Below is the fifth edition of Mock Draft Watch – a rundown of the latest mock drafts compiled by Buffalobills.com via local and national NFL reporters.
March 15 – Bucky Brooks, NFL.comNo. 8 – QB Geno Smith, West VirginiaAnalysis: The Bills might need to move up a few spots to land Smith, but this West Virginia product is the franchise quarterback Buffalo has coveted for years.
March 18 – Joe Buscaglia, WGR 550No. 8 – QB Matt Barkley, USCAnalysis: And in the end, the Bills go with Matt Barkley. This is the second time I've had Barkley mocked to the Bills, only last time I had him lasting a whole lot longer. However, with his pro day coming up I believe Barkley will do well enough to place him back in to the top 20 picks. For the purposes of the Bills, that would mean they wouldn't have the luxury to wait around if they do really want him. Barkley makes more sense than you'd think at first. I think he fits right in to what Nathaniel Hackett liked to do in his time at Syracuse, highlighted by a firm belief in West Coast principles. Barkley possesses a better arm than many give him credit for and will have the arm talent to make the throws quarterbacks need to in the NFL, especially in Hackett's offense. His natural leadership and experience in taking a down program over the first year he arrives is also especially appealing for what Buffalo is looking for. Barkley and Buffalo makes a lot of sense in my opinion. And if you're the 'But he went to USC!' guy, just get over it. Not every player from that college is the same person, and he's much different than the last one to come out of that program.
March 18 – Pat Kirwan, CBS SportsNo. 8 – QB Geno Smith, West VirginiaAnalysis: The Bills' situation isn't much different than the Cardinals. There's no chance the Bills are starting Tarvaris Jackson or waiting until the second round and possibly missing out on the QB they want in this draft.
March 18 – Pete Prisco, CBS SportsNo. 8 – QB Matt Barkley, USCAnalysis: There is no quarterback of note on the roster. They have to take one.
March 18 – Matt Smith, NFL.comNo. 8 – T Lane Johnson, OklahomaAnalysis: Smith and Johnson are going to the Cardinals and Bills -- it's just a question of who goes where. While I pointed out the Cards couldn't justify selecting Johnson ahead of Smith, he's still worthy of being a top-10 pick. Solidify that offensive line, and get your QB project in the second or third round. (At least the latter will be protected when he's taking the snaps.).
March 20 – Daniel Jeremiah, NFL.comNo. 8 – QB Geno Smith, West VirginiaAnalysis: The Bills dumped Ryan Fitzpatrick and almost certainly will use their top pick on his replacement. If they stay here, I think it will be Geno. If they bail out of the pick, all signs point to Ryan Nassib