Inside The Bills

Britton the only tackle value left

Posted by Chris Brown on April 25, 2009 – 10:40 pm

With Oher now off the board, Arizona’s Eben Britton is the only good tackle value left in round one. Whether he makes it to the Bills remains to be seen.

LB will also be a focus I believe. Clay Matthews and Connor Barwin are options.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 4-24

Posted by Chris Brown on April 24, 2009 – 6:40 pm

On the eve of the draft we dispel some rumors and answer some final questions. If you had a question that did not get answered here, be sure to check the live chat we held at noon earlier today (Friday).

1. Chris, will the Bills make any overtures for Peppers??? Or would this be too much for the Bills’ to handle….or impractical??
D. Stratz

CB: Any overtures for Peppers are unrealistic for the Bills and a lot of other teams, and that includes the Patriots. The reason why is Peppers is reportedly looking for Albert Haynesworth type money. Most teams can fit that kind of contract into their budget. It’s going to be interesting to see what pans out on that front because the Panthers are really hamstrung by his situation.

 

2. What are your personal thoughts on Connor Barwin? Personally I like his high motor, versatility and passion for the game. Where, if at all, would Buffalo have him on the draft board?

Nick from Sodus, NY

CB: I like Barwin a lot. He’s extremely athletic and explosive. I see him as a defensive end for the Bills, though he’s probably capable of playing OLB as well on the strong side. To lead the Big East in sacks in his first year as a DE was impressive. As for where the Bills have him on their board, I don’t know, but I think he’s a safe bet to be a late first or early 2nd round pick. Bills may have a shot at him at 28.

 

3. Hi Chris.
With respect to your article on left guard I must say that I am still on the (Alex) Mack Truck Train! With Hangartner it would be a perfect match. If Mack isn’t ready, he could
start out at left guard. But with his smarts and low center of gravity, he might just start out as starting center. Now, how do we draft him? Well, we could take a TE with #11, or a pass rusher, and trade up to get Mack at the end of the first round. Or we could trade down in the first round. What is your take?
Pete

CB: Now armed with the 28th pick, Mack is a much more realistic possibility. Down there the Bills should be able to get the best interior linemen in the draft if they wanted. My feeling however, is that if they do get a pass rusher up at 11, they’re more likely to take a tackle at 28 (Eben Britton?) to fill the void left by Jason Peters. That way they could transition Demetrius Bell or Kirk Chambers inside at left guard.

 

4. Hello Chris,
 
Hope all is well!  Thanks for the in of this offseason so far!  Where do you think Pat Thomas fits in?  Seemed like an under the radar visit and signing.  I hope he is not looked at as a starter.
 
Also, how is Alvin Bowen doing?  Has he bulked up?  I saw he is listed at 222 lbs, would he maybe be better suited at SS.  Seems like he is built like Kerry Rhodes. 
 
Just wondering.
 
Thanks,
Greg Grzymala

CB: Pat Thomas is a reserve linebacker as I see it. I believe the Bills will look to fortify the SLB position in the draft this weekend. Thomas could help as a backup on the strong side or in the middle.

As for Alvin Bowen his rehab is going very well. He may be on the field for OTAs in mid-May. He’s added bulk to his frame and he’s a linebacker all the way.
5. Chris,
With Jason Peters traded, what are your thoughts of Demetrius Bell being groomed as his replacement at Left Tackle? Is there a decent chance of it? For some reason, I think he could turn out to be a better option for us than if we drafted say, Oher.
Thanks,
- Jeff

CB: I think the Bills are hopeful that Bell develops into a LT prospect. I don’t know if he’s there yet, but he has the potential and could be playing over there in a year or two if things go right. Right now I see Langston Walker as the LT, with either Bell, Kirk Chambers or a high draft pick on the right side. Oher I believe is an option though at 11.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 4-17

Posted by Chris Brown on April 17, 2009 – 7:24 pm

Only one more Fan Friday after this prior to the draft, and Jason Peters trumps everything so we start there. I’m going to be in full scramble mode answering all your pre-draft questions this week. Let’s get started.

1. Chris,

ESPN is reporting that Peters was traded for a 1st(28th overall) and Philly’s 4th round pick this year as well as a undisclosed 2010 pick.  Now that this is a done deal which tackle do you see Buffalo taking at #11?

