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Mayock dishes on Bills' plans; NFL Network analyst thinks Kuechly would fit

NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock says the Buffalo Bills would be well advised to go away from their perceived primary need left tackle -- and toward Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly with the 10th overall pick in the NFL Draft.

Mayock thinks Kuechly would be a great fit for Buffalo.

"Kuechly to me is one of the 10 best players in this draft," Mayock said Thursday on a conference call with reporters. "The intriguing thing about Luke Kuechly is historically inside linebackers are not valued, mostly because they get replaced in sub packages and nickel packages. Kuechly is the opposite. Kuechly's strength lies in the pass game. He's the best pass-dropping linebacker from the inside I've ever seen coming out of college football. He's got instincts, he's got speed. So on third down, when the sub package comes in the game, he's going to stay in the game, a lot like Sean Lee in Dallas. I think there's real value there because he's a three-down inside linebacker. He'll occasionally get enveloped by a big body but the NFL is a pass-first league, and there's value in Luke Kuechly."

Furthermore, Mayock thinks Kuechly makes sense for the AFC East.

"For Buffalo at 10, to me Luke Kuechly and [Alabama safety] Mark Barron make sense," he said. "They have to play New England twice with those tight ends."

Meanwhile, Mayock values South Carolina cornerback Stephon Gilmore higher than a lot of draft experts have been ranking him this offseason.

"I'm a big fan of Gilmore," he said. "I think he's a top 10 or 12 player in this draft."

Regarding the offensive tackles, Mayock rates Stanford's Jonathan Martin and Ohio State's Mike Adams as potential boom-or-bust picks. "There's significant upside, but don't see much consistency," Mayock said of Martin and Adams. Mayock sees Iowa's Riley Reiff as a right tackle and a value at 15 to 22. He thinks Georgia's Cordy Glenn is a right tackle.

What are the odds the top offensive tackle, Matt Kalil, drops to No. 10? "That's not happening," Mayock said. "I don't think there's any way he gets past seven."

email: mgaughan@buffnews.com