Inside The Bills

Report: Geno Smith to visit Bills March 22nd

Posted by Chris Brown on March 14, 2013 – 2:18 pm

There were 29 NFL clubs at Geno Smith’s pro day at West Virginia today. The Bills were one of them and he’ll be meeting with Buffalo next week.

That according to a report by West Virginia Illustrated.

Smith has already had a private workout with the Philadelphia Eagles earlier this week prior to his pro day this morning.


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Latest Kiper mock goes OLB for Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on March 12, 2013 – 9:37 am

It’s been stated more than once that if Buffalo can’t land a quarterback they like that’s fitting of the value of eighth overall and they can’t find a willing trade partner to move down that they’ll take the best defensive player on the board. ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper has just that scenario playing out for Buffalo in his latest mock draft.

Kiper has Georgia OLB Jarvis Jones going to the Bills at eighth overall in round one. Here was his analysis on the picks, which also indicated the Bills anticipated measure of activity in the free agent market.

8 – Jarvis Jones *
Buffalo Bills (6-10)
COLLEGE: Georgia
AGE: 23
HT: 6-2
WT: 245
POS: OLB

Pick analysis: Want to guarantee an improvement in your pass rush? Here’s your safe pick. Jones has been exceptional for two years now against elite competition, and demands help when he comes off the edge. He’s not Von Miller in terms of his athleticism, but he has the chance to produce at a slightly lower level, making him a good value at this slot.

Free-agency factor: The Bills spent a lot in free agency last year, and won’t be as active this year. Quarterback could come into play at this pick because of the lack of options on the market. But if Arizona takes Smith, I don’t like the value here, and they’d be better served finding a QB in Round 2.

I tend to agree with Kiper’s assessment on QB value at 8. If Geno Smith is off the board, it’s probably best to either go best defensive player on the board or trade down to land a better quarterback value late in round one or early round two. In Kiper’s mock he has Arizona taking Smith at 7th overall.


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Polian’s assessment of Geno & Barkley

Posted by Chris Brown on March 6, 2013 – 11:10 am

Appearing on a national conference call this week, ESPN NFL analyst and former Bills GM Bill Polian gave his assessment on the collective skill sets of West Virginia QB Geno Smith and USC QB Matt Barkley.

“I can tell you Geno Smith’s strength is the ability to throw the ball down the field,” said Polian. “He’s got good arm strength, he has good athleticism, and can pretty much function in any system.  He’ll have a little learning curve coming in from the spread offense simply because it’s different than the classic and standard NFL offense, particularly in taking the ball into center and handling the ball.

He does some of that at West Virginia but not a lot. The numbers indicate that, but he’s a guy that can pretty much fit into every system. He has a quick release, gets the ball out quickly, so that’s a real plus.

“In Barkley’s case most people seem to feel he’s best suited for a west coast offense where he can deliver the ball quickly and get it out of there and not have to drive it down the field in big chunks on a steady diet and use his mobility to find throwing lanes.

He’s not a guy who is going to be a running quarterback. He does have some mobility in the pocket and his foot work is pretty good, and he gets it out fast. So, generally speaking, probably more well suited to west coast offense.”

Buffalo’s offense is going to contain a good amount of west coast principles, so it’s not unreasonable to say that both signal callers could be seen as fits for the Bills.

 


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Raiders considering Geno Smith at 3?

Posted by Chris Brown on February 28, 2013 – 12:47 pm

ESPN’s Chris Mortensen mentioned on NFL32 that he’s hearing that the Oakland Raiders might be considering West Virginia QB Geno Smith with the third overall pick. Here’s what he said.

“Word around the NFL is the Raiders have interest in Geno Smith with that third overall pick in the draft,” said Mortensen. “Now I can’t get this confirmed by the team, but Geno Smith is a guy that everybody sees as a top-10 pick right now — not everybody — but he’s got a chance to go in the top ten. And if the Raiders do like him, you better take him at No. 3.”

Mortensen also said that Oakland would likely release Carson Palmer if Smith were drafted.

Personally I don’t see this happening. With the Raiders in desperate need of defensive help and some top flight talent sitting at the top of the draft board on that side of the ball I can’t see them bypassing their defensive needs for Smith when they have a 33-year old Carson Palmer that should be able to give them a couple of more good years.

They also spent a third-round pick on QB Terrelle Pryor in 2011, so one would assume the Raiders would try to continue to develop him.

