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Mock Draft Watch 4.0

Below is the fourth edition of Mock Draft Watch – a rundown of the latest mock drafts compiled by via local and national NFL reporters …

Thursday, February 9 – Chad Reuter,

#10 DE Quinton Coples, UNC

Reuter's take:  The Bills have had to switch between the 3-4 and 4-3 defenses the past two years due to injuries and ineffectiveness. Coples could play in either system, using his strength to hold the point and offer some pass rush as a strong-side 4-3 end, or serving as a nice foil to fellow five-technique Marcell Dareus in the 3-4.

Thursday, February 9 – Russ Lande, Sporting News

#10 DE Quinton Coples, UNC

Lande's take:  With the Bills moving back to a 4-3 base defense, they must find players who can play defensive end in that scheme. Coples is a perfect fit in a 4-3 and shined at the Senior Bowl, showing all the tools to make an immediate impact.

Thursday, February 9 – Dane Brugler,

#10 LB Courtney Upshaw, Alabama

Brugler's take:  The Bills finished tied for 27th in the league in sacks. Upshaw can team with former Tide teammate Marcel Dareus to create pressure in the 3-4 or 4-3 scheme.

Monday, February 13 – Mark Gaughan, Buffalo News

#10 LB Courtney Upshaw, Alabama

Gaughan's take:  There's a chance Coples could last until No. 10. Upshaw isn't a blazing speed rusher, but he's a good football player.

Wednesday, February 15 – Joe Buscaglia, WGR 550

#10 DE Melvin Ingram, South Carolina

Buscaglia's take:  Here's what you've all been waiting for. The Bills are in need of a player that can be able to transform along with the defensive front. Ingram can do it all, and has done it all for South Carolina in his career. Even-front defensive end? Check. Even-front defensive tackle? Check. Odd-front outside linebacker? Check. Odd-front defensive end? Check. Ingram provides the versatility to do a lot of different things in defensive looks. Not to mention, I think he's the best overall defensive end/pass-rushing prospect in this draft. He may not have the desired height (just a shade below 6-foot-2), but I can see him being used a little bit of everywhere by the Bills and Dave Wannstedt.

#41 LB Ronnell Lewis, Oklahoma

Buscaglia's take:  To me, Lewis can be best used as a 4-3 strongside linebacker that can get after the quarterback. With Kelvin Sheppard firmly in the middle, and Nick Barnett likely on the weakside, Lewis has shown he can take on blocks and shed them to get after the ball carrier and quarterback. I look at the way Denver has used Von Miller this past season as their strongside linebacker in a 4-3, and they use him in such a way that highlights everything he can do while getting after the passer. Even though Lewis isn't Von Miller, he has a skill-set that dictates he could succeed in that role. Not to mention when they give 3-4 looks, he can rush from the edge standing up and take Chris Kelsay off the field.

Wednesday, February 15 – Wes Bunting, National Football Post

#10 DT Michael Brockers, LSU

Bunting's take:  Brockers is a talented defensive lineman capable of maturing into a real game changer up front. He's got the ability to play all over the Bills D-line early and offers them a lot of 3-4 and 4-3 versatility.

Wednesday, February 15 – Charley Casserly,

# 10 DE Whitney Mercilus, Illinois

Casserly's take:  With Buffalo transitioning to a 4-3 defense, Mercilus can fill a fresh void at defensive end.

Wednesday, February 15 – Mel Kiper, (Insider access required)

#10 LB Courtney Upshaw, Alabama

Kiper's take:  This is another pick that I'm staying with for now. The pass rush still needs a lot of help, and Upshaw is currently the best 3-4 outside linebacker in the draft. Even as Buffalo looks to shift that defense to a 4-3 (see Denver's draft strategy at No. 2 last year) Upshaw can still easily fit. Don't pass talent because of small scheme questions. He should be able to apply a lot of pressure to opposing quarterbacks from the edge for whoever gets him for 2012. Remember, nobody on the Bills managed more than 5.5 sacks in 2011, and as a team, they simply haven't been able to get pressure unless they bring numbers. This is an energetic talent, an edge linebacker in the mold of a more athletic LaMarr Woodley, a guy who has been well-coached and can start early.

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