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 3-29

Posted by Chris Brown on March 29, 2013 – 11:32 am

The NFL draft is less than a month away so keep the questions coming at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills. Here’s the latest edition for you loyal Bills fans.

1 - Chris,

One guy that seemed to stick out to me while watching the combine is Mark Harrison.  Wondering what your thoughts are on him and where he is projected to go round wise.  Thanks for all you do!

Geoff

CB: Harrison is a great physical talent at 6’3” and 231 pounds. The fact that he runs a 4.37 40 will get him a look from teams, especially after bouncing back from a down junior year. His numbers this past season still weren’t quite as good as his sophomore season when there was a lot more receiving talent around him. Harrison is probably a day 3 pick based on his physical skills alone even though his hands looked more reliable in 2012 than in 2011.

 

2 – Chris,

It seems the Bills have preached that they’ve made progress over the last few years.   I am having trouble seeing that.  It looks as though the Bills needs are many:
G
QB
2 WR’s
TE
DE
ILB
OLB
2 CB’s
S depth
With all of these needs in mind and only 6 draft picks, do see the Bills being competitive in 2013?   
-Jim

CB: I don’t disagree that there are several holes to still fill. At the same time the quality of the talent on this roster is pretty good (think – D-line, safety, OT). Part of that is due to the people they chose to part ways with (Donald Jones, David Nelson) and older players that either retired or will not be retained for the future. You’re right with six picks Buffalo has to do some plugging in free agency.

I think they’ll do a bit more work in free agency prior to the draft and then post-draft they’ll see where some positional needs still lie and plug in some bargain free agents presumably on one and two-year contracts.

3 – Chris,

With the Bills having only 6 picks in this year’s NFL draft, and players who fit like Tyler Wilson, Ryan Nassib and Manti Teo most likely being available in the late 1st or early 2nd round, do you think that they might trade back in the 1st round with their #8 pick to gain extra draft picks? That would seem to make sense – if Buddy Nix is willing.

LeeD

CB: I think trading down is a realistic possibility only if their top graded quarterback is off the board. Bills GM Buddy Nix would like to have more than six picks. Moving down from eight is the only way to do that, but landing a quarterback of the future likely trumps everything.

 

4 – Hey Chris,

Just wondering, what’s up with Marcel Dareus? I understand that he plays through pain, both physical and emotional (considering his brother’s death), however I just can’t help but think that he has not lived up to expectations as a number three overall pick. Considering the bevy of talent that was available that year, it really baffles me that he isn’t living up to his draft spot or to his draft class. Your thoughts?

Mike in Buffalo

CB:
I think last year was a lost year for Dareus. He lost his brother after the first regular season game in a tragic act of violence. His brother was just 19. Even though Dareus lost his dad when he was 6, his grandmother at age 13, his high school coach at age 18, his mom at age 20 and his best friend from high school at 21, this latest loss may have topped them all. All that loss and just 23-years of age, I’m willing to give him a pass for the 2012 season.

I just don’t think his head was in the game and how could it be? Anyone that has to experience all that is probably wondering what he did to deserve all that hardship. Hopefully he can come back and re-focus under a new staff and be the upbeat guy he has always been despite a very difficult hand that’s been dealt to him concerning his family.

 

5 – Hi Chris  

Do you worry about Dion Jordan being another Aaron Maybin?  Also it’s great the Bills front office is upfront with fans about needing a quarterback but not at the expense of other teams knowing and using that against us.  How do you see Mike Pettine’s defense set up with our personnel?  Can we run a 3 -4?  We have a lot of D lineman.   

Thanks – Travis

CB: I understand the concern. Seeing him at the NFL Combine, he looks like a swingman for a basketball team. The difference is Jordan has more of a college resume than Maybin, who had one-year of starting experience and came out as a redshirt sophomore. Jordan’s body is more mature, though he is coming of a torn labrum in his shoulder. I also think the one thing Jordan has that Maybin did not was instinct. Maybin was a hard worker, but did not seem to have the football acumen to anticipate and diagnose plays. The word on Jordan is that he does, which is why he’s seen as a top 10 pick.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 3-22

Posted by Chris Brown on March 22, 2013 – 12:02 pm

Here’s the latest edition of Fan Friday questions and answers from AskChris@bills.nfl.net and @ChrisBrownBills. Just over a month until the draft.

