Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 4-20

Posted by Chris Brown on April 20, 2018 – 11:04 am

The last Fan Friday before the 2018 NFL draft. Buffalo has a lot to work with. Cross your fingers that they get everything they’re after. Here are your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills
What’s your gut feeling? Trade up or stay put at 12? And, if you had to guess – who’s the QB prospect they want?

John Green
@JGreen_PRsports

CB: I believe the Bills will exhaustively work to find the right move that they believe works best for them in terms of positioning and value. Whether they feel that has to happen before the draft or after it begins is the big question for me.

As for the QB prospect they want, I’m going to tell you it’s been like Fort Knox upstairs. GM Brandon Beane has made it clear to his staff to keep a tight lid on things and Beane himself has said the circle of people who are in the know about their draft leanings is very, very small.

Beane knows how important this draft is to their long range vision for this team. So it doesn’t surprise me at all that they’ve been as tight lipped a group as I’ve seen pre-draft.


2 –
@ChrisBrownBills
Who is your favorite QB prospect? Not who you believe the Bills would take, but who would you take Chris?

Brett Triplett
@BrettsterBills

CB: I’ve been on record for a while saying I like Josh Rosen the most in this class. I’d be happy with a couple of other QB prospects too. He just has the passing skills that you need in a QB at the NFL level. Accuracy, ability to read defenses, solid mechanics, smarts. I also think his personality criticisms are overblown.

I know I’m in the minority, but I’ve also got Mason Rudolph in my top four. I really like his body of work and skill set.

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

In your gut, if the Bills are faced with a “doomsday scenario” of 4 QBs taken in the first 5 picks (and Buffalo not being one of them), do you think the Bills take Jackson at 12, or do you think they wait for the next tier of Rudolph/Lauletta/White/Falk, etc?

Parasauralophus
@lophus89

CB: I have to think Jackson would be an option, but what I grapple with concerning Jackson and matching him with the Bills is his skill set is very similar to that of the quarterback they just traded to the Browns. The only big area where Tyrod Taylor and Lamar Jackson differ in terms of their passing skill sets is Jackson seems to get through his progressions more consistently and his strength is hitting targets between the numbers (middle of field).

Taylor’s strength was hitting targets outside the numbers, but he wasn’t as effective over the middle.

So I’m not convinced the Bills would draft a QB with a similar set of skills to that of Taylor.

I would hope Mason Rudolph would be a consideration in light of my aforementioned comments about him. As for Lauletta, there’s nothing with him that will wow you, but he is consistent and makes plays.

White and Falk are players who probably aren’t coming off the board until round 3 at the earliest and that’s late round 3 as I see it.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

Chris, good morning. My question is what do you expect the Bills to target in rounds 4-6 assuming some of the pressing positions get addressed early (qb,lb,wr)?

Tony Chimera
@ChimeraTony

CB: I think with the depth at cornerback, running back and the interior offensive line, those are logical positions that will have viable options to choose from on day three.

We have to remember that Vontae Davis is only signed for one season. So cornerback is a position in need of depth with E.J. Gaines, Shareece Wright and Leonard Johnson no longer on the roster.

In fact, I think cornerback could be addressed sooner than day three if the right prospect comes up when the Bills are on the clock.

Guard prospects go about 15 deep with draftable grades, so there should be developmental talent come day three. And there are running backs to be had, who could contribute in a reserve role in that range.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills
Chris, with the Bills having the 2nd most draft capital besides Clev. Do u think the chances r good that the Bills move up to draft a QB? Nobody should b able to outbid us?

Mikey
@Mikeybeit

CB: While that is true in terms of draft capital in the 2018 draft, the great equalizer for the other NFL clubs in terms of trade capital are future draft picks.

For example, a team like the New Orleans Saints down at pick 27 really only have the draft capital in their 2018 arsenal to get up to 20 in round one. But if they decide to offer a first-round pick in 2019, suddenly they have the ammunition to get up as high as pick four, if you weigh the Saints first-round pick in 2019 to be a middle of the round value.

So if a team is desperate enough, or competitive enough, they could be willing to part with future assets to level the trading playing field.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 4-13

Posted by Chris Brown on April 13, 2018 – 11:50 am

Happy Friday the 13th Bills fans! The draft is fast approaching. Let’s get to your questions on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills
For a team without a consensus starting QB for the last 22 yrs, does trading up to take 1 of a deep class of QB prospects in the 2018 draft constitute “reaching”? Can Beane/McDermott afford to kick this can down the road?

