1st Round w/ Top 4 Bills picks.
2013 NFL Mock Draft: Anthony Macari (12/21)
1. Kansas City Chiefs: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
The disappointing Chiefs need a change in direction at QB. Smith is not nearly as NFL ready as RGIII or Luck were a year ago, but he has enough tantalizing upside potential for a team in need to take the leap of faith.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
With Smith gone and QBs Barkley, Wilson etc. far too big of a reach at 2, Jaguars look to the other side of the ball and snare snap a DE from their own backyard. Werner will help the Jags anemic run defense and pass rush and the local product could help put some fans in the seats.
3. Oakland Raiders: Jarvis Jones, LB, Georgia
Like the Jags, the Raiders need to bolster their pass rush. Jones, if he stays healthy, could be an instant impact pass rusher in the mold of Von miller.
4. Philadelphia Eagles: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
Foles will get the chance to show he is the future of the franchise behind center down the stretch. If he falters a QB would be an early option, but adding a bookend Tackle to start opposite Peters will help any young QB develop.
5. Detroit Lions: Manti Te’o, LB, Notre Dame
The Lions have as talented a front 4 as exists in the league and yet they continue to struggle defensively. Te’o gives the team some heart and leadership that is desperately missing to bring the pieces together
6. San Diego Chargers: Jake Matthews OT Texas A&M
It is likely not a coincidence that the dramatic decline in production of Philip Rivers coincided with losing his franchise blind size protector. Matthews has the obvious bloodlines to succeed at the next level at either Tackle position, despite starting at RT for A&M.
7. Buffalo Bills: Tyler Wilson QB, Arkansas
If you went purely off of 2012 tape this would register as a huge reach, but Wilson has enough solid tape from 2011, when he was fully healthy and the team wasn’t in total chaos all around him, to justify a top 10 selection. When Petrino left in scandal, I thought 2012 would be a great opportunity for Wilson to show he was more than just a system QB and he had the temperament to handle duress. Well, the results were less than desirable from both a personal and team perspective, but there is something to be said for how he persevered despite the Adversity.
Wilson is the kind of QB I believe Nix will be very high on. He has the size, arm strength and natural leadership ability Nix covets at the position. While he’ll never be mistaken for RGIII, Cam or Kaepernick from an athletic perspective, he does have the ability to avoid the rush with eyes downfield. Arkansas plays a wide open, push the ball down field style of offense that is becoming more the norm at the NFL level. His deep ball ability will open up the underneath passing game that the Fitzpatrick led Bills could only dream about. He does lack touch and accuracy sometimes underneath, especially when pressured and he obviously had to battle through some injuries this year, calling into question his durability.
Although Wilson is a slight reach here, it is painfully obvious the Bills need to swing for the fences at QB. Fitzpatrick is far from the answer both short term and long. I believe Wilson will come in and be the day 1 starter and eventually could be developed into a franchise QB. He will need a system custom designed to his talents, but he has the arm talent and football IQ to succeed.
The Bills could look to add a much needed piece for their defense or add another weapon and try to get better value at QB in the 2nd round, but I believe they have been frustrated in the past few years by that strategy and missed out on prospects they had targeted in the 2nd round. Personally I rate Ryan Nassib not far, if at all, behind Wilson and would be ok if they tried to wait and land him with their 2nd pick, but I would not argue at all with finally pulling the trigger with their first pick. Looking at recent drafts, teams have been far more successful finding starters in the 1st and 2nd round then waiting, so Wilson makes sense here. As far as Barkley goes, I simply do not see him as a fit in Buffalo. He doesn’t have the arm strength to succeed in the late season Buffalo wind and cold. I am also worried about the lack of consistent accuracy and results from Mike Glennon. So the Bills choice to find a QB in this draft should come down to Smith, who I have going #1 here, Wilson or Nassib.