Tks,

Kevin Klump 

CB: First Kevin, nothing is done until either of the teams confirms it. But to entertain your question, should this trade indeed come to fruition I would say that the chances of Buffalo taking an offensive tackle increase somewhat, but not significantly. Here’s why.

I think the Bills will move Langston Walker to left tackle and plug Demetrius Bell in at right tackle. Bell came a long way in the past year and is very, very athletic. Asking him to step in at left tackle right now however, is too much to ask of a second-year player with no NFL starts on his resume. 

If you remember the Bills started Jason Peters on the right side when he first played tackle in a game filling in for an injured Mike Williams back in ‘05. I think doing the same with Bell is not out of the realm of possibility. If that’s the course they choose to take, then I think the Bills can still target a premier pass rusher, like Everette Brown at 11, who I have liked all along.

Then at 28 they could scoop up a top flight center like Alex Mack (Cal), OLB/DE Connor Barwin (Connor Barwin) or Larry English (No. Illinois) or tight end Brandon Pettigrew (OK State) if he happens to still be on the board. Personally I think Pettigrew will be gone by 25 to Atlanta or 26 to Baltimore.  

I’m not saying that an offensive tackle like Michael Oher (Ole Miss) isn’t a possibility at 11, but I don’t think it means they’re forced to take one there. Heck they could even get a solid right tackle prospect in Eben Britton (Arizona St.) at 28 if they wanted.  

But this organization has a lot of faith in Bell’s long term potential and after successfully developing Peters, who wasn’t an offensive tackle until Buffalo moved him, I believe they feel they can develop Bell into a dependable starter.

I guess we’ll all know better in about a week.

 

2. Hey Chris,

I know the Bills have all but announced Hangartner the center for next season, but could it be a smoke screen and could the Bills be eying up someone like Alex Mack in the draft?  Then moving Hangartner to guard?

CB: I wouldn’t rule anything out at this point, but Hangartner has said his best position is center and I get the sense the organization is committed to him playing in the pivot. You want to put the players in positions where they can best succeed, and for Hangartner that’s center, in his opinion and the opinion of the organization.

 

3. Chris, just about everyone in the Bills community including yourself keeps saying that the team’s greatest need going into 2009 is to improve its pass rush.  But isn’t it a fact that the Bills had the # 13 defense in the NFL last year against the pass?  If that’s true, isn’t improving the pass rush more of a luxury than a necessity, especially given the fact that the offense ranked near the bottom of the league in just about every important category?  Shouldn’t landing a first-rate TE and Center trump acquiring a situational pass rusher who plays mainly on third down?  Last year we insisted on getting “value” from our first round pick by drafting a CB and ended up not getting the kind of TE we desperately needed, when we could have traded down and drafted John Carlson.  I hope that doesn’t happen in 2009, leaving the offense shortchanged once again.

Dan, Rochester

CB: While I understand the point you’re trying to make, the ranking of the pass defense in 2008 (13th) is a bit misleading. The reason why is because teams still had fair to good success running the ball against Buffalo when all was said and done. The Bills finished 22nd against the run and surrendered over 120 yards per game on the ground. 

When teams run that well against you they don’t have to throw as much reducing the yards a defense gives up passing thereby improving the ranking against the pass.

Some might say that run defense figure means they should get another defensive tackle, but any hope of getting B.J. Raji at 11 is a pipe dream. He’ll be gone by the sixth pick.

As for the pass rush here’s why myself and the majority of fans I’ve spoken with feel the pass rush has to be addressed. Over the past two years Buffalo has a total of 50 sacks. Combining 2007 and 2008 that ranks 29th in the league, with only Cleveland, Cincinnati and Kansas City with lesser production over that span. The pass rush has to be addressed early if you wish to get a player that can help you right away. 

 

 

4. Chris,

Just read your blog on S. Carolina TE Cook. I can see where interest in this guy is growing and Nelson/Cook could be neck and neck. I don’t agree however with your assessment that with the addition of T.O. the Bills need for a TE is reduced. Personally I believe the addition of a real TE is of paramount importance. That along with improving the OL interior to me should be of primary importance to the Bills. I know you believe the Bills should go after a DE with their first pick to improve the pass rush, but I believe making the offense significantly better is the real key. Our struggles last season were offense related.

