Saturday, April 27, 2013

For safety reasons, Bills go defense early on Day 3


While the Buffalo Bills spent the majority of the first two days focusing on the offensive side of the ball, Saturday was about bolstering the secondary.

Buffalo used its third and fourth picks on the defensive backfield, drafting Duke Williams and Jonathon Meeks, respectively. (photo: Ken, Lund, Flickr)

Williams, a 6-foot safety out of Nevada, fulfills the "versatility" trait that Pettine is looking for in his crew, able to play all over the backfield, including corner.

He's a strong tackler and a solid coverage man who looks to be a solid fill-in behind Jairus Byrd and Aaron Williams. Williams tallied nearly 300 total tackles, four interceptions and five forced fumbles in college.

Meeks, equally as tall and out of Clemson, showed promise in his four years with the Tigers, snagging seven picks and recovering three fumbles. Though a bit raw in his abilities, Meeks shows versatility as well and can play either safety position. He should provide a physical force, listed currently at 210.

Buffalo rounded out the final day of the draft with a kicker in the sixth round and a tight end/H-back in the seventh.

The leg, Dustin Hopkins out of Florida State, showed solid progression in his time with the Seminoles, finishing off his senior year with an 83 percent field goal percentage after only hitting 70 percent his freshman year. He was a second-team All-American last year in the AP's voting, and he can be useful on kickoffs, forcing a touchback on nearly 40 percent of his kicks in the last three years.

Chris Gragg, the team's final pick, fills a positional need for the Bills at tight end. Scott Chandler's status is uncertain due to a knee injury. The former Razorback hauled in more than 70 passes for 1,003 yards in college and was used in multiple formats in the offense. A wideout-turned-tight end, Gragg has solid hands and could be a solid asset to the team's revamped passing game, though he's not the strongest blocker.

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