Looking At The Rivals: Bills
1st Round #3: Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama
2nd Round #34: Aaron Williams, FS, Texas
3rd Round #68: Kelvin Sheppard, ILB, LSU
4th Round #100: Da’Norris Searcy, SS, North Carolina
4th Round #122: Chris Hairston, T, Clemson
5th Round #133: Johnny White, RB, North Carolina
6th Round #169: Chris White, ILB, Mississippi State
7th Round #206: Justin Rogers, CB, Richmond
7th Round #245: Michael Jasper, OG/DT, Bethel
Going into the draft, it was pretty clear what the Bills needed to do. The defense, ranking near the bottom of the league in most categories, needed to get better. The front office of the Bills obviously knew that, spending their first four picks on defensive players.
We’ll start with the obvious one. Marcell Dareus is a beast. Projected by some to be worthy of the number one pick, Dareus fell to the Bills at number three and I’m pretty sure they are ecstatic to have him. This is a team that ranked dead-last against the run last season. Dareus gives an instant spark to a defensive line that sorely needed it. I’m not sure about you Dolphin fans, but having to see Dareus, Vince Wilfork and now Kenrick Ellis each twice a year kind of scares me.
The Bills are set to lose Donte Whitner to free agency (whenever that starts), and they have seemed to come to terms with that by using their second round selection on Aaron Williams. For the record folks, for as bad as the run defense was last season, the Bills actually were third in the league against the pass. Williams will come in and look to step in the shoes that Whitner left. Williams is as versatile as they come and can slide up to play the slot receiver as well as play center fielder. The Bills also drafted another safety in the 4th round, Da’Norris Searcy, who will come in and contend for a job on special teams as well as on the defense.
I like the selection of Kelvin Sheppard in the second round. The Bills addressed every level of their defense in this draft. Sheppard provides much needed depth to a position that was revenged by injuries last season. He will step in and contribute immediately.
As for the mid round selections, both Johnny White and Chris White will have roles on this Bills team. Johnny is a hard nosed runner whose biggest obstacle in the NFL will be to stay healthy. He was productive in his senior season, rushing for over 700 yards and 7 TD’s. He also caught 28 passes out of the backfield. Chris is a hard worker and can plug the holes inside. He will also contribute on special teams. Chris Hairston does not look the part, but if you look at his tape, he is a tough player with good intangibles.
I would look to focus for a second on Michael Jasper. This kid is a monster. At his peak this past January, Jasper weighed in at a ridiculous 448 pounds. That is not a typo, people. According to reports, he has slimmed down to 375 pounds for the draft. He played both offense and defense at Bethel (which was his third school, by the way). He was not on Scouts Inc. board, anywhere leading up to the draft. For more information about him, read this. I’m not sure about you, but I’m certainly pulling for him.
Solid draft by the Bills. They need they needed help on the defensive side of the ball, and they went out and got it. This team is still a long way off from being true contender in the East, but this draft was certainly a step in the right direction.