Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 4-16

Posted by Chris Brown on April 16, 2010 – 1:30 pm

Less than a week to go until the draft. Let the rumors fly.  As a reminder next week Fan Friday will take a hiatus as we will be providing frequent Inside the Bills blog updates during rounds two and three of the NFL draft. Fan Friday will return on April 30.
Here are your questions this week. (AskChris@bills.nfl.net).

1 - Chris,
 
Because our OL was not all that great last year, what is your opinion on the following draft scenario:
 
1st     Brian Bulaga or Trent Williams OT
2nd    Cam Thomas NT
3rd    Jon Asamoah OG could be used as OT
4th    Anthony Dixon RB
5th   John Skelton QB
6th  Linval Joseph NT
7th  Seyi Ajirotutu WR
 
I think this really addresses our needs, and solidifies out OL and DL especially with the new 3-4 D.
 
I know a lot people would not like this, but we have to get strong up front before anything !!!

CB: You’re preaching to the choir on fortifying the lines first. I’d be ecstatic if those first two picks come to fruition. Asamoah might not be there in the third and East Carolina’s Linval Joseph definitely will not be there in the fifth round. In fact he might come off the board before Thomas in round two. That guy is a beast. Positionally I think you’re on the money for the most part, although Chan Gailey made it clear he’s seeking a third down change of pace back that has more elusiveness to his game than Dixon, who moves the pile.

2 – Chris,
Do you think Cody out of Alabama would be a good nose tackle? I think we might be able to get him in the 2nd round.

Can’t wait for the draft. Tired of seeing everybody and their mom’s mock draft that keep coming out everyday.

Best,
Josh

CB: I think Cody will be a very effective run stuffer in the NFL. How can he not be? The man is enormous. That however, could also be a problem. He had issues with his endurance in college. In a lot of games he rarely played more than 35 snaps. He was a two down player in college and figures to be that in the NFL where the speed of the game is likely to get him winded even quicker.

Knowing he’s a two down player only I’m not sure every NFL team would be willing to invest a second-round pick in him, but I’m sure there are two or three teams willing to do that. Whether the Bills are one of them remains to be seen.

3 - Hey Chris,
What do you think are our chances of getting Jared Gaither from Baltimore? Heard they lowered their  choices to an early 2 rd pick.

CB:
There are rumors that it would take less than the first-round tender he was offered. What worries me are the reported work ethic issues with Gaither. It might just be a case of a guy that doesn’t get it yet being that he’s still so young and takes his talent for granted. But the Bills have some quality work ethic players on their front line right now. If they believe Gaither could disrupt that chemistry they might not look to acquire him at all.

Knowing the Bills have probably done their due diligence on Gaither in terms of character and work ethic, if he fits the bill and Buffalo doesn’t have the chance to take one of the top three offensive tackles at ninth overall (Bulaga, Okung, Williams), then I think making a move for Gaither becomes a greater possibility.

4 - Hey Chris,
Do you think if Bulaga is off the board that the Bills take Dez Bryant rather than take their chances with Anthony Davis or Trent Williams? At least Dez Bryant is the safe pick to pair up with Lee Evans and then just grab an OT at 41 or trade up. Also do you think Dexter McCluster will be on the board when the bills pick in round 3?

CB: If Bulaga is off the board and Trent Williams is still there I think they leap on him. Personally I think the Bills would be happy with any one of the top three tackles (Okung, Williams, Bulaga). I do not think they would take Anthony Davis at nine due to the fact that he’s 20-years old and a little immature. Dez Bryant is not the way they’re going to go. It would be similar to adding Terrell Owens last year. You haven’t fixed the line so no QB will have time to throw to any of those guys.
I’m not sure McCluster will still be there in round three. Could go late second round.

5 - Hey Chris,
I have a some questions for you concerning the Bills defense.
 