Keith Archie
@ASCREEN07

CB: I think we are all of the belief that all the stockpiling of Buffalo’s draft capital, which is at a record level in terms of assets, was not done to add nine players to the roster (their total number of picks). It was done to provide them with the ammunition to get a quarterback in this year’s class.

For a plan that has likely been a year in the making, I find it hard to believe that the Bills will not make every attempt to trade up to grab one of the QB prospects they feel is worth the price of moving up the board to select.

Although there will be a couple of options in next year’s draft at QB – Auburn’s Jarrett Stidham, Washington’s Jacob Eason, Missouri’s Drew Lock – those players, with the possible exception of Stidham, have to show dramatic improvement on the field in 2018 to be in the same category as the QBs in this class.

Now is the time to strike and the Bills have the assets to make it happen.


2 –
@ChrisBrownBills
How do you think Ryan Groy fits into our plans moving forward? Especially without Incognito.

Mark Kammerdeiner
@billsfannum1

CB: I think we’ll have a better idea on that post-draft. It’s my contention that the Bills will add some youth to their offensive line in the draft. The question is will they make additions early in the draft or late? That will likely be determined by what assets they choose to part with in a trade up scenario in round one.

If they add an interior lineman relatively early (rounds 1-3), and it’s a guard who has a chance to start right away then I think Groy is competing for the starting center role. If it’s a late round addition, then I think Groy is more likely to line up in a starting guard role and will compete with John Miller.


3 –
@ChrisBrownBills
Are the Bills interested at all in Mason Rudolph or Lamar Jackson? Is it even possible that they stay at 12 and take either of those guys or are they definitely going after one of the other four? Namely Baker Mayfield or Josh Rosen.

Waves
@BethelWaves11

CB: I believe the answer to this is in Buffalo’s preparation. They’ve scouted and done their due diligence on all of the top 6 quarterback prospects. Truth be told there’s something to like about all six of the top QBs, so it wouldn’t surprise me if they were intrigued by any one of these top QB prospects.

I’m sure they probably have two that they covet the most, but when you’re sitting at 12 you have to know for certain who you believe is ready to compete for the starting job now and who is a year away and slot your quarterback prospects accordingly.

As for your question of if it’s possible they take Jackson or Rudolph at 12, in the draft anything is possible, especially at the QB position, where in most cases on draft day their value tends to get pushed up the board because teams get nervous about missing out.

There are a few cases over the years where a QB slides, but more often than not QB value moves up, which is why Rudolph even in the 12-20 range of round one wouldn’t surprise even though most values on him as little as two weeks ago had him late one to early two.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

Hey Chris, what’s the plan for the Middle LB spot? I’m sure they’re going to take someone with one of their first 3 picks, but was curious who you’d think would be a fit, especially if they trade up? I like Jewell from Iowa in Round 2 assuming they make jump up in round 1.

Michael Morgante
@md_morgante

CB: This is a position I’m legitimately concerned about because the draft is thin at true ‘mike’ linebacker types. Knowing they could part with draft assets to address QB, I worry that some of the better options at MLB won’t be there for Buffalo.

I do like Jewell as a prospect because of his productivity and instincts, but he might not have all the requisite measurables to excel as a three-down MLB. He has some coverage liabilities to his game in terms of lateral movement and change of direction skills, so I wonder where the Bills value on him would lie.

I believe there are some outside linebacker prospects who could project to ILB, like BYU’s Fred Warner or Vanderbilt’s Oren Burks. NFL teams will have to try to see if some of these OLB prospects are capable of moving inside because the ILB crop is so thin.

Burks is a guy I think could easily project inside because he’s played there before and possesses the cover skills necessary to that position.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills

Why is it taking so long to move to top 5? Everyone knows the #bills are looking to trade

Chetan Rakieten
@chetanrakieten

CB: I don’t know this for sure, but I would think that the Bills, or any other team interested in possibly moving into the top 10 or top 5, have laid the groundwork for a possible trade with another club, but a lot of those decisions are predicated on what players come off the board first.

Let’s just say hypothetically that the Bears want RB Saquon Barkley, but don’t think they’ll get him at 8. Maybe they don’t have the assets to get up to 2, so they’ve talked with Browns at four and the Broncos at five.

