Inside The Bills

Another LT prospect in draft pool

Posted by Chris Brown on January 7, 2010 – 10:00 am

A good offensive tackle class just got a bit better with a junior eligible forgoing his senior season.

Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year, Bryan Bulaga declared for the draft.

The Iowa product is 6’6″ 315 and has been compared to former Iowa OT Robert Gallery. Now I know that might cause some to wince, but no one is saying Bulaga is going to be the 2nd pick in the draft.

I’m not going to pretend that I know a lot about Bulaga yet, but I do know this guy makes the tackle pool deeper which is important for the Bills who need an offensive tackle in the draft and free agency.


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QB Clausen to have toe surgery

Posted by Chris Brown on January 4, 2010 – 9:04 pm

Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen, who declared himself eligible for the NFL draft this spring won’t be doing much at the NFL Combine in late February.

At that point he’ll be too busy rehabbing his toe as he’s scheduled to have surgery Tuesday morning to repair two torn ligaments according to ESPN. The injury happened all the way back on Sept. 19 in a game against Michigan State. He played the rest of the season with the injury.

His prognosis is three months with Clausen not expected to throw for scouts until early April.


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QB to Bills in CBS mock draft

Posted by Chris Brown on December 28, 2009 – 1:00 pm

CBSSports.com has Buffalo taking a quarterback with the eighth overall pick.

I’ll have to check to see if their draft order is up to date after Sunday’s games, but Draft analyst Rob Rang has the Bills taking Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen with the eighth pick.

The only quarterback he has going before Clausen is at pick number six where he has the Washington Redskins taking Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford.

Defensive tackles are the first three picks off the board in his mock in Ndamakong Suh, Gerald McCoy and Derrick Morgan.


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Bills will have top 10 pick

Posted by Chris Brown on December 28, 2009 – 12:13 pm

With the best possible record for the Bills being 6-10, Buffalo has clinched a top 10 pick with one game to play.

The Bills are currently 5-10 along with two other teams (Oakland, Seattle) and Chicago, which plays Monday night is 5-9. With no other teams in the league with six wins these four teams can’t catch any one of the teams with seven wins, unless the Bears win tonight.

Tiebreakers for these teams will be determined by strength of schedule. If your strength of schedule is weaker and your team and another team have the same record, you would pick higher under the thinking that your team had an easier schedule and still couldn’t win more games.

So at this point Buffalo will pick anywhere between 7 and 10 in the 2010 NFL draft.


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Oregon St. QB not impressive

Posted by Chris Brown on December 23, 2009 – 11:39 am

Oregon St. QB Sean Canfield was a guy that was thought by some draft experts as a senior signal caller that could help his cause in the draft with a good showing in the Las Vegas Bowl Tuesday night. After his performance in windy conditions, I don’t know that I’d have him as a consideration for the Bills.

On a windy night in Las Vegas, Canfield, who doesn’t have a big arm to begin with, struggled big time. He completed just four passes in the first half as the Beavers fell to BYU 44-20. Canfield was 20-41 for 173 yards and an INT.

He still has the postseason games to make a name for himself and help his draft stock, but those blustery conditions were a good indication as to how he might handle a November day in Buffalo and it didn’t go well.


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ESPN’s McShay likes OT class

Posted by Chris Brown on December 22, 2009 – 6:26 pm

ESPN’s Todd McShay in a national conference call for media assessed the 2010 draft class at the offensive tackle position. Here was his take.

“It’s shaping up to be a good group when you look at a couple of these underclassmen that have already said they are coming out, or we’re hearing reports that they’re leaning that way,” said McShay. “Russell Okung from Oklahoma State is not at that exceptional level like Jake Long out of Michigan a couple years ago, but I do think he’s in the first half of the first round type prospect. … Trent Williams from Oklahoma is the same. Williams struggled this year, but he also made the shift from right tackle to left tackle. When you look at him just physically he had the tools and he was so dominant at right tackle a year ago… I think both of those seniors will be in the first half of the first round. 

