By Ch2 Sports Director Ed Kilgore
A nice, safe pick for the Bills at #3 by selecting Alabama defensive end Marcell Dareus, who may be used as a nose tackle in the Bills 3-4 defense. He is a run-stuffing d-lineman who can also rush the quarterback, two great areas of need for the Bills defense.
Dareus will become an immediate starter and it isn't unreasonable to expect him to upgrade the Bills defense right away, unlike first round pick Aaron Maybin two years ago. Put another way, Dareus is the type of defensive lineman the Bills would never be able to acquire via free agency, and would only be available at any time as a top two or three overall pick in an NFL draft.
Not long after the pick, Bills gm Buddy Nix raised some eyebrows by saying the Bills might have taken Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert had Denver taken Dareus at #2 instead of Texas A&M outside linebacker Von Miller. Does that mean the Bills liked Gabbert that much, or didn't like Miller, considered an elite outside linebacker who can rush the quarterback?
The Bills are probably disappointed that Florida St. quarterback Christian Ponder was scooped up by the Minnesota Vikings at 12, as they were no doubt hoping Ponder might slip into the second round, where the Bills have the 34th overall selection.
We know the Bills want a quarterback early if they're in position to get one they like, but Ponder's selection might change the Bills tactics now.
We'll never know, but I see now way the Bills would have taken Auburn quarterback Cam Newton had Newton slipped to #3, but Carolina took care of that by selecting Newton #1 overall as expected. We thought the Bills loved Texas A&M outside linebacker Von Miller, a pure pass rusher, but he went to Denver at #2, leaving Dareus.
We'll find out tomorrow what the Bills strategy is, but there are still several talented young qb's available if that's the way they want to go.