Even if they have a deal in place with the Broncos at 5 to move up, there is no sense of pulling the trigger on a deal unless they know Barkley is available. So if Barkley somehow slides past the Browns at four on draft day, then the Bears call the Broncos and pull the trigger to move up to five to take the RB.

That’s why a lot of trades do not happen until draft day.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 3-9

Posted by Chris Brown on March 9, 2018 – 11:34 am

Free agency is the next item on the NFL offseason docket. The market opens Thursday afternoon at 4 pm. Let’s get to your questions on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills or on email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

What other players may be on Buffalo’s radar that were recently cut? Seems like the plan is to fill out the roster with low cost value players that won’t count against the comp formula. Also, do you anticipate the Bills signing any of their FAs to more than a vet minimum deal?

Michael McMasters
@kidmickey85

CB: I know a lot of Bills fans are chomping at the bit for RB DeMarco Murray, but I believe the Bills have their veteran backup to McCoy in Chris Ivory. If I had to guess, I think it’s more likely that any future additions at running back take place in the draft.

As for signing a free agent to more than a veteran minimum deal, I think it could happen, but not more than two to three times this offseason.

As much as the Bills want to fill out the roster, they’re also trying to achieve a salary cap future that provides them with more flexibility.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

Gut feeling. Do they make a deal to get into that top 6-8 and draft a qb?

Mike F
@NYCJayhawk

CB: It’s hard to believe they won’t at least try to move up the board, IF the board falls a particular way. And that’s a big if. If a player or players they covet are off the board quickly, or sooner than they anticipated, I think that would negate any effort to move up the board.

However, if one of the prospects the Bills hold in high regard slips even a little bit further than anticipated, I could see them making a run at him.

Where on the board does that happen?

That’s hard to peg. Brandon Beane did say at the Senior Bowl that he didn’t want to pay a king’s ransom, and in most cases that’s what is required to get into the top five. Does that mean they’re only looking at the back half of the top 10 as a target area?

I don’t think there are any absolutes because the draft is such a fluid, ever changing entity.

When you have 32 teams thinking 32 different things about 250-300 different players, the unanticipated is bound to happen.

I wish I could give you a definitive answer, but with the draft the whole thing is a crapshoot.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

First of all, it was great seeing you and John at the combine! Could you comment on Lamar Jackson? I was a little disappointed in what I saw… seemed tentative

Steve Olsson
@steve_olsson

CB: Good to meet you guys too. I think Lamar Jackson was as advertised. While his completion percentage did improve his junior year, it’s still a part of his game where the consistency must improve. His ball location doesn’t often allow his receivers to gain yards after the catch, often forcing them to adjust to the pass.

Anticipation throwing is not something that’s frequently witnessed on his game tape. He is far and away the quarterback prospect with the greatest ability to extend the play, but I think he will need time to adapt to the pro game.

He reminds me of a shorter Colin Kaepernick, and in the right scheme he could be dynamic. I just wonder how quickly he’ll take to the NFL game, knowing some of the parts of his game that need refinement.
4 – @ChrisBrownBills

Chances they keep Tyrod and draft Lamar Jackson in a scenario like Kansas City did last year.

Timothy Filutze
@timothy_filutze

CB: I don’t think you can rule anything out. The reason why is you don’t know, exactly anyway, how the free agent QB market will unfold and what that will prompt some teams to do if they miss out on a free agent QB they had their eye on (See: Cousins).

It could prompt them to make a trade offer for a QB like Nick Foles or Taylor.

Even Brandon Beane can’t predict what’s going to happen, which is why he said he expects Taylor to be on the roster right now. But if he gets an offer for Taylor that he can’t refuse, that could obviously change things.

As for Lamar Jackson, I think the Bills, much like every team right now, are entertaining all options if they believe it upgrades their quarterback position.
5 – @ChrisBrownBills

Should the Bills look to add a bigger hitter at SS and move Hyde down to the slot corner position?

Coach
@MoneyAce1984

CB: If you can find a 220-pound safety who can hit and also cover then you can consider that. But where the league is now, the primary prerequisite for a strong safety is to have the ability to cover and not just tight ends and backs, but slot receivers as well.

This has weeded out a lot of bigger safeties who lack cover ability. Ten to 15 years ago 220-pound strong safeties were more prevalent in the league. Now 220-pound players are lining up at linebacker.

