Inside The Bills

Mayock: Bills in tough spot at 8

Posted by Chris Brown on April 19, 2013 – 2:22 pm

NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock was asked specifically about the direction the Bills could or should take with the eighth overall pick. He’s not a fan of the value on the board and Buffalo’s positional needs, feeling they don’t match up. So here is his best solution for them.

“I think they’re in a little bit of a tough spot,” Mayock said. “There is obviously a whole quarterback conversation that has to be held. And I’m not a big believer that there is a quarterback worthy at that spot. Now Buddy Nix might disagree with me. It could be Geno Smith, who I don’t think is a fit. It could be Matt Barkley. It could be Ryan Nassib. But to me, they’re not fits.

“So if you’re not going to take a quarterback at eight and you don’t have a chance to trade down, to me they have an offensive line need. I’d love to see them get a tackle and move Cordy Glenn to the right side or inside. I think it would help two spots if you could get a left tackle.

“But at eight, I don’t think you’ll get a left tackle unless you’re willing to trade up. So sitting there, I mentioned (guards Chance) Warmack and (Jonathan) Cooper. Either one of which I’m good with at 8.

“I don’t think there is a wide receiver at eight. Initially I thought about Tavon Austin there. He’s the most explosive offensive player in this draft. The more I thought about t I thought you’ve already got Leodis McKelvin to return punts. You have C.J. Spiller at tailback who can split out and do some of those things. So as much as I like Austin, I’m not sure he’s a great fit there. So I think you’re kind of stuck.

“If it’s not the quarterback, you’re looking at the best offensive lineman on your board or an edge rusher. With Mario Williams on one side, Mark Anderson coming back from injury, and Chris Kelsay retired, you’ve got room for an edge rusher. So a Barkevious Mingo or somebody like that, that wouldn’t surprise me either.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 4-19

Posted by Chris Brown on April 19, 2013 – 2:05 pm

Alright Bills fans this is the last Fan Friday before the NFL draft. The “hay is in the barn” as the scouts say, just got to wait and see how the board falls next week. Be sure to check out my 8th annual mock draft next Wednesday. It’ll be entertaining. Here now are your latest questions from AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 - dcap22803 Apr 17, 11:27am

@ChrisBrownBills Would #bills be willing to trade down with #falcons and take Nassib at 30

CB: It’s my contention that the Bills would be very interested in trading down. As I covered in my story this week, after asking GM Buddy Nix about trading down, there could be some players for the eighth overall pick if prospects like Oklahoma OT Lane Johnson or West Virginia WR Tavon Austin are both still on the board.

I don’t get the sense that they like the value there at eight for positions they’d like to address early (QB, WR) so I believe if they can move back to an area where they like the value better (late teens or 20’s) and add a draft choice they would do it.

2 – JackJablonski Apr 16, 1:04pm

@ChrisBrownBills Williams to Safety. Does this open up the possibility of CB at pick 8? Dee Milliner, if he falls, or Xavier Rhodes??

CB: I think with Aaron Williams moving to safety it raises the level of importance for addressing cornerback in the draft. Outside of Stephon Gilmore the Bills lack size at corner, so a tough, physical corner is needed out there. If Milliner falls to eight I wouldn’t rule out him being a consideration. At the same time I believe moving back and adding another draft choice could trump it.

But with Williams moving to safety I believe it has made adding a cornerback a necessity at some point in this draft.

3 – Chris,
With our needs at SS, ILB, OLB, WR and QB most likely to be addressed thru the draft, I find it really strange that there has been very little noise about bringing in some quality free agent guards for visits.  It seems like a glaring hole (let’s not forget Rinehart is gone as well).  Have you heard anything on Mr. Nix’s plans for this position?  I would like to see our RBs continue to run hard and whoever are QB may end up being it would be nice for him to be in one piece after a few games.

Go Bills!
Kirk

CB: I’ll give you Mr. Nix’s exact thoughts about the team’s status at the guard spot. Here is a direct quote from the draft luncheon when he was asked if losing Andy Levitre and Chad Rinehart in free agency had altered their approach in the draft at all?

“Not at all,” said Nix. “Not at all, now having said that I know people have said we’re taking one of those top two guards. Our roster in house is better than I think we get credit for especially offensive line. We’re pretty deep there. We’ve got six guards and we think a couple of them can play. Now having said all that before you write that we’re not going to take a guard at number eight, it’s hard to pass up two players like the old boy at Alabama (Chance Warmack) and the kid at North Carolina (Jonathan Cooper). Both of those are great players so you have to give that a lot of thought when they come up.”

When asked as a follow up if he had enough confidence in the six guards on the roster to the point where if they did not draft a guard would he be fine, he said he would be.

To be clear the players they believe offer them ability at guard are starter Kraig Urbik and Colin Brown and Sam Young. Brown and Young rotated in with the starting unit at left guard. If there are no other additions at the position those two are likely to battle it out for the starting role.

Zebrie Sanders, who Doug Marrone views as a tackle first and guard second, could potentially be a part of that competition down the road when he’s healthy.

4 –  Chris,
So I’ve been hearing that Tyler Bray has some of the best upside in the QB class I was wondering what you thought of him and if you think he’s worthy of our second pick. Also if you think that going after Patterson in the first round, Bray in the 2nd or 3rd to have some instantaneous chemistry on offense would be a good idea. Or do you see a prospect at QB worth it at eight and maybe go after the other Tennessee kid, Hunter in the second? I’d live to get some feedback on these thoughts.

Thanks, Will
GO BILLS!!