Your thoughts?

Bill Kubera

Cicero, NY

CB: Perhaps I didn’t state my opinion on the tight end well enough. When I said that the need for a playmaking tight end was reduced by the signing of Owens, I meant for 2009. This year, if you don’t have a playmaking tight end ready to make plays and have an instant impact on your offense you’re not dead in the water.

I still maintain that the pass rush is priority number one. I think tight end can be addressed in rounds two or three depending on what players the Bills covet most at that position. That player can come in as a rookie in 2009, get his feet wet without the pressure of making tons of plays. Then the following year when Owens is probably gone he and James Hardy can step up and fill the void in the passing game together.

I agree offensive line is a need area too. In my ideal draft Buffalo gets a premier pass rusher in the first (Brown?), a solid interior lineman in the second (Wood?) and a pass catching tight end in the third (Coffman?). If this reported Peters trade happens, then pass rusher first, OL bottom of first, pass catching TE in 2nd.

 

5. Hey Chris,
I wanted to get your opinion on Oregon OL Max Unger.  In doing some player research I have developed a man crush on Unger and would love to see him in a Bills uniform.  I love his versalitility as he can play center, guard, or tackle plus he brings top notch intangibles and experience to the table.  I think he would be a great add with our second round pick, if he lasts that long.  Anyways, your opinion would be greatly appreciated.
Thank You,
 
Brad

CB: I think Max Unger would be a good pick. Yes, he is versatile having played some tackle. Though he’s never played guard, I think he could handle it.  

Personally I prefer Alex Mack and Eric Wood to Unger. Mack and Wood have a little more nastiness and tenacity to their game, while Unger is more of a technician.

Don’t get me wrong I respect Unger’s game a lot and wouldn’t be upset if he wound up with the Bills. I just like Mack and Wood a bit better.


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Fan Friday 4-10

Posted by Chris Brown on April 10, 2009 – 12:17 pm

Alright the draft is two weeks away, but we’ve got trade talk and draft stuff going strong in this week’s edition. You know where to go with your questions seeing as I have over 500 emails in my inbox. It’s AskChris@bills.nfl.net. Let’s roll.

1. Chris,

I just saw online that Denver has been shopping their 26 yr old TE, Scheffler. Is there any chance Buffalo would be interested in him??

Thanks for your time.

Wayne

CB: I think it makes sense for Buffalo to be interested. He’s certainly established himself as a game-breaking passing option. There were rumors swirling that the Bills were negotiating some kind of deal when it was thought that his agent Bus Cook was in town. Cook wasn’t here however, so nothing came of it.

I like Scheffler as a player, but keep in mind he’s not a blocker by trade, so whether he can help you on the line is a big question mark and Buffalo needs a blocker at tight end as much as a game breaking pass catcher. Still he’d be a good acquisition. The question is at what price?

I’d give up a conditional fourth for him, which could increase to a 3rd depending on his production in 2009. But with a deep class of pass catching tight ends this year in the draft it’s a buyer’s market for Scheffler even as good as he is.  If you can get the upper hand in that deal though an NFL team should jump on it.

2. Hi Chris,

Just wondering if the Bills will be looking to add a safety. I had heard that Donte Whitner might be making the permanent move to FS. Is this true? If so, will the Bills be looking to add a safety through the draft of FA? Are they comfortable with Bryan Scott starting at the SS?

I think adding a guy like Sean Jones or Jermaine Phillips might be a solid addition.

Thanks for keeping us all informed,
Matt in Rochester

CB: I think the coaching staff was pretty happy with what they got out of the combination of Bryan Scott at SS and Whitner at FS, which was largely the tandem for the second half of the year when Donte didn’t have to fill in at nickel corner due to injury.

Unless they make an addition, which I’m not anticipating, I expect that to be the starting tandem in 2009. The reason I don’t see them addressing the safety position in the draft is because they have depth players on the roster already and there are more pressing positional needs.

3. Hey Chris,

I have a couple questions for you.

First, are you surprised to see that J.P. Losman has not visited any teams yet this offseason? He is only in his 5th season and has shown flashes of talent, which should have helped him out this offseason since there are few FA quarterbacks.

