1 – @ChrisBrownBills
Do you see the Bills improving on Defense this year? They lost a couple guys but I don’t think they could fall any further.
CB: I think a lot will hinge on what the Bills are able to add to the roster defensively via the draft. I believe they have to come away with at least two plug and play starters on defense. Buffalo has eight picks and they’ve done a good job of late of finding instant contributors beyond the first round (Darby, Woods, Alonso, Brown, Karlos, Miller). If that continues in this year’s draft I’m optimistic they can rebound from last season’s disappointing results.
2 – @ChrisBrownBills what moves will be made next year in order to pay Tyrod and Gilmore?
CB: Contrary to popular thinking the Bills cap situation for 2017 is quite healthy. Last I checked Buffalo was projected to be about $50M under the cap next offseason, which should afford them more than enough space to handle sizable long term extensions for both Gilmore and Taylor.
CB: I think among the quarterbacks you mentioned the only one that gives me pause is Kevin Hogan. While GM Doug Whaley is right about Hogan’s pro readiness having worked in a pro-style system and his vast game experience at Stanford, I just can’t see his throwing arm allowing Buffalo to do all the things they do with Tyrod Taylor at quarterback.
I watched Hogan throw at the NFL Combine with my own eyes and while I respect his game, I can’t get past his lack of arm strength. He’s a strict West Coast system, horizontal passing game QB. That’s not what the Bills do. They drive the ball down the field a good deal with Sammy Watkins. That element of Buffalo’s passing game is critical to their success.
That’s why I can’t see them drafting a quarterback that isn’t capable of executing those kinds of plays. Cardale Jones certainly has the arm strength to do that. Hackenberg’s arm strength is good enough, though he probably needs some refining of his mechanics, and Cook has demonstrated enough examples in the Michigan State offense that pushed the ball downfield to convince me he could handle that as well.
So I’d say those other QBs you listed would all be on the table for Buffalo.
4 – @ChrisBrownBills in your opinion what’s more important need in draft LB’er or true NT, true 3-4 DE for Rex system?
CB: I think we need to take into account not only Rex’s system, but the offensive trends in the league and where the depth on Buffalo’s roster lies. Right now there is not only no depth at linebacker, but limited options for starters.
I think the most pressing need position is LB, but there is a need for an additional pass rusher and those players go early. So although LB is the bigger need, the value in drafts typically dictate that you get your pass rusher first and second level players later.
Of course if the right value at LB falls into their lap at 19 (e.g. Ragland, Lee) you can make a very good argument to take them in round one.
As for nose tackle, it’s a deep defensive tackle draft, so if there is a position where Buffalo can afford to wait it’s there as the talent goes into the fourth round this year.
5 – Hey Chris,
I am curious about Jaylon Smith with this most recent news he will miss at least the whole 2016 season and maybe more, he was easily my favourite player entering the draft before all of this happened, how far in the draft do you think he could fall and do you think the Bills would have any interest should they have a chance at selecting him? Also should a receiver like Laquon Treadwell still be available at the Bills selection do you think they would go that direction over an offensive tackle or a defensive player ? Thank you.
CB: I think a lot will depend upon the medical re-check that takes place on April 14-15th in Indianapolis where doctors will perform a full examination on his surgically repaired knee again after taking an initial look in late February.
Doctors will be assessing his progress over those six weeks between exams and put together a prognosis for his future playing career. Teams will have their own physicians formulate their best opinion on what kind of career Smith can expect to have and develop an appropriate draft grade off of that.
The first installment of our On the Clock series focused on the medical component of the pre-draft process last month and highlighted Jaylon Smith’s situation and how it was not all that different from Willis McGahee.
Whether he’ll be a first round pick will hinge on how team doctors believe Smith can recover. He told NFL Network’s Mike Mayock at the Notre Dame pro day this week that he’s leg pressing 600 pounds and squatting 400 pounds. But it will all come down to the medical.
I hate to tell you this, but I don’t think Laquon Treadwell will be a day one pick. So I don’t see the Bills or anyone else taking him in the first 31 selections.
Tags: 2016 NFL draft, Bills defense, Cardale Jones, Christian Hackenberg, Connor Cook, Fan Friday, Jaylon Smith, Kevin Hogan, Laquon Treadwell, Salary cap, Stephon Gilmore, Tyrod Taylor
Posted in Inside the Bills