Who are the top prospects the Bills can think about when they get to One Bills Drive Saturday morning?
Here's a stab at some of them. Top-rated prospects overall:
WR Edmond Gates (Abilene Christian), RB Taiwan Jones (Eastern Washington), TE Luke Stocker (Tennessee), RB Kendall Hunter (Oklahoma State), OLB K.J. Wright (Mississippi State), WR Tandon Doss (Indiana).
Gates ran 4.34 in the 40-yard dash. Hunter stands fourth on OSU's distinguised all-time rushing list. (Thurman Thomas is No. 1, Terry Miller No. 2 and Barry Sanders No. 5). Stocker and Wright played for the Bills' staff at the Senior Bowl. Both are possibilities, although we don't think Chan Gailey has a high priority on tight ends because the Bills are so deep at WR. Wright seems like an inside backer, but he looked pretty slow to us at the Senior Bowl. Maybe he just had an off week.
The top QB is Iowa's Ricky Stanzi. He's got a ton of experince and knows how to lead a team. Went 26-9 for Iowa. Just not a big-time NFL talent.
Here are three offensive tackles: James Brewer of Indiana, David Arkin of Missouri State and Kevin Hughes of Southeast Louisiana. Brewer is an impressive physical talent but had trouble staying on the field. He figures to go early in Round 4. Arkin is a big "sleeper." Many teams probably have him at guard (which probably takes him out of the Bills' mix) but some may have him at tackle. He started 44 games, 31 at guard but the last 13 of his career at left tackle. He played in the East-West Shrine game. Hughes is a legitimate tackle prospect. No. 100 might be a tad high for him, but we're not sure if he'll be around at the top of the fifth round.
Another ILB who is a prime fourth-round prospect is North Carolina's Quan Sturdivant, who visited Buffalo a couple weeks ago.
An impressive young man at DE-OLB is Texas' Sam Acho, who won the Campbell Award (the "academic Heisman"). He's 6-2, 257 but he's a "tweener." Another outside prospect who played defensive tackle in college is Iowa's Karl Klug. He's 6-3, 275 ... but there's some speculation he could be a situational OLB in the 3-4 defense. He's versatile, and Iowa produces good pros.
There are a bunch of cornerbacks who will go in the fourth round. Colorado's Jalil Brown and Virginia Tech's Rashad Carmichael are zone corners. The top-rated prospect left on the board was supposed to be Texas Christian guard Marcus Cannon, who at one point figured to go early in the second round. He was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma and is looking at an extended time off from the game.