In the season of smoke and mirrors I don’t know that a lot of stock should be put into this rumor.

 

 


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Mayock liked Geno, but…

Posted by Chris Brown on February 25, 2013 – 9:55 am

NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock was asked for his thoughts on QB Geno Smith’s performance at the NFL Combine. Mayock liked the fact that he participated in all the throwing drills and felt he put his physical skills on display, but in the end it comes down to game tape and Mayock, like he does with all the QBs in this draft class, has questions.

“I saw everything that I saw on tape about Geno, and that is he flashed everything you want to see in a franchise quarterback on tape during the season,” said Mayock. “He has a big arm, good arm, he moves well, he can be accurate. Everything I saw on tape I saw here. He’s a natural thrower; he doesn’t force the ball. What I go back to is I don’t care as much about this – I’m happy he did this because it just shows me he’s not afraid; Cam Newton did it and he didn’t throw the ball well and he still was the first pick in the draft. To me, it’s more important what you see on tape.

“I want to bang the table because I want to like Geno Smith. We interviewed him, I love what he had to say, but there are just too many inconsistencies on tape for me to say that Kansas City or anybody that high should take him. He’s more of a 20-32 [overall pick player]; I’ve said that based on watching six of his games. I’m going to watch the rest of them, but there are just so many inconsistencies with both Geno Smith and the entire quarterback class that I trouble banging the table for any of them.”

Smith did have one of the better throwing performances at the Combine Sunday. He clearly had the liveliest arm of the group and threw a good deep ball. He also showed his athleticism with the fastest 40 time (4.59) and highest vertical leap among the QBs.


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Geno says he met with Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on February 24, 2013 – 4:40 pm

Bills GM Buddy Nix said at the Senior Bowl that they were going to meet with all the top quarterback prospects between now and the NFL draft. Back in late January however, the Bills could not meet with West Virginia QB Geno Smith because he declined to play in the Senior Bowl. Buffalo has since remedied that problem.

Appearing on the NFL Network Sunday, Smith said he had met with Buffalo here at the NFL Combine along with nine other teams. Knowing how muddled the quarterback field is this year it’s not surprising that the Bills are efforting to meet with each and every one of the top prospects at the position.


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QB observations from Sunday’s combine

Posted by johnmurphyshow on February 24, 2013 – 4:30 pm

It’s pretty clear that West Virgnia’s Geno Smith was the top arm on the field Sunday at the quarterback workouts in Indianapolis. But what about the rest of the QB prospects at the NFL combine?

Here are some observations based on watching from the stands at Lucas Oil Stadium:

-Ryan Nassib of Syracuse looked okay during the session, nothing spectacular. His smooth footwork was on display during some five-step drop passing routes. He did have back to back overthrows on a couple of deep balls. And Nasib had the sleeves of his UnderArmour workout shirt cut off at the shoulder, perhaps an attempt to impress observers with his upper body.

-Tyler Wilson of Arkansas looked better on deep passes than on the short ones, which is strange. His footwork is always solid. He came up way short on an out pattern pass, which is noteworthy. Wilson was not overly impressive.

-North Carolina State’s Mike Glennon was tough to watch. Not only is he tall and somewhat ungainly, he’s got a long windup in his throwing motion that is tough to ignore. One former NFL GM mentioned this week that Glennon needs a lot of work, and does not belong in the top tier of QBs in this year’s mix.

-E.J. Manuel looked much the same as he did during Senior Bowl practices last month–inaccurate and inconsistent. The FSU QB played well in the Senior Bowl game, and his athleticism and stature are tough to ignore, but he does not appear to be an elite QB prospect.

-The best of the rest was probably Arizona’s Matt Scott. He’s an imposing athletic specimen and he came up with some impressive throws during the Sunday workout. As a one-year starter, he’s got to be regarded as a project at the position.


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Top QB 40 times

Posted by Chris Brown on February 24, 2013 – 3:41 pm

Geno Smith’s athleticism was well documented, but in addition to the top 40 time among quarterbacks, he also had the best vertical leap (33.5″) and best broad jump (10′ 4″). Here’s a look at the top 40 times among the quarterbacks at the Combine.