The passing league has mandated greater emphasis on finding athletes, who can run, cover and hit on defense. This often means lighter, faster players.

So I don’t see finding a bigger safety who can hit as a priority for the Bills this offseason.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 2-2

Posted by Chris Brown on February 2, 2018 – 3:45 pm

Happy groundhog day Bills fans! The offseason begins in earnest after Super Bowl weekend. Let’s get prepared with your questions on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

Will the #Bills go after Kirk Cousins?

Jon-Erik
@jonerik0619

CB: I think it’s difficult to provide a straight answer to this question. The reason why is this is a very unique situation. I can’t remember the last time a quarterback of this caliber, without an injury issue (See: P. Manning, Brees) had a strong chance of hitting the free agent market.

While I think it would be only natural for the Bills to be interested in a player who over the last three seasons ranks third in completion percentage (67%) fourth in passing yards (13,176), eighth in touchdowns (81) and is tied for first in pass plays of 25 yards or more (113), the first question is does he make it to the free agent market?

There’s a good chance that one of the many teams interested in Cousins will blink and try to orchestrate a trade with Washington for Cousins to avoid competing with the other clubs for his services in free agency.

Having not seen the Beane-McDermott duo in action for a full offseason it will be interesting to see what they value more.

If they do in fact have a strong interest in Cousins, are they more willing to give up draft capital to land the QB via trade?

Or are they more willing to compromise cap space by outbidding competitors for Cousins should he hit the free agent market and hold onto their draft assets?

Knowing the Bills have a lot of holes to fill, their draft assets would appear to be a priority, but the chance to land a QB with franchise-caliber numbers (whether you believe in Cousins or not) could trump that.

That’s what makes the Cousins sweepstakes so compelling. What are teams that need a proven producer like Cousins at QB willing to give up to get him?

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

Chances they trade up w/#Broncos if Denver gets Cousins? Also, opinion on Lamar Jackson’s NFL projection?

Lars Lewis
@larslewis12

CB: Again a major hypothetical. The price to move into the top 10 this year might require more than most years because of the demand to get into prime quarterback territory this year. The price is likely to be too steep to get into the top 10. I believe if a QB slips for whatever reason down to 10 or 11, then I believe a trade up is more likely,  but the Bills won’t be alone in that kind of pursuit.

As for Lamar Jackson, I’m in the Bill Polian camp on the Louisville QB. He’s a ridiculous and rare athlete with the ball in his hands. But I don’t think Jackson is a quarterback in the NFL. His accuracy still isn’t consistent enough to keep drives alive in the NFL.

I do think he can be a Pro Bowl caliber wide receiver.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

A recent mock draft had the Bills drafting back-to-back DTs in the first round and addressing QB in the 2nd round. Do you think there’s any chance of that happening?

Parasauralophus
@lophus89

CB: The draft is so far off and so many things can happen between now and then that just about anything is possible. Right now the Bills have only Adolphus Washington and Ricky Hatley under contract at DT. If Kyle Williams chooses to continue playing then I think back-to-back DTs become unlikely. But if not, there is a gaping hole in the middle of the defensive interior. So it’s not outlandish to think that could happen.

QB in the second round is also possible if they can’t get up the board to prime QB territory. There are so many variables with trades and free agency that you can’t narrow down the possibilities at this point.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

Do you see Ryan Groy taking over the starting Center position or do the Bills need to add one in the draft?

Coach
@MoneyAce1984

CB: As we addressed in our filling the void story on Buffalobills.com this week, I believe Groy is the odds on favorite to take over the starting center role. Drafting a center isn’t a common occurrence unless there’s a stud in round one or a good value on day two (See Minnesota’s: Pat Elflein).

I do expect the Bills to address the depth of their offensive line both at tackle and on the interior. A versatile player who can duplicate what Groy did as a backup center and swing guard would be a good add.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills.

What do u think will happen with Cordy Glenn? #GoBills

People Over Profit 🏽️@Jiillyy

CB: The first thing that has to happen is he has to get healthy after undergoing a procedure on his foot. All indications are he is doing well in his rehabilitation and will be ready for the start of the offseason conditioning program in April.

He has proven that he’s a solid starting left tackle in this league. If the Bills are committed to clearing more cap space, Cordy Glenn would be a logical option knowing his cap figure is the second-highest on the team for 2018 next to Tyrod Taylor.