1 - Hi Chris……

Why is it that teams are so afraid to trade a first round pick, or pay the first round tender for a star player?

An example that comes to mind is Victor Cruz. Word is that the Giants are going to place a first round tender on him if any team sign him. Is a player of that caliber not worth a first rounder? There are so many first round picks that don’t pan out, especially in Buffalo, I would think that trading for a proven producer would make sense, especially for a position of need that would be addressed in the draft.
Thanks

L. Briggs

CB: The Giants front office did say that they actually anticipated there might be an offer sheet from a team or two for Cruz. Obviously teams with lower first-round picks might be more apt to do so than a team with a pick in the top half of round one.

His production is proven, but if you’re a team with a lot of needs at other positions, or you’re a team that doesn’t have a quarterback the caliber of Eli Manning you won’t get the same production out of Cruz thereby decreasing his value.

2 – Hey Chris,

The 3 spots that we expect to see the Bills targeting are LB WR and QB with that being said is there any way that the Bills could try to knock out either 1 or 2 of the needs in the FA period? If they could do that, that would allow them to go with the best player available approach and could wait to get a QB till round 2 or 3. 

Thanks Chris,
Josh, Syracuse NY

CB: They’ve addressed OLB with Manny Lawson as everyone knows, but an ILB is still an option along with WR and QB. Buddy Nix has said he thinks the WR position in the draft is deep, which leads me to believe that a WR won’t be added until the draft. Tight end is another position to be addressed so that too has to be targeted. The pickings have gotten slimmer in free agency. I think there is still good value at LB in free agency so I’d anticipate an ILB to be pursued and possibly a TE prior to the draft.

 

3 – Chris,

Much like you, I strongly believe that teams need to win games upfront on both side of the ball.   With that in mind I am throwing out this prediction as Nix seems to be somewhat predictable:

He will draft Tennessee WR Cordarrelle Patterson at 8, then trade up and take a QB (Tyler Wilson?)

Just wondering your thoughts….

I prefer taking the meat and potatoes players because you can win with less than stellar QB play that way.    It seems like the Bills over the years are too worried about their skill position players (drafting a lot of 1st round RB’s, reaching for Graham, signing TO, etc)
-Jim

CB: I would be surprised if they go with Patterson at 8. I think with the depth at wide receiver in this draft and the best value at that position being in rounds 2-4 Nix won’t go with a one-year wonder in round one. He typically prefers players with more of a college resume.

I see the Bills going for a receiver somewhere between rounds 2-4. Quarterback will be round 1 or 2. Trading down from eight I think is a realistic possibility to get better value at QB and there are teams I believe that will want to get up in the top 10 to take one of the top end offensive or defensive linemen there.

Trading back into the bottom of round one I believe is a harder ask because Buffalo wants to hold onto their picks only having six right now not parting with picks to move up.

 

4 – Chris,

What about some of our lesser talked about free agents like Kyle Moore? What’s the likelihood he gets signed to a longer deal with the Bills in the next couple of weeks? I feel like he’s a younger, raw type of athlete that can refine his game to be a decent contributor to the Defense… or at least a replacement for Kelsay. The Bills already have some veteran proven pass rushers on the defense, but I feel they could use a young guy with some upside… for the right price.   

Thanks,
Nate in Rochester
PS- Go Bills

CB: It’s difficult to say exactly how the front office feels about Moore. I’m not sure he’s a fit for a multiple front defense because he’s primarily a 4-3 end in terms of his fit. He’s not an OLB in a 3-4 and I don’t know that he has the bulk to line up as a five technique in a 3-4.

Bills GM Buddy Nix did speak to the Toronto Sun about Moore and he said the following.

“We have things we have to do, and things we have to plan to do to keep our own guys, which we will have some, that in the summer we’ll try to get done before the season, or early in the season. And we have to keep those things in mind.”

I don’t know what you take from that comment, but it doesn’t sound to me like the draft is the main focus right now along with filling other positional holes. I’d be surprised if something with Moore happened before then.