Geno Smith – West Virginia – 4.59
E.J. Manuel – Florida State – 4.65
Matt Scott – Arizona – 4.69
Marquies Gray – Minnesota – 4.72
Collin Klein – Kansas St. – 4.78
Colby Cameron – Louisiana Tech – 4.78
James Vandenburg – Iowa – 4.92
Mike Glennon – N.C. State – 4.94
Tyler Wilson – Arkansas - 4.95
Brad Sorenson – So. Utah – 4.97

Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib ran a 5.06. Duke QB Sean Renfree did not work out due to a pectoral injury.


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Mr. Smith goes to Indianapolis

Posted by johnmurphyshow on February 24, 2013 – 3:30 pm

He elected not to attend the Senior Bowl last month, but West Virginia QB Geno Smith has made his mark on the NFL Scouting in Indianapolis. Going into the combine, Smith was rated as the best quarterback in the class by many. And he did nothing to dispel that notion during the Sunday afternoon workouts.

Smith has a cannon for an arm and he put it on display in the workouts with the wide receivers. On his short throws, he seemed to lack some touch, but he was far and away the best QB on the field Sunday. And Smith shined in the earlier QB workouts, with the best time in the 40-yard dash among the quarterback group (4.59). Nevertheless, he’s not really considered a “running” QB. With his stature (6-2, 218 pounds) and his arm strength, Smith could probably play the role of a traditional pocket passer very effectively.

He reportedly was one of the QBs the Bills met with this weekend at the Combine. And he’s likely to merit serious consideration for the Bills and every other team in need of a QB upgrade this year.


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Geno frank about his struggles

Posted by Chris Brown on February 23, 2013 – 12:27 am

Most NFL prospects toot their own horn repeatedly when they meet the media at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. Some are willing to say they’re the best player at their position in the draft class to try to exude confidence. West Virginia QB Geno Smith took a different angle in pointing to his current weaknesses.

“Inconsistency is something I struggle with I believe,” said Smith. “I’ve put up some good statistics, but there were some situations where I could’ve made a better throw and I’ll be the first one to say that, but I think my skill set is one that is tailored for any offense. I’m a very smart guy, I understand defense, I have a good knowledge of the game and I also put the work in necessary to get better. You can watch the tape and see all the throws I can make. Obviously I can make every throw on the field and like I said that can still be improved.”

Smith also said he considers himself a pocket quarterback and doesn’t believe his game is predicated on the read option attack that’s become more popular in the league. He did say he could run it if that’s what his coach wants.

 


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Geno Smith: I don’t feel pressure

Posted by Chris Brown on February 23, 2013 – 12:23 am

Geno Smith was one of the more recognizable quarterbacks at the NFL Combine when made available to the media. He was asked if he felt the pressure to perform on the field this Sunday in the workouts after choosing to decline an invite to the Senior Bowl.

“I don’t feel any pressure. I’m totally confident in my abilities,” Smith said. “I’m not cocky and sitting up here thinking I’m this all world player right now, because like I said I have many areas where I need to grow. But I do feel like I have a tremendous skill set and I have an opportunity to showcase that which is something I look forward to.”

Smith said he skipped the Senior Bowl on the advice of his representatives that he trusts.

 


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Facing Barkley, Smith not a huge help

Posted by Chris Brown on February 22, 2013 – 6:58 pm

Bills head coach Doug Marrone’s Syracuse Orange had to face both Matt Barkley and USC and Geno Smith and West Virginia this past season. How much might it help Marrone in evaluating those two quarterbacks for the Bills having game planned against them?

The Orange faced USC in the New York Classic at the Meadowlands in early September. Barkley only threw for 187 yards, but tossed six touchdowns and one interception in a 42-29 Trojan victory. Marrone’s Orange were victorious in the Pinstripe Bowl at the end of the season when they beat Geno Smith and West Virginia 38-14. Smith was 19-28 for 201 yards and two touchdowns in the game.

That exposure to two of the quarterbacks most frequently ranked as the best in the class however, doesn’t give much of a leg up to Marrone and the Bills.

“I don’t think you could put an evaluation on somebody from a game. I think it’s a body of work and he’s proven he’s a top flight quarterback,” Marrone said of Smith. “I was able to see that going back and looking at all those games. We were just fortunate. We did a good job and we were able to win the game, but make no mistakes about it he’s an outstanding player.”

As for Barkley it’s much the same case.

“I think sometimes things are a little bit exaggerated as far as how I would have better insight to it,” said Marrone. “He was an opponent and I saw some of his games getting ready, but I think everyone else has the same type of evaluation process of what they go through. It’s not like I was able to ask him what he was thinking about how he was going to attack us. I was able to see him do some very good things obviously. Unfortunately they were some very good things against us. He’s a very good player as well as all the other players that are here so I don’t think I have any great insight on all these players we played against or any more insight than anyone else.”