Second, do you see any FA o-lineman coming into Buffalo? I’m assuming that Buffalo’s greatest need is not on the line, but they might add some depth in the draft.

Thanks for your time,

Andrew
CB: Losman was to visit with the Broncos before the whole Cutler mess to possibly be signed as a backup, but before he could arrive in Denver for a visit the Broncos signed Chris Simms. Other than that I haven’t heard much.

I wonder if Chicago might now be a possibility since they have a strong-armed QB in Cutler, and might want to add a backup that can make the same throws in the offense in the event of an injury.

At worst I’d expect his phone to start ringing after the draft as teams are waiting to see what prospects they might be able to land. What’s hurting him are his last few performances for Buffalo, which included the dreadful offensive performance against Miami in Toronto and the Jets game that the Bills had won until…

I think he’ll land somewhere, but he’ll be a backup at best.

As for offensive linemen I still think Kendall Simmons is a possibility for depth, but I see the Bills addressing guard in the draft.

4. Hi Chris

Just wondering, why no mention of Marlin Briscoe as one of the Bills’ all time receivers? I realize his career with Buffalo was short before moving on to other NFL teams, but I remember him as incredibly talented, very  effectively using positioning and leaping ability to catch virtually  anything that was thrown near him. I think he is largely the reason Dennis Shaw was offensive rookie of  the year.

Mike DeWald
mdewald@roadrunner.com

CB: Marlin Briscoe did not make the list of nominees for wide receiver because he only spent three seasons in a Bills uniform. The parameters stated that a nominee had to spend at least four seasons in a Buffalo uniform. I didn’t make the rules, just relaying them to you. Hope that clears it up.

5.  Chris,
 
I can’t believe no one has talked much about Connor Barwin. He plays TE/DE and excels at both. The guy is 256 lbs, had 11 sacks last year, ran a 4.55 in the 40, jumped 40″ in the vert and just had an all around GREAT combine. Why isn’t anyone talking about this guy? Do you know if Buffalo has taken a good look at this guy? This one guy can fill the need for either TE or DE. How is this guy flying under the radar?
 
CB: I’m a fan of Barwin. I’ve blogged a few times about him. In fact if the Bills don’t get a top flight pass rusher in round one, I’m hopeful that Barwin is there to snatch up at 42 in the second. I’m not all that confident it will happen after his combine workout.

But I’d be very happy with him as a pass rushing addition. And trust me amongst NFL clubs he’s not flying under the radar. I think he could even crawl into the bottom of the first round.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 3-27

Posted by Chris Brown on March 27, 2009 – 5:31 pm

Less than a month until the NFL draft. Trying like heck to keep up with your questions. Bear with me. I’ll try to get them all answered before draft weekend.

For those that don’t know questions can be sent to AskChris@bills.nfl.net. Here we go.

1. Hi Chris,
the Bills coaching/personnel staff seem to be saying that they are looking for an every down DE, but would not be averse to taking a situation rusher. If this is the case do they see no future in Chris Ellis? They said they took him last year to be a situational pass rusher, and  being a rookie DE is hard in this league and he was injured, but didn’t they take him for this exact reason last year?
Thanks,
Rafi in Toronto

CB: You raise a good point. Some forget that Ellis is on the roster. Yes, Ellis is viewed as a situational pass rusher. His biggest issue as a rookie was not being strong enough to hold up against the run. I intend to catch up with him this spring and see what he’s done to re-shape his body and get stronger. He is taking part in the offseason conditioning program. Most NFL players make their biggest jump from year one to year two because they get to spend an offseason in an NFL training program rather than prepping for the combine and pro days.

Hopefully it makes a difference for Ellis because with the strong likelihood that the Bills take a pass rusher early, Ellis needs to show improvement or his playing time could be limited again. With respect to you thinking that the staff viewed Ellis as THE answer. He is a possible answer, but because the jury is still out on Ellis and the pass rush production has been subpar (team-wise) the Bills have to get a top flight talent at the position early in the draft as I see it.

