Inside The Bills

Bills intend to add undrafted QB

Posted by Chris Brown on April 27, 2013 – 7:36 pm

Bills GM Buddy Nix got the long term answer at quarterback for the future in first-round pick EJ Manuel, but Buffalo plans to add still another quarterback to the mix as they begin their recruiting of undrafted rookie free agents.

“We’ll try to get another one in free agency,” said Nix.

With the 2013 NFL draft concluded, three quarterbacks that made pre-draft visits to Buffalo went undrafted. Arizona’s Matt Scott, Tennessee’s Tyler Bray and Washington State’s Jeff Tuel all visited One Bills Drive earlier this month.

Buffalo also put Bray through a private workout. Seeing the clear focus on adding team speed and versatility Scott might prove to be the more coveted quarterback prospect as he offers the most athleticism of the aforementioned signal callers. But there will also be stiff competition from the other 31 NFL clubs to land any one of them.

“It will be competitive, it always is,” said Bills President and CEO Russ Brandon, who takes part in the recruitment of undrafted rookie free agents. “If you look back historically some of the successes we’ve had with some of the undrafted free agents and it comes down to recruiting and situations within your roster structure and opportunity. We’ll be very competitive.

“If you look at the statistics even just last year, the percentage of undrafted rookies that make rosters and practice squads, it’s significant.”

Nix admitted that there were a couple of times on day two and three of the draft that they considered taking another quarterback.

“Very seriously,” said Nix.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Merit to taking another QB

Posted by Chris Brown on April 27, 2013 – 11:05 am

The Bills have their quarterback of the future in EJ Manuel, who was selected on day one with the 16th overall pick. But with just three quarterbacks off the board through the first two days the quarterbacks left on the board suddenly present good value. The Bills still have some positional needs, but come the fifth or sixth round might it make sense to stock away a second QB prospect?

Here are some of the more notable quarterbacks still on the board as we get set for Day 3 of the NFL Draft, including some that made pre-draft visits to Buffalo or had private workouts with the Bills.

Matt Barkley – USC (visited, private workout)
Ryan Nassib – Syracuse (private workout)
Tyler Bray – Tennessee (visited, private workout)
Matt Scott – Arizona (visited)
Tyler Wilson – Arkansas (visited)
Landry Jones – Oklahoma (visited, private workout)
Jeff Tuel – Washington St. (visited)
Zac Dysert – Miami (OH)

I’d expect the Bills to address some pressing positional needs like CB, TE or S first before considering another signal caller. Other NFL teams have parlayed extra young quarterbacks on their roster into future draft choices, most notably the Philadelphia Eagles.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 4-19

Posted by Chris Brown on April 19, 2013 – 2:05 pm

Alright Bills fans this is the last Fan Friday before the NFL draft. The “hay is in the barn” as the scouts say, just got to wait and see how the board falls next week. Be sure to check out my 8th annual mock draft next Wednesday. It’ll be entertaining. Here now are your latest questions from AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 - dcap22803 Apr 17, 11:27am

@ChrisBrownBills Would #bills be willing to trade down with #falcons and take Nassib at 30

CB: It’s my contention that the Bills would be very interested in trading down. As I covered in my story this week, after asking GM Buddy Nix about trading down, there could be some players for the eighth overall pick if prospects like Oklahoma OT Lane Johnson or West Virginia WR Tavon Austin are both still on the board.

I don’t get the sense that they like the value there at eight for positions they’d like to address early (QB, WR) so I believe if they can move back to an area where they like the value better (late teens or 20’s) and add a draft choice they would do it.

2 – JackJablonski Apr 16, 1:04pm

@ChrisBrownBills Williams to Safety. Does this open up the possibility of CB at pick 8? Dee Milliner, if he falls, or Xavier Rhodes??

CB: I think with Aaron Williams moving to safety it raises the level of importance for addressing cornerback in the draft. Outside of Stephon Gilmore the Bills lack size at corner, so a tough, physical corner is needed out there. If Milliner falls to eight I wouldn’t rule out him being a consideration. At the same time I believe moving back and adding another draft choice could trump it.

But with Williams moving to safety I believe it has made adding a cornerback a necessity at some point in this draft.

3 – Chris,
With our needs at SS, ILB, OLB, WR and QB most likely to be addressed thru the draft, I find it really strange that there has been very little noise about bringing in some quality free agent guards for visits.  It seems like a glaring hole (let’s not forget Rinehart is gone as well).  Have you heard anything on Mr. Nix’s plans for this position?  I would like to see our RBs continue to run hard and whoever are QB may end up being it would be nice for him to be in one piece after a few games.

Go Bills!
Kirk

CB: I’ll give you Mr. Nix’s exact thoughts about the team’s status at the guard spot. Here is a direct quote from the draft luncheon when he was asked if losing Andy Levitre and Chad Rinehart in free agency had altered their approach in the draft at all?

“Not at all,” said Nix. “Not at all, now having said that I know people have said we’re taking one of those top two guards. Our roster in house is better than I think we get credit for especially offensive line. We’re pretty deep there. We’ve got six guards and we think a couple of them can play. Now having said all that before you write that we’re not going to take a guard at number eight, it’s hard to pass up two players like the old boy at Alabama (Chance Warmack) and the kid at North Carolina (Jonathan Cooper). Both of those are great players so you have to give that a lot of thought when they come up.”

When asked as a follow up if he had enough confidence in the six guards on the roster to the point where if they did not draft a guard would he be fine, he said he would be.

To be clear the players they believe offer them ability at guard are starter Kraig Urbik and Colin Brown and Sam Young. Brown and Young rotated in with the starting unit at left guard. If there are no other additions at the position those two are likely to battle it out for the starting role.