Do the Bills and their new coaching staff see playing Byrd at free safety and Whitner at strong safety a possibility? What position is Bryan Scott going to play this year? Is he going to be strong safety or linebacker? If the Bills were able to go to a Byrd/Whitner combo at both safety positions do you think we could see a trade with George Wilson or Bryan Scott involved?  Thanks for your time.  Go Bills!
 
Tony
Knoxville, TN

CB: Head coach Chan Gailey has defended Donte Whitner this offseason after he was the subject of trade rumors. He has been quoted as saying that Whitner is the starting strong safety and I believe free safety is Byrd’s job to lose. Bryan Scott will compete with Whitner. Linebacker is off the table for him. George Wilson will also compete at strong and free safety.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

OT Bulaga visiting AFC North team

Posted by Chris Brown on April 6, 2010 – 11:00 am

Iowa OT Bryan Bulaga is making a pre-draft visit with an AFC North club in need of line help.

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Bulaga is visiting with the Steelers today (Tuesday). Pittsburgh is in need of some help and depth up front on their offensive line, however, they’re unlikely to get a crack at Bulaga holding the 18th overall pick. The Iowa product is expected to be a top 10 selection.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

New mock has Bills getting OT

Posted by Chris Brown on April 6, 2010 – 10:24 am

It’s a new mock with a result that while all too familiar would be welcomed nonetheless as far as the Bills are concerned.

MoveTheSticks.com posted it’s latest mock draft and has the Bills getting one of the top three offensive tackles in the class. They have Buffalo landing Oklahoma OT Trent Williams in round one. They have both Okung (Washington) and Bulaga (KC) off the board before Buffalo’s pick.

There is a concern that Seattle and Oakland could take offensive tackles too, but they both have pass rusher needs as well and MoveTheSticks has them taking S Eric Berry and DE Jason Pierre-Paul. While I can see the logic in Oakland taking an athletic freak like Pierre-Paul. I don’t know that Berry will be the play for the Seahawks.

Of course I hope that it is because that means that Buffalo gets one of the top 3. One other interesting note is MoveTheSticks has Anthony Davis dropping all the way to pick 27 to the Cowboys who need to replace Flozell Adams. They have USC’s Charles Brown going before Davis at pick 17 to San Fran, which honestly would not surprise me.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Who Bills fans have at 9

Posted by Chris Brown on April 1, 2010 – 3:49 pm

All too often Bills fans see who the so called experts believe the Bills will take with their ninth overall pick in a myriad of mock drafts. So we’ve decided to flip it around. Here are some of the top choices Bills fans are making for Buffalo’s pick at nine in the M&T Bank Draft Day Challenge, which runs through April 21st.

Position-wise offensive tackles are taking up the majority of the vote so far with 32% of the ballots cast going for a pass protector. But quarterback is right behind with 31.2% of the vote cast by Bills. That’s followed by DT/DE with 6.2%.  

Here are the top 10 most popular players picked by Bills fans so far for the ninth overall pick.

QB Jimmy Clausen (16.4%)
QB Tim Tebow (12.9%)
OT Bryan Bulaga (11.98%)
OT Trent Williams (11.42%)
OT Anthony Davis (4.88%)
DT Dan Williams (4.23%)
OT Russell Okung (2.16%)
QB Sam Bradford (1.86%)
DE Derrick Morgan (1.71%)
RB C.J. Spiller (1.66%)

Remember it’s free to try your hand in the M&T Draft Day Challenge. Make your choice here. You only have until April 21st, with a chance to win an autographed jersey from the Bills top draft pick among other great prizes.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

A shift toward Trent Williams

Posted by Chris Brown on March 23, 2010 – 12:55 pm

With mock drafts changing almost daily, there has been an interesting trend with respect to the name that has been popping up more often in Buffalo’s slot at ninth overall.

Of all the mock drafts we’ve been keeping tabs of offensive tackle still dominates for the Bills projected pick with 24 of the 48 guesses going with a pass protector (50%). Quarterback is second accounting for 25% of the guesses by prognosticators.

