Inside The Bills

Whaley on 2nd tier of QB prospects

Posted by Chris Brown on April 22, 2015 – 12:49 pm

Just about everybody knows that Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota are the top two quarterback prospects in this year’s draft class, but how NFL clubs stack the quarterbacks after that on their draft board is a matter of personal preference.

That’s Bills GM Doug Whaley’s opinion. In an appearance on the Howard Simon show this week on Bills flagship WGR Sportsradio 550, Whaley laid out some of the QB prospects he thinks belong in the second tier.

“You’ve got Bryce Petty, Garrett Grayson,” said Whaley. “Those two guys are pretty good. (Sean) Mannion from Oregon State. Theres a clump of those guys where we say, ‘Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.’”

When asked specifically about UCLA’s Brett Hundley, who some clubs have ranked in that second tier, Whaley said the following.

“Guys like Brett Hundley are going to have a longer shelf life to try and get in and produce because he is more of I like to say an athletic thrower where Bryce Petty is more of an athletic passer,” said Whaley. “Those guys will take a little longer, like a Brett Hundley. But he’s in that group, it just depends. (For example) Brett Hundley in the Seattle Seahawks offense might be more attractive to Seattle, so that’s why I say beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.”

In contrast to Petty, who Whaley believes will have to adapt to a pro-style offense.

“You like his deep ball and his short game. You don’t like that it seems everything (in his offense) was pre-determined,” said Whaley. “He’s done some things on the field, but we’ve not seen him do things that we’re going to ask him to do. That’s where the question mark comes, and that’s where the balancing act of where do you have that value, can he do it, can’t he do it, you think he can and can’t’ so where do you put that value?

“Some people think he should go in the second round. Some people think he may take longer or may not be able to do that, and that’s why its harder now to scout these quarterbacks, because you can’t see them do what you want them to do.”

 


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Fan Friday 4-10

Posted by Chris Brown on April 10, 2015 – 2:33 pm

The preseason schedule is out with the 16-game regular season slate soon to follow. More on that below. Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

#bills when will the 2015 regular season be out?

bailey_pinkston

CB: The precursor to the regular season schedule, the preseason schedule was released this past Thursday. It often signals that the release of the regular season schedule is coming soon. All indications are that the league will release the regular season schedule some time during the week of April 19th.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

Petty or Grayson would be the perfect game managers for Buffalo’s new offense. Thoughts please???

mattgolden03

CB: Bryce Petty and Garrett Grayson are in that second tier of quarterback prospects after the top two. Both could merit consideration in round two. While I like Petty’s football IQ I still think there will be a steeper learning curve for him than Grayson, who played in a pro-style offense.

Grayson has had to read coverages and progressions. Petty has not. And while I don’t doubt that’s something Petty has been working on it’s just not the same as when the real bullets are flying.

If you believe one of them could come in as a rookie and effectively execute Buffalo’s new offense, which has a myriad of pre-snap shifts, motions and formations I think you might be expecting too much.

Frankly for 2015 you’re better off with either Matt Cassel or EJ Manuel in my opinion, which is why I’d be surprised if Buffalo invests in the quarterback position high in the draft, if at all this spring.

 

3 – Chris,

Given the current coaching staff’s desire to build a tough running team and a physical team,  do you see Justin Blalock as a possible signing to fortify the offensive line now that he is a free agent? Also, what are your thoughts of giving money to signing Mark Ingram over say resigning Spiller. Ingram has shown he can move the chains with power, rip off long runs with quickness and catch the ball.

Thanks,
Patrick

CB: While Blalock is a more than capable veteran guard I don’t believe the Bills want to add any more veterans up front. They have three veteran guards right now in Incognito, Urbik and Chris Williams. It wouldn’t surprise me if they felt that adding another would compromise the growth of a younger player like Cyril Richardson. So if they do add at the guard position I believe it’ll be in the draft, even though I see offensive tackle as a position more in need of depth than anywhere else on the line.

 

4 – Chris,

The Kouandjio article was encouraging to see.  I like to know that some players are working all year to be better and hope it works out for the kid.

What was his problem exactly last training camp?  Was he out of shape? Difficult time reacting? Diagnosing?  You would think his college experience gave him good game speed experience.  Thanks and can’t wait for this season to start!

