With all signs pointing toward Carolina selecting Cam Newton with the first pick in the draft, and Denver leaning towards Marcell Dareus at two, which direction should the Buffalo Bills go in with the third pick?
Carolina hasn’t announced that they will select Newton, there is still plenty of time for them to go in another direction. However, sources close to the team and most draft experts suggest they will go with the controversial quarterback. Expect Carolina to make a decision before the draft even begins. And everyone close to Denver expects the Broncos to go with Dareus, who is the best defensive lineman in the draft, an area of desperate need for Denver.
Now, there are three options in the third slot for Buffalo; Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert, the best pass rusher in the draft, Texas A&M linebacker Von Miller, and the freakishly talented cornerback from LSU, Patrick Peterson.
Next week I will go more in-depth with each prospect, but I will give you a taste of each of them right now.
Gabbert is one of the top-two quarterback options available in the 2011 class, and some have him rated higher than Newton. However, the Bills have stated that they will only select a quarterback if he is a “franchise guy.” So before making a move on Gabbert, they have decide whether or not he is their guy. And one obstacle standing in the way is the incumbent, Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Bills have to decide if Gabbert is an improvement over Fitzpatrick, who had a career season in 2010.
Then there is Von Miller, who I believe is the front-runner. The Bills have a pressing need in the pass rush, after screwing up the Aaron Maybin pick two years ago. Who better to fix a draft mistake then the top rated pass rusher in the class? Miller is just that.
Patrick Peterson is the wildcard in this spot. While cornerback isn’t a pressing need for the Bills (neither is quarterback), Peterson might be the most talented player in the draft. That might be enough to persuade the Bills, who might be drafting for the future, instead of for 2011, because they don’t foresee themselves competing for a playoff spot next year. If the Bills decide to go with the best player available, Peterson is the guy.
Stay tuned to Bills Chronicle next week for in-depth insight into each of these players.
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