Inside The Bills

Bills staying patient with open roster spot

Posted by Chris Brown on June 8, 2018 – 11:03 am

With the Eric Wood situation resolved and his retirement official as it pertains to the Bills roster, there is an open spot. Buffalo currently has 89 players on their roster. Head coach Sean McDermott explained that there is approach is to be patient and if the right opportunity comes along to make a signing at that time.

“As far as the roster goes, the approach that Brandon (Beane) and I take is that we talk every day and really, it’s not about, and you’ve heard us say this before, it’s not about getting to 90, it’s the right 90,” he said. “We’d rather be patient at this point and just make sure it’s the right player at the right time. I know Brandon and his staff are continuously evaluating that and I know that, when they find the right opportunity, they’ll jump on it.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 6-8

Posted by Chris Brown on June 8, 2018 – 10:55 am

Just mandatory minicamp left after today. Here are your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

McDermott and Daboll seem like a good match. Any observations on them together and do you see any differences from the previous OC? Thanks Chris!

Timothy Filutze
@timothy_filutze

CB: I’ll begin by saying I think the big plus that Daboll brings is he is more relatable to the players than former OC Rick Dennison was. Dennison could interact with the players, but developing a relationship seemed a bit more difficult for him at times. That is not the case with Daboll and the players on offense as I outlined in my story on him last week.

But I’ll let coach McDermott explain the give and take he and coach Daboll have enjoyed thus far.

“We try and take the approach of ‘iron sharpens iron’ really where I’m learning from him, he’s learning from me I this case,” McDermott said. “Again, we’re all learning from one another, so if you just start there, you usually have the start of a pretty good recipe.

“He has an ability to think at a higher level and he understands trends in terms of what’s going on, what’s trending in and around the NFL. Obviously, there has been an adjustment because the system is different than the system we used last year. I believe the players are really buying into what we’re doing and what Brian is doing as well as the entire offensive staff for that matter.”

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

Many experts have the Bills taking a big step back this year in terms of wins. Is the reason totally due to the ?? at QB? To me the Bills roster appears much more solid and much deeper than last year, except possibly at WR, which can still change.

Steve Noble
@SteveNo12471507

CB: I think because the quarterback position is an unknown, and there is a new offense going in, it does lead many national pundits to forecast struggle for the Bills. This is commonplace for national reporters, who don’t cover the team on a daily basis. They look at the team on paper, examine the player losses and if in their estimation they outweigh the additions, they often predict doom for that team.

With all the unanswered questions on offense, there is an inherent fear of the unknown by prognosticators. Now in their defense, it’s not like some of those concerns they harbor are unfounded.

There will need to be a good number of players that have to step into more prominent roles this season on the offensive line, defensive end, linebacker, quarterback and wide receiver.

That is a long list.

Couple that with a schedule that has the Bills on the road for five of their first seven games and you can see why the prediction people are down on Buffalo.

The defense will be much improved with the additions made there.

I think the key to Buffalo’s 2018 season will be finding a definitive answer at quarterback and how quickly the offense can get to a point where they’re executing the new scheme in a consistent fashion week to week.

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

Why is Allen working with the nobodys?

Adam creery
@Adamcreery4

CB: Josh Allen is working with the third team offense because he’s playing catch up. AJ McCarron and Nate Peterman had a three-week head start on learning the new offensive scheme and running plays on the field.

All indications are that Allen is a quick study, but bringing him along steadily is clearly the plan that’s in place. This coaching staff will not rush him through just to line him up with the starting unit.

They will base their decisions on who he’ll line up with solely on Allen’s progress day by day.

When coach McDermott was asked if he’d consider giving Allen reps with the second team or first team in the mandatory minicamp, he wouldn’t rule it out, but it’s apparent they aren’t going to rush him through anything.

“It’s a fluid situation; it’s all part of doing what’s best for A, our football team and B, Josh’s development overall,” said McDermott in how they’re bringing him along. “I’m not going to say I’m not going to do it, it’s just what’s the right thing to do at the right time based on our plan.”

4 – Hey Chris,

I was wondering with guys like Zay Jones & Logan Thomas having surgery’s & not being able to participate in OTA’s do they still show up every day & do the class room stuff with their respective groups in order to further their knowledge of the in coming scheme seeing as there is a new OC & a new offense being installed ?

Thanks for your time !!

Mr. T from Nashville via Barker NY

CB: The answer is yes. They have to be on site anyway for rehabilitation assignments with the athletic training staff, and they do attend position meetings and offense and/or defense meetings. Logan Thomas is already walking around without any assistance, so that’s encouraging.

I just haven’t crossed paths with Zay in the building of late.

 

5 – Chris:

Great work during the draft and year round.

A couple questions:

1) With the new OC and the player acquisitions in Free Agency and the draft do you think the Bills are planning to go to more of a spread offense this year? This may help Josh Allen in reading Defenses and opening more running lanes by taking players out of the box.

2) I expect the Bills to play more of a 4-2-5 Defense. This means more use of Milano, Stanford and Vallejo. I also expect Siran Neal to be listed as a Safety but eventually (a year or two) gain enough size to play LB like Carolina Shaq Thompson. Your thoughts?

