Analyzing the 2012 Buffalo Bills Draft Class: Part 2

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Biggest Reach: T.J. Graham (3rd Round Pick, 69th Overall)
Again, I’m not trying to go in order on this but it’s just the way it’s falling. This is the pick that had some fans puzzled and admittedly I was one at first. I was a huge fan of Mohamed Sanu coming into this draft and with him still on the board I was confused as to why the Bills not only selected Graham but traded up (for the first time in Nix’s tenure) to select him. Graham didn’t grade out well amongst most draftnicks because of his lack of experience at the college level. NFL Network’s Mike Mayock, whose opinion I respect most amongst the rabble of so-called experts, had Graham dropping to the seventh round. He’s undersized, unpolished as a route runner and seems like a gadget player at best. After analyzing the pick for the past few days however, I realized that there wasn’t a lot of talent left on the board that was different from what the team already had on its roster. Graham will likely take some time to develop but if he can catch 20 balls this season including some deep passes he could prove to be worth the gamble.

Could Surprise: Ron Brooks (4th Round Pick, 124th Overall)
Brooks is another pick some people thought the Bills might’ve reached a bit on. After all he never broke the starting lineup as a corner for the Tigers in his four years at LSU. Take into account however, that Brooks was stuck behind three of the best cornerback prospects in the past decade in 2011 5th overall pick Patrick Peterson, 2012 6th overall pick Morris Claiborne and likely 2013 top 5 pick Tyrann Mathieu. Brooks played nickel corner behind Peterson and Claiborne and then Claiborne and Mathieu respectively. He ran the 40 in 4.37 seconds at combine however and is an incredible blitzing threat off the edge. He made plenty of plays coming off the edge in nickel situations and is explosive when he gets his hands on the ball (had three interceptions in college and returned all three for touchdowns). In today’s pass happy NFL you can never have enough corners and Brooks has the athleticism to stick as a nickel corner behind Gilmore and Williams for years to come.

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