Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 4-12

Posted by Chris Brown on April 12, 2013 – 12:29 pm

The 2013 NFL draft is closing in. Pre-draft visits have wrapped up today. Let’s get to this week’s edition of questions from you the fan from AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 - CB,

Buddy had mentioned following the way the Bengals drafted AJ Green and Andy Dalton. Do you seen a scenario where the Bills go QB in round 1 and WR in round two? What do you think of the possibility of Geno Smith and Justin Hunter? I think these two are the might be the best players available when the Bills will pick in rounds 1 and 2. What are the scouts saying about Hunter, can he separate from DB’s at his size/speed?

CB: I’m at a point now where I getting the sense they don’t like any of the quarterbacks enough to take one at 8. I think that Buffalo doesn’t take a quarterback for sure at 8 if Geno Smith is off the board. So your scenario I believe is unlikely to transpire even though Buddy Nix did mention the desire to make those kinds of additions. I think a receiver is certainly a possibility in round two.

The value at the receiver position is very good between rounds two and four, so there’s also a window of opportunity there for Buffalo to wait on a receiver and address quarterback in round two and receiver in round 3. So what you’re proposing may happen, just in rounds 2 and 3 as opposed to 1 and 2.

As for Hunter specifically there’s no denying his deep speed, but he’s a straight-line speed guy. Having the combination of speed and quickness makes you a killer at wideout. He doesn’t possess both of those qualities, which is why he’s a second round prospect. He is a good route runner, which is what gets him separation. My only concern with him is his slight build. It makes me wonder if he’ll struggle early in his career with press coverage and the physical corners in the NFL. That also concerns me in terms of battling for the ball with DBs in the air.

 

2 – Chris,

Since Chris Kelsay has retired do you think Mario Williams will want his old number back? If so does the new Nike contracts require Mario to pay for all his unsold number 94 jerseys?  Or how does the process work for changing numbers?  Thanks for everything you do Chris!

-Fred M, Scotia NY

CB: It is my understanding that Mario is keeping number 94, but yes if Mario had changed to 90 he would’ve had to cover Nike for the outstanding inventory in terms of money.

 

3 – Chris,
Chris,
With Levitre will the Bills get draft picks this year or next year, from Tennessee, for guard Andy Levitre?
If so, what round picks?

Thanks,
Lee D

CB: The Bills will qualify for compensatory picks if they first and foremost have a net loss of free agents (sign fewer than they lose). That equation can prove difficult because some free agent signings and losses qualify, while others do not. I can say the size of Levitre’s contract would play in Buffalo’s favor, but again only if the Bills have a net loss of free agents or are even.

Determining the rounds is almost impossible at this point because the situations of the other 31 NFL clubs would have to be factored in.

 

4 – Chris,
Do you see the Bills taking Geno Smith or an OG over one of the very talented OLBs (Jarvis Jones or Dion Jordan) or one of the top tackles (Lane Johnson) with the 8th pick?  Just don’t see the value of taking a QB at 8 with the inconsistencies shown by the current candidates.  Also, what do you think of Nigel Bradham possibly moving inside?  Adding his athleticism and speed inside might add significant flexibility as the team moves to a Hybrid structure.

Thanks
Jim from Allentown Pa.

CB: I’m not convinced they like Geno Smith enough to take him at 8. I obviously do not have an expert opinion like the members of the Bills scouting department, but I do like Geno Smith a lot and would not have a problem with them taking him at 8 at all. I’m just doubting he’ll be there.

With that in mind I think the best defensive player on the board is the most likely outcome at 8.

Your assessment of Nigel Bradham is very astute. He has experience playing inside from his days at Florida State. So I would almost anticipate him moving there and being the three down linebacker.

 

5 – Chris,

With the new defensive coaching change, do you feel this will benefit A. Moats who lost his LB spot and then late season played some DE? What position do you see him competing for? Also, with Wilson and Levitre gone, any ideas for who’s going to be the next Show host? Do the fans have a say? Thanks again for all you do Chris!!

Dan in LA

CB: I anticipate Moats lining up in a couple of places, both OLB and ILB. Inside might be the best fit for him, but there is competition there. It’s a wait and see quite frankly.

As for our programming on Buffalobills.com concerning player involvement we’ve reached out to a couple of players, but feel free to provide suggestions. Obviously, participation in such a program is a commitment that a player has to make. We leave it up to them to decide if they want to do it, so please understand if your suggestion is not honored there’s usually a good reason why. Thanks for your viewership of our player programming on Buffalobills.com.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

DE Jordan started career at TE

Posted by Chris Brown on April 10, 2013 – 5:04 pm

Oregon DE Dion Jordan, who is making a pre-draft visit at One Bills Drive here on Wednesday, did not begin his college career at defensive end. In fact he didn’t even begin his playing days at Oregon on the defensive side of the ball.

