By Tim Graham
Virtually all of the focus on the upcoming draft deals with what teams will do in the first round. Occasionally, analysis will bleed into second-round possibilities.
ESPN draft monger Mel Kiper doesn't stop there. Oh, no, no, no.
Kiper projects the Buffalo Bills will select Ohio State defensive end John Simon in the third round.
"You look at John Simon, you think early to mid third round," Kiper said this week on a conference call. "I project him to Buffalo, 71st pick overall."
An injury limited Simon to 11 games for the Buckeyes last year, but he still was named the Big Ten's defensive player of the year. Of his 44 tackles, 14.5 of them were for losses. He recorded nine sacks and four pass breakups.
"I like the way he plays the game" Kiper said. "He's got a lot of versatility. He plays with energy. ... Energy, kind of like the old Mike Vrabel, who came out of Ohio State, had a nice career in NFL."
Simon is one of only eight two-time captains in Ohio State history. He's 6-foot-2 and weighed 257 pounds at the NFL scouting combine. A minor shoulder surgery prevented him from doing drills in Indianapolis.
Kiper, speaking in his dot-dot-dot draft-guide style, added that Simon will "play down end ... gives you some scheme versatility ... great kid ... tremendously hard worker ... great passion for the game."
Asked at the combine what a team would get if it drafted him, Simon replied, "I'm a true teammate who's going to help the team no matter what it takes and a guy who's going to go non-stop to the whistle for four quarters."