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Inside The Bills

Chandler, Levitre, Kyle back

Posted by Chris Brown on December 20, 2012 – 2:10 pm

Three Bills starters that didn’t practice Wednesday were back on the practice field Thursday.

Scott Chandler, Andy Levitre and Kyle Williams were back practicing. We’ll update their level of participation post practice.


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Levitre, Chandler not practicing

Posted by Chris Brown on December 19, 2012 – 2:22 pm

Bills guard Andy Levitre  and tight end Scott Chandler are among those not practicing here on Wednesday.

Levitre was questionable for last week’s game with a knee ailment, but played. Chandler was listed as probable last week with a groin injury and also started against the Seahawks and finished the game, though Ryan Fitzpatrick stated after the game that Chandler was “fighting through some things.”

Here’s the list of Buffalo’s other non-participants today.

DT Kyle Williams
CB Leodis McKelvin
LB Chris White
WR Marcus Easley
TE Scott Chandler


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Report: Urbik agrees to multi-year extension

Posted by Chris Brown on December 18, 2012 – 7:40 am

ESPN AFC East reporter James Walker is reporting that Bills starting right guard Kraig Urbik won’t become an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

ESPN is reporting that Urbik has agreed to a four-year $15M extension with the Bills.  A two-year starter, Urbik is one of three notable linemen on Buffalo’s offensive line that was in a contract year this season.

The other two are Andy Levitre and Chad Rinehart. Rinehart is currently on injured reserve. Levitre, who has never missed a game in his four-year career and has garnered Pro Bowl consideration, figures to take a bit more time to negotiate.

Rinehart and Urbik both signed one-year tender offers as restricted free agents last offseason.


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O-line calls to be handled by vets

Posted by Chris Brown on December 8, 2012 – 10:26 am

Bills head coach Chan Gailey chose not to reveal the lineup for his offensive line Sunday. It’s left the question out there as to whether it will be Kraig Urbik at center or rookie David Snow. Whoever is not at center will be at right guard. Even if Snow is at center against the Rams Sunday, don’t expect him to be making the line calls. That will be handled by two veterans up front for the Bills.

Head coach Chan Gailey answered in the affirmative in his weekly conversation with Buffalobills.com when asked if Andy Levitre and Kraig Urbik will be handling a lot of the pre-snap calls on the line no matter where Urbik lines up.

“Oh yes,” said Gailey. “A lot of times when you have two new guys playing next to each other that’s not the easiest thing in the world either. You really have to communicate all the way out. The good thing about Sam (Young) is he’s played, he’s been a pro so I think he’ll be able to communicate back in whatever is necessary to communicate back in.”

Urbik also gave indication that he and Levitre would be handling the line calls before the snap.

“Whether I’m at guard or center I’m going to be help (David) Snow and Sam (Young),” said Urbik. “We’re going here, or we’re going here, that way there is no guesswork and no thinking. We’re just going. I think Andy (Levitre) and I are going to be doing most of the communicating no matter what.”

“The communication is one of the biggest factors, but we’ve been working with those guys,” said Gailey of Snow and Young. “We’ve had communication with them for quite a while, almost the whole season now. The speed of the game is what they’ve have to adjust to. The other three guys are used to the speed of the game, they’re not. It’s going to be a challenge for them to adjust to the speed of the game. And this is a tough defensive front to make that adjustment against.

“This is probably the biggest challenge we’ve had all year. With the quality of players they have on their front, they play so hard and so fast. They’re quick and strong. They’re as good a defensive line as we have faced all season. We have our work cut out for us with two new guys on our offensive line. It’s a challenge for our football team.”


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NFL.com Pro Bowl ballots

Posted by Chris Brown on December 6, 2012 – 1:49 pm

Here’s a rundown of the Pro Bowl ballots of some of NFL.com’s journalists, with a few Bills getting respectable support.

At running back C.J. Spiller appeared on five of the six ballots.

Andy Levitre appeared on two of the six ballots for guard.

Mario Williams was on three of the six ballots for defensive end.

Kyle Williams was on two of the six ballots for defensive tackle.

Jairus Byrd appeared on two of the six ballots for free safety.

