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National Media Evaluate Bills Draft

Posted May 1, 2012


DRAFT GRADES 2012

Grade: A
Analyst:  Mike Lombardi
OutletNFL Network
Comments
:  I like their top pick of Gilmore. I also liked the pick of Tank Carder a lot, and they got him in the fifth round. They haven’t closed the gap all the way on New England, but they got a lot closer with this draft class.

Grade: B
Analyst: Chris Burke
OutletSI.com
Comments:
For the first five rounds, the Bills turned in a relatively strong draft, with the lone head-scratcher being WR T.J. Graham (69). Staying put and nabbing CB Stephon Gilmore at No. 10 could pay off big time, as could jumping on G/T Cordy Glenn at 41.  

Grade: B
Analyst:  Mark Gaughn
OutletBuffalo News
Comments
:  The whole draft hinges on Georgia's Cordy Glenn. If he develops into a better-than-average left tackle, this is an A-plus, because CB Stephon Gilmore is going to be good, and the Bills got quality depth in corner Ron Brooks and linebackers Nigel Bradham and Tank Carder. It would be nice if at least one of those two LBs develops into a good starter. It's up to the coaches to develop WR T.J. Graham into a useful pro, but wideouts take time.

Grade: B
Analyst:  Pete Prisco
OutletCBSsports.com
Comments
:  The Bills landed a top cover player in the first round in Stephon Gilmore and then waited to take a tackle in Glenn in the second. It proved to be a good strategy. Both players should start. They added some other nice players in the later rounds. The one concern is Graham.

Grade: B
Analyst:  Joshua Bauer
OutletBuffalo Rising
Comments
:  Overall, Buddy and the boys continued to deliver on the promises they began in free agency this offseason, drafting needs and finding value at every pick. Say what you will about the ghosts of the past, the Bills are now focused on the future, stockpiling talent and patching holes in preparation for a long season that seems more and more likely to be capped off by playoff tail. It wasn't a flash Draft in 2012, but the players taken were solid, durable, experience choices with the kind of dedication and football love to make them contributors no matter where they end up playing on the field.

Grade: B
Analyst:  Brian Billick      
OutletNFL Network
Comments
:  I like their top pick of Gilmore. I also liked the pick of Tank Carder a lot, and they got him in the fifth round. They haven’t closed the gap all the way on New England, but they got a lot closer with this draft class.

Grade: B
Analyst:  Adam Schein  
OutletFox Sports
Comments
:  I like what the Bills did in the draft. I thought that Gilmore, who they drafted with the 10th overall pick, solid player. Cordy Glenn, a lot of people thought he’d go in the 1st round. I didn’t because he does have issues in terms of his focus and how much he loves football. He goes in round #2 and let’s be honest, the offensive line that was at least an area of major need for the Buffalo Bills. I don’t love him as a player but I think they can coach him up. Solid draft by Buddy Nix and company, I give the Bills a B.

Grade: B
Analyst:  Peter Schrager              
OutletFox Sports
Comments
:  I’m going to give the Bills a B also. I think with the Bills you have to look at it as an entire off season. They got Mario Williams which really fulfilled a huge need for them on the pass rush. I thought Cordy Glenn, I had him going first round to the Bills, 10th overall. So I’m a huge Cordy Glenn fan. I think he played tackle, right guard, and left tackle in college. He can play all of them in the SEC. He’ll be able to play right away. I think Cordy Glenn, to get him in the second round that’s a steal. And I’ll give you another name, Tank Carder linebacker out of TCU. Carder was a Rose Bowl star two years ago; you might remember him from that game. He was a BMX champion as a kid. He’s going to play right away.  A four year starter at TCU. A tremendous player and great value in the 5th round. I like what the Bills did but as a whole on the offseason they get an A.

Grade: B-
Analyst:  Mel Kiper
OutletESPN
Comments: I had the Bills selecting Stephon Gilmore in my final mock draft, and they ended up taking him. I didn't see CB as the top need, but it's a solid pick. Gilmore is ready to start immediately for a secondary that allowed 7.3 yards per pass attempt in 2011. The Bills pass defense should be better in 2012 when you put together an improved pass rush and the draft help in the secondary. Ron Brooks, a burner out of LSU, could stick as a slot cornerback. He lacks size, but can fly. I don't share the opinion that Cordy Glenn can be a left tackle, but he was a total steal at No. 41. He was on my final Big Board at No. 14. If the Bills move him inside (or to right tackle), he'll succeed. Zebrie Sanders was a steal in the sixth round. They got a wideout with T.J. Graham, as well as a pair of linebackers to bring in and battle for a spot. Pretty good weekend for Buddy Nix and the Bills.

Grade: B
Analyst:  Jason Cole
OutletYahoo! Sports
Comments
: The rebuilding of the Bills' defense continued with the selection of Gilmore, who was considered the safest cornerback in the draft after LSU's Morris Claiborne. Gilmore is a high-character athlete with a big, rangy frame. He goes with free-agent acquisitions Mario Williams and Mark Anderson to upgrade a defense that sometime couldn't cover anybody last season. Gilmore is a big step in the right direction, but his value increased in days leading up to the draft. Good player, maybe not quite as good as the perception. Glenn is the opposite as many expected him to go in the first round. He's a big, athletic mauler. Graham was productive in college, but he's a skinny guy and they tend to get tossed around. Bradham and Brooks have potential to help, but their ceiling is that of average players.

