Hey Bills fans, NFL Combine week is coming up and we’ll have wall to wall coverage on Buffalobills.com with daily video reports, video interviews with prospects and members of the Bills front office. We’ll also have the John Murphy Show live in Indianapolis on Wednesday and Friday night from 7-9 pm with the podcast on Thursday evening. And of course plenty of written content for your to peruse through the course of the week. Keep it here all next week with our coverage of the Combine on site beginning on Thurs. Feb. 21st. Now to your questions from AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.
1 – Chris:
Q: With the new coaching staff taking over how much of an impact will Coach Pettine and some of his former Defensive Jet Assistants have on providing (Coach Marrone) insight on the Bills current Offensive Talent since they had to prepare for the Bills two times a year?
CB: I think there’s some validity to that point, but I think coach Pettine or any other Bills defensive coach will only provide input on a Bills offensive player if it’s asked of them. Generally the coaches stick to evaluating their side of the ball, but are certainly open to offering opinions if they’re asked of them. I think this could be one of those unique circumstances where Pettine, Jim O’Neil and Anthony Weaver could have something to offer the offensive staff on their players.
2 – Chris
I am a statistic guy by nature. I was very surprised that George Wilson was the 2nd leading tackler on the team. He did it very quietly. What I did notice is that he didn’t have the big plays from years past.
In fact neither he nor Searcy had any interceptions. The only linebacker with any interceptions was Bryan Scott. Tackles by linebackers were mostly by Nick Barnett.. Sheppard seemed to get lost on most run plays.
He and Moats early in the year couldn’t fight off the blockers. A middle linebacker should be leading the team in tackles. Like Poz did while he was here. Sheppard should have 30-35 more tackles for the year.
Moats seemed one dimensional, in that he could rush the passer. That was Aaron Maybin’s downfall.
Nigel Bradham was making plays and hustling on every down. He can only get better.
Where do you see Buffalo drafting a linebacker this year? Will it be middle or outside?
Gary in Indianapolis
CB: I think tackle statistics can be misleading at times. Often it’s where on the field the tackles are made rather than how many of them one makes. It’s kind of a moot point now regarding Wilson and Barnett now that both of them are no longer here.
As for where Buffalo could address the linebacker position, I believe it’s wide open. I think they could go inside or outside. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if they drafted one at each spot.
There is some premier talent at the top that would be worthy of the eighth pick like Georgia’s Alec Ogletree, who I like a lot because of his versatility and elite athleticism. He was a safety that became a linebacker and made it work. I know that makes some fans skittish sometimes to see that. Ogletree is athletic enough to play OLB or ILB. He lined up inside for Georgia.
Oregona’s Dion Jordan is another athletic anomaly that could go that high, though he’s coming off an injury. I like LSU’s Kevin Minter who is a late first, early second ILB. Alabama’s Nico Johnson is another ILB option in the third round. On the outside, Arthur Brown from Kansas State and Khaseem Greene from Rutgers are good day two picks though they might be on the short side for a 3-4 scheme at 6’1”.
Southern Miss’ Jamie Collins and UCONN’s Trevardo Williams are two other OLBs that could figure in the third round.
3 – Chris,
Who would you like to see the Bills get at QB, Glennon is getting all the hype, but Nassib is a Marrone guy.
CB: You’re right that Nassib played for Marrone and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett for that matter. What needs to be kept in mind is they know all they need to know about Nassib. Now they have to determine where he fits in the entire class of QBs. If there are prospects that they rank considerably higher than him and they have the opportunity to take the higher rated prospect that’s what they’ll be compelled to do. If the difference is marginal they might lean in favor of Nassib.
With the quarterback class a bit muddled with no consensus top talents I think it helps Nassib’s chances of being considered among the top signal callers. I’m still trying to watch more tape of these guys and I’ll admit it’s hard to like one considerably more than the other with what I’ve seen so far. It’s not nearly as easy as it was last year.
4 – Chris –
Is Marquise Goodwin a possible target for a WR spot in the draft? He’s an elite athlete who competed in the 2012 Olympics and was the big play threat in the Texas offense. He’s also a value as a kick returner.
Also, would his teammate Alex Okafor be a target if he’s there in the second? Is Buffalo still looking to upgrade the end position?
Bills fan in Texas
CB: I don’t know that Goodwin, who projects as a third round pick is a guy that fits the profile of what Buffalo is looking for at the receiver position. At 5’9” and 179 pounds he’s not a fit to play outside and beat physical corners for jump balls and such. The Bills already have this kind of receiver in T.J. Graham. So I do not see him as a mark for the Bills.
As for Okafor he’s an interesting prospect and did well at the Senior Bowl. The problem I see there is he’s considered a DE only and my suspicion is the Bills are going to be looking for defensive ends that can also line up as OLBs to allow Mike Pettine to be multiple with his scheme. Okafor doesn’t have the athleticism to run and cover as an OLB in a 3-4 or a 4-3. He’s strictly an up on the line end in a 4-3 by most accounts, so I don’t know that he works for Buffalo either.
5 – Chris,
Thank You for keeping us updated each week, my question is with Leodis McKelvins contract being up and Aaron Williams still developing and not known, is there a chance we could go after FA Aqib Talib?
CB: I don’t see the Bills pursuing Aqib Talib. He just doesn’t fit the character mold for a player that the personnel department looks for. He’s had some run-ins off the field and twice had fights with teammates in Tampa Bay. So while talented I don’t see him as a target for Buffalo.
Tags: 2013 NFL draft, Alec Ogletree, Aqib Talib, Marquise Goodwin, Mike Glennon, Mike Pettine, NFL Combine
Posted in Inside the Bills