Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 4-9

Posted by Chris Brown on April 9, 2010 – 12:25 pm

The draft is closing in so let’s answer those questions this week. Here we go. (Remember send questions to AskChris@bills.nfl.net).

1 – Hey chris
I was looking at some mock drafts and some people seem to be predicting a possible run on OT in the top ten. If 3 tackles went before the bills pick do you think the bills would consider trading their first for Jared Gaither from the ravens? He has a 1st round tender on him but he’s only 23 , has experience playing tackle, and he only missed 5 games out of the 33 he played in ( which is preety good considering how often our offensive lineman are hurt). I wondered what your opinion on Terrence Cody in the second round. He seems to be working on his weight and I think would be a good value in the second. Keep up the good work man thanks.
Andy
Lockport , NY

CB: With respect to Gaither, I’m concerned about the work ethic issues I’m hearing with him. The Ravens are not the kind of team that puts a 23-year old tackle with Pro Bowl potential on the market for no reason. They claim their trade talk was to light a fire under him. I’m thinking they’re tired of trying to motivate him and with Michael Oher on the roster they have a replacement for him for left tackle.
We saw what an unmotivated Jason Peters did for the Bills, so I would not part with the ninth pick for him, even if there was a run on tackles. In fact I don’t know that I’d use the 41st pick either. Yes, he’s talented, but if you’ve got a talented player with a poor work ethic or lacking in motivation you’re going to have problems. Why inherit Baltimore’s?

As for Terrence Cody, there’s no debating he’s a run stuffer, but his weight issues are not just going to disappear. It’s going to be a constant struggle. It’s clear to me that it affects his endurance in games. There were times that Nick Saban had him on the field for only 25 plays. I think he’s going to be just a two down player in the NFL and I don’t know if you take a guy that’s only going to give you two downs a series in the first or second round.

2 - Chris,
You really got me thinking ever since you blogged about the Bills’ site visit with C.J. Spiller.  I know you mentioned they could just be doing their due diligence in scouting but for some reason I feel there might be more to it.
 
Now that Spiller’s pro day is over, and he apparently impressed those who attended, how does this affect his draft stock with the Bills?  The reason I ask is because of the old “best player available” logic when drafting.
 
There is a chance, in my opinion, that Spiller just might just be the “best available player” on the board at pick 9.  This kind of scares me but also intrigues my interest a bit too. Scares me because the Bills have other pressing needs to be addressed but intrigues me because Jackson and Spiller can/would be a dynamic RB tandem.
 
If nothing else it will be interesting to see who goes before pick 9, but I wouldn’t put it past the Bills to take a flyer on this Spiller kid. It’s really hard to pass up talent and play-makers if your not sold on other guys available at that spot.
 
Any similar thoughts from you or am I wasting my efforts?
 
Thanks for your time.

CB: Spiller is a difficult talent to pass on, no question, and teams that passed on Adrian Peterson a few years back because they felt they were set at RB already are still smarting from their decisions. Buffalo’s needs are many, but if the top three tackles are off the board (Okung, Williams, Bulaga) and Clausen is gone, I could see Spiller as a distinct possibility. If the above scenario unfolded I think Buffalo would take Spiller or the best pass rusher on the board, which could be Derrick Morgan.

3 - Hi Chris,
Do you foresee Buffalo moving up in the second round to draft a QB?  Suppose we traded next year’s second and fourth round picks so that we can get the Detroit lions 33rd pick to draft QB Tim Tebow?  I do not know if Tim Tebow would still be on the board when it comes to Buffalo’s pick at 42.

CB: I think if you’re a team that wants to ensure you get Tim Tebow you better trade into the bottom of the first round. There are too many teams at the top of round two that could take a shot at him, so I would expect a team that coveted him to move into the bottom of the first. Quarterbacks values always get overinflated on draft day because of the position’s importance. So I think you’d have to be somewhere in the mid-20’s to have a shot at him come draft day.