Leodis McKelvin got one of the six votes for kick returner.

Remember you can vote for what Bills you believe are deserving of Pro Bowl recognition by casting your own ballot.

 


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Teammates disappointed for Wood

Posted by Chris Brown on December 3, 2012 – 5:41 pm

As talented a player as center Eric Wood is, he’s also a respected team leader. That’s why his teammates felt for him knowing he’s out indefinitely now with his third serious leg injury in four seasons.

“I hate to see something like that happen to him,” said fellow lineman and draft classmate Andy Levitre. “It’s happened a couple of times for him throughout his career. It stinks especially for a guy that puts the amount of time and effort he puts in each week. You just don’t want to see something like that happen.”

When asked how significant the loss is, Levitre didn’t deny it’s a big one.

“He’s a big part of what we do on the offensive line,” Levitre said. “He’s the center so he’s the main guy we have, so losing him we’re definitely going to miss him.”

“Losing anybody is tough, but losing Eric (Wood) who is a big part of what we do, he is a guy that communicates a lot of the stuff. He is a leader,” said Ryan Fitzpatrick. “He is a leader up there. We have to kind of plug in some holes. We came out a little wounded that last game with just more than him. We will figure out who we have for this week and get going.”

Fortunately the Bills have had to play without him before as he missed the last six games last season and the last five games in 2009.


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Levitre had “procedure” on knee

Posted by Chris Brown on October 29, 2012 – 4:24 pm

He didn’t practice last Wednesday during the bye week because of an undisclosed procedure. On Monday we found out the location of Andy Levitre’s procedure last week.

“He wasn’t coming back from anything,” said head coach Chan Gailey. “He just had something, a procedure, and I hate to use that word, he had something done on his knee. They injected it or they did something to it but he’s fine.”

Levitre was a full participant in practice Monday and is expected to be fine moving forward.


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Next step for Glenn

Posted by Chris Brown on August 20, 2012 – 7:56 pm

Now that he’s been named the starting left tackle there’s a lot he’s got to get accomplished between now and the season opener Sept. 9th.

Chief among them as Chan Gailey sees it is getting in sync with starting left guard Andy Levitre.

“It’s very big for he and Andy to line up next to each other and for them to continue to create communication there,” said Gailey.

Glenn believes they’ve communicated well for the most part especially when it comes to handling twists and stunts.

“I’m just taking it day by day, trying to find something to get better at every day in practice to working together, whether it be bumping off twists, whatever it is just trying to get a rhythm and just get some type of communication and just get used to being around each other,” Glenn said.


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Glenn, Hairston quiet as kept

Posted by Chris Brown on August 2, 2012 – 9:42 am

Although Bills head coach Chan Gailey doesn’t sound all that satisfied with what has transpired at the left tackle spot in the way of the competition between Cordy Glenn and Chris Hairston, left guard Andy Levitre has found working with both of them to be relatively straightforward.

“I feel like I know the offense pretty well so whoever is over there I can help out with calls and stuff like that,” Levitre told Buffalobills.com. “Both those guys are pretty smart over there so it makes it a little easier for me. Cordy really hasn’t had, I still help him out, but he hasn’t had many questions. He’s picked up the offense really quick. He’s a smart guy and probably just needs to clean up some technical things and he should be alright.”

Hairston meanwhile started seven games last season at left tackle next to Levitre so there’s a measure of comfort there too.


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Bills on the radio

Posted by Chris Brown on July 23, 2012 – 12:01 pm

A couple of Bills players will be appearing on the local radio airwaves Monday afternoon.

Andy Levitre and George Wilson will both be joining Jeremy White on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, during his radiothon for Big Brothers, Big Sisters this afternoon.

Wilson will be on at 2:50 pm, while Levitre will be on the air at 3:30 pm.

You can listen online if you’re outside the Buffalo area

The Bills can begin reporting to training camp at St. John Fisher tomorrow (Tuesday).


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Levitre a top 10 pass block guard

Posted by Chris Brown on July 13, 2012 – 9:33 am

The film reviewers and stat crunchers at Pro Football Focus are at it again this time assessing which NFL guards had the best pass blocking efficiency and Buffalo’s Andy Levitre cracked the top 10.

