Inside The Bills

Brown sees himself as every down LB

Posted by Chris Brown on May 10, 2014 – 10:35 am

Bills third-round pick Preston Brown has heard the critics. In fact he heard opinions directly from NFL clubs in interviews at the NFL combine back in February. Some teams don’t believe he’s capable of being a coverage linebacker at the pro level. Brown disagrees.

“You can’t get upset or take it personally,” said Brown of the critics. “They have a right to their own opinion. You’ve just got to go out there and prove to them that you are better than what they think you are. I just want to prove the doubters wrong any way I can.”

Brown, who ran a 4.78 at the combine and also had 23 reps on the bench along with a 33-inch vertical.

The hard hitting linebacker credits tough coaching at Louisville with helping him to improve his all around game.

“Going to Louisville I had five coaches screaming in my ear all day with coach Strong and Bedford so I’m used to it,” he said. “I take it in and really analyze it and try to get better at what they say I need to work on. (Can you cover at the next level?) I consider myself a four-down linebacker. I play special teams. I’ll be out there on third down covering. I feel I can do it all. I’m excited to show that.”


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Kouandjio knows about winning

Posted by Chris Brown on May 10, 2014 – 12:20 am

He’s got an awful lot of wins under his belt after playing his college ball at Alabama under head coach Nick Saban. Bills second-round pick Cyrus Kouandjio is ready to help make the Bills winners as well.

“I want to win. I want to go to this NFL team and win some championships,” he said. “Out of the three years that I played at Alabama in college, I won two national championships. I want to continue doing that. I want to be successful.”

Kouandjio attributes the hard coaching he received at Alabama as a reason why he feels he’s ready to continue that winning formula in Buffalo.

“It’s a tough environment and a tougher program and you see that helps guys that come out of that program go high, we hope, every draft,” said Kouandjio. “I appreciate going through that program.”


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Kouandjio is tight with Fluker

Posted by Chris Brown on May 9, 2014 – 11:17 pm

Bills second-round pick Cyrus Kouandjio was naturally tight with former Alabama teammate and fellow offensive tackle D.J. Fluker. Fluker played right tackle while Kouandjio manned left during their national championship season in 2012. Fluker went 11th overall to the San Diego Chargers in the 2013 draft. Now Kouandjio will join him in the NFL.

“It was fun, me and him were on the same wavelength,” said Kouandjio of Fluker. “To be a tackle, you have to be a different cat. You can’t lose at all. So you have to have some type of mentality, something different about you for you to win every single rep. Because you could get five pancakes in a game, and if he [the D-lineman you’re lined up against] gets one sack on you, then he’s the hero of the night. You have to win every rep. And Fluker’s mentality, it lines up with that. You’ve got to be ruthless. I loved him. I loved it.”

Kouandjio said he’s also tight with former Alabama guard Chance Warmack.


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LB Preston Brown is Bills 3rd rd pick

Posted by Chris Brown on May 9, 2014 – 10:02 pm

The Bills addressed their defense for the first time in round three of the 2014 NFL draft and took Louisville LB Preston Brown. Brown (6’1 1/4″ 251) is a prototype middle linebacker in a 4-3 system.

Brown was yet another pre-draft visitor of the Bills last month. All three of Buffalo’s choices were pre-draft visitors this spring.


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Kouandjio another pre-draft visitor

Posted by Chris Brown on May 9, 2014 – 9:48 pm

Buffalo’s second round pick Cyrus Kouandjio was the Bills’ last pre-draft visitor, but here on draft weekend he’s the second straight player drafted by Buffalo to make a trip to One Bills Drive prior to the draft.

Top pick Sammy Watkins was also one of Buffalo’s 29 pre-draft visits this spring. The last time Buffalo’s top two picks were both pre-draft visitors was 2012 when Buffalo took Stephon Gilmore and Cordy Glenn.


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Bills take OT Cyrus Kouandjio

Posted by Chris Brown on May 9, 2014 – 8:07 pm

The Bills with their second-round pick have addressed their offensive line with Alabama offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio.

Kouandjio is a big offensive tackle at 6-6 1/2 and 322 pounds. He played left tackle at Alabama, but likely will try to challenge incumbent right tackle starter Erik Pears.


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Bills make picks trade with Rams

Posted by Chris Brown on May 9, 2014 – 7:53 pm

The Bills have moved back from their pick at 41 in round two.