 

2. Chris,
One thing I was interested in was the TEs in the draft. Shawn Nelson to me looked like a stud. His physical prowess was obvious, but during some of his workouts, clips of him blocking at the Senior bowl practices were shown and he looked adept against top flight competition. Where do you think he will end up being taken now that the combine has seemed to helped his value? And, do you see him as a potential Bills target? – ie. Would he be an upgrade over Fine and Schouman in pass catching, while still providing adequate blocking skills?
 
Thanks,
 
Dirk Vandewaal
Waterloo Ontario

CB: I share your affinity for Shawn Nelson. He’s a potential game breaker in the passing game. He’s a willing blocker as evidenced by his performance at the Senior Bowl, but he needs a lot of work in that area as most of the tight ends in this class do.

I think his measurables in terms of 40 time, height and length make him a more explosive pass catching option than Fine or Schouman. But that doesn’t mean he’ll be a more reliable player as a rookie. Still he’s likely to come off the board early in the second round. He may or may not be there for the Bills at 42.

 

3. Chris,

I am excited to be celebrating the 50th season of Buffalo Bills and I love the website where fans can vote on the all-time team. My question regards the selection process for the all-timers. Did you have any input when coming up with the parameters and nominees for the all-time team? I am wondering why the guidelines allow for 3 WR’s but only 1 RB to be chosen. This seems a little inequitable to me. 2 WR’s and 1 RB or 3 WR’s and 2 RB’s seems like a better ratio. What do you think?

Scott E.
Greensboro, NC

CB: I don’t disagree with your thinking there. Deciding between Thurman and O.J. was really tough for me. From what I understand they wanted to honor the Bills most prolific offensive era, which was the early 90’s and the K-Gun offense, in which the base formation was a three by one (3 WRs, 1 RB) set. The decision makers also decided to go with the 3-4 defensive front that was popular during the Bruce Smith years, which made choosing between Fred Smerlas and Ted Washington anything but easy. I understand what you’re saying, but those are the parameters.

 

4. Chris,
I was noticing the combine numbers and I could not help but notice the apparent dominance of USC OLB Brian Cushing. With Angelo Crowell gone from the Bills there is a need for a OLB.  I know the Bills need to address the pass-rush but I see Aaron Maybin as too high of a risk at #11 much like Brandon Pettigrew.  I have read that Orakpo has inconsistent effort and that Brown is not exactly a 4-3 guy. 

Cushing came into the combine with a lot to prove, and he answered any questions those had about him.  The Bills are known for their speedy defense and he fits the role perfectly.  This guy could be the most dedicated determined guy coming out of the draft. He, Poz and Mitchell would make up a fast LB corps. 

Pettigrew is too risky at #11 but he would be perfect at #20 just before both the Falcons and Eagles selections; two teams looking for some help at TE.  What do you think?  Is Cushing the right fit for the Bills?
Thanks,
Wade

CB: I think Cushing is a reasonable option at 11. I don’t think that’s a reach for him at all. There’s no question that Maybin carries some risk, and in light of the first year failures of Vernon Gholston last year with the Jets, NFL teams might be a bit gun shy about a one-year wonder. I’m not a fan of Orakpo as I’ve blogged here before, but I do believe in Brown despite his lack of measurables.

But I admit I would not be disappointed at all with Cushing, provided someone like Connor Barwin was snapped up in the second round for the pass rush.

As for Pettigrew I couldn’t agree with you more. Picking him at 11 doesn’t appear like good value, but down around 20 is far more acceptable.

 

5. Chris,
 
What is your opinion on Connor Barwin as a DE selection? He appears to be more explosive, a little bigger, and a little stronger than Everette Brown.
 
Robert Featherstone

CB: I don’t know if Barwin is more explosive than Brown. He is a little bigger, but not really stronger if you look at Brown’s squat and dead lift numbers.

Now don’t get me wrong, I think Barwin has a lot of potential especially after just one season at DE at Cincinnati. But Brown has proven it over time and I know college production doesn’t always translate to the NFL, but having spoken to him at the Combine, there’s just this gleam in Brown’s eye that convinces me he’ll be a player at the pro level. Plus he’s got a fantastic last name.

But if they can’t get Brown or some other top flight pass rusher in the first round, I’d be targeting Barwin with their second pick, and if they got him I’d be satisfied with him with respect to improving the pass rush.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 3-20

Posted by Chris Brown on March 20, 2009 – 5:53 pm

The draft is only about a month away, but there are still some free agent questions out there from you the fan. In addition to answering some of the more popular questions here, I’ve also been responding (as much as possible) personally to your emails as well. I’m a bit behind on them, but plowing through them as best I can.