What’s most interesting however, is the name of the offensive tackle most recently filling the Bills slot at nine. In three of the five most recent mock drafts released an offensive tackle has been the position of choice and all three times Oklahoma’s Trent Williams was the pick.

Now this doesn’t mean that Williams is suddenly rising up draft boards and is a lock to be a top 10 pick. What it signifies is most prognosticators are expecting three offensive tackles to be off the board prior to Buffalo’s pick at 9, namely Russell Okung (Okla. St.), Bryan Bulaga (Iowa) and Anthony Davis (Rutgers).

With those three widely predicted to be off the board, Williams is regarded by most to be the fourth best tackle prospect and has been considered by a fair amount of the so called experts to be a top half of the first round pick. So the naming of Williams is more indicative of how the prognosticators see the top 10 picks falling with respect to the tackle position than anything else.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bulaga’s arms long enough

Posted by Chris Brown on February 25, 2010 – 10:06 am

Where measurables count at the offensive tackle position, Iowa prospect Bryan Bulaga’s arms are long enough in the eyes of scouts.

According to MoveTheSticks.com’s Daniel Jeremiah, Bulaga measured this morning with a 33 1/4 inch arm length. The prevailing thought was he had to measure in at 33 inches minimum.

It all stems from another former Iowa offensive tackle taken with the second pick overall a few years back, Robert Gallery. Gallery had just 32-inch arms and struggled on the edge in pass protection and was eventually transitioned to guard.

I don’t know how much of a difference an inch and a quarter makes at the tackle position, but it’s apparently enough to keep Bulaga in the top half of the first round as a prospect. That’s how fine these NFL GMs and scouts cut it.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Eyes on Bulaga

Posted by Chris Brown on February 24, 2010 – 10:59 pm

Iowa tackle Bryan Bulaga is considered a virtual lock as a first round pick, but at this point in the draft process scouts and NFL GMs go over everything with a fine tooth comb and there’s one item they’ll be waiting on specifically for the former Hawkeye.

“Bulaga looks like he has short arms, but we haven’t measured him,” said NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock. “This week will be interesting to see whether or not (his arms are) 33 inches or more.”

This concern springs from the commonly held belief that for tackles longer arms are better. Longer arms enable tackles to more effectively steer pass rushers around the pocket and supposedly helps to keep defenders from getting into their chest.

I don’t see how it can be a make or break however, for a lineman as successful as Bulaga was, but measurables for some teams can affect player grades. We’ll try to get you the measurements if he’s made available to the media Thursday.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 2-12

Posted by Chris Brown on February 12, 2010 – 2:43 pm

Well the coaching staff is just about put together. Time for your questions. Remember email AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – Chris,
At WR is T.O. gonna be a Bill for his last two seasons and are we gonna utilize Parrish more and Evans, my boy, when will he be the talent he was suppose to be (I mean putting up the numbers to be elite NFL WR)
Also O-line I think this is our #1 concern we didn’t look very impressive do you think the 9th pick will go to o-line and if so who?
Thanks,
George

CB: I am not anticipating that Owens will be back in 2010, but you never say never. I just get the sense from Owens that he wants to play for a contender with a proven QB. Right now the Bills don’t have an entrenched signal caller. Parrish I believe has a chance to do more under a coach like Gailey, who will take advantage of the things he does well which is gain separation, especially when put in motion.
If I’m Roscoe I’m encouraged with Gailey as the offensive play caller. Lee Evans is another skill position player that should be excited. Gailey unlike his predecessors has a history of finding ways to get his top playmakers the ball no matter what the coverage or defensive look is.

As for the offensive line I agree it’s one of the top concerns. A capable nose tackle is right there too however, with the move to the 3-4 defensive alignment. At ninth overall however, I think the value is at offensive tackle. I think Anthony Davis and Bryan Bulaga are worthwhile options. Okung figures to be off the board by then.