Levitre was ranked ninth in the league over the past three seasons (2009-2011) with a PBE of 97.4 (the closer to 100 the better). PFF takes total pressures allowed and weighs it against total number of snaps that player spends in pass protection, then with a few other calculations [(.75 x # of sacks and hurries + sacks) /(# of pass blocking snaps) x 100] - 100 = PBE. 

Here’s the top 10.

Rank Player Current Team Pass Protects Total Pressure PBE
1 Brandon Moore NYJ 1585 38 98.17
2 Brian Waters NE 1689 43 98.05
3 Josh Sitton GB 1791 45 98.03
4 Bobbie Williams BLT 1454 36 98.02
5 Steve Hutchinson TEN 1480 38 97.97
6 Carl Nicks TB 1959 53 97.87
7 Rob Sims DET 1945 57 97.74
8 Richie Incognito MIA 1396 43 97.51
9 Andy Levitre BUF 1471 48 97.43

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Byrd, Levitre, Urbik all wanted back

Posted by Chris Brown on June 25, 2012 – 11:33 am

There are a handful of Bills players entering the final year of their contracts. Three of the more notable players from the team’s young core are Jairus Byrd, Andy Levitre and Kraig Urbik. In his exclusive interview with Buffalobills.com, GM Buddy Nix explains where the team stands concerning the future of those players in Bills uniform.

We definitely want those guys back,” Nix told Buffalobills.com. ‘I’ve told them. They know that. As far as us working on contracts we’ve been kind of busy. I think they want to be back and we want them back and when the time comes we’ll get started on it.”

Nix has been a GM of his word. He assured Fred Jackson last fall that he’d get a contract extension from the club, and the club followed through this past offseason.


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Wednesday non-participants

Posted by Chris Brown on June 20, 2012 – 1:54 pm

There’s a new addition to the minicamp mon-participation list here on Wednesday.

Andy Levitre is a spectator with an undisclosed ailment. Here are the others.

Terrence McGee
Eric Wood
Kellen Heard
Erik Pears
Mike Caussin
Torell Troup
Lionel Dotson
Dwan Edwards


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The end gain from ’11 injuries

Posted by Chris Brown on May 22, 2012 – 8:15 am

For Buffalo’s offensive line 2011 was a juggling act from week to week with all the injuries the unit suffered. They ultimately persevered, but with everyone expected to be healthy for 2012 there’s a hidden benefit that came out of all those man games missed.

“It’s a little easier with the amount of snaps that me and Andy (Levitre) were getting at center last year,” said Kraig Urbik. “In training camp I’ll get a lot of reps at center too. It was just unfortunate. We couldn’t help the injuries. It wasn’t like we were running and got hurt. Guys fell on your legs and stuff like that. It was unfortunate, but part of the game.”

Buffalo used a total of three players at left tackle last season and four at center (Wood, Levitre, Urbik and Colin Brown). Getting Urbik and Rinehart back in the fold however, will do wonders for continuity.


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Levitre called ‘star on the rise’

Posted by Chris Brown on May 21, 2012 – 12:17 pm

Bills guard Andy Levitre got a very glowing write up from the stat crunchers and film reviewers at Pro Football Focus.

Levitre, who graded out extremely well in the eyes of PFF, had a full write up done on him. Here’s some of the better excerpts from the post.

On rushes off left guard in 2011, only one team (Miami) earned a higher Yards Per Carry average than the Bills’ 6.0 on 42 carries off Levitre’s outside shoulder.

On top of those stats to Levitre’s outside, he is also proved essential to the Bills as a blocker in space, showing real quality while pulling. At 305 pounds, Levitre isn’t necessarily the ideal size to be a dominant, road-grading run blocker, but he augments his solid in-line play with some quality efforts on the move; a job that leaves many other offensive linemen looking lost.

