Buffalo Bills 2011 NFL Draft Review

It’s been 26 years since the Bills have taken a defensive lineman this early in the draft. That player in 1985 was Hall of Famer, Bruce Smith who was the first overall pick. The Bills’ brass Buddy Nix and Chan Gailey recognized Marcell Dareus as a special talent and a player worthy of the third pick in the 2011 Draft. Dareus fills a need at defensive end after Marcus Stroud was a cap casualty. Seven of nine draft choices were used on the defensive side of the ball with an emphasis put on special teams coverage skills. Marcell Dareus is a versatile long-armed power player who is strong in the run game and disruptive as a pass rusher. The Bills’ run defense was ranked last in the league and the addition of a huge two gap 3-4 end is a welcomed addition. Aaron Williams is another draft choice who exemplifies the Bills’ theme of versatility. Corner Terrence McGee will be 30-years old and safety Donte Whitner may leave as a free agent. Williams is a safety/corner combination with corner skills and will contribute on all coverage teams. Kelvin Sheppard played for the Bills’-coached team in the Senior Bowl where he impressed the coaching staff with his physical and emotional intensity. A solid tackle to tackle player with good inside run instincts, he needs to improve his game in coverage and space. Da’Norris Searcy is a run enforcer and a ball hawk. The big safety also played corner at times. He should contribute immediately in nickel packages. He is particularly strong in the run game and is instinctive and smart in his play. Not a deep man to man coverage player, but he has sure hands as a punt returner. He will contribute on special teams coverage. Chris Hairston is one of the few offensive linemen who played in a three point stance which impressed Buffalo. He started at left tackle for three years, but projects to right tackle. He was a better run blocker than pass protector at Clemson. Johnny White is a versatile back who is smart, athletic, and physical in his play. He catches the ball well out of the backfield. In college he was in a three back rotation, a role he may also fill for the Bills. Chris White is instinctive, tough, and competitive in his play. Physical at the point of attack, he is a good effort player who will contribute on all special teams coverage. Justin Rogers has good ball skills but needs work as a run support player. He was an instinctive and productive playmaker on the FCS level. Smooth and fluid with good body control, he was the special teams player of the year in the Colonial Conference. Michael Jasper also was known as Leslie Jasper. He played offensive guard and nose tackle at small Bethel (TN) College. He started his career at 400 plus pounds and weighed in at 378 pounds before the draft. The big man is athletic with a 32-inch vertical jump and 9’5” broad jump. He will start out at nose tackle for the Bills. GRADE: ABOVE AVERAGE.

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