With Buffalo’s situation I would not make such a move. There are too many positional holes to fill to take a player late in round one or early in round two that is not going to be a starting player for you as a rookie. The Bills need players they draft that high on the field in year one. Tebow will need time on the job to develop his game.

4 - Hey Chris,
Seems like the newly signed Andra Davis will be competing with Mitchell for an inside backer spot. I’d hate to see either of those guys on the bench. Any chance one of those inside backers gets moved to outside? I think a lineup of Davis, Mitchell, Poz, Maybin could be pretty fierce…
Thanks,
Eric from Alaska

CB: I think there’s a chance that defensive coordinator George Edwards will want a linebacker that’s very familiar with the 3-4 scheme in the middle of that defense and that to me gives Andra Davis the edge to start next to Paul Posluszny. That means that Kawika Mitchell is likely the strong side linebacker on the outside opposite Maybin, which to me isn’t a bad thing. Mitchell is a good blitzer and certainly strong enough to grind with the tight end. I think he could be a good fit there.

5 - Hi Chris,
Do you think the bills will trade back at all in the draft?  Do you think trading back with San Fran to 13 or 17 is realistic to pick up some extra picks especially if the LTs are off the board by 9?  If we’re going to build through the draft i think trading back would be a good move to add an earlier pick to the mix. 
 
                                   Thanks – Showtime.

CB: Trading back is always a possibility because what a team might be expecting to see available when they’re on the clock could be gone. Typically the Bills have up to three players in mind that they feel are worthy of their top selection and fit their team’s needs the best. Picking as high as nine it’s unlikely that all three of the choices they come up with will be off the board, but if they are then there is a good chance they move back if there is a taker.

With nine picks the Bills have the ability to move up and down the board a bit.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 3-26

Posted by Chris Brown on March 26, 2010 – 11:22 am

Less than a month until the draft and we’ve got trade rumors and draft rumors galore floating around out there. I’d say believe about 10 percent of what you read this time of year, especially quotes from team executives. A lot of smoke and mirrors flying around. You can always email me at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and you can get a running scroll of my blog entries here. Let’s get to your questions.

1 - Hey Chris,
As much as I see the need for help on the O-Line, especially with Butler’s shocking retirement, what if all the top O-Line prospects are gone before the Bills get to pick?
 
What if players like Derrick Morgan or Rolando McClain are there at pick 9, who do you select?
 
James

CB: That’s a great question. I personally believe that this has the potential to happen if the Lions pick an offensive tackle instead of one of the top two DTs in Suh or McCoy. That would start the run on tackles early and with Washington (#4), KC (#5), Seattle (#6) and Oakland (#8) all in need of tackle help Buffalo could be left holding the bag.

If that scenario were to play out I think pass rusher is the way that they’ll go. Now there is some debate as to whether Derrick Morgan is athletic enough (in reverse) to be a 3-4 outside linebacker. Some talent evaluators around the league are of the opinion that he is not good in drop and cover situations, something required of an OLB in a 3-4.

But if anyone knows what Morgan is and is not capable of it’s Chan Gailey and defensive line coach Giff Smith, who recruited Morgan to Georgia Tech and coached him on a daily basis. McClain would not be a bad pick, but with the free agent signing of Andra Davis, inside LB help isn’t as pressing a positional need.
2 - Hey Chris,
Do you think the potential of a 2011 lockout has any affect on how the team pursues this year’s draft? I think it would be a risk to draft a QB this year if indeed there is lockout. I’m not sure what team activities take place in a lockout year, but I have to believe it would affect the development of a young QB having a year off. 
Thanks, Mark

CB: I think that’s a valid point, but the bigger issue for all of the teams are contract payouts. Knowing this year is likely the last in which draft picks taken in round one will see mega-fat contracts before they even play a down, NFL clubs could be more willing to part with first-round picks knowing first rounders in all likelihood will be much more affordable come 2011. That could mean more trades.
3 - Chris,
 
I keep hearing people talk about how Kyle Williams doesn’t really fit into the 3-4 system.  I don’t see why he wouldn’t work out as a defensive end.  I realize he’s probably a little bulkier and not quite as fast as a prototypical 3-4 DE, but he made a lot of plays this season when the coaches gave him the freedom to try to penetrate the line instead of hold his ground.  I think that if we can sign a veteran NT or draft a Dan Williams or Mount Cody and put Marcus Stroud and Kyle Williams on the ends, that would be a pretty intimidating front line to run against.  And then our pass rush would come from the outside LB’s.  Your thoughts are always appreciated.
 