Jordan was recruited by Chip Kelly as a tight end. His junior year of high school he caught 54 passes for 804 yards and 13 touchdowns. His senior season was cut short after six games when an electrical accident led to third degree burns on over 40 percent of his body, letting him only make 13 catches for 292 yards 3 TDs.

For Jordan all that experience on the offensive side of the ball he believes helps him diagnose plays now that he’s on the defensive side of the ball.

“I think it just shows that I understand the game, understand defenses because I’ve played on the offensive side of the ball I understand a lot of the offensive schemes also,” said Jordan. “So it plays to my abilities and understanding a lot of little things and my size at 6’7” as an outside linebacker is kind of unique.”

YahooSports Les Carpenter put together an in depth story detailing the horrific events of that day when Jordan wondered if his football career was over.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 3-29

Posted by Chris Brown on March 29, 2013 – 11:32 am

The NFL draft is less than a month away so keep the questions coming at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills. Here’s the latest edition for you loyal Bills fans.

1 - Chris,

One guy that seemed to stick out to me while watching the combine is Mark Harrison.  Wondering what your thoughts are on him and where he is projected to go round wise.  Thanks for all you do!

Geoff

CB: Harrison is a great physical talent at 6’3” and 231 pounds. The fact that he runs a 4.37 40 will get him a look from teams, especially after bouncing back from a down junior year. His numbers this past season still weren’t quite as good as his sophomore season when there was a lot more receiving talent around him. Harrison is probably a day 3 pick based on his physical skills alone even though his hands looked more reliable in 2012 than in 2011.

 

2 – Chris,

It seems the Bills have preached that they’ve made progress over the last few years.   I am having trouble seeing that.  It looks as though the Bills needs are many:
G
QB
2 WR’s
TE
DE
ILB
OLB
2 CB’s
S depth
With all of these needs in mind and only 6 draft picks, do see the Bills being competitive in 2013?   
-Jim

CB: I don’t disagree that there are several holes to still fill. At the same time the quality of the talent on this roster is pretty good (think – D-line, safety, OT). Part of that is due to the people they chose to part ways with (Donald Jones, David Nelson) and older players that either retired or will not be retained for the future. You’re right with six picks Buffalo has to do some plugging in free agency.

I think they’ll do a bit more work in free agency prior to the draft and then post-draft they’ll see where some positional needs still lie and plug in some bargain free agents presumably on one and two-year contracts.

3 – Chris,

With the Bills having only 6 picks in this year’s NFL draft, and players who fit like Tyler Wilson, Ryan Nassib and Manti Teo most likely being available in the late 1st or early 2nd round, do you think that they might trade back in the 1st round with their #8 pick to gain extra draft picks? That would seem to make sense – if Buddy Nix is willing.

LeeD

CB: I think trading down is a realistic possibility only if their top graded quarterback is off the board. Bills GM Buddy Nix would like to have more than six picks. Moving down from eight is the only way to do that, but landing a quarterback of the future likely trumps everything.

 

4 – Hey Chris,

Just wondering, what’s up with Marcel Dareus? I understand that he plays through pain, both physical and emotional (considering his brother’s death), however I just can’t help but think that he has not lived up to expectations as a number three overall pick. Considering the bevy of talent that was available that year, it really baffles me that he isn’t living up to his draft spot or to his draft class. Your thoughts?

Mike in Buffalo

CB:
I think last year was a lost year for Dareus. He lost his brother after the first regular season game in a tragic act of violence. His brother was just 19. Even though Dareus lost his dad when he was 6, his grandmother at age 13, his high school coach at age 18, his mom at age 20 and his best friend from high school at 21, this latest loss may have topped them all. All that loss and just 23-years of age, I’m willing to give him a pass for the 2012 season.

I just don’t think his head was in the game and how could it be? Anyone that has to experience all that is probably wondering what he did to deserve all that hardship. Hopefully he can come back and re-focus under a new staff and be the upbeat guy he has always been despite a very difficult hand that’s been dealt to him concerning his family.

 

5 – Hi Chris  

Do you worry about Dion Jordan being another Aaron Maybin?  Also it’s great the Bills front office is upfront with fans about needing a quarterback but not at the expense of other teams knowing and using that against us.  How do you see Mike Pettine’s defense set up with our personnel?  Can we run a 3 -4?  We have a lot of D lineman.   

Thanks – Travis

CB: I understand the concern. Seeing him at the NFL Combine, he looks like a swingman for a basketball team. The difference is Jordan has more of a college resume than Maybin, who had one-year of starting experience and came out as a redshirt sophomore. Jordan’s body is more mature, though he is coming of a torn labrum in his shoulder. I also think the one thing Jordan has that Maybin did not was instinct. Maybin was a hard worker, but did not seem to have the football acumen to anticipate and diagnose plays. The word on Jordan is that he does, which is why he’s seen as a top 10 pick.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 3-1

Posted by Chris Brown on March 1, 2013 – 12:42 pm

Free agency is coming up fast. Let’s get to your questions from AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 - Hey Chris,

I have a few questions for you. 