2- Chris,
What’s your thought on the LT prospects vs. defense prospects for the Bills 1st rd pick?

CB: I think the talent at DT is better at the top of the draft, but the Bills won’t get a whiff of Ndamakong Suh or Gerald McCoy. So with that in mind the better value after them is at OT. Russell Okung, Anthony Davis and Bryan Bulaga to me all represent good value at 9.

3 - Hi Chris
 
Like a lot of Bills fans I have been a little bit disappointed with Maybin’s production in his rookie year, but I’ve had a little look into it and he is pretty young for a rookie (almost 2 years younger than orakpo) so he could quite easily develop into a big player, especially considering a lot of NFL pass rushers don’t develop until later in their career.  What do you think Maybin’s chances are of developing into a decent NFL pass rusher given time?
 
Cheers
Steve
from the land of the UK

CB: I think his chances are much improved now that he’s in a defensive system (3-4) that is better suited to his body type and talents. Now he’ll be rushing against backs and tight ends a lot more than defensive ends. It affords him better pass rushing matchups. The 3-4 is also more unpredictable for offenses in terms of where the pressure is coming from. So that too will help his production. You’re right, the guy is 21. He still hasn’t fully filled out his frame yet. I have faith that he’ll be productive in the near future.

4 - Hey Chris,
 
Just wondering what your thoughts were on Pike from Cincinnati? Is he someone that could be looked upon as the future? If so, can he start right away, even with a good O-Line? If we draft a QB this year, he most certainly will be looked as the future, correct?
Randy
St. John’s, Canada

CB: I have an affinity for Pike’s game. I like the way the ball snaps out of his hand. I think he has good physical tools, but he needs to bulk up (6’6” 212) or he’s going to be out of the lineup a lot. He was very productive at Cincinnati, looked cool under pressure in some comeback efforts. I see him as a prospect that needs to watch and learn for a year or two, but could be a productive starter in a couple of years time. Probably a third rounder.

5 - Hey Chris,
I know you’ve been voicing your hope that the Bills get a star offensive or defensive lineman with their first pick, and you’ve stated that you think the team needs a top-flight offensive tackle. I’m wondering how you think the rest of the line shakes out if that happens.
Thanks and Go Bills!
Brad

CB: If the Bills do draft an offensive tackle with the first pick, I anticipate that player ending up as the starting left tackle. We’ve seen the impact young offensive tackles can make in their first year the past couple of seasons in the NFL (see: Jake Long, Michael Oher). I think there are prospects of similar caliber this year as mentioned above.

I think that just makes Demetrius Bell a swing tackle provided Butler makes a successful return from his ACL injury. Otherwise let Bell and Butler battle it out on the right side. If Wood is not ready for the start of the season hopefully Buffalo has re-signed Richie Incognito to start at right guard. Everything else stays the same.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

OT is popular mock pick for Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on February 12, 2010 – 9:06 am

Despite some pressing positional needs elsewhere (NT, QB) the mock draft prognosticators have been overwhelmingly predicting an offensive tackle being taken by the Bills with the ninth overall pick. And KFFL.com is no different.

In their mock draft they’ve got the Bills taking Iowa OT Bryan Bulaga. It should be noted that they have Okung and Anthony Davis off the board when the Bills are on the clock at nine, with Okung going to the Chiefs and Davis to the Raiders.

Either way this the third mock draft I’ve posted this week that has Buffalo taking an offensive tackle with their first pick. Take it for what it’s worth.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Mock has OT to Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on February 10, 2010 – 12:01 pm

Corey Chavous, a former NFL safety and draft analyst for NFL Network has put his own mock draft together for 2010. And for the Bills he has them taking an offensive tackle with the ninth overall pick.

