A reminder that our NFL combine coverage from Indianapolis begins on Thursday here on Buffalobills.com and runs through the weekend. So be sure to check the blog, the home page and the media center for stories, one-on-one interviews and comment from the top NFL prospects. Now to your questions.
1 – Chris,
I’m delighted to see that you are intrigued about Colin Kaepernick – a guy I have had my eye on as a prime prospect for the Bills. Buddy Nix says he likes to see consistent success at the college level and here’s a guy who has passed for 2,000 yards and run for over 1,000 for three straight years – the only player in NCAA history to do that. He clearly needs work on his throwing motion, but he was already at 67% accuracy with his current motion. What would he be like with some good coaching to get him to release the ball correctly? But the best thing about him is his intelligence, leadership and character. The intangibles don’t get much higher. And he did lead his team to a #11 ranking in the final AP poll. Let us know what you think.
CB: Kaepernick is intriguing to me because he has prototype size, arm strength and athleticism. What’s between the ears is what is going to be key in his evaluation. When NFL teams put him on the board and ask him to come up with answers for certain coverages or test his rate of retention with plays in the course of a 15-minute interview it’s designed to get a better handle on how he can adapt to a sophisticated NFL offense.
He ran a pistol offense at Nevada and in talking to him he’s well aware that he has to show that he can operate from under center. But more importantly he has to convince NFL decision makers that he can leaern, process and execute a complex NFL offense. All that being said I think at best he’s a late second-round pick.
2 – Chris,
I’ve been thinking about all of the people’s questions to you about getting a “slash” QB in the draft. Personally, I think we need more of pocket passer if we were going to get a QB early on in the draft. I was thinking that they go with a DE or a CB in the first pick, and then maybe trying to shoot for a Blaine Gabbert, Ryan Mallet, or, Jake Locker in the 2nd pick if they are still there, so he can be a backup for a year or two under Fitz’s Guidance. Your thoughts?
CB: Gabbert is widely considered a top 10 pick. I’m not sure I’m ready to be convinced of that, but most draft analysts see him gone by Arizona’s pick at 10 at the latest. Locker or Mallett could slip into the second round if they don’t show much this week at the combine or their pro day or do not fare well in the interviews with NFL clubs. Locker and Mallett have inconsistencies in their game and Gabbert has questions as well. Of those three Mallett is the only true pocket guy. The other two are mobile so I’m not sure they fit your criteria.
Personally I think the Bills only take a QB in the first two rounds if they believe he can be a franchise QB in a year or two, otherwise I see them going defense.
3 - Hi Chris,
In some mock drafts that have Fairley going to Carolina, I see some people giving us Patrick Peterson. I loved what I saw from Marcell Dareus and think he would make more sense and help our run defense immensely. Do you think the Bills would go with more talent in Peterson or a bigger need in Dareus?
CB: I’m not privy to their preferences or draft grades, but my thinking is if they’re down to a decision at 3 between Peterson and Dareus, and their grades on them are close, I believe Dareus would be the pick. Peterson is a special talent, but Dareus helps to answer your biggest problem, which is your run defense. I don’t see that going unrecognized in that kind of a debate.
4 – Chris,
Every since the Bills announced Doug Whaley as Assistant General Manager/Director of Pro Personnel he has kept a pretty low profile with the media. His hiring was hailed as a great move but I think the jury is still out. What are your thoughts? Also could you detail how the Pro Personnel department is structured (personnel-wise) and what are everyone’s duties. We constantly hear about Tom Modrak and his scouts preparing for the draft but how does the Pro Personnel department spend their time throughout the year? Do they maintain a video library on every single player in the NFL or do they rely on other team’s pro departments for help when they need it? Could you do an in-depth explanation sometime in the future?
CB: Doug doesn’t mind keeping a low profile. He just likes to go about his business, which deals primarily with the pro personnel side of things. He the head guy on the pro side of the ledger and did a pretty good job in his first year bringing in talent like Kraig Urbik, who stands a good chance of starting at right guard next year if Wood goes to center permanently. He brought in Chad Rinehart, who is a capable reserve interior lineman. And Erik Pears, who was acquired late in the year could be the starting right tackle next season. Akin Ayodele to fortify a position hurt by injury were all good pickups.
I think his ability to secure talent at times of the year when talent is sparse speaks to his expertise. Buffalo is in good hands on that end of the roster building business.
5 - Hi chris,
How important is it to upgrade at right tackle this offseason? Is it high on the priority list and do you see the bills bringing in a GOOD veteran or a higher draft pick rookie? I was wondering your thoughts on the tackles in the draft and if any of them like Nate Solder would fit into a right tackle role for us, or if we even have a shot at him?
Thanks – Showtime.
CB: I don’t see right tackle as high on the priority list. It’s fourth behind DL, LB and QB as I see it. The reason why is because of the aforementioned Erik Pears. He was a two-year starter for Denver before he fell out of favor there and bounced around since then. Is he a long term solution? That’s up to the coaches, but he’s at least a proven player at that position in the league and can hold the fort until they cultivate more talent.
I’m not saying they won’t draft a tackle. In fact I hope at some point they do just for capable depth, but with the needs so great on defense I don’t think it’s a lock to happen.
Tags: Blaine Gabbert, Colin Kaepernick, Doug Whaley, Erik Pears, Fan Friday, Marcell Dareus, NFL Combine, Nick Fairley, Patrick Peterson
Posted in Inside the Bills