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Who The Buffalo Bills Should Draft

Following last weekend’s games, the Denver Broncos have been awarded the #2 pick in the 2011 NFL Draft based on having the worst strength of schedule out of the 3 teams that finished with 4-12 records. This news means that the Buffalo Bills will select third overall, followed by the Cincinnati Bengals at #4.

Last year, the Bills made an absolutely horrendous decision by drafting CJ Spiller with their 9TH overall pick. Now I know hindsight is 20-20, but the 2010 season revealed to us that there were obviously several other trouble spots on the Bills roster that needed to be addressed, such as their offensive and defensive lines.

CJ Spiller
Nick Laham, Getty Images

So now here we are in January of 2011, with a Buffalo team coming off a 4-win campaign that showed a ton of promise in the final 8 games. On the night of Thursday April 28, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will ask the Buffalo Bills the big question: who are you going to draft? For the sake of every Bills fan in the Capital Region, I have to at least ask this much from Bills ownership: do NOT draft an offensive skill position!

The Bills showed signs of a bright future on the offensive side of the ball. Ryan Fitzpatrick showed that he could be “the quarterback of the future,” Fred Jackson became a legitimate #1 running back, and Steve Johnson emerged as a potential All-Pro wide receiver that compliments Lee Evans really well.

Chan Gailey
Rick Stewart, Getty Images

With that said Bills ownership, please stay away from prospects like A.J. Green from Georgia and Julio Jones from Alabama. Drafting anyone that has “QB,” “RB,” or “WR” following his name on the draft board would be just as bad as last year’s draft-day selection of Clemson’s CJ Spiller. Or as my man Brian Noe would say, that would be “horrid.”

So if the Bills should avoid drafting anyone from those positions, the question remains: Who should Buffalo draft? The rankings will shift depending on which underclassmen decide to stay in school like Andrew Luck of Stanford, as well as who performs above or below expectations at the NFL Combine the last week of February.

After sorting through the ESPN Draft Board supplied by Todd McShay and Mel Kiper Jr., and some creative thinking by yours truly, I have figured out who the Bills should draft. The answer: Marcell Dareus, defensive tackle from Alabama.

Marcell Dareus
Al Messerschmidt, Getty Images

To start out, I am going to assume that Da’Quan Bowers of Clemson and Nick Fairley of Auburn will go 1 and 2 respectively. If for some reason they don’t, then obviously Buffalo should take one of them. But going on that assumption, I totally disagree with Patrick Peterson from LSU being 3rd on the Big Board. We have seen time and time again that Les Miles coaches for college success, but doesn’t properly cultivate his players to become adults in the NFL (i.e. JaMarcus Russell).

Dareus has been an absolute beast at the Nose Tackle position for Nick Saban’s defense at Alabama. Over the last 2 years, Dareus has had 66 tackles, 11 sacks and an interception (which he returned 28 yards for a TD). The 6-foot-4 junior is over 300 pounds and knows how to stuff holes on running plays, something the Bills are in desperate need of.

So Bills fans, take a deep breathe and relax for now: it’s only 3 more months until your organization makes a bad draft pick once again. But if they select Marcell Dareus, get ready for a much better run defense in the 2011 season.

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