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Mel Kiper projects Ohio State captain to Bills in third round

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."


2013 draft
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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

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Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

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