Remember you can always email me at AskChris@bills.nfl.net on anything Bills. Here we go.

1. Hello Mr.Brown,
 
I would like to know what you think about the Julius Peppers situation in Carolina! Do you think the Bills would be bold enough to sign him, if he is available? Also I was watching NFL network and Mayock said that the TE’s in this draft class are mostly good receiving TE’s not so much blocking classic TE’s, wouldn’t it be more advantageous to pick the best available Offensive Lineman? To help the run and also keeping Trent upright. Since Fine and Schouman, I feel performed okay when given the chance.
 
Regards,
Paul K.
Montreal,Q.C. Canada

CB: First, the Julius Peppers situation. I don’t see the Bills as a serious player because Peppers is likely to get upwards of $13-14 million dollars a year in a new contract. That’s too steep for a lot of teams including Buffalo.

I believe the Bills will address their pass rush in the draft.

As for the tight end position in the draft, Mayock is right, there are a lot more pass catchers than blockers at the tight end position. I think that’s not necessarily a bad thing for the Bills, who have rarely if ever had a dynamic pass catching threat at the position.

I think Schouman and Fine are both good all-around tight ends, but I think the team would like to add a game breaking threat in the passing game there. Of course the staff considered Royal their best blocking tight end last year, which is why he retained the starting role in 2008. So even if they take a pass catching threat at the position, they will likely still be looking for a true in-line blocking TE too.

I think that’s why so many mock drafters have Pettigrew going to the Bills because he fills both of those roles better than anyone else in the draft for Buffalo. But if Buffalo stays at 11, I’m not sure the value is right to take him there.

2. Chris,
My question to you is: What if the Bills are on the clock at 11 and Maybin, Brown and Orakpo along with Defensive Tackle B.J.Raji are gone and one of the top Left Tackles, Jason Smith out of Baylor for example, is available; could you see the Bills drafting him and trading Jason Peters for a 1st round draft pick to a team that may need one like Detroit (20th) and Philadelphia (21st or 28th)?  There is no doubt that Peters is a gifted athlete but with another off season of potential hold outs by him and his agent, do you think it would be beneficial to the team to stop these distractions and get down to business?

Sincerely,
Dan

CB: That’s a tricky scenario. Jason Smith and Eugene Monroe won’t be there, but I understand your point. Michael Oher and Andre Smith should be there at 11, and with the way things are going regarding an extension for Jason Peters, what you’re proposing is more realistic than some might think.

If the Jason Peters situation is still unresolved come draft weekend, I can see the team moving him for a first and middle round pick, maybe more, maybe less. Acquiring an additional first round pick should give the Bills the luxury of taking one of the top four offensive tackles in the draft at 11.

I’d prefer Michael Oher to Smith because Oher is arguably the most athletic tackle in the draft. His instincts still need to be developed, but his athleticism makes up for a lot of those shortcomings that should get better in time. Oher could play on the left side, Smith cannot at this level as I see it.

Now keep in mind that they could address another position at 11 like linebacker in this scenario and get one of the bet of the bunch, whoever they determine that to be and if they’re down in the early 20’s with their other first round pick as you suggest, they could grab Arizona State OT Eben Britton, but he is more of a right tackle at the NFL level according to most scouts.

Things could certainly get very interesting for the Bills on draft weekend.

3.  Hey Chris,
 
I have seen all your blogs and answers to Fan Friday Questions on Brown, Orakpo and Maybin. Just wondering what your thoughts were on 3 other pretty good prospects: Michael Johnson, Paul Kruger and Tyson Jackson. Are they all stretches at #11, or is it conceivable that one of them may still be available in Rd 2?
If they were, it is possible to go after Raji at #11, a DE in Rd2 and maybe trade up to get one of the top 3 TE’s, Coffman maybe? Talk about hypothetical!
 
Randy
NL, CAN

CB: I think that Johnson and Kruger will both be available in round 2, but Jackson will be gone before the Bills pick at 42. Jackson is more of a 3-4 end anyway.

