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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

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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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

No workout for Jarvis Jones at Combine

Posted by Chris Brown on February 21, 2013 – 2:44 pm

Add another premier prospect to the list of those not participating in drills at the NFL Combine.

Pass rushing prospect Jarvis Jones, who led the nation in sacks (14.5), tackles for loss (24.5) and forced fumbles (7) will skip the workouts at the NFL Combine. The Georgia product has chosen to wait until his pro day on March 21st according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Jones’ presence at the Combine is important as he has a medical condition that teams want to investigate further. Jones has a narrowing of the spinal column called spinal stenosis. Still, Jones is widely considered a top 10 pick.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 1-18

Posted by Chris Brown on January 19, 2013 – 5:11 pm

Hey Bills fans, sorry for the delay. We had a publishing failure for Fan Friday. Here is the latest edition of your questions straight from AskChris@bills.nfl.net and Twitter @ChrisBrownBills. Let’s get to them.

1 - Hi Chris,
Just wondering if you could address the Pro Bowl alternates rules and procedure. I know many players end up “making” the Pro Bowl as injured players bow out, but is there also a roster spot that the head coach gets to fill with whomever he chooses? (If so, wouldn’t you choose Byrd or Spiller with that? I would!)

Thanks,
Go Bills!
Greg Campbell

CB: To my knowledge alternates are selected based on who got the next most votes from players and coaches. So team coaches do not get to choose. For example, Calvin Johnson pulled out of the Pro Bowl and replacing him was 1st alternate Vincent Jackson. Jackson was next up because he got the next most votes.

FYI C.J. Spiller confirmed he’s a 1st alternate for the AFC on the John Murphy Show last week.
2 – Chris,

What are the early scouting reports saying about Tyler Wilson and E.J.Manuel? I think the Bills need an accurate quarterback above all else and these two might fit that mold. They may not have the biggest ceilings, but I like what I saw from them this season. Can they fit in any scheme?

Thanks,
Josh

CB: I think it’s safe to say that Wilson has the arm strength to fit in any scheme, and he has shown the ability to make good decisions on the fly in terms of manipulating the pocket to buy time, throwing a receiver open, etc. But only the guys that scout these QBs for a living know for sure.

With respect to Manuel there is no debating his physical tools, but his decision making is what pops up as a criticism among NFL scouts. Against the better defenses he faced Manuel struggled with his decision making.

Fortunately for Manuel he’ll be able to go against some of the best college competition next week at the Senior Bowl along with Wilson and you can draw your own conclusions.

3 – Chris, 

Thanks for all the latest info, I look forward to fan Friday every week.  My question has to do with our upcoming pick in the NFL draft. 

Have you had any indication that we are seriously considering Mike Glennon with the first round pick?  This guy is the real deal!  I might be jumping the gun a bit, but this guy looks like he has Tom Brady/Aaron Rodgers type potential.  Most draft scouts have him rated as a 2-3 round pick… But I really doubt any die hard bills fan will regret “reaching” and taking a chance on a potential franchise QB.  The time is now!

He doesn’t have Geno Smith type stats; however, he rarely got to experience much time in the pocket and when he did, the receivers would drop a large amount of catchable passes.  Even when they were perfect throws.

I’m hoping the Bills have been scouting this guy since last year and that is one of the reasons buddy was so comfortable taking TJ Graham so high in last year’s draft.

I’ve heard all the buddy nix interviews and he has expressed interest in getting a QB if he is there… I want to know what you think they will do? As you can tell, I’m pumped about this offseason.  Unfortunately, the offseason has been the best part of being a Bills fan for a long time.

Thanks again and keep up the great work.

Bills fan in Dallas TX,
-Bill O

CB: First of all if you think that Buddy Nix or any member of his personnel staff reveals their true leanings with respect to prospects in the draft you’re crazy. It’s full lockdown mode with the personnel department this time of year and you can understand why.

