What he brings: At 319 pounds, Dareus can play anywhere along the defensive line, and his greatest strength is defending the run. He can sink his hips and get under double-teams, but he is not a one-dimensional space-eater. He can get off blocks and has the body control to make the tackle once he's free. Though not an elite pass rusher, he has the power and motor to force quarterbacks to get the ball out before they want to. He can be a high-pressure guy for the Bills. In addition, his football character is beyond reproach. He has excellent awareness, is a hard worker and has the mental toughness you're looking for.
Video analysis: Todd McShay
How he fits: This was the worst run defense in the NFL last year and was incredibly soft inside versus power run games. The Bills' 3-4 defense still doesn't have the perfect personnel and NT Kyle Williams is their only legitimate inside player, and the coaches would like to play multiple fronts. Dareus can play DE in the 3-4 and DT in the 4-3 and not only will he help him versus the run but he can be a disruptive inside penetrator as a pass rusher. This is a solid pick without much risk for failure, something the Bills have had to deal with in recent years.
What he brings: Williams is a 'tweener corner/safety with good short-area man-to-man skills and enough speed. He's tough against the run as well, but he might be better at safety and is not a playmaker when the ball is in the air. He's a good value at this point, though, because of his versatility and skill set.
How he fits: The perception is that this was a very gifted secondary last season, but the reality is that it allowed 28 touchdown passes and 11 interceptions, and as many as five DBs could leave in free agency. Williams has the versatility to play outside at corner or inside at safety, and he certainly could fill one of these slots if someone leaves. He also should be excellent on special teams.
What he brings: Sheppard is very instinctive and has a knack for finding the ball. He uses his above average diagnostic skills to get a jump on plays and is a reliable tackler with range just a notch below elite. He needs to play with better leverage taking on blocks but has the potential to become a solid starter in Buffalo's 3-4 scheme.
How he fits: This was the worst run defense in the NFL a year ago, and the Bills are really trying to upgrade their size and power inside with DT Marcell Dareus in the first round and Sheppard in the third. The Bills have decent ILBs in their 3-4 defense, but Paul Posluszny is a free agent, though he says he wants to come back. However, this pick is great insurance if he doesn't.
What he brings: He has good size but is not as physical in run support as expected. He has adequate to good cover skills and also plays the ball well, and he also played the nickelback role at times in college.
How he fits: Donte Whitner is a terrific starter for the Bills, but he wants big money and could easily leave in free agency. If that happens, they need a solid guy in the deep middle of the field and Searcy has enough production at CB to let you think he would be a good cover guy inside but he could also contribute at CB in nickel situations. This is an insurance pick.
Clemson from Seattle
What he brings: Hairston is a massive tackle with good strength who can move people off the ball in the running game. He has great length and is light on his feet but he does not bend well and can have trouble with quick double moves.
How he fits: This is a position of need for the Bills and they have ignored it too often in the last few drafts. Demetrius Bell was adequate in 2010 at LT but ideally he would move to RT if they could find a guy to replace him at LT. The big question here is whether Hairston is that guy. He has a chance to be a starter on either side, but he played LT in college and that is probably where he will get his first look.
White doesn't have the breakaway speed of a C.J. Spiller, but he's a tough, between-the-tackles runner who can also contribute on third down as a pass blocker and a pass catcher.
He is at his best attacking the line of scrimmage, but is not a great read-and-react player and will likely play WILB in the Bills' 3-4 scheme. He's not a great cover guy but adequate in zone.
Rogers has marginal size and is limited with his overall tools, however , he possesses enough instincts and ball skills to potentially develop into an adequate sub-package reserve and special teams contributor.
Bethel (TN) Compensatory
He is a massive offensive linemen who can engulf defenders in the run game. However, he's going to have trouble against quicker linemen and making the adjustment coming from a small school.
New England Patriots
Colorado from Oakland
What he brings: Solder has great athleticism and length. He does a surprisingly good job staying low for a 6-foot-8 prospect and shows above-average inline power to get movement in the running game. Solder moves very well laterally in pass protection but he needs to develop his technique, particularly getting more depth with his kick step. He will give up the edge on occasion as a result of that flaw.