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Latest mock has QB to Bills at 8

Posted by Chris Brown on February 21, 2013 – 11:41 pm

Despite the popular contention that there isn’t a quarterback talent in this year’s draft fit for the Bills pick at eight, another draft prognosticator has Buffalo taking one in round one.

NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks has the Bills taking N.C. State QB Mike Glennon with the eighth overall pick. Here’s what he wrote.

Pick No. 8
 
QB Mike Glennon
N.C. State
The Bills could elect to take a wide receiver or inside linebacker, but nabbing a franchise-caliber quarterback is GM Buddy Nix’s priority in this draft. Although Glennon is a limited athlete prone to making mistakes under duress, he is an A-plus arm talent with tremendous potential.
 
Brooks has Geno Smith of West Virginia as the only other quarterback coming off the board in the first round. He has Smith going first overall to Kansas City.

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Inconsistency of QBs bothering Mayock

Posted by Chris Brown on February 20, 2013 – 8:35 am

NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock is admittedly having a hard time really liking any of the quarterbacks in this year’s draft class, and it’s because of one quality that he believes is lacking in all of them, consistency.

Mayock was asked about Oklahoma QB Landry Jones, and his answer morphed into a commentary on the QB class as a whole.

“Like a lot of the quarterbacks this year, he’s so difficult to qualify,” said Mayock of Jones. “I can look at certain games and go, ‘That’s a first round draft pick.’  I can look at other games and go, ‘He’s a fifth round guy.’ 

“I’m struggling with him. I like his junior tape better than his senior tape. I think he can make most of the throws.  I think ‑‑ I know he can make all the throws. I’ve seen him make all the throws, but like a lot of this year’s quarterbacks, there is no consistency with this kid. Same thing with Geno Smith. Same thing with Matt Barkley.”

That’s why Mayock, though he has Smith and Barkley as his top two QBs, doesn’t have any quarterback ranked higher than 20 overall.


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Developing QB prospects important this year

Posted by Chris Brown on February 19, 2013 – 12:14 pm

Much has been made about the fact that there isn’t a lead pipe lock at the quarterback position in this year’s draft class, but NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock made a good point on a team’s confidence in developing quarterbacks.

On a national conference call Mayock was asked about both Andy Dalton and Colin Kaepernick, who both were second-round draft choices. Both have become solid starting quarterbacks even though they were not finished products or can’t miss franchise signal callers when they came out.

“They both became second round picks, they might have gone back‑to‑back in the draft, but what did people miss,” Mayock asked rhetorically. “Kaepernick, when he started taking off, I went back to my college notes on him, and I was like, ‘Look at all this I have written on this kid.’ What I had was big arm, wildly inconsistent, great athlete. Well you could see all that stuff. 

“But I think Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers spent a year kind of getting that arm where it was a lot more consistent. Could you say the same thing about Geno Smith? Probably. Could you say the same thing about Mike Glennon? Yeah, big arm. 

“I’m not talking about athletic ability with Glennon, but somebody could buy into a Geno Smith up high because they feel like there are flashes of everything there. However, he’s got to put it together on a more consistent basis. 

“So a team that feels comfortable in their ability to evaluate and then develop quarterbacks are going to feel better about Geno Smith and Matt Barkley and Mike Glennon.”

Knowing Bills offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, who also is the team’s quarterbacks coach, was very successful in developing Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib, one wonders if the Bills have a similar faith to that of the 49ers in developing quarterback prospects that might not be finished NFL products at the time they are drafted.


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McShay’s mock goes QB for Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on February 7, 2013 – 3:46 pm

ESPN NFL draft analyst Todd McShay, joined colleague Mel Kiper in posting his latest mock draft Thursday. While Kiper chose a linebacker for the Bills with the eighth overall pick, McShay went the route of quarterback.

McShay picked West Virginia’s Geno Smith for Buffalo. He was also the first quarterback off McShay’s board. Here was his analysis.

8 – Buffalo Bills – Record: 6-10
Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
Smith has had some trouble in bad weather, which is clearly a concern for Buffalo, but he is a good fit in offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett’s version of the West Coast offense. When he’s on his game, Smith’s mechanics, smarts and confidence are impressive. Where he lands is perhaps the most intriguing storyline leading up to draft day, with Kansas City, Jacksonville and Philadelphia all possibilities in the top five.