In the Bills’ Week 15 loss to the Dolphins, he exhibited this quality by getting the upper hand on Karlos Dansby–one of the league’s better inside linebackers–in space. He got off to a fast start pulling right and neutralizing Dansby as the linebacker attempted to fill the gap off right guard. The block served to spring C.J. Spiller through the line on a 24-yard touchdown. Levitre also pulled off  a pair of cut blocks on Dansby while getting downfield on screen plays, helping to finish first down runs by Spiller and Tashard Choice.

Levitre’s ability in pass protection at both guard and tackle cannot be questioned. Over the last two seasons whether you look at our grades (+15.1) or the stats (35 total pressures allowed), he is amongst the elite pass protectors at guard. Combined with clear improvements in his in-line run blocking, and his consistent quality blocking in space, Levitre is ready to use the 2012 season to break into the NFL’s upper echelon of guards.


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Final year contract guys next

Posted by Chris Brown on May 1, 2012 – 8:00 am

With a handful of players entering the final year of their contracts in 2012, Bills GM Buddy Nix says with the NFL draft in the rearview mirror, they are the next order of business.

Appearing on WGR Sportsradio 550 Monday, Nix was asked specifically about Jairus Byrd, Fred Jackson and Andy Levitre, who are all entering the final year of their deals.

“We believe in starting early on these guys and that’s what we’ll do,” Nix said. We’ll be in contact and have some dialogue. We’d like to get these guys done. I don’t like for them to come down to what happened with Stevie Johnson. I don’t like to come down to three or four days before they hit the market.”

Among the other notable players entering the last year of their contracts that could be unrestricted free agents in 2013 are Spencer Johnson, Corey McIntyre, Leodis McKelvin, Shawne Merriman, Brian Moorman, Bryan Scott, Chad Rinehart and Kraig Urbik.


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Attn: Philly based Bills Backers

Posted by Chris Brown on April 26, 2012 – 8:26 am

Calling all Philadelphia-based Bills Backers, there’s a rare opportunity to watch day 2 of the NFL draft with a couple of Bills offensive linemen.

The Downtown Philadelphia Bills Backers will be hosting a draft party Friday night at McFadden’s at 461 N. 3rd Street in Philly where they’ll have Eric Wood and Andy Levitre in attendance. The players will be available to take pictures, sign autographs, or just talk football. They should be arriving at McFadden’s shortly after 6. It’s recommend you get there early if you want a table. The guys are also bringing a bunch of team-autographed merchandise to raffle off.

I’m told they’ll have their usual specials from 6-9 pm that evening. That means their cheap Bills food menu (most items $5) and $2 Blues/Blue Lights. Obviously, the program of choice will be rounds 2 and 3 of the draft on the TVs.

The head honchos with the Backers group want me to pass along that you can still park in the lot adjacent to the restaurant or diagonally across the street, but they start charging for the lots at 8pm. So get there before 8 if you can and have fun!


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Fan Friday 4-20

Posted by Chris Brown on April 20, 2012 – 12:32 pm

Well fans next week at this time we’ll be tuning up for day of the 2012 NFL draft. Should be interesting as always. Don’t forget my seventh annual mock draft will be up on Buffalobills.com on Wednesday morning this coming week, not that I know any more than the next prognosticator. In any event on to your questions.

1 - Chris,

I assume that with Demetrius Bell gone, the Bills will use pick #10 for an offensive left tackle.  Despite the best efforts of Chris Kelsay, I thought that our outside linebacking last season was very poor.  Do you see the Bills selecting a linebacker in the second round and, if so, who might that be?

Paul B.
Lancaster


CB:
I’m having trouble convincing myself that any of the top offensive tackles beyond Matt Kalil will be considered worthy (value-wise) of the 10th pick. I don’t debate the Bills need to add a starting-caliber left tackle to the roster, but Buddy Nix doesn’t stray from his board. If they don’t believe the value is right for a Cordy Glenn or Jonathan Martin at 10 they’re not going to take him.

That being said I think a real option for them at 10 is Boston College LB Luke Kuechly. There is a noticeable drop off after him. Now the history of linebackers drafted in the top 15 has not been kind in recent years, with Jerod Mayo the only true success story. But this guy looks like a pretty safe pick and is capable of playing all three linebacker positions in Buffalo’s defense according to Nix.