There are always teams looking for quality pass protectors, so if that proves to be the plan moving forward it would not be difficult to find interested parties.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 10-27

Posted by Chris Brown on October 27, 2017 – 12:21 pm

We’ll see if the Bills can remain undefeated at home against the Raiders Sunday. Here are your questions on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills and email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

What’s the best deal we get for Boldin?

Todd Burger Brown
@AllTimeBodacity

CB: Here’s my thought on all this Boldin trade request stuff. First, the change of heart is pretty disappointing. He could’ve made a difference for this offense and he bails after being on Buffalo’s roster for a week. Now two months later he wants to play again? C’mon.

As for trade value for him, I think the market is extremely limited. If Boldin and his agent think they can get one of the three Florida teams to pony up a draft choice for a 35-year old receiver, who may retire again at season’s end, it’s a long shot at best.

I think they’re going to have to extend their search and cast a wider net. How far from his Florida home is he willing to play? Atlanta? New Orleans? Charlotte? All these teams have established passing weapons, much like Miami and Tampa Bay.

To answer your question though I expect the Bills to ask for a defined draft pick. Reason why is if it’s a conditional pick and Boldin doesn’t meet the conditions then the Bills get nothing in return. I can’t see GM Brandon Beane going for any kind of conditional compensation, especially if Miami, a division opponent, for some reason is interested.

Short of a major injury to an important receiver in a team’s offense, I can’t see a trade coming to fruition in the time frame laid out in the letter. So I’d say in all likelihood he doesn’t find a suitable trade partner and sits.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

What is the status on keeping Tyrod around for another season? If he wins this week are we looking at more Tyrod in the future?

Sumpy
@JBrind95

CB: I fully expect the Bills coaching staff and front office to let the season play out. It’s too early now to make an assessment as to what the powers that be at One Bills Drive will do concerning Taylor’s future. Right now Taylor is playing well for the most part, but I think the front office and the coaching staff will need to see where it all goes the rest of the way before determining Taylor’s future. He is under contract for 2018.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

How much Thompson will we see?

Mike
@Super_Strat

CB: Thompson got just 21 snaps last week and posted a 100-yard receiving day. I anticipate he’ll get a good deal more than the 31 percent of the offensive snaps he had last week against the Raiders. Rookie Zay Jones has been getting the most time on the field among the outside receivers, so it’s likely that Andre Holmes’ time on the field could take a hit if Thompson sees more action.

Head coach Sean McDermott said this week that it is a production business and Thompson produced, so I’d expect he gets closer to half the snaps depending on the game plan and whether offensive coordinator Rick Dennison has more two tight end sets as opposed to three wide.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

What’s the chances of the Bills trading for another WR before the trade deadline?

James Gresham
@Slrydaz21

CB: I think anything is possible for the right price. I know many are speculating with five offensive tackles on the roster that the Bills will deal from that surplus to address a shortage somewhere else on the roster. For me that position is cornerback. Of course I think the Bills would be hard pressed to find a club willing to part with a cornerback in midseason for an offensive tackle, unless they were in a supremely desperate situation.

The compensation for the Bills at this point in the year for any player they might part with is more likely to be a draft choice than it is a player of major substance who can help them right now.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills

Do the successes of mobile QBs like Tyrod and Russell Wilson suggest that some teams like #GoBills and #Seahawks might be more interested in Lamar Jackson?

Dean Kindig
@TCBILLS_Astro

CB: That seems like a bit of a jump. Yes, Wilson has been successful in using his mobility, as has Taylor, but Wilson also has the second-highest career passer rating in league history (99.3) behind only Aaron Rodgers (104.1) according to Pro-Football-Reference. He’s also in the top 10 all-time in completion percentage (64.6%). So he’s a pretty darn good passer.

I don’t think Lamar Jackson has the passing accuracy right now to be on the same level as Wilson. If his accuracy is an issue in college, it will certainly be one in the NFL where the windows are a lot tighter. Though his completion percentage is better this year (60%), I don’t know that it’ll get where it needs to be to convince teams that he should be a high draft choice.

Fantastic athletic talent, and a rocket for an arm, but accuracy counts more than power and strength. He’s one of the more interesting cases, because he’s a dynamic college QB, but at the pro level it’s hard to see him having just as much success.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills