Mel Kiper Jr. held another conference call with NFL writers on Wednesday afternoon.
In his latest mock draft, Kiper has the Buffalo Bills selecting offensive guard Jonathan Cooper from the University of North Carolina at No. 8 overall. Cooper and Alabama’s Chance Warmack are rated in most top draftniks’ Top 10s.
I asked Kiper this: Should neither guard be available at No. 8, or if the Bills just aren’t interested in taking a guard that high — which is my belief — then which player, or position group, would the club target?
Kiper said an edge rusher such as LSU’s Barkevious Mingo might appeal to the Bills. And perhaps a quarterback.
“If you think about the Buffalo Bills at the quarterback position, everybody seems to think Ryan Nassib of Syracuse is going to end up back with Doug Marrone, who coached him in college,” Kiper said, “whether that’s trading down in the first (round), or trading back into the late first, or picking him in the early second.”
Chris Brown of Buffalobills.com then asked Kiper what the level of risk is for Buffalo in waiting to take the quarterback they want with their 10th pick of the second round (41st overall), when there are other QB-desperate teams picking right in front of them.
“They have to be careful,” Kiper said. “Or you can get lucky. I mean, Cincinnati (in 2011) waited for Andy Dalton. Everybody thought Cincinnati was going to trade up to get Andy Dalton — they’d HAVE to trade up to get Andy Dalton. It didn’t work that way.”
And ditto for San Diego with Drew Brees in 2001, Kiper said.
“But to get Nassib where they’re picking in the second round, that’s something that’s debatable. That’s 41 (overall). He could very easily go before that. The strength of their conviction in their quarterback will determine a lot of that. If they feel that, ‘We’ve got to get Ryan Nassib,’ then they’ll move out of 41 and move up. That’s determined by their feeling.”