Offensive tackles you might be able to get in the second round include Ole Miss’ Bobby Massie and Iowa State’s Kelechi Osemele. Linebackers in the second round Nebraska’s Lavonte David, Utah State’s Bobby Wagner and maybe Boise State’s Shea McClellin though he might sneak into the first.

 

2 - Hi Chris,

Obviously, as a Bills fan I am ecstatic about the acquisition of Mario Williams. He is a huge piece to the puzzle that is our defense. Also, with Williams coming to the defense, that allows Buffalo to go a lot of different directions with their first pick in this year’s draft. And I know that everyone will have their opinion about what they should do. My question is: I know the philosophy is a “best player available” approach, but what do you think the possibility is that they would maybe trade back and maybe pick up an extra pick or 2 and to not “reach” for a player they are interested in? 

Thanks for all of your coverage of the Bills. It’s a lifesaver for those not in the WNY area.

Thanks,
Chris from Orlando

 

CB: I asked Buddy whether they would pursue the option of trading down or let teams come to them. He told me there has been dialogue with other teams, but did not divulge whether the Bills were the ones doing the calling. If Miami passes on Ryan Tannehill at 8, then Buffalo’s pick becomes a lot more attractive to teams with a quarterback need that are further down in the round. At this point I’d be surprised if they didn’t take Tannehill, knowing his former head coach at A&M is the offensive coordinator for the Dolphins now (Mike Sherman) and will be running the same offense.

But the way Buddy put it to me is they’ll consider it. Just keep in mind, Buddy by nature doesn’t like to move up and down the board. He likes to sit where he’s at and make his picks. Talking to him this week he feels pretty confident they’re going to get a very good player at 10.

 

3 – Hi Chris,
I congratulate the Bills for their aggressiveness in obtaining two very good football players on defense. My concern is the fact that they have ignored their need for a good number 2 receiver opposite Stevie Johnson. Buddy Nix said after they had acquired Mario Williams, that they had good receivers. Is it possible that they are waiting for the draft? Looking at the upcoming draft, and the WR draft candidates, it appears that maybe Brian Quick from Appalachian St, and Rueben Randle from LSU would fit the Bills needs ( I do not see the Bills getting Justin Blackmon). In addition, even though Ryan Fitzpatrick is the unquestioned starter, would it be fair to say that the Bills should draft a quarterback? G.J. Kinne from Tulsa looks like he could be a Ryan Fitzpatrick clone. What are your thoughts?

Tony, Daytona Beach, Fl

CB: I think a WR will be drafted somewhere in the first three rounds. Randle and Quick are both players I believe the Bills see as fits in their offense along with a host of other prospects. Buddy said at the draft luncheon that he’d like to draft a QB every year if there weren’t other more pressing needs. I think there’s a realistic chance they take one, but if it’s before round 3 I’d be very surprised. Believe round 4 is where it’ll happen. Just a guess.

 

4 - Hey Chris – Are the Bills really going after an Offensive Line player in the 2012 draft?

It seems like a wasted pick, especially in a top 10 situation.  What teams go to the superbowl drafting Offensive Lineman in the first round.?

Take for instance Miami who drafted Jake Long #1 overall.  Sure Jake is a great player, but in 2012 Miami was 3rd in the league in sacks allowed in Jakes 3rd year.  Miami could have drafted Matt Ryan in at least been a playoff contender.  I think lineman on the offensive side can be picked up late in 1st round or 2nd and 3rd… not a top 10 pick.  Come on man. 

With so much talent out there at WR , DE, CB  .. I just dont think that’s a smart choice for Buffalo at #10, when they need more Big time play makers. 

What do you think Buffalo should do at #10  .  are they really serious about OL ?

Thanks
- Scott

 

CB: The need at left tackle would appear to indicate the urgency to take one at 10. I’m okay with them taking a tackle like Jonathan Martin or Cordy Glenn there, but I’m not convinced they have them graded that high. So I don’t think it’s a lock by any means that they take a tackle at 10.

I think the other positions in play at 10 for Buffalo will be CB, LB and possibly WR, though I’m not convinced they have Floyd graded as top 10 worthy either.