Zebrie Sanders, who Doug Marrone views as a tackle first and guard second, could potentially be a part of that competition down the road when he’s healthy.

4 –  Chris,
So I’ve been hearing that Tyler Bray has some of the best upside in the QB class I was wondering what you thought of him and if you think he’s worthy of our second pick. Also if you think that going after Patterson in the first round, Bray in the 2nd or 3rd to have some instantaneous chemistry on offense would be a good idea. Or do you see a prospect at QB worth it at eight and maybe go after the other Tennessee kid, Hunter in the second? I’d live to get some feedback on these thoughts.

Thanks, Will
GO BILLS!!

CB: There’s no debating that Bray can throw the heck out of the ball. He is the only junior eligible in this QB class and is a bit unpolished. I’m a bit concerned about his capability of coming in and being a leader for your football team. He has the physical skills, but there are maturity issues that NFL clubs have been busy investigating.

I respect your thought of instantaneous chemistry, but it would be anything but instantaneous. Patterson is very green and might not be a big time contributor until his third NFL season. Likewise Bray is also not NFL ready right now. So while those two might have chemistry, I’m not sure you’d see it right away on an NFL field against NFL competition.

I do subscribe to your latter suggestion. In fact that’s what I believe will happen in this draft. I believe Buffalo goes quarterback in the first and receiver in the second. Now they may trade back in round one before taking the QB, but I believe there’s a good chance they do that and Hunter is a viable value in round two.

I’m also a fan of E.J. Manuel despite the naysayers.

5 – Chris,

With the Bills being deficient last year at WR (and getting rid of what little depth that they have by releasing Nelson and Jones) on top of not signing ANY free agent WRs this offseason, doesn’t it seem like there’s a VERY good chance they draft Cordarrelle Patterson with their 8th pick? I’m not even saying I want that, but what choice do they have? That position is looking thinner and thinner this offseason. This is assuming they can’t get their franchise QB in the first round…

-Nate
PS- Go Bills

CB: I think your point is well taken. The Bills need to add an instant contributor at receiver. I believe this will happen in round two. There’s good value between rounds two and four where you can get a player that can help you sooner rather than later. The value at WR is not good in round one until the very end.

It wouldn’t surprise me if the Bills took two receivers in the draft despite the fact that they have just six picks.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Private workout for Tenn. QB & WR

Posted by Chris Brown on April 6, 2013 – 5:04 pm

The Bills conducted private workouts with some University of Tennessee prospects Saturday.

QB Tyler Bray was the headline prospect as the Bills tirelessly cover all bases with the quarterback prospects.

They also worked out other Tennessee prospects WRs Justin Hunter and Zach Rogers and TE Michael Rivera.

Rivera broke Jason Witten’s single-season receiving yardage record for a tight end this past year with 562 receiving yards. Witten’s had 493 as a Vol.

What’s interesting is WR Cordarrelle Patterson was not part of the private workout.

Of the group that was worked out Hunter is considered the highest ranked prospect as most draft prognosticators have him as a second round pick.


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Report: Bills to work out Tyler Bray

Posted by Chris Brown on March 28, 2013 – 1:43 pm

Bills GM Buddy Nix has said they intended to see all of the top quarterbacks in the 2013 NFL draft pool. Tennessee junior eligible Tyler Bray is apparently in that pool.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Bills will hold a private workout with Bray late next week.

Buffalo has already had private workouts with three other quarterback prospects in Geno Smith, E.J. Manuel and Landry Jones.


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QB Bray satisfied with pro day performance

Posted by Chris Brown on March 20, 2013 – 5:40 pm

Tennessee QB Tyler Bray put a bow on his pre-draft scheduled with his pro day in Knoxville today. Overall he was relatively satisfied with what he showed on the field.

“I think I did okay,” Bray said. “There were a few throws I’d like to have back, but we’ve been working hard. The receivers ran great routes and ran hard all day. I’m really proud of them.”

Bray, who is the only junior eligible QB in the draft class, said he did not have a specific script with a specific number of throws Wednesday.

“I didn’t really limit it to a count,” he said. “It was however many routes it ended up being. We had a bunch of receivers, a tight end and a fullback to throw to so however many routes they needed to get through their routes was how many throws I had to do.”

Bray said his main focus today was to show consistent footwork from start to finish during his throwing session. The feedback he got from scouts and coaches at the NFL Combine last month was that his feet were not consistent with drops, set up and delivery.

“There were a lot of questions about my footwork kind of lagging towards the end of games and then your accuracy is all over the place,” he said. “So I wanted to come out here and show I could do my footwork and keep the same throughout the workout.”

Bray weighed in at 230 pounds, 15 pounds heavier than his listed weight during the 2012 college season.

“I weighed in at 209 the first day at my training facility,” Bray said. “The last day I was 235 and then I was 232 at the Combine. I was just eating right and working out. I want to stay between 230 and 235. I’m going to continue to work out and keep my weight on. I’ve worked too hard to put it on so I don’t want to lose it.”

Bray says the weight gain has helped him most in putting more velocity on the ball thanks to his improved core strength.

 


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QB Bray dines with Steelers

Posted by Chris Brown on March 20, 2013 – 3:57 pm

Tennessee QB Tyler Bray, the only junior eligible at the position in the draft class, had his pro day today in Knoxville. The night before a 2013 AFC opponent of the Bills had dinner with the Volunteers.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter the Pittsburgh Steelers took Bray out to dinner.

Knowing the Steelers have seen some top talent walk out the door at wide receiver (Mike Wallace) and offensive tackle (Willie Colon) it’s possible Pittsburgh was picking Bray’s brain about his receivers Cordarrelle Patterson and Justin Hunter as well as OL Dallas Thomas.


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