CB: There’s no debating that Bray can throw the heck out of the ball. He is the only junior eligible in this QB class and is a bit unpolished. I’m a bit concerned about his capability of coming in and being a leader for your football team. He has the physical skills, but there are maturity issues that NFL clubs have been busy investigating.

I respect your thought of instantaneous chemistry, but it would be anything but instantaneous. Patterson is very green and might not be a big time contributor until his third NFL season. Likewise Bray is also not NFL ready right now. So while those two might have chemistry, I’m not sure you’d see it right away on an NFL field against NFL competition.

I do subscribe to your latter suggestion. In fact that’s what I believe will happen in this draft. I believe Buffalo goes quarterback in the first and receiver in the second. Now they may trade back in round one before taking the QB, but I believe there’s a good chance they do that and Hunter is a viable value in round two.

I’m also a fan of E.J. Manuel despite the naysayers.

5 – Chris,

With the Bills being deficient last year at WR (and getting rid of what little depth that they have by releasing Nelson and Jones) on top of not signing ANY free agent WRs this offseason, doesn’t it seem like there’s a VERY good chance they draft Cordarrelle Patterson with their 8th pick? I’m not even saying I want that, but what choice do they have? That position is looking thinner and thinner this offseason. This is assuming they can’t get their franchise QB in the first round…

-Nate
PS- Go Bills

CB: I think your point is well taken. The Bills need to add an instant contributor at receiver. I believe this will happen in round two. There’s good value between rounds two and four where you can get a player that can help you sooner rather than later. The value at WR is not good in round one until the very end.

It wouldn’t surprise me if the Bills took two receivers in the draft despite the fact that they have just six picks.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Nix dismisses guard talk

Posted by Chris Brown on April 16, 2013 – 11:26 pm

Recent mock drafts by ESPN’s Mel Kiper and Todd McShay both had one of the top two guards projected to the Bills in their respective mock drafts. However, Bills GM Buddy Nix didn’t sound all that anxious to take North Carolina’s Jonathan Cooper or Alabama’s Chance Warmack with the eighth overall pick despite his respect for the skill sets of those players.

When asked if the free agent losses of Andy Levitre and Chad Rinehart left them in a situation where they felt compelled to take one of the top two guards, who many feel are fitting of top 10 value, Nix said he did not.

“Not at all. Not at all,” said Nix. “I know people have said we’re taking one of those top two guards. Our roster in house is better than I think we get credit for especially offensive line. We’re pretty deep there. We’ve got six guards and we think a couple of them can play. Now having said all that before you write that we’re not going to take a guard at number eight, it’s hard to pass up two players like the old boy at Alabama and the kid at North Carolina. Both of those are great players so you have to give that a lot of thought when they come up.”

Still, Nix went on to say that if they got through the draft without taking a guard they wouldn’t be in a panic situation. So it sounds like even though the grade and value on Cooper or Warmack might fit for pick 8, the Bills aren’t keenly interested in landing one of them at that point in the draft.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

King hearing guard talk for Bills at 8

Posted by Chris Brown on April 15, 2013 – 10:11 am

We saw ESPN draft analysts and some NFL.com draft analysts predict a guard for the Bills at 8th overall, with the value very fitting there with prospects like UNC’s Jonathan Cooper and Alabama’s Chance Warmack. Now SI.com’s Peter King is reporting that he’s also hearing guard as a viable option for Buffalo at 8.

Here’s what King wrote about that very subject in his assessment of the Top 10 in his Monday Morning Quarterback column.

8. Buffalo. Heard guard a lot  over the weekend, with coach Doug Marrone figuring he can get his quarterback  either at 41 overall or by moving up 10 to 15 spots to get Ryan Nassib or the QB  of his dreams.

While I don’t dispute for a second that in terms of value both of those guards are top 10 worthy, I don’t see the Bills attaching that measure of importance to the guard position. I tend to believe that the value of a top flight pass rusher would trump guard at eighth overall, especially if there are no quarterbacks they feel are worthy of that spot at 8.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Guard taking lead for Bills in newest mocks

Posted by Chris Brown on April 10, 2013 – 12:34 pm

Last week ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper in his latest mock draft had the Bills taking North Carolina G Jonathan Cooper eighth overall, a departure from the more popular pass rushing LB and QB picks in other mock drafts. Now fellow ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay has gone and done the same with a differenct offensive lineman.

McShay has Alabama’s Chance Warmack going to the Bills with the eighth overall pick. Here’s his assessment.

8. Buffal0 – G Chance Warmack – Alabama

Scenario 1: Warmack is physically dominant and would fill the hole left by the departure of Andy Levitre. It’s not a sexy pick, but Warmack is perhaps the most NFL-ready prospect at any position and would help protect free-agent acquisition Kevin Kolb, who had trouble staying healthy behind Arizona’s suspect offensive line last season.
Scenario 2: Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib seems like a natural fit in Buffalo, with his former college coach Doug Marrone taking the reins for the Bills. This pick might be a little rich for Nassib, but Buffalo could perhaps utilize it in a trade that would allow Marrone to get Nassib later in the fist or early in the second.
Scenario 3: The Bills need a pass-rusher to help take pressure off the rest of the defensive line, and the explosiveness and natural athleticism of DE/OLB Barkevious Mingo would lend some flexibility to the defense.
Stats and Info: Buffalo used five different right guards last season, tied for the second most in the NFL. Warmack played every game on an Alabama offensive line that averaged 6.5 yards per carry on designed run plays between the tackles last season.

There’s no question that Warmack and Cooper are the two most talented guards in the class and the only worthy first-round picks at that position. Replacing Levitre is an issue that must be addressed, but whether Buffalo goes to these lengths is up for debate.


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