“I think one of the most talented tackles in the country is Anthony Davis from Rutgers. He comes with a little bit of baggage, but from a skills standpoint he’s 6’5”, 325 pounds and he can move. If teams clear him and have no concerns about his maturity and the way he’s going to handle the NFL — if you just look at it from a pure talent standpoint — I think Davis has a chance to be the first offensive tackle taken, in the top five to 10 picks.”

McShay had the Bills taking Davis with the 10th overall pick in his first mock draft. With no clear cut top flight QBs in this year’s draft class, offensive tackle would be the next logical place for the Bills to look positionally.


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ESPN’s McShay on the QB class

Posted by Chris Brown on December 22, 2009 – 4:40 pm

ESPN’s Todd McShay gave his take on a national conference call for media members this week on the 2010 QB draft class. Here’s what he had to say.

“With (Jake) Locker out, it will be interesting now to see how the quarterback position shakes out,” said McShay. “You have Sam Bradford coming off the injury who is very talented and certainly from a skills standpoint and potential standpoint belongs in the top 10 to 15 picks. Then Jimmy Clausen from Notre Dame, who I’m not as high on as some other people seem to be. I think he’s well-coached and has enough physical tools but I don’t think he’s exceptional physically. I think his arm strength is just adequate. I think he’s thrown a lot of balls up for grabs and he’s not going to get away with that in the NFL. And from everyone I talk to in the scouting community, there are questions about his leadership and how good of a teammate he is and do you want him to be the face of your organization.

“I think its going to be very interesting watching the quarterback position with those two as the first-rounders. Then, where does Tim Tebow go and where does Colt McCoy go? Two of the most decorated college football players in the history of the game. With those four quarterbacks at the top, there’s going to be a lot of buzz about the position, but we may only have one that goes in the first half in the first round which makes it even more interesting.” 
 
There are some other underclassmen that still may declare for the draft like Arkansas’ Ryan Mallett, who is a third-year sophomore. The other guy that I’m interested in watching is Oregon State’s Sean Canfield. He’s playing tonight in the MAACO bowl against BYU. He’s 6’4″ 214 and he’s a southpaw. He doesn’t have great arm strength, but he’s completed 70 percent of his passes and thrown for over 3,100 yards along with 21 TDs and 6 picks.

Beavers head coach Mike Riley has see Derek Anderson and Matt Moore (Carolina starter last week) come through his program, but some experts maintain that Canfield could be even better than those two. How much better is the question.


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Another OT enters draft pool

Posted by Chris Brown on December 18, 2009 – 10:08 am

A junior at the University of Maryland, offensive tackle Bruce Campbell has declared himself eligible for the 2010 NFL Draft, electing to forgo his senior season with the Terps.

The 6’7″ 310-pound tackle has been told by the NFL Advisory Board that he could be drafted anywhere between the middle of the first to the middle of the second round this spring.

ESPN’s Scouts Inc has him ranked as the 24th best prospect overall. He’s still considered a bit of a work in progress by ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay, but had a good 2009 season and his upside is promising.

Another junior that scouts are waiting on is Rutgers OT Anthony Davis, who ranks 14th overall on the Scouts Inc. prospect rankings list.


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McShay has OT going to Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on December 15, 2009 – 1:32 pm

ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay has the Bills taking an offensive tackle in his first mock draft.

Of course the draft positions have not been set yet with three games to play, but the Bills are projected to pick 10th overall in his mock draft where he has Buffalo taking Rutgers OT Anthony Davis.

Davis (6’5 1/2″ 328), who has elite athletic traits for the left tackle position, is only a junior and has not decided whether he will forgo his final college season and enter the draft.

Mel Kiper says if he waits a year Davis will be a top 5 pick, otherwise he’ll go in the 10-15 range of round one this year. Kipier has him as his top rated junior tackle. The fear with Davis if he does come out is he’s still a bit raw, and would need solid coaching to develop quickly and be a starter on the blind side right away.