Video analysis: Todd McShay
How he fits: The Patriots are quietly trying to revamp their offensive line and this is an excellent start. Solder is a tall, rangy player who probably fits best at LT and aging Matt Light could be gone in free agency or close to the end of his career. However, what makes this pick interesting is that Sebastian Vollmer could easily move to LT and Solder could slide in at RT, if he struggles. This should really improve the edge protection for QB Tom Brady.
Virginia from Carolina
What he brings: Dowling has great size and range, and he is a physical corner who is at his best in press coverage. In addition, he plays the ball well and is physical setting the edge against the run, although he needs to do a better job wrapping up in space. Dowling dealt with nagging injuries in 2010 before a broken ankle ended his season, but he has first-round tools.
How he fits: He is a physically gifted cover corner who will join a secondary that started out poorly last year but really showed improvement without a legitimate pass rush. Devin McCourty is solid at one corner with seven interceptions last season, and veteran Leigh Bodden returns from injury. Dowling should be able to contribute immediately in the nickel package, but he likely will line up on the outside with one of the others moving inside in nickel schemes.
California from New Orleans
What he brings: Vereen's best quality is his versatility. He can contribute as a runner and receiver and is instinctive and patient in the running game. He doesn't have blazing top-end speed but does a good job setting up blocks and fits well in New England's scheme.
How he fits: This looks like a little bit of a luxury pick because he doesn't fill a need as a workhorse back and while he has some similarities to aging Kevin Faulk, the Patriots are getting that production from Danny Woodhead. Vereen can catch the ball out of the backfield and be effective on screens and draws but he is not a 20-carry back between the tackles, which still appears to be somewhat of a need.
LSU from Houston
What he brings: Ridley is a big, strong, between-the-tackles runner who won't make a lot of people miss in space. He is downhill guy who reads blocks well and gets what he can, and while he isn't elusive and won't run away from defenses, he does a good job protecting the ball. He also contributed in several ways on special teams in college.
How he fits: In the second round we questioned the selection of Shane Vereen as a third-down type when they needed a between-the-tackles power back, and now they have one in Ridley. He can be good in short-yardage situations, can give them 20 carries a game and he is exactly the type of back they have been missing.
Arkansas from Minnesota
What he brings: Mallett has the best arm in this class. He makes throws on film that no other QB in this class, and some in the NFL, can make. He has to improve his footwork in the pocket, especially sidestepping pressure up the middle, and there are some concerns about his ability to handle pressure-cooker situations. Character is an issue, but he enters a good situation in New England where the locker room leadership can keep him focused and help him realize his awesome potential.
How he fits: This is a perfect example of a team waiting to take a player with some risk when the investment isn't too costly. Mallett has tremendous physical skills, and while he might be disappointed with how far he dropped in the draft, this is a wonderful spot for him as he learns under Tom Brady with the realization this team knows how to develop young QBs. What is interesting is that a lot of people really like backup Brian Hoyer, and he or Mallett could become tremendous trade bait in the next couple of years.
TCU from Houston
Cannon could prove to be a steal here. He was one of the bigger stories heading into this week because he was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, but he's expected to make a full recovery. He graded out as a second-round pick on film. He's a versatile player who can line up at eigther guard or tackle and barring any setback, the Patriots have made another strong move to rebuild that offensive line (Matt Light is a free agent and it appears the Pats will have a hard time signing Logan Mankins).
He is a hard-nosed in-line blocker who can move defenders off the ball and he has enough ball skills to develop into a reliable short-to-intermediate receiver.
Central Arkansas from NY Jets through Philadelphia
He is a former DE who is a disruptive player and will likely switch to OLB in the 3-4. He does a good job finding and reacting to the football. He had 19 tackles for loss last year. This is clearly a developmental prospect.
TCU from Oakland
Williams is obviously a developmental prospect who brings versatility on special teams at the backend of the roster.
New York Jets
What he brings: Wilkerson (6-4, 315) is a powerful player at the point of attack. He can stack and hold the edge as well as any 5-technique in this class, and in addition he shows above-average range to make plays outside the tackle box. Wilkerson also brings a pass-rush presence with quickness and active hands. He needs to play with a more consistent effort and could dominate more regularly, though.