Steve K
Kenmore, NY
CB: Yes, John Murphy’s article, which followed an interview with Kouandjio by phone certainly painted a picture as to how hard the second-year lineman is working. He was training out in Arizona all winter working on his techniques and getting coaching from former NFL OL LeCharles Bentley.

Kouandjio didn’t place blame anywhere but on himself for how his rookie season went. He said he didn’t think he had a strong enough mindset as he began his NFL career. To a certain degree that’s understandable. He turned 21 just last July and is still young in the game. Stepping up to the NFL level was probably a bit different even than what he experienced as a starter at Alabama in the SEC.

In the conversations I’ve had with him he sounds like his whole approach to the game has changed and he’s going full bore into his second NFL season. Add in the fact that he has hit it off quickly with new offensive line coach Aaron Kromer and he’ll be an interesting player to watch in training camp when the pads go on.

 

5 –  Chris,
FIve years ago I wanted the Bills to draft Ryan Mallett. He was a 1st round prospect, a Heisman candidate, a coach’s son, and a big QB like Big Ben. He fell to NE in the 3rd round, what happened? Why did the Bills not bring him in as compaction with EJ?

Tim Scouten

CB: There’s no debating that Ryan Mallett has a rocket arm for a quarterback. His over the top delivery looks great. Here’s the problem with his game. First, his accuracy. His career completion percentage of 53.2 percent is an issue, which shouldn’t happen for a quarterback with superior arm strength. His decision making is also suspect, especially when he has to get rid of the ball quick. Now every QB is subject to a bad decision or two when hurried. His have been more frequent over the years.

Perhaps the most important skill he’s lacking for Buffalo’s offense is the ability to extend the play. He is a pocket quarterback only. If the pocket breaks down and he can’t get rid of the ball the play is dead. That is not the case with each of the quarterbacks currently on Buffalo’s roster. It leads me to believe that offensive coordinator Greg Roman prefers some measure of mobility in his QBs to extend plays if and when protection breaks down.

Finally, there’s even less of a book on him than EJ Manuel. He’s played in just seven NFL games to EJ’s 14 career starts. If you bring in another unknown quantity at QB you run the risk of not finding out about exactly what he or Manuel can be.

 


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Kiper projects QB Petty in 2nd round

Posted by Chris Brown on March 31, 2015 – 10:16 am

Baylor QB Bryce Petty is the latest prospect profiled on Buffalobills.com as our countdown to the 2015 NFL draft continues. Will Petty be on the board through the early stages of round two? ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper isn’t so sure.

“Bryce Petty there’s a chance… a chance, maybe late first if somebody trades back in, but I’m projecting him more as a two,” Kiper said. “The teams that could be looking at quarterbacks in the second round could be Kansas City. They might be one of those. Teams that don’t take one in the first might take one like him in the second. Perhaps the Jets if they don’t take Mariota.”

Petty’s learning curve in adapting to a pro-style system will be the factor that NFL clubs will evaluate and project differently thereby giving him a range of value from one team to the next.


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For QB Petty calling play in huddle is new

Posted by Chris Brown on March 31, 2015 – 9:00 am

There will be an awful lot of things that Baylor QB prospect Bryce Petty will need to learn on the fly as he’s drafted to an NFL club this spring. While most everyone knows that he never really operated under center in the Bears’ offense, most may not realize that in Art Briles’ offense he never even called a play in the huddle.

“It was a little different. We were a signal system at Baylor,” said Petty. “I love Baylor. I wouldn’t change it for the world. If I had to go back and do it all again, I’d do it the same exact way. With coach Briles, he’s an outstanding coach. I love him to death. The teams we had were great and really prepared me for what I’m doing now. It’s a learning curve a little bit going from what we were doing at Baylor to where we are now. But it’s all part of the process, so you’ve got to enjoy it. You’ve got to love it, really, and I do love it.”

NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock has said more than once that making this kind of projection on a college quarterback, going from a spread system to a pro-style is among the toughest for NFL scouts. He also doesn’t see Petty as a potential target for the Bills in round two, in light of the fact that they’re still trying to develop EJ Manuel into a bona fide starter. He doesn’t see why they’d be interested in bringing on another development project.