Buffalo has given their pick at 41 to the St. Louis Rams in exchange for their pick at 44 in round two and their fifth round pick at 153rd overall.

The Bills now have six picks remaining, with a second-round pick, a third, a fourth, two fifths and a seventh.


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Scott: Watkins a polished route runner

Posted by Chris Brown on May 9, 2014 – 5:45 pm

Sammy Watkins is a lot of things on the football field, but one thing he was knocked for was that more than half of his receptions came within five yards of the line of scrimmage. That had nothing to do with the ability of their quarterback or Watkins talents as a wideout, but rather a byproduct of how defenses chose to play him. We talked to Clemson receivers coach Jeff Scott about just how polished a route runner Watkins is.

“He can run all the routes,” Scott said. “Obviously he has room to improve, but he was a really good route runner for us at Clemson. Obviously what we did with him was dictated a lot by the defense. After his freshman year teams said we’re not going to get beat over the top without giving some help to his side. So their approach was we’re going to make them throw short and be consistent with it.

“That was more of a compliment to him because of his ability to go over the top. He’s a very versatile receiver. He can take short throws a long way, but he’s also a very good deep ball route runner and he adjusts to the ball well. He goes up and attacks the ball and also intermediate routes. He really did a good job developing those.”

Watkins had to work harder on the intermediate routes because he was so explosive off the line and getting to top speed that to gear down to break back to the quarterback on a curl or a comeback required a ton of technique work.

“That was something he had to work on was his break points,” said Scott. “His acceleration is so high it takes him a bit longer for him to stop that and come back to the quarterbacks. That was something he had to continue to learn and develop, but he’s definitely ready and polished and can make an instant impact at the next level.”


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When will the run start on RBs?

Posted by Chris Brown on May 9, 2014 – 3:59 pm

Running back was the only position besides guard and center that did not see a player come off the board in round one of the 2014 NFL draft. In rounds two and three it’s expected that a handful of running backs will come off the board. The question is when will the run begin?

Most of the NFL draft prognosticators believe Ohio State’s Carlos Hyde will be the first back off the board. Hyde was a pre-draft visitor of the Bills along with five other running backs including LSU’s Jeremy Hill, another highly touted prospect. Here’s who and when ESPN’s Mel Kiper believes a back will first come off the board.

“Carlos Hyde I love as a player. I think he’s a mid-second to late second and could be the first back off the board,” said Kiper. “He’ll block, he’ll catch, he’ll run hard. He’s physical. He can have a rookie year like Eddie Lacy did in Green Bay I believe.”

 


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Report: Bills to trade Stevie to 49ers

Posted by Chris Brown on May 9, 2014 – 3:01 pm

The speculation only grew after Sammy Watkins was made Buffalo’s top pick in the draft. Now there are reports that Stevie Johnson has been traded to the San Francisco 49ers.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter was the first to report the trade.

Buffalo lost a fourth-round pick last night in the trade with Cleveland to move up the draft board to take Sammy Watkins. Over the past four seasons Johnson has 26 touchdowns, and had three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons from 2010-2012.


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Watkins’ Bills ties stretch back to Butler

Posted by Chris Brown on May 9, 2014 – 8:26 am

Bills top pick Sammy Watkins has a lot of bills ties already. He has three former Clemson Tigers on the roster with him and he and fellow Clemson WR Perry Tuttle were the only players in Bills history that Buffalo trade up within round one to draft. There’s still another Clemson-Bills receiver connection with Watkins.

By becoming Buffalo’s top choice with the fourth pick in the draft Watkins joined Bills top pick in 1979 Jerry Butler as the only receivers taken in the top five in Clemson school history.


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How Watkins grew up a Bills fan

Posted by Chris Brown on May 8, 2014 – 11:05 pm

Growing up in Fort Myers, Florida Sammy Watkins wasn’t exactly in Bills country, but he was drawn to Buffalo’s team colors and their high-powered offense on football video games back in 2002 when Drew Bledsoe was throwing the ball all over the yard to Eric Moulds and Peerless Price.

“Just being a kid you like colors and I liked the red, white and blue,” said Watkins. “I liked all the receivers they had and Drew Bledsoe. As a kid you like all the best teams (on the video games) and they were one of the best teams. So I just used to play video games with them and beat everybody.”

Now Watkins plays for the team he grew up rooting for.


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Again a pre-draft visitor is Bills first pick

Posted by Chris Brown on May 8, 2014 – 10:24 pm

It’s happened each of the last four years, and in 2014 it happened a fifth straight time. The Buffalo Bills first-round pick was a pre-draft visitor in Clemson WR Sammy Watkins.

