By Tim Graham
The Buffalo Bills took safeties with their first two draft picks today, adding Clemson captain Jonathan Meeks in the fifth round.
The Bills took Nevada safety Duke Williams in the fourth round.
Meeks was not invited to the NFL scouting combine but is considered an underrated safety with enough size (6-foot-1, 210 pounds) and speed. Bills scout Darrell Moody said Meeks was forced to play deep coverage on Clemson's defense because of personnel issues.
"I feel like it will work well for me," Meeks said of Buffalo's defense. He made a pre-draft visit and met with defensive coordinator Mike Pettine. "We had a chance to go over some plays, where he drew up some plays.
"I just fell in love with the defense within one day and the coach as well. The things they were showing me that I would be able to do, I know as a player that I could perform really well for the Bills and I want to do that."
Asked to elaborate about how the Bills' defense would suit him, Meeks replied, "It's just a smart, aggressive defense, and as a player that's what you love."
Meeks served as a co-captain for the Tigers as a senior, starting all 13 games and playing 835 snaps, the most of any defensive player. ... He projects as an NFL strong safety. He returned one of his two touchdowns for an interception. ... Was named the national FBS player of the week in October of this past season after making two interceptions against Virginia Tech in a 38-17 win. ... Selected to the Atlantic Coast Conference honorable mention list … Made 24 career starts and appeared in 50 games in his college career. … Ran a reported 4.55-second 40-yard dash at Clemson’s pro day in March and put up 23 repetitions on the 225-pound bench press. ... He also had a broad jump of 9 feet, 7 inches, a vertical of 33.5 inches and a 20-yard shuttle time of 4.72 seconds. … Considered a raw prospect who has a tendency to make too many mental errors.
Meeks had 62 tackles, one for a loss and two interceptions last season.
He is from Rock Hill, S.C., also the hometown of Bills cornerback Stephon Gilmore. They have known each other and competed since middle school.
tagged2013 draft | Duke Williams | Jonathan Meeks | Stephon Gilmore