“The quarterback thing is hard,” Mayock said. “Talking about pick number 50, I believe for Buffalo in the second round. Petty or Brett Hundley, one of those two could be there, if not both of them they’re both projects. You’ve already got a project in Buffalo right now who probably has as much talent as those two kids. So I’m not a big believer in investing in a position just because you think you have a need.”

 


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Fan Friday 1-16

Posted by Chris Brown on January 16, 2015 – 12:24 pm

It was a historical week for the Bills franchise with the hiring of Rex Ryan as the 18th head coach in team history. Now for your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Chris,

With the coming to an end what positions do you think need more depth for the offseason besides QB? Offensive line or maybe tight end or defensive end in case Hughes leaves? Can you also explain to fans that the Bills would have taken Eric Ebron, and trading up for Sammy wasn’t as risky as many thought. This year’s list of WRs isn’t as deep.

CB: As for positional needs the guard spot is right up at the top. I think a big running back is another potential need for two reasons. First, it’s unclear as to whether C.J. Spiller will return to the team with the ability to become a free agent this offseason. Second, a power run game is going to need a big back comparable to Frank Gore or Eddie Lacy. Buffalo has a big back in Boobie Dixon, but he was relegated to backup duty under offensive coordinator Greg Roman in San Francisco. Fred Jackson and Bryce Brown are capable, but it might be time to draft a young back to add to the mix. An end/OLB would be a need if Hughes doesn’t return, but they can’t wait on that.

As for last year’s draft, it was my understanding that if the Bills stayed at nine that Eric Ebron was the most likely target, assuming the likes of Sammy Watkins was off the board.

 

2 – Hi Chris,
My name is Ben Cary, a dedicated bills fan from West Seneca studying at Miami University of Ohio. Are the Bills interested in pursuing Jay Cutler, now that the Bears might be shopping him? I think he could fix a lot of our quarterback issues. He has the raw talent to make the plays none of our recent QB’s have been able to. I also think he would find success in our run first offense because he wouldn’t be forced to throw the ball as much as Chicago made him. What are your thoughts?

Has Doug Whaley thought about this as well? I love the improvement we’ve made this year and can’t wait to see what the future of the franchise holds!

Thanks so much
Ben Cary

CB: If the Bills are interested in pursuing Jay Cutler in a trade scenario they certainly can’t state it publicly since he’s property of the Bears. That could open the team up to tampering charges. While there’s no debating that he is physically gifted as a quarterback there is a reason his second franchise is reportedly looking to move him.

I don’t dismiss your point that a run first approach on offense could decrease some of the ill-advised plays Cutler tries to make. While talent is a big asset to have as a quarterback, leadership is a close second and that’s where I think Cutler struggles as a player.

I can’t tell you what Doug Whaley is thinking, but it’s my belief that the Bills will look to add a veteran quarterback to the roster. Whether Cutler is under consideration remains to be seen.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills I see the two lineman the #bills have signed to futures deals are both under 300 lbs. Will this be the trend going forward? More athleticism at guard seems logical, right?

DanielBeaudoin1

CB: Greg Roman’s power run game is pretty multiple. That being said having guards who are capable of pulling is a plus. You also have to be able to push the pile so I don’t know that a trend can be taken from the two most recent OL signings.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills do u believe Whaley that he would take a QB in the 2nd or 3rd if the right one was available? Petty or Hundley. #bills

Srothenburgh

CB: I think Whaley in that radio interview this week was just trying to emphasize the fact that they do not rule anything out with every draft pick they hold. If a quarterback is the best player on the board, and there isn’t a pressing positional need with a prospect that is comparable in terms of grade to said quarterback, then they’ll take a QB. Knowing this is his approach he cannot rule out taking a QB. In reality I see the Bills adding a veteran quarterback this offseason.

 

5 – Hi Chris,

What is a typical NFL halftime like for a team? Does the head coach address the full team the entire time? Do position groups meet? Are the discussions strategic or motivational? Thanks

Sincerely,
Max

CB: At halftime there isn’t a whole lot of time. With the coaches from the booth taking an extra five minutes to get down to the locker room, there’s only about 7-8 minutes to go over things. The head coach will briefly huddle with the coordinators before making decisions on various adjustments for the second half. In most cases the teams breaks off into offensive and defensive groups with their coordinators. They address what has to be corrected and then what some of the adjustments will be. After plotting out strategy the head coach or a team captain might say a few inspirational words and it’s back out to the field.


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