Grade: C
Analyst:  Steve Lourie
OutletFootball Fan Spot
Comments
:  This was overall not a great draft for the Bills. They reached for need in the first round and they took a player in the 2nd who isn’t a natural fit for the only position he can possibly play for them, though I didn’t hate that one. They grossly misevaluated the receiver they drafted in the 3rd round, which was a reach and their 4th round cornerback didn’t fill a need or provide good value. They had some solid picks after round 3 (Carder, Bradham, Sanders), but they also got Cs on their last 2 picks for different reasons. I didn’t completely hate their draft, but it gets a C

Grade: C
Analyst:  National Football Post
OutletNational Football Post
Comments
:  Second round pick Cordy Glenn has the ability to mature into a Pro Bowl caliber player, but in my opinion that’s at either right tackle or guard. I like CB Stephon Gilmore and his upside, but didn’t think he warranted a top-ten pick. Also, outside of CB Ron Brooks there isn’t a ton to get excited about with their mid/later round prospects.

OTHER OPINIONS

Greg Gabriel, National Football Post
When Buddy Nix was named GM in Buffalo a few years ago there were many that questioned the hire because of his age. For some reason in the NFL the people who do the hiring around the league don’t look at experience as a strong point. In any other businesses it’s a prerequisite. Buddy has been a lifelong football guy and he has done an outstanding job since taking over in Buffalo. In this draft they were able to address many needs and filled them with capable players. Top pick Stephon Gilmore is a top talent. He can cover and support the run and will be a starter very quickly. Offensive lineman Cordy Glenn might not be the answer at left tackle where he played at Georgia but he can be a dominant right tackle or guard. He is a very powerful man. I thought that the Bills may have reached a little with receiver T.J. Graham but he has what the Bills wanted: deep speed. Going back to a 4-3 defense Buffalo needed an athletic OLB and got one in Nigel Bradham. LSU has a deeper group of corners than most NFL teams. Ron Brooks is one of those corners. At another school he may have been considered a star. Trust me, he can play! The Bills needed to add depth along the offensive line and did so with Zebrie Sanders and Mark Asper. Sanders can play either tackle position and Asper can play guard or center. Tank Carder will be a special teams terror while learning the system.

Nate Davis, USA Today
GM Buddy Nix picked up a pair of promising corners (Stephon Gilmore, Ron Brooks) and offensive linemen (Cordy Glenn, Zebrie Sanders), allowing them to upgrade talent while filling cracks. This team is inexorably moving toward snapping its league-high 13-year playoff drought.

Peter King, SI.com
GM of the weekend (tie):
Trent Baalke, San Francisco; Buddy Nix, Buffalo.
As for Nix, who rebuilt his defensive end position in free agency (Mario Williams, Mark Anderson), he bought a new secondary over the weekend, with first- and fourth-round corners (Stephon Gilmore and Ron Brooks) who will become starting and nickel corners, respectively.

The key to Buffalo's draft could end up being offensive tackle Zebrie Sanders, a fifth-round tackle from Florida State who started at age 18 in the ACC, and started 50 games in college. Cordy Glenn and Sanders one day could make this a great draft.

Todd McShay, ESPN.com
Impact pick: WR T.J. Graham (third)
-- There won't be huge expectations for Graham as a third-rounder, but the Bills like to spread teams out in the shotgun and he can contribute working from the slot. He brings the speed Buffalo needs, both as a vertical route-runner and after the catch, and that big-play ability makes up for his lack of ideal size. And with his 4.38-second speed in the 40-yard dash, Graham was a big-time return man in college and will contribute in that role in the NFL as well.

Intriguing pick: OT Zebrie Sanders (fifth) -- Bills general manager Buddy Nix has done a great job finding starters in the third round or later in recent drafts, and Sanders is the most intriguing pick in that area from the 2012 class. He's an experienced starter who has played on both the right and left sides and will make an easy transition from Florida State's scheme to Buffalo's zone-blocking system. He needs to get stronger overall, but he's a smart, efficient tackle with long arms and good mobility, and going from a college system that emphasized cutting weight and gaining mobility to an NFL training program will help him immensely. Considering Buffalo's struggles when it comes to finding tackles, getting one with a third-round grade in the fifth could prove to be a steal.

Jim Lang, Sportsnet.ca
Buddy's world
Don't be fooled by his friendly demeanor and sweet southern accent, Buffalo Bills GM Buddy Nix is cold blooded when it comes to the draft.

After weeks of speculation that the Bills were going to take an offensive lineman, a linebacker, a safety or a wide receiver with the 10th pick of the first round, Nix grabbed South Carolina cornerback Stephon Gilmore. Facing Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski and the Patriots offence twice a year, Nix realized you can never have enough defensive backs that excel in pass coverage. The Bills will be able to use Gilmore in a variety of schemes in order to maximize their pass coverage and try to nullify some of the potent aerial attacks they will face in 2012.

In the second round, Nix got the big offensive tackle he was looking for in Cordy Glenn from Georgia.

James Walker, ESPN.com
AFC East draft sleepers: LB Nigel Bradham
Thoughts: Buffalo needs impact linebackers, and Bradham is athletic and built like a truck. At the very least, Bradham should immediately help on special teams. He's fast enough (ran a 4.64 in the 40-yard dash) to get down the field, and a good enough open-field tackler as a linebacker. Bradham also could be an option in sub packages, where his athleticism can be used to guard tight ends on third down. Keep an eye on Bradham in Buffalo.