....the Buffalo Bills represented by Brian of Buffalo Rumblings select....
Devin Thomas, WR, Michigan State
Priority Number One heading into the NFL Draft for the Buffalo Bills? Find a starting wide receiver. The Bills were the only team to offer free agent WR Bryant Johnson a multi-year contract, but hoping for a big season and striking gold in the 2009 off-season, Johnson accepted a one-year offer from the San Francisco 49ers. Add in the fact that Lee Evans is likely to opt out of his rookie contract after this season - thus making him a 2009 free agent as well - and the Bills are in an even more difficult situation at WR.
There are, in my opinion, four wide receivers in this draft class who can come in to the league and start for any team: Oklahoma's Malcolm Kelly, Texas' Limas Sweed, Michigan State's Devin Thomas and Indiana's James Hardy. We're going with Thomas for three main reasons.
First - Kelly was long thought to be the Bills' top WR target, but after his disastrous Pro Day performance (note: I speak of his calling out his alma mater and placing blame on them, rather than his poor running time), Thomas - who is also high on Buffalo's list - gets the nod. The team is reportedly NOT high on Sweed, and Hardy is a late first-round prospect only at this point.
Second - Buffalo is switching to a form of the West Coast offense under new coordinator Turk Schonert, a move that will be highly beneficial to our young, methodical signal-caller, Trent Edwards. The coaching staff would like size and physicality at the WR position, but that type of player can always be found later in the draft. What's more difficult to find is a receiver with a solid frame that can take a short pass the distance. No WR comes close to being as excellent as Devin Thomas in the yards-after-catch department; with time, those skills could make Edwards' development much more swift.
Third - Note that, from the outset, I said the Bills need a starting receiver. Hardy is the only receiver somewhat likely to be available in the second round, so taking a cornerback (like Antoine Cason or Brandon Flowers, whom the Bills are reportedly very interested in) or a defensive end like Derrick Harvey would be a huge gamble as far as their passing game goes. The Bills are being linked to a lot of corners recently, and Mel Kiper Jr. has the Bills taking Harvey in his latest mock draft. Don't believe the hype. They may trade down to do it, but the Bills are likely going wideout in the first round.
Put all of that together, and Devin Thomas became a relatively easy pick to make here. Add in his kick return capabilities and extraordinarily high ceiling, and the Bills could end up with the most explosive offensive threat out of round one this year. You heard me, Darren McFadden.