Smith is the only quarterback McShay has coming off the board in the first round. For the record he has Ogletree (Kiper’s pick for Bills) going 19th overall to the Giants.


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QBs invited to NFL Combine

Posted by Chris Brown on February 7, 2013 – 10:23 am

Here’s the rundown of the 16 quarterbacks in the 2013 NFL draft pool that have been invited to the NFL Combine.

Among the invitees at the quarterback position, only one is a junior eligible. Bray, Cameron and Vandenburg have been chosen to be the “throwing quarterbacks” who will participate during the receiver gauntlet drills among others. Bray’s inclusion is a bit surprising, knowing those duties are reserved for lower round prospects.

Matt Barkley – USC
Tyler Bray – Tennessee (jr.)
Colby Cameron – Louisiana Tech
Zac Dysert – Miami – OH
Mike Glennon – N.C. State
Marqueis Gray – Minnesota
Landry Jones – Oklahoma
Collin Klein – Kansas St.
E.J. Manuel – Florida St.
Ryan Nassib – Syracuse
Sean Renfree – Duke
Matt Scott – Arizona
Geno Smith – West Virginia
Brad Sorensen – Southern Utah
James Vandenburg – Iowa
Tyler Wilson – Arkansas


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Nassib ranked top prospect by Lande

Posted by Chris Brown on February 6, 2013 – 10:04 am

Featured today on Buffalobills.com is Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib, part of this year’s quarterback draft pool. Nassib has been widely ranked as one of the top five signal callers in this year’s draft class, but NFL draft analyst Russ Lande took Nassib’s stock and put it at the top of his rankings list.

Lande, a former NFL scout for the Rams and Browns, listed Nassib not only as his top QB prospect, but his top prospect overall. Lande simply lists his top 200 prospects in this year’s draft class, without any reasons why certain prospects garnered so much respect from him.

Nassib has not even been ranked as the top QB prospect by all the other draft prognosticators, let alone the top prospect overall, though some do believe that he has the chance to move up boards late in the pre-draft process with a good showing at the NFL Combine and in pro day workouts.

In terms of some of the other quarterback prospects and where they ranked on Lande’s list, he had Tyler Wilson 33rd overall, Matt Barkley 37th, Mike Glennon 43rd and Geno Smith 44th.


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OL & DL expected to dominate Rd. 1

Posted by Chris Brown on January 31, 2013 – 10:32 am

For those that have been monitoring the national draft prognosticators for a while, this may not come as much of a surprise, but it’s a virtual consensus that offensive and defensive linemen are expected to dominate the top half of round one in the draft come late April.

Count ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay among those that believe the board will lean heavily toward the big uglies come late April. On his most recent Top 32 Big Board (Need ESPN Insider) of 2013 NFL draft prospects, 10 of the top 13 are offensive and defensive linemen. Four of his top five players include three offensive linemen and one defensive lineman, Utah DT Star Lotulelei, who tops his board in the number one spot.

Obviously team needs figure to skew the number of offensive and defensive linemen drafted in the top half of round one, but based on pure talent and production, the linemen coming off the board on day one is expected to be frequent.

As a side note, McShay has just one quarterback prospect in his top 32, West Virginia QB Geno Smith, who is ranked 21st.


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NFP’s Bowen on Senior Bowl QBs

Posted by Chris Brown on January 25, 2013 – 9:42 am

Former NFL safety and National Football Post correspondent Matt Bowen wrapped up his trip to Mobile with 10 observations from the Senior Bowl. He began with the questions at the quarterback position.

Bowen, who often speaks with NFL scouts during the week he’s at the Senior Bowl got a very interesting variety of opinions on the signal callers that were practicing this week and put it in his top 10.

1. Questions at QB: I asked three pro scouts who had the best week of practice in Mobile and I got three different answers: Ryan Nassib, Mike Glennon and E.J. Manuel. My take? I’m going with Nassib. The Syracuse QB will need to develop his overall game, but the skill set was the best I saw on the field. Without Geno Smith and Matt Barkley (both opted out of the Senior Bowl), this group didn’t have one QB that stood above the rest.

What I found most interesting with this comment was no mention of Arkansas QB Tyler Wilson, who was getting some positive reviews in Mobile this week.


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