Mock Draft Watch 8.0


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

MOCK DRAFT WATCH: 1.0 | 2.0 | 3.0 | 4.0 | 5.0 | 6.0 | 7.0

April 7 – Mike Florio, Pro Football TalkNo. 8 – G Chance Warmack, Alabama

April 8 – John McClain, Houston ChronicleNo. 8 – G Jonathan Cooper, UNCAnalysis: A versatile player who can replace Andy Levitre at guard or play tackle.

April 8 – Bucky Brooks, NFL.comNo. 8 – G Chance Warmack, AlabamaAnalysis:  The loss of Andy Levitre via free agency could force GM Buddy Nix to solidify the offensive line with Warmack. Not only would the Alabama standout fortify the Bills' ground attack, but he could help keep Kevin Kolb upright in the pocket.

April 8 – Brian Galliford, SB NationNo. 8 – LB Jarvis Jones, GeorgiaAnalysis:  I honestly expected to be gnashing my teeth with this pick, trying to talk myself into taking a second-tier quarterback prospect (Matt Barkley) ahead of other prospects I actually like (such as Cordarrelle Patterson and Dee Milliner). Because if ever there were a year for Buddy Nix to break character, panic, stray from his board and just take a quarterback for once, this is it; the Bills are currently brutal at that position.  Jarvis Jones, however, could be among the small group of prospects (if it exists) that an old-school talent evaluator like Nix would be unable to pass on for a quarterback. Jones has natural pass-rushing ability, and his two-year production in a power conference like the SEC is difficult to ignore, even with lingering medical red flags. Adding Jones to a lineup already featuring Kyle Williams, Marcell Dareus and Mario Williams would make life much easier for new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine."

**No. 41 – QB EJ Manuel, Florida State

**Analysis:  The signing of Kevin Kolb will buy the Bills some time at quarterback, even if it's only the rough equivalent of half a season. An opportunity therefore exists for the team to forego safer quarterback prospects that could conceivably play right away (i.e. Ryan Nassib or perhaps Matt Barkley) in favor of a higher-risk, potentially higher-reward prospect. In a quarterback class with no sure bets, Manuel is the closest thing to the athletic prototype for his position - and GM Buddy Nix loves him some athletic prototypes. Manuel is big with a strong arm, athletic and mobile, and arguably has as much upside as any quarterback available this year. It's just my opinion, but I believe Manuel will be the top-rated quarterback on Buffalo's draft board. With some time to spare and a dire need to draft its first developmental quarterback since J.P. Losman, the time to pull the trigger is now.

PREDICT THE PICK: Bills Draft Day Challenge

April 10 – Todd McShay, (Insider)No. 8 – G Chance Warmack, AlabamaAnalysis:  Scenario 1: Warmack is physically dominant and would fill the hole left by the departure of Andy Levitre. It's not a sexy pick, but Warmack is perhaps the most NFL-ready prospect at any position and would help protect free-agent acquisition Kevin Kolb, who had trouble staying healthy behind Arizona's suspect offensive line last season.
Scenario 2: Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib seems like a natural fit in Buffalo, with his former college coach Doug Marrone taking the reins for the Bills. This pick might be a little rich for Nassib, but Buffalo could perhaps utilize it in a trade that would allow Marrone to get Nassib later in the first or early in the second.
Scenario 3: The Bills need a pass-rusher to help take pressure off the rest of the defensive line, and the explosiveness and natural athleticism of DE/OLB Barkevious Mingo would lend some flexibility to the defense.
Stats and Info:Buffalo used five different right guards last season, tied for the second most in the NFL. Warmack played every game on an Alabama offensive line that averaged 6.5 yards per carry on designed run plays between the tackles last season.

April 10 – Daniel Jeremiah, NFL.comNo. 8 – WR Tavon Austin, West VirginiaAnalysis:  With the addition of Kevin Kolb, the Bills are free to take the best available player on their draft board. Austin is electric on tape, and his workouts have generated an extraordinary amount of buzz in NFL circles. This offense needs more playmakers, and Austin would be a great fit.

April 10 – Joe Buscaglia, WGR 550No. 16 – WR DeAndre Hopkins, Clemson (trade w/ St. Louis)Analysis: The Bills are going to need someone to come in and help right away at the wide receiver position. While it is interesting that the Bills have had two slot receivers in for a visit so far at team facilities, Buffalo needs a dramatic upgrade on the outside. The book is still out on T.J. Graham, but adding a talented player like Hopkins who can start from Day 1 will help whatever quarterback they have by leaps and bounds. He's not the tallest, nor the fastest, but Hopkins is a tremendous route runner with great hands.

No. 34 – QB Ryan Nassib, Syracuse (trade w/ Kansas City)Analysis: Not wanting to take any chances on waiting for their guy, the Bills move up to secure Nassib's services. The Jets would likely be tempted if he were on the board at 39. Nassib would feel right at home with head coach Doug Marrone and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett. The bigger question is this: will he get better playing in the same system, or has he reached his potential in playing for that offense? Questions on his vertical arm strength will continue until he proves otherwise.

No. 46 – LB Arthur Brown, Kansas StateAnalysis:  The Bills could go a number of different directions here. They could select a guard, a tight end, a cornerback or a pass rusher. However, the ability to get better at inside linebacker will be something the Bills should covet. Arthur Brown could step in right away and help the team at middle linebacker, transitioning Kelvin Sheppard in to more of a depth role. Brown is undersized, but a very good athlete with great instincts for the position. His brother is Bryce Brown, who took the NFL by storm late last year when LeSean McCoy was injured.

No. 71 – TE Vance McDonald, RiceAnalysis:  The Bills struck out when they tried to rope in Fred Davis through free agency. With Scott Chandler being such an uncertainty, a higher pick of a tight end may be warranted. Vance McDonald is extremely athletic, but leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to blocking. At 6-foot-4 and 267-pounds, McDonald blew away the combine when he ran a 4.69 40-yard dash. McDonald is very good with yards after the catch, but injuries are a concern with him. Past the third round (if the draft were to play out like this), I'd expect the Bills to target three of the following: a cornerback, a slot receiver, a safety, a guard or a pass rusher.

April 10 – Don Banks, SI.comNo. 8 – G Chance Warmack, AlabamaAnalysis:  Moving the Bills away from Geno Smith and the top-10 quarterback selection feels like the correct wind direction at this point. As everyone has speculated for months, I look for Buffalo to find a way to grab Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib either later in the first round or early in the second. Warmack is no consolation prize. He's a superb replacement for departed free-agent guard Andy Levitre.

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