5 – Chris,
 
I am hearing at the combine many head coaches say that they reach out to the players college coaches as part of the evaluation process. Is coach Marrone and OC Hackett being interviewed about former Syracuse players? What if Nassib or another SU player is on the Bills radar? As the former college coach, is Marrone obligated to take the call?
 
Thanks,
Kevin from Cheektowaga

CB: I did a story on that very predicament that coach Marrone found himself in because he was getting peppered with questions about his Syracuse players by the friends he had in the NFL coaching ranks. Here’s the story on that very subject and how coach Marrone chose to handle it.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Mocks going all QB for Bills now

Posted by Chris Brown on March 18, 2013 – 1:06 pm

Most NFL draft prognosticators are locking in a quarterback for the Bills with the eighth overall pick in the draft now that Ryan Fitzpatrick and the team have parted ways. The mock drafters at OptimumScouting are no different.

In their latest mock, they’ve got the Bills taking Matt Barkley eighth overall. Interestingly they’ve got Geno Smith going second overall to Jacksonville. Here’s what they wrote about the pick for Buffalo.

8. Buffalo Bills – Matt Barkley, QB, USC 
Now that Ryan Fitzpatrick is gone, it’d be a shock if the Bills didn’t take a quarterback here. It’s tough to peg which one they’ll target at #8. Doug Marrone has raved about Barkley in the past, so he gets the slight edge over Marrone’s former QB Ryan Nassib.

What’s perhaps even more interesting is how OptimumScouting sees the second-round quarterbacks coming off the board. He has Philadelphia taking Florida State’s E.J. Manuel with the 35th pick, Arizona taking Arkansas’ Tyler Wilson with the 38th pick and the Jets one pick later (39th) taking Syracuse’s Ryan Nassib.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Nix and Whaley at Arkansas pro day

Posted by Chris Brown on March 15, 2013 – 9:41 am

Buffalo’s top two personnel men are on the ground in Fayetteville as they’re ready to take in another pro day and get up close and personal with another top quarterback prospect.

Buffalobills.com has learned that GM Buddy Nix and Assistant GM Doug Whaley are in attendance at the Arkansas pro day, which most notably features Razorbacks QB Tyler Wilson.

Wilson is widely ranked as one of the top five quarterbacks in this year’s draft class. The Bills have spent a good deal of time in the pre-draft process meeting with him both at the Senior Bowl and the NFL Combine. He’s been forecast as a second round draft choice.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 3-8

Posted by Chris Brown on March 8, 2013 – 1:21 pm

Pro days are underway and free agency is up next. Here’s the latest edition of your questions from AskChris@bills.nfl.net and Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 - Dear Chris,

Many so-called experts are calling for a new middle linebacker to replace Kelvin Sheppard.  He seems to be an NFL talent.  If a new MLB is brought in, do you see Sheppard playing the weak side linebacker position or a second inside linebacker position if the Bills are in a 3-4 defense?  Thanks.

Neil from Jamestown, NY
CB: I would anticipate Sheppard to be a primary candidate to be one of the two inside backers in any 3-4 looks the Bills defense figures to employ. As for how things work in any 4-3 looks remains to be seen. I’m not sure Sheppard would stay on the field in nickel situations. He didn’t last year when it was Nick Barnett and Bryan Scott serving as the nickel LBs.

Linebackers with coverage ability are more coveted than ever in a league that leans more and more to the passing game. Buffalo will be looking for more of them both inside and outside at linebacker.

 

2 – Chris,

I was wondering what are the chances the Bills go after recently released Receiver Titus Young? I know usually we don’t take chances on players that may cause issues despite their talent, but Titus Young is still a young and very talented receiver with allot of upside. I think taking a chance is worth it, especially because it seems as if Doug Marrone is a player’s coach. We desperately need talent in our receiving core alongside Stevie. I personally don’t believe Donald Jones would make the roster of more than 3/4′s the NFL’s teams, let alone be the second option. Titus could really help as the number 2 man and fill a void that has needed to be filled. What do you think? Thanks,

Anthony Marasco

CB: Young is too much of a personality headache. For a new head coach trying to establish a program and approach to success, Doug Marrone doesn’t need a problem player like Young no matter how talented he is. Marrone and his staff are going to be presented enough challenges as a first-year staff, they don’t need to add to the pile with a player that bought himself a ticket off the Lions roster by being a horrible teammate.