Buffalobills.com painted the picture recently as to whether the Bills would again make a pre-draft visitor their top draft choice after doing so from 2010-2013. On Thursday night GM Doug Whaley made it a reality with the choice of Watkins, who made a pre-draft visit late last month.

Here’s the rundown of the last five pre-draft visitors who have become first round draft choices of the Bills.

2010 – C.J. Spiller
2011 – Marcell Dareus
2012 – Stephon Gilmore
2013 – EJ Manuel
2014 – Sammy Watkins

 


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Terms of Bills trade

Posted by Chris Brown on May 8, 2014 – 8:36 pm

Bills have given up their first and fourth round pick in 2015 to move up from nine to four and the Browns also get Buffalo’s pick at nine.

The Bills pick is Clemson WR Sammy Watkins.


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Whaley: We’re calm and prepared

Posted by Chris Brown on May 8, 2014 – 5:38 pm

Bills GM Doug Whaley might be entering his first NFL draft as the trigger man for Buffalo, but he and his personnel staff enter the 2014 draft confident and composed.

“It’s an exciting time for myself, all the scouts, the team, the coaches and the region and the Buffalo Bills fans,” Whaley told Buffalobills.com. “A high level of excitement, but we’re calm and we’re really prepared for what comes our way.”

Whaley said whether they make a move up the board or stay at nine they’re fully confident they’ll land a quality impact player.


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What GMs weigh in trades up and down board

Posted by Chris Brown on May 8, 2014 – 3:37 pm

NFL GM’s will be faced with big time decisions in terms of moving up or down the draft board and if the compensation is right to make a deal. Bills GM Doug Whaley said you weigh different things when you’re trading up as opposed to trading down.

In an appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, Whaley explained the difference in what’s considered between a move up the board and a move back.

On moving up
“It’s a combination of everything. You weigh the player, the compensation that you’re giving up,” said Whaley. “You weigh how he can affect our team, not only this year, but in future years compared to what you’re giving up. So there are a lot of different dynamics that go into that.”

On trading down
“Trading down is a little different. Do you feel comfortable enough to trade away from someone you can get at ‘X’ that you won’t be able to get at ‘Z,’” Whaley said. “So is that talent level equal to the compensation that you can pick up. So it’s a fine line and juggling act and it’s an inexact science.”

Whaley also explained how they have dividing lines on their board separating certain prospects from others.

“Our draft board is set up and there’s a line of guys that we would trade up for, there’s a line of guys we wouldn’t trade away from and a line where this is as far as we would go,” he said. “Those play into our thinking and conversations with other teams.”


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NFL clubs with most trade ammo

Posted by Chris Brown on May 8, 2014 – 2:57 pm

There are a host of teams armed with a bounty of draft choices, but which NFL clubs have the picks that can be used in a trade (non-compensatories) and high enough in the 2014 draft to put them in prime position to make a bold move up the board this weekend?

The teams with the most picks going into day one are the Jets and Rams with 12 picks each. Four of New York’s picks however are compensatory picks, which cannot be traded. St. Louis has three compensatory picks. That being said the Rams have five picks in the top 110 and the Jets have six picks in the top 150. That’s top flight bargaining power. St. Louis edges out New York for the top spot with their first two choices at 2 and 13.

In the next tier of trading power are Jacksonville and San Francisco. Each team has 11 total choices and the Jaguars have no compensatory picks, while the 49ers have just one. The Jags have a league high seven picks in the top 150, while San Francisco has an NFL best six in the top 100. With a pair of second rounders and a trio of third-round picks, the 49ers could wreak havoc on day two.

Of course those teams without a lot of picks could offer picks in future years or players in their trade offers to even the playing field, but once players get involved it gets a lot more complicated with the salary cap an additional issue to consider.

Here’s a look at the trading power of all 32 teams heading into tonight, Friday and Saturday.

