It’s time to start looking towards the 2014 NFL Draft and getting some discussion rolling about draft prospects and possible fits with teams, and I think the best way to do this is by taking a look at various mock drafts around the FanSided Network. We have two draft sites that regularly pump out 2014 NFL Mock Drafts, and Josh Sanchez also does weekly mocks over at the FanSided.com main site.
Today, we’re going to take a look at Sayre Bedinger’s mock draft on NFL Mocks, specifically who he has the Buffalo Bills taking with the fifth pick in the draft. According to Bedinger, the Bills will pluck UCLA Bruins standout pass rusher Anthony Barr with the fifth pick in the draft, and it’s an interesting selection that I actually don’t agree with despite Barr’s immense talent.
There is no doubt that Barr is one of the best five draft prospects in this class, and he will most likely be a very good player in the pros. Barr has consistently dominated opponents in each of the past two seasons, and it isn’t inconceivable to think that Barr could be selected ahead of South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney. While Clowney has more pure talent, Barr doesn’t have the work ethic concerns that Clowney carries, because it is understood that Barr is one of the hardest workers in the country.
And yet, I don’t think he’s a good pick for the Buffalo Bills. This team has several needs, and they need to take a look at adding players on the offensive line and secondary instead of adding another pass rusher. Barr is obviously an elite draft prospect, but the Bills already have an excellent pair of 3-4 outside linebackers. Mario Williams is making good on his big paycheck, and he’s not going anywhere soon. Meanwhile, Jerry Hughes has reinvented his career under new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, and he has quietly broken out this season, shed the “bust” tag he held when with the Indianapolis Colts, and he has also been one of the best pass rushers in the league over the past month.
So don’t sleep on Hughes, because he is half of the reason why the Bills don’t need to draft an edge rusher, even if guys like Kahlil Mack and Anthony Barr are intriguing options. This is a team that has bigger needs that they need to address, instead of essentially making a luxury pick at the position. If I were the Bills, then I would hope that the St. Louis Rams don’t select Jake Matthews (he’s mocked to the Rams in this draft, but click here for why the Rams don’t need to draft a tackle at all), because he would be the perfect fit for them. If Matthews isn’t on the board (like in this mock draft), then the Bills should consider taking Taylor Lewan. In all honesty, though, the Bills should trade down and look to build their roster that way.