NFL

NFL Draft Smokescreen (?) of the Day: The Bills Might Draft Alabama's Mark Barron

Mark Barron is by far the best safety in the 2012 NFL draft. The 6-foot-2, 215-pound Alabama star is coming off surgery (hernia), but he’s definitely a first round pick.

Back in December, after Barron played his way onto the All-American team and after the Jets were embarrassed twice by the beastly New England Patriots tight ends, I had New York taking Barron in a mock draft. Finally, someone to match up with Gronk and Hernandez!

Problem is, the Dallas Cowboys checked out Barron, fell in love with him, and by all accounts, he was going off the board to Dallas at 14. The Cowboys’ secondary was awful (Dallas was 23rd in the league in pass defense; some will point out the Giants were 29, Saints 30, Patriots 31, Packers 32), and a major need in the offseason. They’ve already signed corner Brandon Carr and safety Brodney Pool (from the Jets).

And now, days before the draft, this has “leaked” out, according to half a dozen reporters: The Bills want Barron at 9 10!

Remember when the Bills were 5-2 last season and were hosting the Jets? The playoffs were within reach! Then the Bills turned the ball over 21 times in their final nine games and missed the playoffs (again).

In the team’s most crucial stretch of the season, the offense sputtered: 11 points in a loss to the Jets. Seven points in a loss to Dallas. Eight points in a loss to Miami. Defense was a problem, too – the Bills finished 30th in ppg allowed (27.1).

So this offseason, Buffalo gave $96 million to Mario Williams, instantly giving the Bills one of the stronger defensive lines in the AFC. Also in March, the Bills added a TE, LB, S and another DE. So five free agent moves, four of them are defense, and now they’re going to add another defensive player in the first round? (Hey, they need to defend Gronk and Hernandez, too!)

Not buying it. The Bills could use a No. 1 receiver (Stevie Johnson is more a No. 2), and could bolster that offensive line. I think the “we like Barron” stuff was purposely leaked to reporters in an attempt to get Dallas or the Jets to trade up so Buffalo can slide down and take Michael Floyd of Notre Dame.

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