-Brendan, Las Vegas

CB: Truthfully I don’t think it matters where they put Kyle Williams, he’ll make plays. He’s more athletic than he is given credit for and I think he could handle the five technique position. In all likelihood he’s the nose tackle in obvious passing situations and might see some work at end as well. You don’t take good players off the field. You find a way to make them fit and that’s exactly what defensive coordinator George Edwards intends to do.
4 - Hey Chris,
I was just wondering… with free agency here, what are the chances that Buffalo would trade for Jared Gaither to fill one of the two slots for offensive tackle. Would he be a good fit for the Bills offensive line? Considering the Ravens only tendered him for a 1st round compensation and other high quality stars have been traded for multiple picks of lesser degree, I feel the two sides can come to terms. I say a combination of Buffalo swapping their 2nd round pick this year and a 3rd from next year to bring Gaither to the Bills would allow Buffalo to address other positions of need with their 9th overall pick (Dan Williams, NT; Jimmy Clausen, QB; Bryan Bulaga, RT). Thanks.

-Mike, Los Angeles

CB: If you could find a way to avoid giving up the Bills pick at 9, I’d be listening. Gaither is believed to have Pro Bowl potential and has only scratched the surface of what he can do as a left tackle. But I don’t see Baltimore being willing to negotiate anything less than a one.
5 -  Hey Chris,
I see Baltimore was interested in T.O but then I see they traded for Anquan Boldin and I see Derrick Mason is returning. Also in Cinncinati Chad’s lobbying to get T.O didn’t work. Is there any chance that we will re-sign T.O even though I saw that they weren’t gonna re-sign him? Do you think they will have a change of heart? I know T.O will want more money I say pay him! Have you talked to T.O lately, how is his attitude toward the Bills.Thanks.
 
Jon
Union City,Pa

CB: I do not see the Bills reversing their course on Terrell Owens. They said he will not be extended a contract offer and that’s the end of it. I have not spoken to Owens, but in speaking with people close to him it was never his intention to return to the Bills in 2010 anyway. So I think we can safely say it’s one and done in Buffalo for Owens.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Twist to Bills pick in Casserly mock

Posted by Chris Brown on March 18, 2010 – 9:00 am

Former NFL GM Charley Casserly gave his top 10 mock draft picks for the 2010 draft on NFL Network, and while there weren’t many suprises, his additional comment on Buffalo’s pick was an interesting one.

Casserly had four offensive tackles going in the top 9 with the Bills getting Trent Williams. Russell Okung (#4 – Wash.), Bryan Bulaga (#6 – Sea.) and Anthony Davis (#8 – Oak) were all off the board already in his mock.

However, when Casserly talked about Buffalo’s pick at nine and discussed Williams and the team’s need for an offensive tackle, he also threw in this comment.

“I think another possibility there is Derrick Morgan the defensive end, Chan Gailey recruited him,” said Casserly.

Casserly is not alone in thinking there’s a chance that Gailey and his staff would be partial to taking some of his former players from Georgia Tech. Morgan is the highest rated of the group and is expected to come off the board in the first 15 picks. That being said, Morgan is largely considered to be a better fit as an end in a 4-3 system than as an OLB in a 3-4.

But knowing the connection with Gailey and defensive line coach Giff Smith both being from Tech it has to be considered a possibility, perhaps even more so if Aaron Schobel chooses retirement.


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Posted in Inside the Bills