isn’t a disaster or anything—in fact it has been pretty effective—they could use an upgrade and Lewan is especially effective as a run blocker.

If you have EJ Manuel as your quarterback, that aspect of a tackle’s game is even more important. And with a backfield containing C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson, Lewan would find himself a vital part of the offensive line early on.

The off-the-field issues are a bit of a concern, but ultimately Lewan seems to have learned from his mistakes and should remain out of trouble from here on out.

April 21 – Sporting News
No. 9 – DT Aaron Donald, Pitt
Bills fans can’t be happy about the Donald Trump ownership rumors. This is “The Donald” they should want their team to covet to shore up the run defense.(Keith Srakocic/AP)

April 18 – Rotoworld, Evan Silva
No. 9 – LB Anthony Barr, UCLA
Edge rusher isn't perceived as a glaring need in Buffalo due to the 57 sacks recorded by old DC Mike Pettine's 2013 defense, but the scheme is changing under new coordinator Jim Schwartz. The Bills are vanishingly thin at defensive end beyond Mario Williams and Jerry Hughes, and Schwartz teaches a Wide-9 technique that requires waves of outside rushers. Barr has limitations, but his strength is bee-lining to quarterbacks and defeating blockers with speed. He's an ideal fit.

No. 41 – T Jack Mewhort, Ohio State
The Bills can afford to pass on right tackles at No. 9 because starters there are acquirable later on. Mewhort is technically sound with impressive versatility. He can play anywhere on the line.