Buffalo Bills 2012 NFL Draft Review

Stephon Gilmore

Enhancing the Bills’ move to a 4-3 defensive scheme, the top defensive free agent in the market Mario Williams signed with Buffalo giving the fan base a shot in the arm. The Bills’ faithful have not seen an edge rusher like Williams since the Hall of Fame days of Bruce Smith. General Manager Buddy Nix didn’t stop there. He and his scouting staff hammered two other areas of need with three picks in the offensive line and two in the secondary. First round pick Stephon Gilmore may prove to be a home run selection at corner. Ron Brooks was another cover corner who will help in the tough AFC East division. Second rounder Cordy Glenn is a first round talent who will start out at left tackle. He will start somewhere on the offensive line. Gilmore was impressive in the Bills’ rookie camp, picking off three interceptions in four practices. At the conclusion of OTAs, Gilmore was the starting right corner. He has the instincts and ball skills to make an immediate impact. He can turn and run with speed receivers on vertical routes. Sticky in man-to-man coverage, he plays with confidence and poise. He is disciplined and dependable in his play. Cordy Glenn lined up at left tackle in all four rookie mini-camp practices. A four-year starter at Georgia, he has experience at both right and left guard as well as left tackle. An imposing physical specimen with long arms, a wide body, and athletic feet, he has the ability to stay balanced with knee bend. He is powerful on down blocks in the run game. TJ Graham is an explosive deep threat who is quick and slippery enough to take a short underneath pass to the end zone. He snatches the ball in his hands and has a sudden upfield burst. Quick in and out of his routes, he is dangerous in space. Graham has explosive speed, quickness, and production with ascending skills. Nigel Bradham was productive leading Florida State in tackles for three straight years. Athletic with good agility, quickness, and a burst in pursuit, he uses his hands well to shed blocks and reacts well when working off a block. He has experience at all three linebacker positions and can play anywhere in a 4-3 scheme. For the Bills he will be lined up at left outside linebacker. Ron Brooks will compete at right corner with former first round pick, Leodis McKelvin to back up Gilmore. He played in all the LSU sub nickel and dime secondary packages. He has big time speed and athletic ability. Smart in his play and on run support, he will be a special teams’ stalwart. Zebrie Sanders is another of three offensive linemen who were drafted to upgrade a fringe unit. He plays with a good base and balance in pass protection. He possesses some rare tools of the trade in his long arms and huge hands. He plays square as a pass protector and is powerful when run blocking with angles. Tank Carder is a three year starter who will compete with Kelvin Sheppard at middle linebacker. He played in a 4-2-5 scheme in college where he was responsible for gap control. Intense and focused, he has good instincts and awareness, is quick to read and react, and is a good athlete who works his way through traffic. Mark Asper is a big wide bodied guard who played on the right side for the Ducks and will compete to break into the top eight offensive linemen. John Potter demonstrated good leg strength on kickoffs and may leave the field goals up to Rian Lindell. GRADE: ABOVE AVERAGE.

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