Video analysis: Todd McShay
How he fits: The biggest need for the Jets was their edge pass rush at DE or OLB and they filled one of them with this pick. Veteran Shaun Ellis has been a solid player but he's 33 years old and may not be back. Mike DeVito plays hard but doesn't give you much of a pass rush and former first-round pick Vernon Gholston has been a huge bust. Wilkerson is an unusual 3-4 DE because he is more than just a run stopper with his 9.5 sacks a year ago. He should start immediately in this front seven and fill a huge gap at DE, where they have struggled recently.
What he brings: Ellis has tremendous size, quick feet and the range to make plays outside the tackle box. He is also the rare NT prospect who can get to the quarterback. If he is to unlock his full potential, though, he will have to play lower and keep his weight down. He could prove to be a steal or eat himself out of the league.
How he fits: With his size and underrated feet and quickness, he can probably play at DE in the 3-4 but he may be more suited to play NT, which is a significant need with Kris Jenkins gone. Sione Pouha played well replacing Jenkins, but there is no depth behind him and this pick gives the Jets the size, depth and versatility that coach Rex Ryan loves. This is a vintage Ryan pick.
What he brings: Powell is an instinctive, patient runner with good vision. He can see and get through the hole, and he is very good in pass pro. There are concerns, though, about his lack of elite lateral quickness to get in and out of traffic.
How he fits: On paper, it looks like the Jets are pretty deep at RB with Shonn Greene, LaDainian Tomlinson and Joe McKnight, but Tomlinson is at the end of his career and McKnight added almost nothing late in the season. Powell has a chance to probably be the No. 3 RB in 2011 and move up when Tomlinson retires.
TCU from Philadelphia
Kerley lacks elite size but is a quick and polished route-runner who has adequate hands and can make plays after the catch. He also brings added value as a returner on special teams.
Alabama from Arizona
McElroy knows how to play the quarterback position and he has everything you look for in terms of character, football intelligence, toughness and competitiveness.
Colorado from Seattle through Philadelphia
He is not a blazer but could develop into a quality possession receiver.
What he brings: Pouncey is one of the most NFL-ready linemen in this class with the ability to play guard or center, and the athleticism to fill in at right tackle if needed. He is light on his feet, has great awareness and a good approach to the game, and much like his twin brother Maurkice did with the Steelers, Mike should step in and start away.
Video analysis: Todd McShay
How he fits: This is a perfect match of a good player filling a specific need because he can play either OG spot or C and the only sure thing on this line is LT Jake Long. When a run-oriented offense averages 3.7 yards per rush and is 30th in the NFL, you know the interior blocking isn't very good. If Richie Incognito plays C, then Pouncey can step in at OG or vice-versa. Regardless, he's expected to start early as a rookie.
Kansas State from Chicago through Washington
What he brings: He's a big back with quick feet and good lateral movement skills, and he is an above-average athlete who can be effective catching the ball. He needs to work on lowering his pad level, widening his base and protecting the ball.
How he fits: This is the No. 1 need for the Dolphins because Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams are aging and potential free agents. The dropoff at this position was dramatic as the running game last year had only five plays of 20 yards or more. With instability at QB, they need more out of the run game and Thomas is a big back who can be a little bit of a bell cow if he can hold onto the ball as the Dolphins remake this position.
What he brings: Gates has track-star speed and is dangerous after the catch. He is a bit raw and lacks elite ball skills, but his best football is ahead of him.
How he fits: Brian Hartline is a productive player but he doesn't really stretch the field and Brandon Marshall is their only elite receiver but he comes with baggage. Young Davone Bess seems to be improving but Gates gives them the speed and vertical threat they have been missing and he could take some coverage away from Marshall.
Tulsa from San Fransico through Green Bay
He is more of an H-back type where he brings great versatility in the passing game. Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll will need to be creative, but this can be a good pick for Miami.
Alabama A&M from NY Jets through Detroit and San Francisco and Green Bay
He is a big body who will fit well in the Dolphins' 3-4 scheme. Kearse is coming from a small school but at this point it is worth taking as a developmental prospect.
Wilson has adequate size and adequate speed to add depth in the secondary with a solid closing burst. He has some upside and brings versatility.