Chavous has Buffalo taking Iowa OT Bryan Bulaga. Bulaga is widely viewed as one of the most NFL ready tackles in the class while the upside is deemed higher by many for Anthony Davis and Bruce Campbell.

It should be noted in Chavous’ mock he has Russell Okung off the board at 4 to Washington, Anthony Davis off the board at 6 to Seattle, and I believe an OT is very likely for the Seahawks at 6 with Walter Jones a good bet to retire. He then has Trent Williams going 8 overall to the Raiders, which might be a little high in most eyes, but hey it’s Oakland.

So with the run on OTs happening early in Chavous’ mock, he has Buffalo taking Bulaga. I like Bulaga, provided he checks out medically (thyroid condition, shoulder injuries). He drive blocks guys 10 to 15 yards downfield at times. He also steers pass rushers wide around the pocket well. For a tall guy I think he’s pretty good at redirecting too. Whether he’s worthy of the ninth overall pick however, is up to the Bills and the Bills only.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Another mock gives Bills QB

Posted by Chris Brown on January 28, 2010 – 1:14 pm

The mock drafts are in full swing now with the NFL Combine less than a month away, and not surprisingly another is handing the Bills a QB at ninth overall.

At least SI.com’s Don Banks chose Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen for the Bills with a disclaimer. Here’s what he wrote about the pick.

There’s plenty of divided opinion on Clausen and some teams would never consider him for a top 10 draft slot. In reality, given that the tandem of new coach Chan Gailey and new GM Buddy Nix aren’t building with a five-year plan in mind, the Bills will probably seek a veteran quarterback like Michael Vick or Donovan McNabb in the pre-draft months and eschew selecting a first-round QB. Buffalo is desperate for help at offensive tackle, but until it signals its intentions at quarterback, we’ll give them Clausen without much enthusiasm.

I’d still like to see a left tackle taken by the Bills at nine overall. Banks has Okung and Davis off the board in his mock before Buffalo’s pick at 9, and does not have Iowa’s Bryan Bulaga going until 18 to Pittsburgh. I think Bulaga would be a good pick for Buffalo because he’s ready to play now according to most experts as opposed to some of the upside players like Davis and Campbell.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Mock has Bills taking OT

Posted by Chris Brown on January 26, 2010 – 11:51 am

Here’s another mock draft and the latest prognostication has Buffalo taking an offensive tackle.

This isn’t the first time a mock draft has Buffalo taking an OT, a position that I’m in full agreement with at ninth overall, or later if they choose to move back out of the top 10.

The folks at Rotoworld have the Bills taking Iowa OT Bryan Bulaga. Bulaga (6’6″ 315)  is a former tight end that has been well schooled under Kirk Ferentz at Iowa, who cut his teeth as an offensive line coach.

What I like most about Bulaga is I believe he’s one of the most NFL ready tackles in the draft. His high ranking is not based on upside like Anthony Davis (Rutgers) or Bruce Campbell (Maryland), it’s based on talent and NFL readiness. And that’s what the Bills need.

Ironically, they have Georgia Tech DE Derrick Morgan going right after him at 10 to Jacksonville. Bulaga shut down Morgan in the Orange Bowl.

The only other offensive tackle in this mock they have off the board before Bulaga is Oklahoma State’s Russell Okung, going #2 overall to Detroit.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Another LT prospect in draft pool

Posted by Chris Brown on January 7, 2010 – 10:00 am

A good offensive tackle class just got a bit better with a junior eligible forgoing his senior season.

Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year, Bryan Bulaga declared for the draft.

The Iowa product is 6’6″ 315 and has been compared to former Iowa OT Robert Gallery. Now I know that might cause some to wince, but no one is saying Bulaga is going to be the 2nd pick in the draft.

I’m not going to pretend that I know a lot about Bulaga yet, but I do know this guy makes the tackle pool deeper which is important for the Bills who need an offensive tackle in the draft and free agency.


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Posted in Inside the Bills