 

3 – Chris,

Is Glennon or Wilson worth the 8th pick or do you see them taking a much needed LB and maybe one of the Top 5 QBs in the draft might be there in round two. Or do the Bills use the first 3 rounds to better the Defense and get a QB in free agency?

CB: I think it’s safe to say that the pickings are slim in free agency at QB so either their first or second round pick will need to address quarterback. I don’t see Glennon or Wilson as a top 10 pick, but I’m no scout. I believe both will be heavier considerations in round 2 or 3. I think if there’s a QB the Bills like at 8 they’ll take one, otherwise they’ll take the best defensive player available. If there isn’t a top defensive talent they believe is fitting of the eighth pick and the QB they like is gone I think they look to move back.

Improving the defense will be a focus, but I think they might try to reduce those needs in free agency to reduce the to-do list in the draft knowing they have just six picks.

 

4 – Chris,

I would like your perspective if Buddy should draft a WR or LB with the first pick and then trade back into the late Rd 1 to get a QB still on the board before teams like ARI, KC, PHI, NYJ can grab one. Also assuming that there might even be a possibility that R. Nassib could still be there.? Nix did say that what the Bengals did to get A.J Green and Dalton changed their franchise… Mainly would he be willing to trade back into Rd 1? 

Secondly, I think we need to lock up C.J. Spiller before he hits free agency and so we don’t have to use a franchise tag. Couldn’t the Bills be doing that already this offseason? Why do we need to wait another year when he is only going to get better and we are going to have to pay him more?
 
Thanks Chris!
Dan in CA

CB: I’m a little reluctant to take a WR in round one at 8, primarily because I think there are only a couple of first round worthy receivers in the entire draft, and one of them is a risk in Patterson due to a lack of a college resume (one year of production). If you’re picking a receiver eighth overall he should be able to help right away. I’m not sure Patterson is an immediate impact guy, which is what Buffalo needs.

Second, wide receiver has the highest miss rate in terms of position in round one. That according to ESPN NFL analyst Bill Polian who has done studies on it.

Buddy Nix only has a short draft history here in Buffalo, but he likes to let the draft board come to him rather than seek out trades and be active in moving up and down the board. However, this year I think one of two things could happen.

The Bills either move down from 8 (as I stated above) if a QB they like or a defensive player fitting of value at eight isn’t there anymore or they try to move into the bottom of round one from round two.

As for Nassib I think he’s going to be a late riser and find his way into the bottom of round one.

Finally Spiller still has two years left on his rookie deal. They can wait until this time next year to address an extension.

 

5 -  Chris, 

What is the bigger need inside or outside LB? How will the positions be used in the new hybrid system? Could prospects like Te’o and Ogletree play inside or outside?

CB: I’d tend to think the two spots are equally in need of additional talent. Sheppard is capable of playing one of the inside linebacker spots in a 3-4 front. Nigel Bradham is one of the few viable OLB candidates on the roster.

I think we’ve got to wait and see what defensive coordinator Mike Pettine has in mind with respect to the multiple scheme he plans to employ.

Te’o is strictly an inside linebacker. Ogletree is capable of playing both inside and outside.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

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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Posted in Inside the Bills

Arkansas QB meets with Bills again

Posted by johnmurphyshow on February 22, 2013 – 3:24 pm

Arkansas QB Tyler Wilson spent some quality face time with Bills scouts and coaches four weeks ago at the Senior Bowl in Mobile. And he was back in the meeting room with the Bills last night, at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Wilson said he had a good meeting with the Bills Thursday night in Indianapolis.

“We had a meeting last night, it went very very good,” Wilson said. “The entire staff was in there, and I thought it went really well. They put me on the video, we had some touchdown passes in there, I thought it was a good meeting.”

Wilson struggled through a tough Senior year at Arkansas, when his head coach was fired and several of his favorite targets left for the NFL. But he said today he has no regrets about returning for his final year with the Razorbacks.

“You can do that,” he said. “The bottom line is, I wanted to walk into the NFL in a position where I was mature as I could possibly be. I think that year gave me that opportunity, that I wouldn’t have necessarily have been if I came out early. There are lot of things I didn’t understand about how the process works and you’re kind of jumping into it with cold feet. I have that opportunity by coming back and I think I’m more prepared because of it.”