Unfortunately the Bills need help that is NFL ready, which is why I’m thinking they might be best served to get a veteran tackle in free agency.


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Jake Locker update

Posted by Chris Brown on December 14, 2009 – 4:03 pm

Bills fans who were hoping to see a 2010 NFL draft class deepen at the quarterback position are no doubt going to be disappointed with the decision reportedly made by Washington Huskies QB Jake Locker.

According to the Associated Press, Locker has chosen to return to school next year for his senior season instead of declaring for the draft.

Locker has first round talent, but does not have a long track of success at the collegiate level. Washington went just 5-7 this season despite Locker throwing for 2,800 yards. But another season under Steve Sarkisian will do him well. He’ll only get better. For the Bills sake however, I wished he was part of this year’s draft class.


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QB Locker still deciding future

Posted by Chris Brown on December 9, 2009 – 1:02 pm

Washington junior QB Jake Locker is still trying to figure out whether to forgo his final year of college eligibility and declare for the draft.

The Tacoma News Tribune provided a list of factors weighing into his decision.

Locker is widely forecast as a top 10 pick in next spring’s draft should he decide to make himself eligible for the 2010 draft.


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Sooners QB to address future

Posted by Chris Brown on October 20, 2009 – 7:00 pm

Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford will address the media about his football future on Wednesday.

According to the Tulsa World, Bradford, who has twice injured his throwing shoulder in this his senior season, will address what his plans are moving forward with respect to his football career.

There’s speculation that he may opt for surgery thereby ending his college career in an effort to be fully healthy in time for the 2010 NFL Draft. But we’ll know for sure Wednesday.


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3 day NFL Draft was inevitable

Posted by Chris Brown on July 23, 2009 – 10:15 pm

The NFL announcing that the draft will now be a 3-day event instead of 2 is anything but a surprise.

With all the draft crazy people that email us at the website alone it was obvious the NFL was going to take advantage of the ever growing fan base that rabidly follows the draft process from the declaration of junior eligibles in January to the draft itself in late April.

“We continue to look for ways to make the draft more accessible to more fans,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a league statement. “Moving the first round to prime time on Thursday night will make the first round of the draft available to fans on what is typically the most-watched night of television.”

I like that it starts on a Thursday and that the 1st round is made into a marquee attraction, especially since its the longest round time-wise anyway.

Saturday however, when they run rounds 4-7 will be for the die hards.

My question for all you fans is whoever is hosting the draft party better have the sleeping bags ready and the guest room and pull out couch ready to accommodate their buds. Either that or house hop with each guy hosting for a day. Get creative fellas.


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Contract parameters for Nelson

Posted by Chris Brown on June 18, 2009 – 3:26 pm

Contract parameters are in place for Bills fourth-round pick Shawn Nelson.

Nelson was the 121st overall pick toward the bottom third of round four with the pick Buffalo acquired from Philadelphia. Taken right after him by Houston was N.C. State tight end Anthony Hill.

Hill signed a 4-year $2.206M deal on Wednesday. Starting points for rookie contracts involve what the player drafted in that spot the year before got and what percentage increase is expected the following year. But when players around your draft pick are signed it can also influence negotiations.

It should be noted though that sometimes having a player at the same position signed one slot behind your draft pick can be a good thing, but it can also be a bad thing if another NFL club overpaid in terms of signing bonus money or other part of the contract.

What that will do is convince the representative for your draft pick that his client should see the same kind of increase percentage-wise. However, if that increase is higher than what your team had budgeted it can make things more difficult concerning negotiations.

Still in most cases there is some underlying benefit when a player who plays the same position, and is drafted right before or right after your draft pick is signed. 

To this point (morning June 18th) none of the Bills eight draft picks have signed.


