How deals affect draft so far

Signing Mario Williams will give the Buffalo Bills more freedom on draft day. AP Photo/David Duprey

One year ago, evaluating team needs was a very different proposition. For instance, we knew the Bills were in need of help in the pass rush. Of course, with the league locked out, there was nothing they could do but wait until the NFL draft in April. The best help for early pass-rush help in their range was Von Miller. Of course, on draft night, Miller went No. 2 overall to Denver, and the Bills (wisely) picked Marcell Dareus to help anchor the interior of their defensive line.

While I think Dareus is better suited for the 4-3, the Bills really didn't have the personnel to go to that defense last year, and they stayed in the 3-4. They also saw their sack percentage drop to 5.59, 25th in the NFL. Now, with Mario Williams in place and the team set to go back to the 4-3, I'd expect to see that sack percentage leap up. What's more, that "DE" I have listed as a top need in the draft for Buffalo can be effectively red-penned.

And the Bills aren't alone. So while there are a ton of big names out there, here are some initial impressions of where draft boards have shifted based on free agency in 2012. Glad to have it back.

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