The entire interview with Arkansas QB Tyler Wilson can be heard tonight when The John Murphy Show broadcasts live from the NFL Scouting Combine. The show airs from 7-9pm on the flagship station of the Bills, WGR Sports Radio 550.


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Mayock on QBs that fit West Coast

Posted by Chris Brown on February 19, 2013 – 11:25 am

NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock was asked what quarterbacks in this year’s draft pool fit the West Coast system the best. Knowing Buffalo offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett’s offense is rooted in a lot of West Coast principles, it’s an answer I thought would be worth passing along.

“I think Matt Barkley makes a lot of sense,” said Mayock. “He’s a guy as a junior at USC looked so much different than he did this year. I think to be fair to him you have to go back and watch junior tape. 

“So I think Barkley fits. I think Ryan Nassib fits. I think Landry Jones and Tyler Wilson both can fit. So of those, that group of guys of the top seven, eight quarterbacks, I think those are the guys that did it most efficiently.”

Seeing Nassib mentioned is no surprise knowing he ran a version of the West Coast under Hackett at Syracuse.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

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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Posted in Inside the Bills

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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Posted in Inside the Bills

Latest mock has QB to Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on January 29, 2013 – 11:25 am

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CBSSports.com has put together a mock draft, and surprise, surprise, they’ve got the eighth pick of the Bills being used on a quarterback.

CBSSports.com’s draft analyst Rob Rang picks Arkansas’ Tyler Wilson for the Bills at eighth overall. Here’s his reasoning as to why.

8. Buffalo Bills (6-10)
Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas: While incumbent starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is far from the team’s weakest link, few believe he is the caliber of quarterback that can lead Buffalo to a Super Bowl. Furthermore, general manager Buddy Nix has specifically stated he hopes to find the team’s quarterback of the future. Furthermore, he told reporters at the Senior Bowl that he was impressed with Wilson’s arm strength. While new head coach Doug Marrone might prefer his former Syracuse signal-caller Ryan Nassib, Wilson has the production against SEC competition to make Marrone – and the rest of Buffalo — believers.

The mock has two quarterbacks coming off the board prior to Buffalo’s pick at 8. Rang has the Chiefs taking West Virginia QB Geno Smith with the first pick, and Arizona taking USC QB Matt Barkley with the seventh pick right in front of Buffalo.


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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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Posted in Inside the Bills

QB Tyler Wilson = Kirk Cousins?

Posted by johnmurphyshow on January 24, 2013 – 5:39 pm

The practices for Saturday’s Senior Bowl are winding down–four practices for each of the teams in total this week. And observers who’ve been watching the quarterbacks work are drawing their own conclusions about how they stack up.

Former DB Charles Davis is an analyst for the NFL Network who’s part of their “Path to the Draft” coverage. He’s been here in Mobile, Alabama all week long watching the quarterbacks work out.

The consensus among the media seems to be that Arkansas QB Tyler Wilson has been the steadiest of the six QB performers this week. And Davis agrees.

‘“He has all of the intangibles and in a lot of ways he reminds me of Kirk Cousins from last year,” Davis told The John Murphy Show at the Senior Bowl.

“He’s one of those guys that has great leadership skills, understands the big picture, has a toughness about him. He has to dispel some myths about how many times he’s been hurt and concussions because there are a lot of myths about it because there has only been one.”

Davis says Wilson persevered through a rough senior year at Arkansas and is better for it.

“This past year was just so difficult with the way that everything went down with the coaching change and all. I think he ended up trying to do too much. It was very similar to what Drew Brees went through. When Sean Payton is not there the leader is gone and so Drew is not just quarterbacking he’s trying to make sure the offense is right and it takes some time to settle in and react to that and I think that’s what happened to Tyler this year.”

You can hear the entire interview with NFL Network analyst Charles Davis tonight on The John Murphy Show podcast available at BuffaloBills.com


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Arkansas QB likes Jim Kelly comparison

Posted by johnmurphyshow on January 21, 2013 – 2:54 pm

The time for hype is here, when it comes to the prospects in the 2013 NFL Draft. More than 100 draft eligible players have assembled here in Mobile, Alabama for the Senior Bowl.