Glennon is highly touted in what is considered a down year for quarterbacks. He’s got a great arm and yes you’re right his offensive line was not great. Mobility is an issue, but he’s got experience in a pro system. Buddy Nix at the end of the season on his radio show didn’t deny he was a guy they’ve looked at.

Truthfully though they’ve looked at all the quarterback prospects that are worth their salt. So read into it what you want. The bottom line is Nix has said they’d like to draft a future franchise QB. The question is will the draft fall or the Bills make a move to ensure that happens?

4 –  Hey Chris,

I know it’s early I’m looking at the top end of the draft I’m not liking the quarterbacks or the idea of drafting another defensive lineman, would they draft another tackle and maybe put Cordy Glenn on the right side or is there a wide receiver worth taking?

I’m assuming Jarvis Jones won’t be around at 8 do you think Manti Te’o would be a good fit with the Bills? I know free agency will influence what direction they go in the draft, Buddy mentioned possibly a quarterback in free agency I looked at the list and unless Mike Vick is added to it I’m not convinced there is anybody available that is any better than Fitzpatrick I’m kind of hoping they either trade for someone or stay the course, what do you think of the quarterback situation and the top of the draft? Thanks for all you do!

Alexander Albanese
Toronto

CB: There have been a couple of wide receivers that are viewed as first round picks, but not true top 10 selections. I don’t see Buddy Nix as the type that would take a receiver that high.

Tennesee’s Cordarelle Patterson is an intriguing physical specimen, but there’s not much of a college track record there with just one year of FBS competition. I’d much prefer a guy with more of a resume of production like Baylor’s Terrance Williams or Cal’s Keenan Allen. All three though should come off the board in round one or early second round.

You’re probably right on Jarvis Jones. Most see him as a top 5, but his spinal stenosis might concern some and he could slip.

Te’o is a LB that has been projected to the Bills in mock drafts (see: Mel Kiper), but I want to see how he tests at the Combine in the drills. The whole Notre Dame defense played poorly in the National Championship game, but I’d imagine that Te’o’s performance might necessitate a good showing at the Combine to re-assure scouts. Still, he’s widely seen as a mid-first rounder at worst.

I think Alex Smith will be there in light of his contract situation, knowing his $7.5M salary is guaranteed if he’s still on the 49ers roster April 1st. I don’t know at this time whether the Bills see him as a viable option, mainly because they can’t comment on players still under contract with other clubs.

Nix has said they would like to draft one and get one in free agency, so there’s a good chance they add more than one.

The draft prospects aren’t top flight, elite talents like the ones that were in the draft pool last season, arguably the best QB draft since 1983. But guys like Geno Smith, Mike Glennon and Ryan Nassib could sneak into the first round knowing the premium placed on the position, provided a team needing a QB (KC, AZ, Buf) decides to make the move back into the first.

5 – Hi Chris, just wondering what you thought of the Buffalo Bills decision to hire Doug Marrone as their new head coach. Based on his record (25-25) at Syracuse, it seems to me that he may not do well in the pros. I saw that he does have some NFL coaching experience, but mainly as an offensive coordinator. What are your thoughts? I’m worried about him bringing his coaching staff from Syracuse as well. Now, if his understudies have little pro coaching experience, this could be a painful rebuilding process, one that may take years. I believe the Buffalo Bills do have talent right now, but will Marrone be able to coax wins out of this squad? Your thoughts,

Tony, Ormond Beach, Fl

CB: I think if you used Marrone’s record at Syracuse as a barometer to measure his future success in the NFL you’re making a big mistake. Syracuse was a wayward program when Marrone took over. They won just 10 games in the previous four years before Marrone took over. He won 12 in his first two seasons including an 8-5 campaign in 2010.

Marrone made very solid choices for his coordinators. Hopefully you saw our story on the website about their expertise. His understudies from Syracuse largely include assistants that have either coached or played in the NFL.

I think Marrone will quickly establish a rapport with the players and get more out of the talent that exists on this roster. There won’t be any rebuilding. This is a regrouping effort, and Marrone I think could prove to be one of the better hires for head coach for this franchise in quite some time.


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Posted in Inside the Bills