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Mock Draft Watch 3.0

Below is the third edition of Mock Draft Watch – a rundown of the latest mock drafts compiled by via local and national NFL reporters and to no surprise, Alabama DL/LB Courtney Upshaw is dominating the early predictions.

Tuesday, January 24 – Nolan Nawrocki, Pro Football Weekly#10 LB Courtney UpshawNawrocki's take:  Upshaw does not have ideal length, but similar to Brandon Graham (13th overall pick) and Dwight Freeney (11th overall), his intensity, toughness and bulldog style will push him up draft boards, especially in a draft lacking outside pass-rushing talent. The fact that Upshaw has played in a 3-4 front alongside last year's Bills first-round pick Marcell Dareus should only comfort GM Buddy Nix. 

Friday, January 27 – Don Banks, LB Courtney UpshawBanks' take:  Each and every draft it seems half the league is desperately seeking more pass rush, and the Bills are right there toward the front of that pack in 2012. There might not be a Von Miller or Aldon Smith-level impact player this year, but Upshaw is the draft's best linebacker prospect and has edge-rush skills

Monday, January 30 – Peter Schrager, FOX Sports#10 LB Courtney UpshawSchrager's take:  Though he was certainly a first rounder beforehand, Upshaw played himself into the Top 20 with his dominant performances in January's BCS National Championship Game and last week's slate of Senior Bowl practices. Capable of playing either the defensive end or outside linebacker spot, Upshaw possesses what Todd McShay calls … wait for it … "scheme versatility" (now, drink!). The Bills desperately need a pass-rushing threat. Adding Upshaw to a front seven that already includes his college teammate Marcell Dareus would be wise

Monday, January 30 – Wes Bunting, National Football Post#10 T Jonathan MartinBunting's take:  Martin is a finesse tackle with good feet, natural range and the ability to mirror in space. He has some holes in his game, but offers the Bills a better athlete than anyone playing their tackle spots now.[

](, January 30 – Rob Rang, CBS Sports#10 LB Courtney UpshawRang's take:  Despite operating out of a 3-4 defense designed to put pressure on the opposing quarterback, Buffalo registered just 29 sacks last year -- tied for the third fewest in the league. Upshaw is powerful, played his best games under the brightest lights and like his former Alabama teammate Marcell Dareus (drafted No. 3 overall last year by Buffalo), he's pro-ready having starred in Nick Saban's 3-4 alignment with the Crimson Tide.

Monday, January 30 – Dane Brugler, CBS Sports#10 LB Courtney UpshawBrugler's take:  The Bills utilized 4-3 and 3-4 defensive formations last season, but neither was overly effective creating pressure and Buffalo desperately needs to add a pass rusher. Alabama pass rusher Courtney Upshaw played mostly outside linebacker in Nick Saban's 3-4 scheme where he was asked to rush the quarterback. But he showed the versatility at the Senior Bowl to also play with his hand on the ground as a defensive end. New defensive coordinator Dave Wannstedt will be able to use Upshaw creatively. 

Thursday, February 2 – Todd McShay, LB Courtney UpshawMcShay's take:  Buffalo nailed the 2011 draft with three strong picks on defense (DL Marcell Dareus, CB Aaron Williams, LB Kelvin Sheppard), and the chance to add a pass-rusher like Upshaw would be hard to pass up. Upshaw is a versatile DE/OLB hybrid, and while he doesn't have elite speed he shows savvy as a pass-rusher and effective quickness-to-power moves. He's also very strong against the run, and was highly-productive in the SEC.

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