Not all that attractive this year. Some big names, but that doesn't mean a good fit, although Jimmy Graham would fit anywhere. I like Decker too, but not so sure he presents the best value for cap money.
2 guys I do like, and I'll get flamed for this, are Brandon Spikes and Wade Smith.
Spikes is what he is...a 2 down, hole plugging run stuffer. He's a liability on passing downs but I think, for the most part, we'd be able to get him off the field in time. Kiko, as much as I love him, is simply not that 250ish ILB that will plug a hole, take out a blocker, shed and tackle. Spikes just blows runs up at or behind the line. Getting IR'd in January for being late doesn't bode well for a contract extension.
Wade Smith is a consistent, above average vet. OG this team will need to bring along what they hope to be solid young prospects. He's old, 33 to start nest season, but he's played his best over the last 2 seasons and would be a a nice stop gap mentor for 1-2 years.
I'm sure there are more guys at the 2nd-3rd tier level that we may kick the tires on, but that involves much more time and access than I got.
Mock Draft 1.0
It's super early...pre Sr. Bowl, combine, etc. so I based mine on what I Billieve to be team need...LB, O Line, WR, TE, SS and RB.
We are off to a good start in building a solid LB core. Kiko played very well and will progress. Manny isn't getting any younger (30 by the time the season starts), and then there is no one...Bradham, Moats and the rest are decent depth guys, but not much more than that. Not even so sure about Bradham in that regard either.
Rd 1, pick 9 - Khalil Mack, LB Buffalo. 6'3" 248Lbs. Homer pick...maybe, but this kid can flat out play! I've seen him all over the place on the draft boards, from top 50 to start the season to top 15 and now a top 10 selection. With the addition of Spikes and this pick next to Kiko and Lawson...pretty sick group!
Over the years we've pieced together a decent O Line. Far from great, but decent. We need some stability here. Wood & Glen are still young enough to blend in some better talent so they can gel. Some stability and longevity goes a long when you get a good group together. Look at Indy. For a bunch of years they had a great OL to protect Manning, which is something to emulate.
Rd 2, pick 41(a) - Cyril Richardson, G Baylor. 6'6" 340lbs. Big bodied brute. Dudes a mauler in run blocking but is surprisingly light on his feet, quick and athletic. He may get snatched up in rd. 1, so next best would be...
41(b) Gabe Jackson, G Miss St. 6'3" 340Lbs. Showed very well against top opponents. Well rounded, heady lineman
Here's where I go WR. This kid shows very well and could end up being the surprise talent of this years draft...yes, better than WAtkins, Evans, Lee...The late season signing of Moeaki signing and my belief that Chandler will extend helps take my attention away from TE for now.
Rd 3, pick 73 - Donte Moncrief, WR Miss. 6'3" 226lbs. Quick, breakaway speed on a big bodied receiver who has great hands and runs sharp, smooth routes. Beats the jam and can get behind a CB. Also, goes over the middle w/out fear. I've read that this kid is a nightmare for DB's.
Back to the OL. We signed our vet and got our young stud at G, so now we need the other bookend. I waited till now because we're still not sure what have in Hairston. Is he made of glass, or does he build upon 2 years ago, progress and become a good RT?
Rd 4, pick 105 - Justin Britt, OT Missouri. 6'6" 315lbs. First ever Kent Hull award winner given to the best collegiate OL in the state of Missouri. Um, doesn't this mean he's an absolute must pick for the Bills? Anyway, Long & lean with great bend. Smooth kick/slide.
Now we address the TE position. Here's a small schooler, division II player that simply dominates at that level. A TE with WR like stats. Missed a yr due to a previous leg injury that came around to cause some trouble.
Rd 5, pick 137 - Joe Don Duncan, TE Dixie St. 6'4" 270lbs. Shattered TE receiving records as a Jr. in 2011, missed 2012 then came back and broke all his own records in 2013. How many TE's catch 71 balls for 1045 yrds and 13 TD's?
Depending on what happens with Byrd, addressing the defensive backfield may make me rethink priority level here, but...
Rd 6, pick 169 - Hakeem Smith, SS Louisville. 6' 186Lbs. More apt to break up a pass than to pick it off, but uses his length well in coverage and isn't afraid to come up in run support. Is/was all big east every year he's played.
I'm throwing in a RB cuz Freddy isn't getting any younger and CJ will need to prove his big play potential. Though CJ didn't have a bad year, he's coming into his final year of his rookie deal and fell short of the dynamic player moniker he was tabbed with prior to the season.
Rd 7, pick 201 - Storm Johnson, RB UCF. 6' 215lbs. Big back with decent speed who was overshadowed by his QB, Bortles. This kid can run...and run...and run.
IMHO the only one worth discussion right now is our latest signing in Ramses Barden. He's huge, big RZ target who showed a flash, albeit limited to one game before an ACL injury. Interesting player to throw into the WR mix.
No major gripes here...actually, wait a minute...what's up with not firing Crossman? WTF? He's terrible, always has been and shows nothing in the way of making any improvement to a very, very weak unit. I get that he's Marrone's buddy, but C'MON MANNNNN!
Edited by Armchair GM, 17 January 2014 - 10:11 AM.