Joe
Blasdell

CB: Your first question is an interesting one. I remember when Chan Gailey was head coach he often used a four-wide, one-back set to spread the field to create easier reads for Ryan Fitzpatrick in the pass game, while also creating more natural rush lanes for the backs.

It worked very well for the most part.

It’s hard to determine now if Brian Daboll wants to lean in the spread direction, especially with a quarterback competition to evaluate. Not knowing who your No. 1 QB is makes it more challenging for an OC to put a singular identity on an offense.

As for the defense, the Bills are in a nickel defense close to two-thirds of the time based on the passing nature of the game these days. Coach McDermott often says your nickel corner is basically a starter on defense, based on how often they’re in nickel defense.

I expect the nickel LBs to be Edmunds and Milano this season. Stanford and Vallejo are good options in reserve as both can run and cover.

As for Neal, I can see him playing a hybrid LB role, but full-time LB is something I’m going to hold judgment on. I’d like to see how he can change his body composition next offseason before I’m convinced that’s a role he could take on.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 6-1

Posted by Chris Brown on June 1, 2018 – 11:28 am

Two weeks of OTAs down, one to go. Here are your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

Who is the fastest WR?

Randall
@Randallj86

CB: Here are the 40 times of each player from their pre-draft testing, fully recognizing that for some veteran players this was up to five or six years ago.

Robert Foster 4.41
Austin Proehl 4.41
Brandon Reilly 4.42
Zay Jones 4.45
Rod Streater 4.46
Quan Bray 4.50
Kaelin Clay 4.51
Malachi Dupre 4.52
Andre Holmes 4.53
Ray-Ray McCloud 4.53
Jeremy Kerley 4.56
Kelvin Benjamin 4.60
Cam Phillips 4.84

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

Can a QB on the roster provide a more consistent passing offense than Tyrod Taylor? Where do you think the passing offense will rank by seasons end? Top 10, middle, or to align with previous seasons…bottom 3 in the league? I’m hoping for middle (15 to 18)

Michael Kielma
@bubble_head716

CB: While I think it’s fine to hope for middle of the pack in terms of passing game rank for the Bills in 2018, it’s almost impossible to peg where they’ll end up for a host of reasons.

First, this is the first year with Daboll’s offense, so it will take time to really have it humming in the regular season.

Second, without knowing who the starting quarterback is, much less how he’ll perform in this offensive scheme, it’s a challenge to accurately predict where they’ll end up too.

I think everyone knows it can’t be 31st again. That’s just not good enough.

That being said, I think your range of 15 to 18 is reasonable to hope for knowing all the elements that will be new this season (scheme, QB, play caller).

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

Many will gauge the success of this year’s draft by how Edmunds and Allen pan out….to me this draft will be defined by the success of Taron Johnson, Siran Neal, and Wyatt Teller. Do you think they will have impact this year?

Steve Noble
@SteveNo12471507

CB: Of the three draft choices you mentioned I think the player to most likely have an impact this season is Taron Johnson. He’s currently battling with Phillip Gaines for the slot corner role, and I’m anticipating that to be one of the tighter position battles.

Teller and Neal both have good potential, but for Teller, there are a couple of vets in front of him at guard and Neal appears to have the biggest transition to make coming from a small college program at Jacksonville State.

Part of his issue is the long-term plan for him is to have him fill multiple roles defensively (corner, safety, slot, hybrid LB) and that is going to take time. So I don’t see him on the field much this fall on defense. He’s got a lot of learning to do.

 

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

Bodine over Groy baffles me. Groy bigger and did extremely well replacing injured Wood in past. Cincy media long reported Bodine as soft against beefy D-lines in Cinci. What jumps out at u why Bodine, other than maybe game starts (albeit not good ones) and familiarity w/McCarron?

Bill N
@williamkevin24

CB: First and foremost, Bill, it’s early. For linemen, the real football doesn’t begin until the pads go on. Yes, Bodine has been primarily running with the first team at center in OTAs, but as OC Brian Daboll said Thursday, “It’s a rep chart, not a depth chart.”

You’re right that Groy is a bigger more massive lineman than Bodine, but the behemoth defensive tackles are becoming fewer and further between. With more spread formations and up tempo offenses, giant defensive tackles aren’t commonplace like they were at the turn of the century.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills

Do you think Keith Ford has what it takes to be our 2nd RB? I love Shady but I don’t think we have 3dwn RB if he goes down.

Egg
@Ratatuip

CB: While I’ll admit I need to see more of Keith Ford before passing judgment on his playing ability, I will disagree with your assessment that there isn’t another three-down back on Buffalo’s roster. I believe Travaris Cadet’s game is most similar to McCoy’s on the roster.

That’s not to insinuate that Cadet is on McCoy’s level, but he’s not far off. He’s a shifty runner, who can make defenders miss and he is an accomplished receiver out of the backfield.

Ford is fighting an uphill battle for a roster spot with vets like Ivory and Cadet behind McCoy and a special teams ace in Taiwan Jones.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills release Incognito from res/retired list

Posted by Chris Brown on May 21, 2018 – 3:59 pm

The Buffalo Bills have released Richie Incognito from the reserve/retired list.

Incognito already was not occupying a roster spot for the club after the team designated him reserve/retired. Now he is not affiliated with the current roster in any way going forward.


Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 5-18

Posted by Chris Brown on May 18, 2018 – 1:01 pm

OTAs get rolling next week. Here are your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills
Do you think that Josh Allen has a legitimate chance to start for the Bills this season? Additionally, do you think the Bills themselves hope it’s Mcarron for this season? #FanFriday

GJohnston
@Johnston_GB

CB: I think the fact that coach McDermott has called it an open competition makes it a possibility, but even coach and GM Brandon Beane have cautioned that Allen has some catching up to do.

I don’t think anyone can debate that Allen is the most physically gifted of Buffalo’s three quarterbacks, but at the NFL level that only takes you so far.

Allen comes across as a player that knows and can process the game, but it’s unquestionably a step up in competition that he hasn’t experienced before.

We all really need to see him execute in an NFL atmosphere on the field to see if he can make steady progress and perform consistently. If he can do those things then he legitimately has a chance.

As for your question about hoping McCarron plays this season, I think the only hope coach McDermott has is that who he starts at quarterback is a difficult decision because the competition is a tight one.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

Do you feel they are done at addressing the WR position?

Paul Jeffrey III
@paulthegreat9

CB: As GM Brandon Beane said they’re always looking to upgrade their roster wherever they can and however they can. He did give indication that he anticipates some veterans could be out on the market later in the free agent period.

If that comes to pass I would anticipate the Bills kicking the tires on receiver prospects.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

Do you see the two new receivers that we drafted making the way into starting lineup with (Benjamin, kerley, Jones). Josh Allen vs AJ McCarron? Who do we think can win more games?


Jacob Kurtz
@JacobbMarley

CB: Again, much like the quarterback position, who has a starting role at receiver will be predicated on who performs best at the position through the course of the spring, summer and preseason games. Coach McDermott has created a culture of competition up and down the roster because competition brings out the best in terms of what a player has to offer.

With respect to Allen and McCarron, none of us have seen enough of either of them at this level to be able to determine who is going to start, much less who would win more games.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

What’s behind stockpiling so many defensive linemen? Is it purely a “competition” at training camp thing?

Garnet Barnsdale
@gocashking

CB: I believe it is largely rooted in developing competition. Most of us could probably figure out who the top six defensive linemen are going to be who are going to be active on game days, but competition for the last one or two positions is how Buffalo found Eddie Yarbrough last season.

So it’s a healthy exercise and may the best man win.

5 – @ChrisBrownBills

What’s our starting offensive line looking like now? Any change on the right side?

Sexual Pancake
@KeeslerThe

CB: If the Bills had to play a game tomorrow, they’d go with what they know. They know that Ryan Groy can play guard or center and that Russell Bodine can play center. They also know Dion Dawkins can play left tackle, Vladimir Ducasse can play right guard and that Jordan Mills can play right tackle.

That’s probably your starting five if you had a game this weekend, but they don’t. So with the exception of Dion Dawkins, the other four positions are subject to change based on the competition that exists on the roster.

Marshall Newhouse, John Miller and Wyatt Teller probably represent the most noteworthy competition.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Rundown of Bills tryout players

Posted by Chris Brown on May 11, 2018 – 11:15 am

Here’s the list of the 30 players participating in Buffalo rookie minicamp on a tryout basis.

QB Ryan Zapoticky – #14 – Shippensburg
RB Shane Tucker – #22 – Middle Tennessee St.
FB Zach Olstad – #20 – Winona St.
WR William Scott – #4 – N.C. A&T
WR Marcus Johnson – #6 – Slippery Rock
WR Josh Simmons – #7 – Prairie View
WR K.J. Maye – #10 – Minnesota
TE James Rome – #40 – Georgia
TE Charlie Callinan – #41 – Boston College
TE Ishmail Wainright – #44 – Baylor
OL Wilson Bell – #50 – Auburn
OL Arturo Uzdavinis – #51 – Tulane
OL Jacob Flores – #53 – Dartmouth
OL David Goldsby – #63 – Buffalo
DL Khalil Sommerville – #68 – Buffalo State
DL Terrence Summers – #69 – Middle Tennessee St.
DL Garrett Hughes – #71 – New Mexico
DL Jimmy Bean – #72 – Oklahoma St.
LB Micah Awe – #48 – Texas Tech
LB Dale Warren – #60 – Tennessee Chattanooga
LB Eric Boggs – #62 – Appalachian State
LB Kenneth Olugbode – #64 – UCONN
LB Brandon Smith – #66 – Penn State
LB Zach Bassuener – #74 – Minnesota-Duluth
CB Dorian Williams – #33 – Princeton
CB Chris Hardeman – #42 – Houston Baptist
S De’Andre Coley – #25 – Arkansas
S DaShaun Amos – #26 – East Carolina
S Lucas Webb – #39 – Tennessee Chattanooga


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Jersey numbers for undrafted signings

Posted by Chris Brown on May 11, 2018 – 10:37 am

Here’s a look at the jersey number assignments for the Bills undrafted rookies, who all officially signed Friday.

DE Mat Boesen – 43
OT Ike Boettger – 65
CB Ryan Carter – 46
K Tyler Davis – 9
G Gerhard De Beer – 67
RB Keith Ford – 35
WR Robert Foster – 8
DE Mike Love – 56
WR Cam Phillips – 5
OT Mo Porter – 77
LB Corey Thompson – 52
CB Levi Wallace – 47


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Austin Proehl vs. Ricky Proehl

Posted by Chris Brown on May 8, 2018 – 12:53 pm

As we profiled on Buffalobills.com, former NFL WR Ricky Proehl has had a profound impact on his son, Austin’s football career. The Bills seventh-round pick, Austin Proehl put together a pretty strong combine workout at the regional combine in Tampa Bay this past spring (he wasn’t invited to Indianapolis). We thought it’d be fun to compare Austin Proehl’s combine workout up against his dad, Ricky’s workout. Here’s what we found.

Ricky Proehl measured 5’11’ and 181 pounds with 29.5-inch arms and 9.5-inch hands. Austin Proehl measured 5’9 1/8″ and 182 pounds with 29-inch arms and 8.5-inch hands. Here were their workout figures.

PLAYER 40 TIME VERTICAL BROAD JUMP 20-YD SHUTTLE 3-CONE DRILL
Ricky Proehl (1990) 4.58 34 inches 9’9″ 4.01 N/A
Austin Proehl (2018) 4.45 34 inches 9’5″ 4.07 6.75

It’s interesting to see some pretty comparable numbers. Perhaps the most impressive number of the ones listed here for Austin Proehl is his 6.75-second three cone drill. Anything sub seven seconds is a strong time in that drill. A 6.75-second time is outstanding and speaks to his change of direction skills. It would’ve been the 10th best time at the NFL combine.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 5-4

Posted by Chris Brown on May 4, 2018 – 12:16 pm

The Bills certainly made the 2018 NFL draft interesting, especially for round one. Here are your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

Chris, Now that the draft is over. What is your make of it? Thanks

John Supple
@JohnSupple2

CB: In taking a look at Buffalo’s 2018 draft class, I was impressed with what Brandon Beane was able to pull off in round one. Getting his future franchise QB and a top 10 non-QB talent in the class was masterful. I don’t think many of us anticipated that Buffalo would be making two picks in round one when all was said and done. They not only did that, but traded up twice and still made it happen. Remarkable.

I liked the Harrison Phillips pick a lot. Dude is stupid strong and depending on which stat service you reference had 100 tackles last year as a nose tackle at Stanford. An insane number for a player who was consistently lining up head up on the center in a zero or head up on a guard (two technique) in a 3-4 front.

Both Taron Johnson and Siran Neal flashed at the Senior Bowl. Neal might need a little time on the job making the jump from FCS ball, but Johnson looked like he belonged.

I think the sleeper pick is Wyatt Teller, who could compete for that vacant left guard spot.

I’m very interested to see where Ray-Ray McCloud lines up because Clemson moved him around a lot. I also want to see what kind of return ability he brings to the table.

Proehl as a route runner is as tight as I’ve seen in a seventh-round pick in a while.

What would I change? I don’t know that I’d change much. Buffalo was limited in what they could on day two after the two moves up in round one, and it’s hard to argue with the Phillips pick, since he was one of my favorite prospects in the entire class.

You could argue there was some better talent in terms of size at receiver on the board when they took McCloud, but it’s not a major issue as I see it.

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

Has there been ANY evident interest shown to your knowledge in any of the remaining free agent receivers (Dez, Decker, etc…)?

Cole Parker
@Cpark9901

CB: I believe the Bills are going to wait for the right fit. While I don’t argue that the number of proven receivers on Buffalo’s roster is limited, that doesn’t mean you just sign a veteran free agent because he has experience. I doubt they sign Eric Decker because they had the chance to do so last offseason when he was a cap casualty and passed then.

Dez Bryant, as Brandon Beane said, is a player who can still help an NFL club, though not in the game breaking way that he used to. There was a great write up detailing his lack of separation on a Dallas-based site I read last week. I believe that is why interest for the veteran wideout has been limited across the league to say the least.

You need to remember where Buffalo is at with this build. Having young receivers on their roster they’ll want to get them reps to develop. A veteran on this roster, even for one season, can compromise that development because he’s then stealing those reps.

That’s not to say the Bills wouldn’t sign a veteran receiver, but it’s my belief they want to see their young receivers perform in OTAs before they ascertain whether they need to add a veteran presence.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

What is the consensus biggest hole left on roster at this point?

Bryan Watson
@RealBryanWatson

CB: I think the personnel department has done a credible job of plugging the biggest holes with capable talent. There is still a lack of proven talent at receiver and linebacker, which could cause some fans a bit of concern. Cornerback is another area where they might be a bit light on proven depth.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

When will we get to see Allen throw ?

Mike Reisch
@MReischMike

CB: That will happen next week when the Bills have their rookie minicamp with the first practice scheduled for Friday. Look for the video report – Bills Minute – on buffalobills.com to see clips of Allen throwing at practice.

 

5 – Chris,

David Culley is a QB coach with much more experience coaching WRs than QBs. Will the Bills bring in a QB consultant or specialist to groom our new franchise quarterback?

—Big Al
Rockford IL

CB: I asked GM Brandon Beane in a one-on-one interview, who would be spending the most time with Josh Allen to ensure he’s getting the one-on-one development time he needs to maximize his treasure trove of physical talent. Here was his answer.

“We understand all his strengths and he has a lot of them,” said Beane of Allen. “Like all these guys everybody has various flaws and Josh knows them and has been working on them. You could even see in the Senior Bowl he had cleaned up his footwork working with (his quarterback trainer) Jordan Palmer.

“It doesn’t mean he’s fixed and ready to go, but he’ll continue to do those things. (Offensive coordinator) Brian Daboll and (Quarterbacks coach) David Culley will work on all the fundamentals with him. Josh is going to come in here and he knows he’s got work to do physically, mentally to catch up on the playbook. He’s got a lot to do. We’ll do that on his timetable.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

2018 draft class jersey numbers

Posted by Chris Brown on April 30, 2018 – 2:45 pm

By now most Bills fans know that Josh Allen will be wearing jersey number 17. Here’s a look at the number choices for the reset of the Bills 2018 draft class.

QB Josh Allen – 17
LB Tremaine Edmunds – 49
DT Harrison Phillips – 99
CB Taron Johnson – 24
S Siran Neal – 29
OL Wyatt Teller – 75
WR Ray-Ray McCloud – 3
WR Austin Proehl – 87

Proehl is wearing the same jersey number that his father wore with the Carolina Panthers.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Beane on free agent WR Dez Bryant

Posted by Chris Brown on April 28, 2018 – 8:34 pm

Bills GM Brandon Beane was asked about the potential pursuit of free agent WR Dez Bryant, who was recently released by the Dallas Cowboys. Beane offered the following.

“We’ll look at everything,” said Beane. “We have looked at Dez on tape, but I wouldn’t take it any further and I don’t know where that would go. We’re looking to get better at all positions and receiver is one, so if we thought that was the right fit for us we would potentially pursue it.”

Buffalo drafted a pair of receivers on day three of the NFL draft taking Clemson WR Ray-Ray McCloud in round six and North Carolina WR Austin Proehl in round seven.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Some talent still left on the board

Posted by Chris Brown on April 28, 2018 – 11:49 am

As day three of the 2018 draft opens, here’s some talent still on the board at some perceived positions of need for the Bills. Buffalo has five picks today, 121, 154, 166, 187, 255.

Cornerback
Grant Haley – Penn State
Davontae Harris – Illinois St.
Taron Johnson – Weber St.
Darius Phillips – Western Michigan
Kevin Toliver – LSU

Linebacker
Genard Avery – Memphis
Jeff Holland – Auburn
Joel Iyiegbunwe – Western Kentucky
Leon Jacobs – Wisconsin
Matthew Thomas – Florida St.

Offensive line
G Colby Gossett – Appalachian St.
OT Jamarco Jones – Ohio St.
G Cole Madison – Washington St.
C/G Scott Quessenbury – UCLA
G Sean Welsh – Iowa

Wide receivers
Deon Cain – Clemson
Daurice Fountain – Northern Iowa
DaeSean Hamilton – Penn St.
Allen Lazard – Iowa St.
Equanimeous St. Brown – Notre Dame


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Beane: Wait won’t be easy; leaving options open

Posted by Chris Brown on April 27, 2018 – 7:09 pm

Bills GM Brandon Beane was a wheeler-dealer on day one of the draft in landing QB Josh Allen and LB Tremaine Edmunds. Here on day 2, the Bills hold pick 96 in round three. For Beane and the Bills front office the waiting will be the hardest part.

“It will be (tough). We’re going to try to be patient. It will be hard,” Beane told Buffalobills.com. “We’ve got some guys on the board that we like. We know they’re probably not going to fall to us, some of the guys that we still have on our board in the second round. We’ll be patient and see what happens. We’ve got a lot of picks for Saturday, so we’ll try to keep most of those. We’ll just see how it falls. If there is a guy that we really like who’s sticking we won’t be afraid to go get him.”

Beane feels they have enough ammunition with six picks (five on day three) to make a move if they deem it worthwhile.

“It’s really just following your board. We set the board and we follow the board,” he said. “If there’s a guy who is sticking out, no matter what position it is we’ll take it, otherwise if it’s close we’ll lean to need.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

A look at draft capital for teams picking in top 20

Posted by Chris Brown on April 26, 2018 – 3:05 pm

Here’s a look at the draft capital that NFL clubs have, picking from one down to the Bills second pick in round one at 22, heading into night one of the 2018 NFL draft.

We list total number of picks, rounds in which they have multiple picks, overall pick numbers and rounds where they do not possess a pick.

1 – Cleveland Browns – 9 picks (2 – 1s, 3 – 2s)
1, 4, 33, 35, 64, 114, 150, 175, 188 (no 3rd or 7th round picks)

2 – NY Giants – 6 picks (2 – 3s) 
2, 34, 66, 69, 108, 139 (no 6th or 7th round picks)

3 – NY Jets – 6 picks
3, 72, 107, 157, 179, 235 (no 2nd round picks)

4 – Cleveland Browns

5 – Denver Broncos – 8 picks (2 – 3s, 2 – 4s, 2 – 5s)
5, 40, 71, 99, 106, 133, 149, 160 (no 6th or 7th round picks)

6 – Indianapolis Colts – 9 picks (3 – 2s)
6, 36, 37, 49, 67, 104, 140, 178, 221

7 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 7 picks
7, 38, 102, 144, 180, 202, 255 (no 3rd round picks)

8 – Chicago Bears – 7 picks (2 – 4s)
8, 39, 105, 115, 145, 181, 224 (no 3rd round picks)

9 – San Francisco 49ers – 9 picks (2 – 3s)
9, 59, 70, 74, 128, 143, 184, 223, 240

10 – Oakland Raiders – 11 picks (2 – 5s, 4 – 6s)
10, 41, 75, 110, 159, 173, 185, 212, 216, 217, 228

11 – Miami Dolphins – 8 picks (2 – 4s)
11, 42, 73, 123, 131, 209, 227, 229

12 – Buffalo Bills – 9 picks (2 – 1s, 2 – 2s, 2 – 3s)
12, 22, 53, 56, 65, 96, 121, 166, 187 (no 7th round picks)

13 – Washington Redskins – 8 picks (2 – 5s)
13, 44, 109, 142, 163, 205, 231, 241 (no 3rd round picks)

14 – Green Bay Packers – 12 picks (2 – 4s, 3 – 5s)
14, 45, 76, 101, 133, 138, 172, 174, 186, 207, 232, 239

15 – Arizona Cardinals – 8 picks (2 – 3s)
15, 47, 79, 97, 134, 152, 182, 254

16 – Baltimore Ravens – 8 picks
16, 52, 83, 118, 154, 190, 215, 238

17 – L.A. Chargers – 7 picks
17, 48, 84, 119, 155, 191, 251

18 – Seattle Seahawks – 8 picks (4 – 5s)
18, 120, 141, 146, 156, 168, 226, 248 (No 2nd or 3rd round picks)

19 – Dallas Cowboys – 10 picks (2 – 4s)
19, 50, 81, 116, 137, 171, 192, 193, 208, 236

20 – Detroit Lions – 6 picks
20, 51, 82, 117, 153, 237

21 – Cincinnati Bengals – 11 picks (2 – 3s, 3 – 5s)
21, 46, 77, 100, 112, 151, 158, 170, 249, 252, 253

22 – Buffalo Bills


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Mayock looks at both sides of franchise QB fence

Posted by Chris Brown on April 20, 2018 – 2:07 pm

He doesn’t deny that it has been and will be a polarizing topic in the 2018 draft and after the 2018 draft, but the franchise quarterback debate is a healthy one, due mainly to what happened in the playoffs this past season. That’s why NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock decided to poll NFL clubs with what he outlined in his national conference call Friday.

“Last year three of the top 12 picks were quarterbacks and all three were trade ups on draft night,” Mayock said. “The year before the Rams went all the way up to number one to get Jared Goff and the Eagles went from 13 to eight to two to go get Carson Wentz. It’s a quarterback-driven league. I think it’s going to be a crazy first eight, 10, 12 picks.”

Mayock then provided some statistics to point out the value that a franchise quarterback can provide for a team.

“To underscore the importance of a franchise quarterback think about these two numbers. When the Houston Texans had DeShaun Watson in the lineup they averaged 35 points per game. When they didn’t they averaged 13. When the San Francisco 49ers had Jimmy Garoppolo, they won five in a row and average 29 points per game versus an average of 17 points per game when they didn’t have him. So the quote franchise quarterback conversation is riveting.”

But then Mayock took a look at the other side of the coin, examining, what for lack of a better term were three journeyman quarterbacks who went deep into the playoffs in 2017.

“When you look at Case Keenum, who goes to an NFC championship game, Blake Bortles, even though he was a high pick he was not considered a high level franchise QB, goes to the AFC championship game, and Nick Foles goes to the Super Bowl and wins with the Philadelphia Eagles. Is that an aberration? Or is it a trend?

“Those quarterback conversations I’ve had with most of the league over the last month and trust me it’s been fascinating.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 4-20

Posted by Chris Brown on April 20, 2018 – 11:04 am

The last Fan Friday before the 2018 NFL draft. Buffalo has a lot to work with. Cross your fingers that they get everything they’re after. Here are your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills
What’s your gut feeling? Trade up or stay put at 12? And, if you had to guess – who’s the QB prospect they want?

John Green
@JGreen_PRsports

CB: I believe the Bills will exhaustively work to find the right move that they believe works best for them in terms of positioning and value. Whether they feel that has to happen before the draft or after it begins is the big question for me.

As for the QB prospect they want, I’m going to tell you it’s been like Fort Knox upstairs. GM Brandon Beane has made it clear to his staff to keep a tight lid on things and Beane himself has said the circle of people who are in the know about their draft leanings is very, very small.

Beane knows how important this draft is to their long range vision for this team. So it doesn’t surprise me at all that they’ve been as tight lipped a group as I’ve seen pre-draft.


2 –
@ChrisBrownBills
Who is your favorite QB prospect? Not who you believe the Bills would take, but who would you take Chris?

Brett Triplett
@BrettsterBills

CB: I’ve been on record for a while saying I like Josh Rosen the most in this class. I’d be happy with a couple of other QB prospects too. He just has the passing skills that you need in a QB at the NFL level. Accuracy, ability to read defenses, solid mechanics, smarts. I also think his personality criticisms are overblown.

I know I’m in the minority, but I’ve also got Mason Rudolph in my top four. I really like his body of work and skill set.

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

In your gut, if the Bills are faced with a “doomsday scenario” of 4 QBs taken in the first 5 picks (and Buffalo not being one of them), do you think the Bills take Jackson at 12, or do you think they wait for the next tier of Rudolph/Lauletta/White/Falk, etc?

Parasauralophus
@lophus89

CB: I have to think Jackson would be an option, but what I grapple with concerning Jackson and matching him with the Bills is his skill set is very similar to that of the quarterback they just traded to the Browns. The only big area where Tyrod Taylor and Lamar Jackson differ in terms of their passing skill sets is Jackson seems to get through his progressions more consistently and his strength is hitting targets between the numbers (middle of field).

Taylor’s strength was hitting targets outside the numbers, but he wasn’t as effective over the middle.

So I’m not convinced the Bills would draft a QB with a similar set of skills to that of Taylor.

I would hope Mason Rudolph would be a consideration in light of my aforementioned comments about him. As for Lauletta, there’s nothing with him that will wow you, but he is consistent and makes plays.

White and Falk are players who probably aren’t coming off the board until round 3 at the earliest and that’s late round 3 as I see it.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

Chris, good morning. My question is what do you expect the Bills to target in rounds 4-6 assuming some of the pressing positions get addressed early (qb,lb,wr)?

Tony Chimera
@ChimeraTony

CB: I think with the depth at cornerback, running back and the interior offensive line, those are logical positions that will have viable options to choose from on day three.

We have to remember that Vontae Davis is only signed for one season. So cornerback is a position in need of depth with E.J. Gaines, Shareece Wright and Leonard Johnson no longer on the roster.

In fact, I think cornerback could be addressed sooner than day three if the right prospect comes up when the Bills are on the clock.

Guard prospects go about 15 deep with draftable grades, so there should be developmental talent come day three. And there are running backs to be had, who could contribute in a reserve role in that range.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills
Chris, with the Bills having the 2nd most draft capital besides Clev. Do u think the chances r good that the Bills move up to draft a QB? Nobody should b able to outbid us?

Mikey
@Mikeybeit

CB: While that is true in terms of draft capital in the 2018 draft, the great equalizer for the other NFL clubs in terms of trade capital are future draft picks.

For example, a team like the New Orleans Saints down at pick 27 really only have the draft capital in their 2018 arsenal to get up to 20 in round one. But if they decide to offer a first-round pick in 2019, suddenly they have the ammunition to get up as high as pick four, if you weigh the Saints first-round pick in 2019 to be a middle of the round value.

So if a team is desperate enough, or competitive enough, they could be willing to part with future assets to level the trading playing field.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills release DE Cap Capi

Posted by Chris Brown on April 17, 2018 – 10:45 am

The Bills made a roster move Tuesday, releasing DE Cap Capi.

Capi was signed to the practice squad last November. He was subsequently called up to the active roster and appeared in the last four games of the 2018 season for the Bills.

Capi registered five tackles, a sack and a forced fumble.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Jones close to full return from shoulder surgery

Posted by Chris Brown on April 16, 2018 – 5:09 pm

Bills WR Zay Jones had shoulder surgery in January to repair a torn labrum. He reported to One Bills Drive for the start of the team’s voluntary offseason conditioning program. Head coach Sean McDermott provided an update on his rehabilitation.

“Not quite 100%, but he’s working like some of the other players,” McDermott said. “We do have some guys that are still working, rehabbing, Zay being one of them.”

As for Jones’ off the field incident involving police, McDermott said the team is “satisfied” with where things now stand after speaking with Jones directly.

“The biggest thing right now is where we go moving forward and how we handle our business moving forward,” said McDermott. “Listen, people go through situations and, like I said before, I was disappointed. The biggest thing is that we were able to talk about it and come to a point where we all agree we need to move forward. I’m excited about the future for Zay.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 4-13

Posted by Chris Brown on April 13, 2018 – 11:50 am

Happy Friday the 13th Bills fans! The draft is fast approaching. Let’s get to your questions on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills
For a team without a consensus starting QB for the last 22 yrs, does trading up to take 1 of a deep class of QB prospects in the 2018 draft constitute “reaching”? Can Beane/McDermott afford to kick this can down the road?

Keith Archie
@ASCREEN07

CB: I think we are all of the belief that all the stockpiling of Buffalo’s draft capital, which is at a record level in terms of assets, was not done to add nine players to the roster (their total number of picks). It was done to provide them with the ammunition to get a quarterback in this year’s class.

For a plan that has likely been a year in the making, I find it hard to believe that the Bills will not make every attempt to trade up to grab one of the QB prospects they feel is worth the price of moving up the board to select.

Although there will be a couple of options in next year’s draft at QB – Auburn’s Jarrett Stidham, Washington’s Jacob Eason, Missouri’s Drew Lock – those players, with the possible exception of Stidham, have to show dramatic improvement on the field in 2018 to be in the same category as the QBs in this class.

Now is the time to strike and the Bills have the assets to make it happen.


2 –
@ChrisBrownBills
How do you think Ryan Groy fits into our plans moving forward? Especially without Incognito.

Mark Kammerdeiner
@billsfannum1

CB: I think we’ll have a better idea on that post-draft. It’s my contention that the Bills will add some youth to their offensive line in the draft. The question is will they make additions early in the draft or late? That will likely be determined by what assets they choose to part with in a trade up scenario in round one.

If they add an interior lineman relatively early (rounds 1-3), and it’s a guard who has a chance to start right away then I think Groy is competing for the starting center role. If it’s a late round addition, then I think Groy is more likely to line up in a starting guard role and will compete with John Miller.


3 –
@ChrisBrownBills
Are the Bills interested at all in Mason Rudolph or Lamar Jackson? Is it even possible that they stay at 12 and take either of those guys or are they definitely going after one of the other four? Namely Baker Mayfield or Josh Rosen.

Waves
@BethelWaves11

CB: I believe the answer to this is in Buffalo’s preparation. They’ve scouted and done their due diligence on all of the top 6 quarterback prospects. Truth be told there’s something to like about all six of the top QBs, so it wouldn’t surprise me if they were intrigued by any one of these top QB prospects.

I’m sure they probably have two that they covet the most, but when you’re sitting at 12 you have to know for certain who you believe is ready to compete for the starting job now and who is a year away and slot your quarterback prospects accordingly.

As for your question of if it’s possible they take Jackson or Rudolph at 12, in the draft anything is possible, especially at the QB position, where in most cases on draft day their value tends to get pushed up the board because teams get nervous about missing out.

There are a few cases over the years where a QB slides, but more often than not QB value moves up, which is why Rudolph even in the 12-20 range of round one wouldn’t surprise even though most values on him as little as two weeks ago had him late one to early two.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

Hey Chris, what’s the plan for the Middle LB spot? I’m sure they’re going to take someone with one of their first 3 picks, but was curious who you’d think would be a fit, especially if they trade up? I like Jewell from Iowa in Round 2 assuming they make jump up in round 1.

Michael Morgante
@md_morgante

CB: This is a position I’m legitimately concerned about because the draft is thin at true ‘mike’ linebacker types. Knowing they could part with draft assets to address QB, I worry that some of the better options at MLB won’t be there for Buffalo.

I do like Jewell as a prospect because of his productivity and instincts, but he might not have all the requisite measurables to excel as a three-down MLB. He has some coverage liabilities to his game in terms of lateral movement and change of direction skills, so I wonder where the Bills value on him would lie.

I believe there are some outside linebacker prospects who could project to ILB, like BYU’s Fred Warner or Vanderbilt’s Oren Burks. NFL teams will have to try to see if some of these OLB prospects are capable of moving inside because the ILB crop is so thin.

Burks is a guy I think could easily project inside because he’s played there before and possesses the cover skills necessary to that position.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills

Why is it taking so long to move to top 5? Everyone knows the #bills are looking to trade

Chetan Rakieten
@chetanrakieten

CB: I don’t know this for sure, but I would think that the Bills, or any other team interested in possibly moving into the top 10 or top 5, have laid the groundwork for a possible trade with another club, but a lot of those decisions are predicated on what players come off the board first.

Let’s just say hypothetically that the Bears want RB Saquon Barkley, but don’t think they’ll get him at 8. Maybe they don’t have the assets to get up to 2, so they’ve talked with Browns at four and the Broncos at five.

Even if they have a deal in place with the Broncos at 5 to move up, there is no sense of pulling the trigger on a deal unless they know Barkley is available. So if Barkley somehow slides past the Browns at four on draft day, then the Bears call the Broncos and pull the trigger to move up to five to take the RB.

That’s why a lot of trades do not happen until draft day.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills history with two 2nd-round picks

Posted by Chris Brown on April 12, 2018 – 10:31 am

A while back we profiled Buffalo’s draft history when they’ve had a pair of first-round picks. This spring Buffalo, at least at the moment, also has two second-round picks. Here’s a look at the 14 times that the Bills have had a pair of second rounders and how they fared with their selections.

The years where the Bills fared the best was in ’76 when they drafted a pair of linemen who each played 10 seasons or more. In ’79 they got a Wall of Famer in Smerlas and a Defensive Rookie of the Year in Haslett.

Cribbs was a gem in ’80, but made a horrible decision to go to the USFL. Schobel and Henry were an underrated pair in 2001. Schobel is second in team history in sacks and Henry was more productive than given credit for, and did it behind a subpar and rebuilding offensive line.

Woods finally had his breakout season, somewhere else. Byrd made the Pro Bowl as a rookie and Levitre has had a long and productive career, even if more of it has now been spent in Atlanta than Buffalo. More time will be needed to judge Jones and Dawkins, but Dawkins rookie year at LT was very encouraging.

Here’s the list, including 1994, when Buffalo had three, second-round picks.

1975 – LB Bob Nelson, DB Glenn Lott
1976 – DE Ken Jones, OT Joe Devlin
1978 – DE Dee Hardison, DE Scott Hutchinson
1979 – DT Fred Smerlas, LB Jim Haslett
1980 – RB Joe Cribbs, QB Gene Bradley
1981 – DB Chris Williams, WR Byron Franklin
1985 – G Mark Traynowitz, WR Chris Burkett
1987 – CB Nate Odomes, DB Roland Mitchell
1994 – WR Bucky Brooks, TE Lonnie Johnson, LB Sam Rogers
2001 – DE Aaron Schobel, RB Travis Henry
2002 – WR Josh Reed, DE Ryan Denney
2009 – S Jairus Byrd, G Andy Levitre
2013 – WR Robert Woods, LB Kiko Alonso
2017 – WR Zay Jones, OT Dion Dawkins


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Posted in Inside the Bills