One wild card I’d like to offer as well is S Mark Barron. I think if he’s on the board he’s a realistic consideration for Buffalo at 10. He’s not at a need position, but he’s considered one of the best safeties to come along in a while. If the Bills hold true to their best on the board philosophy I think he’s in play at 10.

 

5 - Hi Chris,
Big Bills Fan here from NJ,,,,I’m thinking Bills are looking to take a LT at #10,,I like Mike Adams out of Ohio St,,,He’s a big kid at 6’7 325 could a new addition to our o-line,,,I’m also thinking of the Bills moving Andy over at LT ..and maybe draft David Decastro OG from Stanford,,,,Myself . I’m thinking Upshaw from Bama ,we also need LB esp, OLB,,,,what do you think ,,,Thanks

CB: I don’t see Adams, DeCastro or Upshaw as options at 10 for Buffalo. Adams and Upshaw are not fitting of the value at 10. In fact at best both will be last first round picks. Adams could even slip into round 2 despite prototype measurables. There are no plans to put Levitre at LT full time.


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Fan Friday 4-13

Posted by Chris Brown on April 13, 2012 – 3:44 pm

Happy Friday the 13th everyone. More of your draft questions from AskChris@bills.nfl.net. Let’s get to them.

1 - Hey Chris,

First off, I’d like to say hello from England and thanks for keeping me up to date on the Bills! It’s wonderful having such great coverage!

Anyway, my question is this: I was browsing the nfl website as I do when I came across a video of Sporting News writer Matt Hayes saying the Bills should really look into trading up to take QB Ryan Tannehill, a view apparently shared by the guys on the panel, due partly to Tannehill’s incredible talent and athleticism, but also partly due to Fitz’ 23 interceptions last year.

I was just wondering whether the Bills would consider something like this, or are they set on Fitz as their starter for the duration of the contract, also: can we expect Fitzpatrick’ interception total to drop in 2012?

Cheers from across the pond, Matt.

CB: Appreciate the kind sentiments. I think the Bills consider anything and everything, but Tannehill only had 20 starts in his college career at quarterback. To me that means he’ll need time to develop at the NFL level because he simply hasn’t had the time on the job in college to progress to the point to be ready for the NFL game.

The Bills made a long-term commitment to Ryan Fitzpatrick for a reason. They believe he can get them to the playoffs. That doesn’t remove them from drafting a quarterback. I’d just be surprised if they took one with their first pick at 10 in round one, which is the only place they’d have a chance at Tannehill.

 

2 - Hi Chris,

Great Job with all of the Mario Williams coverage, those were a nerve racking couple days. My question is about the receiver spot opposite Stevie, I am holding out hope Easley plays as well as I saw him in the one home preseason game he played in last year. That being said it doesn’t seem like something that is for certain and we really could still use that speed guy opposite Stevie. I haven’t heard anything of it but Lee Evans was released by Baltimore, his one really good quality was getting deep and catching the bomb. Is there any chance this would be something that could be explored to open the underneath stuff open more? 

Thanks, Go Bills!
John

CB: I think the receiver position will certainly be addressed, but it won’t be in the form of Lee Evans. Buffalo parted with him because although they appreciated his professionalism, they also felt his game was on the decline. The Bills ideally want to have a roster with a majority of players whose games are still on the ascent or peaking.

I have no doubt the Bills will draft a receiver, the question is when? In round one at 10, their best option will likely be Michael Floyd, assuming Justin Blackmon is gone. In round two there should be a host of options. I was hoping LSU’s Rueben Randle would be there for them at that point, but indications now are that some team might scoop him up late in the first. Fortunately the receiver depth is pretty deep this year in the draft and I think a capable player could still be had in round three (e.g. – A.J. Jenkins, Brian Quick).

 

3 - Hi Chris, 

After reading the scouting reports on Stephen Hill it seems that he has everything the Bills are looking for in their number 2 receiver position. If available after the first round do you think the Bills may target a receiver like Hill, or pass on him because he is more of a potential rather than production prospect and lacks the of body of work which Buddy prefers?   