Johnson has freakish physical ability, but is raw and inconsistent. As a result I don’t know if he’ll be able to handle a full time role as a rookie, so that keeps him out of the first round.

Kruger’s upside is a bit limited as I see it. He’s got great straight line speed, but I’m not certain that he’s strong enough right now to hold the point against the run in the NFL. He’s also not that elite explosive type end (ran a 4.79 and 4.83) so he is probably a late 2nd to early 3rd round prospect.

A guy I’d consider in the round two is Cincinnati’s Connor Barwin. He’s more of the quick-twitch athlete you’re looking for to boost a pass rush. I think he could come in right away and help on passing downs, which is what Buffalo needs.

4. Chris,

What are your thoughts on the restructuring of Jason Peters’ contract?  I believe that his holding out at the beginning of the year impacted the team in a negative way.  It seemed that it ruined the whole chemistry of the O-line.  As we all know, it wasn’t until the Monday night game when the run game started to get going.  I wasn’t impressed all season with the protection of Trent Edwards.  Honestly, I don’t know how Peters was elected to the Pro-Bowl.  Do you foresee a possible trade, renegotiation, no action, or something else? Thanks for your time. 
-Joe Maciag

CB: From what I understand the two sides have yet to close the gap on a new contract. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Bills still work to come to a resolution until the NFL draft, and if there is no progress my feeling is they may look into trading him prior to draft weekend. It’ll be unfortunate if it comes to that, but it takes two parties to make an agreement work and if the Bills can’t get some kind of compromise from the Peters camp it doesn’t leave them with too many other alternatives. And I don’t believe they’d be interested in dragging a contract renegotiation through another season.

5. Chris

I know DE is the considered the most pressing need but you and others
have mentioned how the top guys in the draft may not be able to stand
up to the run or are straight ahead rushers, etc.  I’m just another
hopeless Bills fan, but if BJ Raji is available at 11, I’d take him. 
(Full disclosure:  I’m a BC grad but that’s pure coincidence in this
case.) Raji looks like a safer bet and more of a sure-fire thing.  If
Stroud and Raji are pushing in, it might free up the current DE’s. 
I’ve gotten a little sensitive to how the Bills have used some earlier
picks.

Kelley Yost
Fairport

CB: I’ve got no problem with taking Raji at 11 if he’s there and a couple of the top speed rushers are already gone. In fact I think he’s the best secondary option to Everette Brown, though Aaron Maybin is tempting.

Your point about Raji and Stroud is valid, but I still think you could add talent at end in the second round with a Connor Barwin, for example if you took Raji at 11. So I’m not opposed to that approach at all. Heck I wanted Haloti Ngata back in 2006 (no offense Donte). I just believe in getting your big men early.

6. Chris,
Does JP Losman have any suitors or teams expressing interest?  I mean I always supported JP and was actually excited when he got a shot to play this past year but he did so awful.  Is it a possibility we might see JP in the CFL???
Thanks
RF

CB: From what I’ve heard the Denver Broncos were interested in J.P. as a backup, but Chris Simms signed with them before Losman’s agent could enter into any hard core negotiations with Denver. Other than that I’ve heard very little as to interest in him by other teams.

I think his physical ability will convince some team to bring him in as a backup.

You are right that his play last year didn’t do much to help his cause so I’m not confident he could be part of a competition somewhere for a starter’s job. I think he’s got to take a backup role somewhere and hope he gets a chance to step on the field to prove he’s capable.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

D-line 40 times

Posted by Chris Brown on February 23, 2009 – 4:52 pm

Here is a sampling of some initial 40 times posted by some of the more notable defensive linemen at the Combine this morning. These times are unofficial.

DT B.J. Raji – Boston College – 5.13

DE Robert Ayers – Tennessee – 4.8

DE Connor Barwin – Cincinnait – 4.56

DE Paul Kruger – Utah – 4.84

DE Everette Brown – Florida State – 4.63

DE Brian Orakpo – Texas – 4.63

Obviously Brown and Orakpo ran well. Barwin was very fast and that 40 time will help him. Kruger was a bit disappointing at 4.84. Ayers was not expected to run a super fast time since he’s not considered an elite pass rusher, but more of an all-around prospect.


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Posted in Inside the Bills