FWIW Steve has the Bills taking Illinois DE Whitney Mercilus because he balled in his bowl game against UCLA this year. Oh and he lead FBS with 16 sacks in 2011.
10. Courtney Upshaw, LB, Alabama – This is another pick that I’m staying with for now. The pass rush still needs a lot of help, and Upshaw is currently the best 3-4 outside linebacker in the draft. Even as Buffalo looks to shift that defense to a 4-3 (see Denver’s draft strategy at No. 2 last year) Upshaw can still easily fit. Don’t pass talent because of small scheme questions. He should be able to apply a lot of pressure to opposing quarterbacks from the edge for whoever gets him for 2012. Remember, nobody on the Bills managed more than 5.5 sacks in 2011, and as a team, they simply haven’t been able to get pressure unless they bring numbers. This is an energetic talent, an edge linebacker in the mold of a more athletic LaMarr Woodley, a guy who has been well-coached and can start early.
Charley Casserly (nfl.com)
Whitney Mercilus DE Illinois – With Buffalo transitioning to a 4-3 defense, Mercilus can fill a fresh void at defensive end.
Wes Bunting (national football post)
10. Buffalo Bills: LSU DT Michael Brockers
Brockers is a talented defensive lineman capable of maturing into a real game changer up front. He’s got the ability to play all over the Bills D-line early and offers them a lot of 3-4 and 4-3 versatility.
Joe Buscaglia (wgr)
10) Buffalo Bills - DE Melvin Ingram, South Carolina
- Here's what you've all been waiting for. The Bills are in need of a player that can be able to transform along with the defensive front. Ingram can do it all, and has done it all for South Carolina in his career. Even-front defensive end? Check. Even-front defensive tackle? Check. Odd-front outside linebacker? Check. Odd-front defensive end? Check. Ingram provides the versatility to do a lot of different things in defensive looks. Not to mention, I think he's the best overall defensive end/pass-rushing prospect in this draft. He may not have the desired height (just a shade below 6-foot-2), but I can see him being used a little bit of everywhere by the Bills and Dave Wannstedt.
Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina
This is a slight reach, but we've seen the Bills do crazy things on Draft Day before. One thing this front office has been infamous of is telegraphing its picks. Chan Gailey repeatedly mentioned acquiring a running back prior to the 2010 NFL Draft, and sure enough, he picked C.J. Spiller despite having Marshawn Lynch and Fred Jackson on the roster.
Todd McShay (ESPN)
McShay's pick: Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama,
Analysis: Upshaw would be a great pick for Buffalo. He does everything well for a linebacker, including rush the passer, which is needed. Upshaw also is versatile, although the Bills appear to be going strictly to a 4-3 next season. Upshaw can bring that nasty mentality and a pass rush that Buffalo has been looking for. The Bills need a difference-maker on defense and Upshaw has that potential.
Mark Gaughan (TBN)
10. Buffalo Bills. Courtney Upshaw, DE-LB, Alabama. There's a chance Coples could last until No. 10. Upshaw isn't a blazing speed rusher, but he's a good football player.