Our first post-draft Fan Friday after a two week hiatus. There was just no way for me to turn around a Fan Friday on draft weekend with all the information we had to get out to you fans. So let’s get going with your questions from AskChris@bills.nfl.net.
1 - Hey Chris,
Thanks for all the great draft coverage, as always. Kelvin Sheppard seems like a great pick in the third round, but I was a bit surprised we didn’t take Martez Wilson, who everyone seemed to think we were going to draft back with the 34th pick. Couldn’t believe he was still there in the third. You appeared to be thrilled with the Sheppard pick as well but had been high on Wilson leading up to the draft. Can you compare the two, why you think Buddy went for Sheppard, and if/why you think that was the right call?
CB: Wilson is more of a hybrid type linebacker. He has great length and is athletic, but he’s not a stuff the run type linebacker that Buffalo needed in the middle of their defense. He’s long and lanky with a lot of straight line speed. In fact the Saints are saying they’re going to use him as an OLB, which makes sense.
The Bills needed an interior run stuffer and Sheppard fits that profile better. I was very impressed with what I saw from Sheppard at the Senior Bowl. He’s got a better college resume than Wilson and better intangibles than him as well (leadership, instincts).
2 - Chris,
Leading up to the draft Jerry Jones claimed that 2 NFL teams have contacted him about trading up for the Cowboys #9 first round pick in this years draft.
Did you heard anything about teams interested in trading for the Bills #3 first round pick in this years draft?
It seems to me that the Bills need extra high draft picks to become a contender. Like the Patriots get every year. It might be to Buffalo’s advantage to trade the #3 pick for extra draft choices.
CB: I understand your point and there were phone calls made to the Bills prior to the opening of the draft and during the early stages of the draft in round one. I’ll provide you with Buddy Nix’s description of it.
“We probably got 15 calls every round people wanting to move up or move back and offering picks,” said Nix. “I don’t say this is always the case because I don’t want to ever say never. Normally you won’t see us move back or swap picks just to be churning stuff. We kind of sit there and let what falls to us and take them and normally it’s worked out best. I’m not saying we wouldn’t ever do it. We might, but we’re not going to be big in that.”
Really what it comes down to is different philosophies. The Patriots love to move up and down the draft board and acquire picks for the future. This is admirable, but I also believe New England passes up some good opportunities and this year would be a good example.
They desperately needed a pass rusher. Their third down defense was worst in the league, and they had a chance with all their high picks to get an impact performer. They chose not instead trading away their 28th overall pick to New Orleans and their 60th overall pick to Houston. It can work for you and against you. I think this year it worked against the Patriots.
Sometimes less really is more and the Bills may have proven that in being one of nine NFL clubs that did not make a single trade in the 2011 NFL draft.
3 - Hi Chris,
I’d like to know what you think about the potential QBs in next year’s draft vs this year’s draft. Any franchise material in that one? Do the Bills look ahead to the seniors and possible juniors of the future or do they only focus on the current drafts prospects? I’ve also seen a good idea about trading pick #34 for a 1st rounder next year to help us secure a franchise QB in that draft if one we like is there such as Luck, or another guy I like is Kirk Cousins from MSU. Your thoughts please.
CB: I’m not going to pretend to know any of these QB prospects for 2012, but here are some of the more highly-touted QBs for 2012. Andrew Luck (duh), USC’s Matt Barkley, Oklahoma’s Landry Jones, Arizona’s Nick Foles and your guy Kirk Cousins from Michigan State.
4 - Chris,
Could you give us a list of the prospects that have visited One Bills Drive? I know you have been posting them as they come, but its hard to keep track of that, especially for those of us who simply cannot get to BB.com every day.
CB: I know the draft is over, but here’s the list of publicized names. I’ve been told there were a handful of others that were not made public.
5 - Hello Mr. Brown,
What is the deal with Danny Batten? I know he was on I-R all last season, but does he have a shot at making the cut or even starting?
CB: The most recent comments from Coach Gailey are that there is a strong likelihood that Batten moves back to outside linebacker. That’s where he started in training camp before his torn rotator cuff injury required surgery.
He was still in the all the meetings while he rehabbed late in the season, and the coaching staff shifted him to inside linebacker to learn that position instead.
Now with the acquisition of Kelvin Sheppard and Chris White in the draft, Gailey sounds like he’s leaning toward putting him back outside.
I think it’d be a good move for Batten. He spent the majority of his college career as an edge rusher so he’ll likely feel comfortable out there.
As for a role on the team, there’s a lot more competition now with Shawne Merriman in the fold and fellow draft classmate Arthur Moats emerging in the second half of the season. He’s essentially a rookie having not played last year so we’ll see.
Tags: 2011 NFL draft, Andrew Luck, Buddy Nix, Chris White, Danny Batten, Fan Friday, Kelvin Sheppard, Marcell Dareus, Martez Wilson, Matt Barkley
Posted in Inside the Bills