Love your Work
Regards

Matt

CB: I think Hill could be a possibility, but I believe Buffalo’s scouting department typically likes to see a bit more body of work. There’s no questioning Hill’s athletic ability and speed, but playing in that triple option offense at Georgia Tech hurt him.

He didn’t get a chance to really develop his game and that forces scouts to project more, something they don’t love doing.

Hill could be an option in round two for Buffalo at pick 41, but all it takes is one team to fall in love with Hill’s speed. Either way I’d prefer a player with a bit more of a resume like a Rueben Randle or Mohamed Sanu.

 

4 - Chris,

Now that the Bills have their pass rushing DE Mario Williams – do you think that they might be interested in the top linebacker in the draft, Luke Kuechly, for the no. 10 pick in round# 1?

I understand that Kuechly is considered more of an inside linebacker, but I also read that he played outside linebacker originally in college.

I hear rumors that the Bills are going to take an offensive tackle in round# 1 -or a wideout, but it seems to me that they still need more help on defense. They re-signed Derek Hagan @ WR, who played well for Buffalo at the end of last season. Not to mention Marcus Easley, who is supposed to be healthy now. There is more need on defense.

Lee D 

CB: I don’t disagree with you. In fact I like Kuechly a lot at 10 because I believe he’s very fitting of the value at that pick. In my estimation he’s a plug and play type player for your defense. I think he would be in direct competition with Kirk Morrison at strong side LB, a position he is more than capable of playing. I think his skill set is perfect for Dave Wannstedt’s defense, and there are no question marks on him, which seems to be the case with a lot of the offensive tackles projected in that range.

I’d like to see them grab an offensive tackle in round 2. Of course the danger with that is on average five offensive tackles are taken in the first round because it’s such an important position. What you expect to be available in the second round often isn’t. So it’s a tough spot for Buffalo, but I can’t see how Kuechly isn’t in that 10-15th overall pick range on every team’s board. That’s why he makes sense to me.

5 - Hi Chris:

With the Mario Williams signing, and with Fred Jackson’s potential extension later this summer, will there be money to lock down next year’s free agents in advance?  I’m thinking about Byrd, Levitre, Urbik, and Rinehart in particular.  I’m wondering if the Bills are holding off on spending more now (for available free agent wide receivers, etc) in order to leave money for re-signing some or all of next year’s free agent crop prior to the end of next season. 

Best wishes,
Paul in Beijing

CB: Good to hear from Bills fans in China! Wow. Anyway, the Bills are always fiscally responsible when it comes to handing out contracts. Williams cap figure next year granted is almost $12M, but for players like Byrd and the three linemen you listed they don’t play at high-priced positions so their cap figures on long term deals should be manageable.

Fred Jackson’s extension I’m not expecting to be cost prohibitive concerning future contracts either.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Why guards, centers going earlier

Posted by Chris Brown on February 21, 2012 – 10:33 am

The last few years in the NFL draft there have been more and more interior linemen drafted sooner rather than later, when it used to always be the offensive tackles that came off the board first. While tackles still go high, prospects like Buffalo’s Eric Wood (1st round) and Andy Levitre (2nd round) have gone in the first two rounds, and this year’s class offers some similar type prospects.

ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper was recently asked why interior linemen are becoming more and more prevalent in the early rounds, and Kiper feels it’s not just based on talent alone.

“I think it’s because of the defensive tackles and the ability to get that push. This year the one player is (Stanford guard David) DeCastro. Fundamentally, technically, everything about him is top notch. Only knock is he’s a pure guard. You can’t hold that against him when you rate him though and he’s 12th on my board.  Somewhere in that top 15.

“Cordy Glenn at Georgia is another kid that’s intriguing because he played left tackle this year and held up very well, played guard in the past and could be a right tackle in the NFL. Then of course Peter Konz, the junior center from Wisconsin, but his only issue is durability. Missed multiple games each of the last three seasons with injuries, but with his size and coming out of the Wisconsin program that’s developed a lot of good O-linemen you think of him early to mid-second round.”

Talent is still the top determining factor, but defensive play has probably played a role. Either way it again appears as though there are a healthy number of interior linemen that will be selected on the first two days of the draft.


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Posted in Inside the Bills