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Fan Friday 6-12

Posted by Chris Brown on June 12, 2009 – 5:26 pm

Fan Friday 6-12
Well minicamp is wrapped up and now begins the six week hiatus until training camp. Something tells me it’s going to move quickly. Let’s get going with the latest installment. Thanks for your questions. Keep them coming at AskChris@bills.nfl.net.
1. Do you see the Bills extending the deals of any more players on their roster like they did with Stroud? Guys like McGee, Josh Reed, Denney, Whitner, Poz and a few others only have 1-2 years left on the deals. Getting a few of them locked up would be a good move.

CB: I believe that on the list of guys you have that McGee is top priority. He’s still in the prime of his career and has been an outstanding performer for the Bills from day one. He’s a model professional, plays hurt and keeps his nose clean.

That’s the kind of guy the Bills typically lock up long term (see Lee Evans) so I expect that to get done before the 2009 season is over.

As for Reed and Denney the situation is a little different. Reed has had back issues through the course of his career and to his credit he’s fought through them and performed. Knowing how much Trent relies on Reed it wouldn’t surprise me if he was extended, but with some promising young receivers on the rise (Hardy, Johnson), I’m not sure you can say he’s a lock to get an extension.

Denney is in a similar boat. A solid, steady performer, but with the team invested in Chris Ellis and Aaron Maybin I’m not sure he’s re-signed long term.

Whitner and Poz I anticipate will be taken care of eventually, but probably not this calendar year.

 

2. Do the Bills believe Bell is ready to step in and contribute at this time? Going to have to have the O-line do a lot of work to get them to work together for this year with all the new players….also, I wonder if Walker can hold up at left tackle for 16 games? Your thoughts????
Thanks,
Joseph

CB: I don’t think there’s any doubt that the biggest question mark entering the season will be how far the offensive line can come with all the new pieces.

As for Bell I don’t anticipate him challenging Walker or Butler to start, but I do think the staff believes he’s ready to handle the swing tackle role if he’s able to win that job over Kirk Chambers, who has held it the past two seasons.

Walker’s strength as a tackle is in pass protection, which might surprise some people looking at him. That’s a good thing knowing he’s going over to the left side, but he will be facing some top flight pass rushing talent with the schedule this season.

 

3. Chris,
Its my understanding that Aaron Maybin weighed about 250lbs. at Penn States pro day, at which he displayed consistant 4.6 speed.  Is it likely the Bills will have him continue his growth atleast 10 more pounds, and if so does his quickness remain the same?

CB: Talking to Aaron about this very subject you need to understand he just turned 21 in April so his frame is still just filling out. He said he’d like to be around 255 by his second NFL season, which I think is sufficient. He’s confident he can maintain his speed at that weight.

 

4. Hey Chris,
How are contract negotiations going with the rookies? I just saw that Sanchez got his contract and I was just wondering when our rookies are going to be signed. Thanks!

David Rieth
Rochester, NY

CB: Negotiations are just in the preliminary stages with some of Buffalo’s later round picks. I don’t see signings beginning for at least another week or so. However, with San Francisco (which picked ahead of the Bills in most rounds) setting the market by signing players right around Buffalo’s picks early it might grease the wheels a bit. We’ll see.

 

5. Hi Chris,
I was just curious if the Bills are looking to upgrade the outside linebacker position with what’s still left in the market or are they content with the youngsters they have on the roster.  I also am curious if you know the status of Derrick Brooks?  Is he still looking for work or did he decide to hang it up?  If he is still looking for a contract, do you think the Bills should take a 1 year chance on him until they can develop Nic Harris or Al Bowen?
 
Thanks,
Kevin

CB: I believe the club will stand pat at OLB heading into camp. Injury could change that, but I don’t see them pursuing Derrick Brooks, though it makes sense with his familiarity with the system. I think the coaching staff has a lot of faith that Alvin Bowen and Nic Harris can be legitimate competition for Keith Ellison and from what I’ve seen I would agree.


