The NFL and Players Union continue working toward a new CBA, inching closer to a new deal, a lockout, or another extension. If I had to guess, they will extend the deadline yet again. In the meantime, I am working through a mock draft with my draft guru Alex helping talk sense into me when needed. On the clock today are picks 3 – 4, with pick 4 being the Orange and Black.
1. Carolina – Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
2. Denver – DaQuan Bowers, DE, Clemson
With the third pick in the NFL draft, the Buffalo Bills select: Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri. The Bills have tons of needs, and while quarterback is not their most pressing need, Gabbert is considered by some to be the best quarterback in this draft. Ryan Fitzpatrick is in the final year of his deal, and Buffalo really needs to breathe life into their fan base. With so many teams looking for quarterbacks, it just makes sense to get the face of the franchise early and fill needs at linebacker and O-Line in later rounds. Big Al thought Gabbert would go #1, so he had Buffalo looking at DE and LB. After talking it out, we agreed that their needs at quarterback are too big to ignore, and they can’t pass on the golden boy from the Show Me state.
With the fourth pick in the NFL draft, the Cincinnati Bengals select: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU. We hit our first bump in the road with this pick, as we never could come to a consensus. I love Peterson’s versatility, his ability to return kicks, and the fact that Jonathan Joseph is likely to exit via free agency once the CBA is worked out. Big Al argued that we already have Leon Hall, PacMan Jones, and we drafted Brandon Ghee in the 3rd round of last year’s draft. Additionally, Alex sees a big hole at WR with the departure of TO and with Chad likely to be traded. Al says AJ Green, and I say Peterson. In the end, I think Peterson will be the pick. He is #1 on Mel Kiper Jr.’s post combine big board, he ran 4.34 in the 40 yard dash at the combine (2nd overall) at 220 lbs, and he fills needs at corner and kick returner. Had a top tier quarterback been available, then perhaps the Bengals would consider them, but in this scenario Peterson is the pick.