I’m going out on a limb and saying that the reports that Buffalo wanted to trade up to the third spot in the draft had some legs. I think it is also safe to assume that the Bills draft board probably had Matt Kalil, Mark Barron and Luke Kuechly all in the top three.
Of course, by the time the Bills ended up on the clock, all three of those players were gone. Buffalo chose cornerback, Stephon Gilmore with the tenth overall selection. Gilmore was described as a “clean pick” by The Buffalo News. As for if he was the right pick? That remains to be seen.
Based on Buffalo’s needs, I would think that Gilmore was little more than a safety blanket for the Bills in the event that their two most coveted picks had been taken. In this event, both Barron and Kuechly were off the board and the Browns likely offered more for the third pick than the Bills were willing to give up.
I’m ok with the idea that Gilmore makes the Bills a better team. Terrence McGee continues to struggle to stay healthy, Leodis McKelvin continues to prove his IQ is lower than that of most players coming out of Miami and securing another cornerstone for the defensive backfield is a beneficial choice.
Yet, when you consider the positions the Bills desperately need help at, I wonder how they feel about sticking with their guns and taking “the best player available”. Perhaps there wasn’t an offensive tackle worthy of the tenth pick, same with linebacker. However, Michael Floyd would have been a fine fit as would have a player like Melvin Ingram. The Giants have proven that you can never have enough elite pass rushers and I do fee that Ingram could stand up in the right scheme. Plus, he would’ve been wearing a Bills hat while doing this.
There is no shame in sticking to your guns. This is particularly true when not wanting to reach for a certain player in the top-10 ahemDolphinsahem. However, the Bills took a corner in the second round last season after having few options at other positions and they seem to have taken the same course of action this season.
The second round certainly holds a number of options for the 41st pick. Cordy Glenn, Jonathon Martin, Stephen Hill and even Courtney Upshaw are all floating around the beginning of the second round. On one hand, it is terrific to know that players once valued as first-round talents are still up for the taking. However, seeing three positions of need being discussed is less encouraging. Had the Bills grabbed a LB, LT or WR at ten, they would be two-thirds of the way to filling their needs.
The Bills are well on their way to building an elite defense. I have a lot of faith in the direction that Buddy Nix is taking with free agency and the draft. However, at some point the Bills will need to understand that their needs have to be addressed with these high picks they own. Save the best available for when the team is drafting in the lower portion of the first round.