First, with reports of Brian Urlacher possibly hitting the Free Agent market, do you see him as someone the Bills would bring in to add veteran depth and leadership at ILB? Also, if the Bills were to add a WR in free agency, who would be most likely? 

Finally, could we possibly see a similar situation to that of Washington last offseason and take two QBs in the draft? In my opinion, the chances are in your favor in that situation. 

Thanks,
Korey
Kenmore, NY

CB: Urlacher is on the decline. Not the same player. So no I don’t see him here. WR is a position that has limited top flight talent, so the guys at the top will be looking for big money. I don’t know that they can commit more big $$ at the position after handing out a big contract to Stevie last offseason.

I think affordable options that fit the mold of the big outside receiver that Buddy Nix is looking for are Braylon Edwards and Jerome Simpson.

 

2 - Hi Chris,

There continues to be serious concern regarding new contract negotiations with Andy Levitre and Jairus Byrd. Could you please update me with whatever progress is being made and how realistic is it that those two players will be on the roster in the fall.
Go Bills,
Richard
Los Angeles

CB: I respect the concern. We know that Bills President and CEO Russ Brandon and Senior VP of Football Administration Jim Overdorf met with the agents for both Andy Levitre and Jairus Byrd.

We’re about a week and a half away from the opening of free agency. Plus the new rule this year allows other clubs to talk to the agents of free agents from other clubs beginning March 9th, to open a dialogue on a possible contract. Only the team that had the player on their roster the previous season could sign said player however, prior to March 12th. The franchise tag is no longer an option effective at 4 pm on Monday.

I like both Levitre and Byrd as players, but if Levitre is asking for the moon I don’t see him back in a Bills uniform. As for Byrd I think if necessary the Bills would make use of the franchise tag at $6.79M. We’ll know by Monday afternoon for sure.

 

3 - Chris,

Is there any possibility of the Bills looking at Ryan Mallett from the Patriots? Seems like he was highly rated coming into the draft and slipped to the Patriots, you would have to think he’s learned a thing or 2 from backing up Brady the last 2 years. Of course the Patriots would have to be willing to give him to an intra division rival, if they even look at the Bills as that!

-Dan G in West Palm Beach

CB: The only way I see this as a remote possibility is if Matt Cassel is released by the Chiefs and signs back with New England where he began his career. That would make Mallett expendable, but even then I can’t see New England sending a player with potential to a division rival particularly at the quarterback position.

 

 

4 - @ChrisBrownBills Think Bills would consider going LT (Johnson/Fisher) at #8 and move Cordy Glenn to LG if they lose Levitre?

MustangMike23

CB: I believe both of those offensive tackles are in the right area in terms of value. Lane Johnson is a rare athlete and Fisher has NFL feet and strength right now. Glenn did play some guard in college, but I think if a quarterback they like is off the board when they’re on the clock at eight that they’ll go with the best defensive player on the board.

 

5 - @ChrisBrownBills

Well now with Kelsay gone would we try to target a pass rusher? Jordan or Jones?

JackJablonski

CB: I think the two are mutually exclusive. Kelsay’s retirement I don’t think would’ve had much bearing on whether they feel they need to add a pass rusher at OLB. What does have a bearing on it is where they feel that Mark Anderson fits. Knowing Buffalo’s defense is going to be a multiple front scheme is he a DE and OLB or just a DE? I would think they see him as a stand-up rusher in a 3-4 look. Now they could probably use another one in light of their deficiency at the position in general.

And as I said in the above response if there isn’t a quarterback there at eight that they like I think they’ll go with the best defensive player on the board. That could very well be a pass rusher.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

A hybrid DE/LB for Bills in latest mock

Posted by Chris Brown on February 8, 2013 – 1:04 pm

NFL.com’s draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah has published a new mock draft. He’s got Geno Smith going first overall to Kansas City, and he’s got a new option for the Bills at eighth overall.

Jeremiah has Buffalo taking Oregon DE Dion Jordan. Jordan is a unique physical talent and at 6’6″ and 243 pounds he played a hybrid role for the Ducks. He’s largely seen as a first-round prospect. What makes the pick for the Bills more interesting is Jeremiah worked in Baltimore scouting when Pettine was a linebackers coach with the Ravens.

Pick No. 8 – Dion Jordan – DE – Oregon
I was with new Buffalo defensive coordinator Mike Pettine for four years in Baltimore. He loves versatile defenders who allow his creative mind to mess with opposing quarterbacks. Jordan is a perfect fit for that role.
 
One item worth noting was Jordan did sustain a shoulder injury late last season. That will certainly be checked out during the medical exams at the NFL Combine. Jeremiah doesn’t have another QB going in round one after Smith.

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Posted in Inside the Bills