March 28, 2012; Columbia, SC, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks cornerback Stephon Gilmore participates in drills during the South Carolina pro day at Williams-Brice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-US PRESSWIRE
Joe Buscaglia of WGR 550 Buffalo is reporting that the Buffalo Bills are "extremely interested" in South Carolina corner Stephon Gilmore and Alabama safety Mark Barron. Buscaglia also adds that the team is considering Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly at pick No.10. All three prospects have been linked at one time or another as potential fits for the Bengals with the 17th pick, should they slide.
While adding Gilmore or Barron would positively impact the Bills defense, they would also be of great help to the Bengals. Unfortunately, It is becoming more and more unlikely that these three players will be available for the Bengals when they are on the clock. Gilmore could seemingly go as early as seventh to the Jacksonville Jaguars, while Barron could now go tenth to the Bills. Jaguars General Manager Gene Smith is known to favor players with exceptional character, and Gilmore would fit the billing.
If Barron slid to the Bengals at 17, he would be the perfect guy to slot in at strong safety next to free safety Reggie Nelson. At the moment, it seems that the inexperienced but talented Taylor Mays will start at strong safety next season with Robert Sands likely in the mix somewhere at both positions as well. The Bengals could also take someone like Notre Dame's Harrison Smith in the second round to play that safety position if they think he's a fit.
If Gilmore does not last until the 17th pick, the Bengals could do a number of things with the corner position. They could opt for Alabama corner Dre Kirkpatrick or North Alabama corner Janoris Jenkins with one of their first round picks. There have been rumblings that Jenkins could also last until the second round, given his myriad of off-field issues. If the Bengals waited until the second round to nab a corner not named Jenkins, they could also take a look at the athletic Brandon Boykin from the University of Georgia. Other possibilities include LSU's Ron Brooks, Central Florida's Josh Robinson, Virginia Tech's Jayron Hosely, and Montana's Trumaine Johnson. Johnson can also add depth at the safety position.
While safety does not appear to be very deep in this draft, cornerback definitely is. Because of that positional depth, panic mode shouldn't set in if Gilmore is off of the board when they pick, and the Bengals opt to take a corner in the second or third round.