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Bills not alone in coveting Byrd

Posted by Chris Brown on May 5, 2009 – 1:32 am

As different stories emerge from draft weekend, it appears the Bills decision to select Jairus Byrd in round two was timely since there was a team right behind them that had their eyes on him.

According to ESPN.com’s John Clayton the 49ers were going to take Byrd with the 43rd pick, the one right after Buffalo’s at 42, but the Bills picked the Oregon ballhawk off the board and San Fran promptly traded out of the pick allowing the Panthers to surrender a first round pick in 2010 to get Everette Brown.

Buffalo got the luck of the draw in round two. The Bills and Niners had the same record last year (7-9), but because the Niners had a weaker schedule than Buffalo and still only won 7 games they got to pick ahead of the Bills in round one.

But the rule states that the two teams rotate back and forth by round, with Buffalo selecting 10th in round two and San Fran 11th. And that continues to alternate round by round through the draft.

If that rule wasn’t in place, Byrd would have been there for San Fran to scoop up at pick 42.


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Nelson’s cousin a top five pick last year

Posted by Chris Brown on April 30, 2009 – 6:48 pm

For those that don’t know, Shawn Nelson already had a bit of exposure to the NFL draft in 2008. In fact Nelson was in New York City on draft weekend in 2008 as he was invited by his first cousin Glenn Dorsey.

“It was all cool,” said Nelson of the trip last year. “I really enjoyed going out there and seeing the whole atmosphere. I really enjoyed it.”

Nelson said he didn’t have much of a choice in going to New York for the first time in his life.

“He pretty much said, ‘You’re coming with me,'” said Nelson. “It was good though because I wanted to go.”

Nelson wasn’t in the room in back with Dorsey before he was picked fifth overall by the Chiefs.

“That was immediate family only,” said Nelson. “He brought like 60 people with him up to New York.”

Watching the draft on TV knowing he was part of the prospect pool was kind of like deja vu for Nelson this year, but his weekend was a little longer than his cousin’s. Nelson is excited knowing the Bills play Dorsey’s Chiefs this fall in Arrowhead on Dec. 13.

“We’ll see what happens,” said Nelson. “I’ve got a couple of my boys in Kansas City now so we’ll see.”


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NFL draft to go 3 days next year?

Posted by Chris Brown on April 28, 2009 – 2:36 pm

If you thought the draft’s later start time (4pm) last Saturday was tough, you may not have seen anything yet. NFL public relations man Brian McCarthy just tweeted an idea to fans on twitter, where asked for thoughts on the following.

nflprguy: We’re thinking of taking #nfldraft primetime. 1st rd thurs, 2-3 rds Fri nite, 4-7 Sat. Good/bad idea? What do u think?

I’m not opposed to breaking it up, and not losing a whole weekend (this proposal removes Sunday) would be cool, but three days? That might be a little much. I love the draft, but that’s really dragging things out it seems. Go and tell him what you think.


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Patriots wanted Wood?

Posted by Chris Brown on April 27, 2009 – 5:44 pm

According to SI.com’s Peter King the New England Patriots were hot on the trail of Eric Wood in the bottom half of round one. Here’s what King relays in his MMQB column.

I was told last night the Patriots loved Eric Wood, the Louisville center who projected to center or guard in the NFL, but if that’s the case, they could have had him at 26 instead of trading out of the round for yet more picks. So I remain mystified about the continued trading rather than picking.

New England was busy for most of the weekend trading back.


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Dilfer tabs Bills as big draft winners

Posted by Chris Brown on April 26, 2009 – 11:42 pm

ESPN NFL analyst Trent Dilfer tipped his hat to the Bills saying they had the best draft of any team in the league. Here’s what he had to say at the draft’s conclusion.

“Winners to me are the teams that help themselves next year,” said Dilfer. “They get guys that will help them next year. I look at Philly, New England, Green Bay, San Francisco, Cleveland, but to me the big winner was the Buffalo Bills. You got guys that will contribute right away…I really think that the Buffalo Bills did a great job with helping them win football games next year.”


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