T1 – St. Louis – 12 picks (3 comps) – five picks in the top 110
T1 – NY Jets – 12 picks (4 comps) – six picks in the top 150
3 – Jacksonville – 11 picks (no comps) – seven picks in the top 150
4 – San Francisco – 11 picks (1 comp) – six picks in the top 100
T5 – Cleveland – 10 picks (no comps) – five picks in the top 85
T5 – Dallas – 11 picks (3 comps) – four picks in top 120
7 – Atlanta – 10 picks (3 comps) – three picks in top 70
8 – Cincinnati – 9 picks (2 comps) – three picks in top 85
9 – Pittsburgh – 9 picks (3 comps) – pair of fives, pair of sixes
10 – Detroit – 8 picks (2 comps) – six picks in the top 150
11 – New England – 8 picks (1 comp) – five picks in the top 150
12 – Minnesota – 8 picks (no comps) – two picks in the third
13 – Baltimore – 8 picks (4 comps) – four picks in the top 100
14 – Chicago – 7 picks (no comps) – three picks in the top 85
15 – Miami – 7 picks (no comps) – four picks in the top 120
T16 – Carolina – 7 picks (no comps) – three picks in top 95
T16 – Denver – 7 picks (no comps) – three picks in top 95
18 – San Diego – 7 picks (no comps – four in the top 125
19 – New Orleans – 7 picks (no comps) – pair of fives
20 – NY Giants – 7 picks (1 comp) – pair of fives
21 – Oakland – 7 picks (no comps) – three sevens
22 – Buffalo – 6 picks (no comps) – three in top 75
23 – Philadelphia – 6 picks (no comps) – three in top 90
24 – Arizona – 6 picks (no comps) – four in top 120
25 –  Seattle – 6 picks (no comps) – no third or seventh, pair of fives
26 – Tampa Bay – 6 picks (no comps) – no fourth
27 – Tennessee – 6 picks (no comps) – no third
28 – Kansas City – 6 picks (no comps) – no second
29 – Washington – 6 picks (no comps) – no first


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Teams in top 10 jockeying with each other

Posted by Chris Brown on May 8, 2014 – 1:24 pm

Bills GM Doug Whaley in an interview with Buffalobills.com talked about where the competition lies with respect to improving one’s position on the draft board.

“Right now I would say just from our conversations that there’s more competition moving inside the top 10 than teams trying to get in the top 10,” Whaley told Buffalobills.com.

As Buffalo’s GM reads it teams in the top 10, while they may be interested in moving somewhere else among the top 10 picks, they’re not very interested in moving outside of the top 10.

“That’s because you’re going to get a really good player in the top 10 and you don’t want to take yourself away from a really good player,” said Whaley. “It’s all relative. It depends on what your needs are and what you’re really trying to accomplish in this draft.”

Atlanta GM Thomas Dimitroff, who is armed with 10 total draft choices including the sixth overall pick, and is also reported to be interested in making a move up the board said last week that he expects movement mainly within the top 10 as well.


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Jeremiah goes OT as well for Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on May 8, 2014 – 10:54 am

We’re all probably sick of mock drafts at this point and just want to get to the real thing, but NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah has the Bills, like most, taking an offensive tackle at nine.

Jeremiah has Buffalo taking the Texas A&M pass protector in his final mock draft.

PICK NO. 9 — JAKE MATTHEWS – OT – TEXAS A&M

The Bills need to help out their young quarterback in this draft. Matthews would team up with Cordy Glenn to give the Bills an outstanding set of young offensive tackles.

He’s got only Johnny Manziel among the quarterback contingent coming off the board in front of Buffalo at nine. He’s got Tampa Bay taking the former Heisman trophy winner. He also has TE Eric Ebron going to Tennessee at 11.


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McShay’s final mock goes OT for Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on May 8, 2014 – 10:46 am

ESPN NFL draft analyst Todd McShay has mocked this guy to the Bills before and he does so again in his final mock draft.

McShay has Buffalo taking an offensive tackle.

9  – Taylor Lewan – Buffalo Bills (6-10)
COLLEGE: Michigan
HT: 6-7
WT: 309
Analysis (April 29th): I’ve heard from three league sources in the past week that the Bills are trying to trade up. If they do make a move, it’ll likely be to land Clowney, Robinson or Watkins. But if they’re stuck at No. 9 in this scenario, I think it’d come down to Lewan and TE Eric Ebron, and their need to protect second-year QB EJ Manuel would be the overriding factor. (The Bills allowed 48 sacks in 2013, tied for fourth-most in the NFL.) I don’t love the fit because both Lewan and Cordy Glenn are left tackles, but if the Bills made this pick, they’d have to be comfortable with moving one to right tackle.
In this final mock, McShay has Watkins, Evans and Jake Matthews all off the board before Buffalo is on the clock. He has Eric Ebron going 12th to the Giants.

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