And with the Buffalo Bills fans focused on the quarterback spot, one bit of hype hits home.

ESPN Draft Guru Mel Kiper made waves last week, when he compared Arkansas QB Tyler Wilson to Bills Hall of Famer Jim Kelly.

“We all remember Jim Kelly when he came out of Miami he was recruited as a linebacker at Penn State,” Kiper said. “(Wilson) is a guy with an NFL arm and tremendous toughness. Under the previous coaching staff and with the talent around him, remember they lost their top three receivers from the prior year you expected this year to be a tough go and then he had an injury early on.”

We had a chance to talk with Wilson today at the Senior Bowl, and asked him about Kiper’s comparison.

“I heard that in the past week,” Wilson said. “Obviously, those are pretty good words. I got to go out and prove it this week and have a good week. That’s exciting though.”

Wilson will appear on Monday’s podcast of The John Murphy Show from the Senior Bowl in Mobile. And the Razorback quarterback takes pride in his toughness, playing through multiple hits to the head during his senior season.

“The quarterback position is not something that at practice you’re able to go out and bang heads with guys,” he told host John Murphy. “So in the game, it’s an opportunity to show your toughness and your ability to compete and play the game. And with that, a number of your teammates will rally behind you and really respect you.”

Wilson earned high marks for assuming a leadership role with Arkansas in his senior season, after Head Coach Bobby Petrino was dismissed last April. The quarterback said he took it upon himself to fill the void when his team’s Head Coach was suddenly fired–he considered it his duty.

“I think so. Once you’re in that kind of role and that kind of responsibility, you take it by the horns and do the best you can with it,” Wilson said. “I felt like I came to work every single day with a lunch pail and did what I could.”

The John Murphy Show from the Senior Bowl will be availble via podcast later today on BuffaloBills.com


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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

Kiper: QB Wilson as tough as Jim Kelly

Posted by Chris Brown on January 19, 2013 – 10:33 am

Arkansas QB Tyler Wilson lost his three top receivers following the 2011 season, but still put together a pretty respectable 2012 season. That fact wasn’t lost on ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper when asked for a thumbnail sketch on the Razorbacks signal caller.

Wilson is participating at the Senior Bowl this week, and Kiper gave his assessment on where he might come off the board. He also feels that Wilson is comparable to Jim Kelly in one key area.

“Tyler Wilson going into the year you thought could be a first round pick, and now more of a second or third rounder,” said Kiper. “A kid that can throw the football. Tough, a guy that looks down that gun barrel and makes a lot of throws. When the pressure is on him he showed he is tough and would hang in there and make some nice, accurate throws. As tough as they come. Has the toughness of a linebacker.

“We all remember Jim Kelly when he came out of Miami he was recruited as a linebacker at Penn State. It’s a guy with an NFL arm and tremendous toughness. Under the previous coaching staff and with the talent around him, remember they lost their top three receivers from the prior year you expected this year to be a tough go and then he had an injury early on.

“So I think Tyler Wilson is the kind of guy maybe second round, at worst third, but second round is where you look at him. Had he had the great year you thought was possible based on what we saw two years ago he might’ve been a mid-first round pick.”

Wilson completed better than  62% of his passes, threw for over 3,300 yards with 21 TDs and 13 INTs. He was sacked 14 times.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 1-11

Posted by Chris Brown on January 11, 2013 – 12:47 pm

Hey Bills fans, an exciting week here at One Bills Drive with the hiring of Coach Marrone and the coordinators Coach Hackett and Coach Pettine. I’ve met all three and I’m encouraged about what they’ll bring to the team in terms of their expertise. Let’s get to your questions from AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 - Hi Chris,

Just looking ahead at the possibilities of the Bills filling in some holes with Free Agency and how active they might be this coming off-season. I would love for them to make upgrades at corner, wide receiver, and linebacker (quarterback too, but that would likely be addressed in the draft). How much cap space do the Bills currently have to work with in the off-season? I know that re-signing Byrd and Levitre will be top priorities for them, but once they’re taken care of, how much room will they likely have to work with, if any at all? Would love to see Dwayne Bowe in a Bills uniform!

As always, love the coverage you provide for us … please keep up the great work!
Paul

CB: NFL clubs do not get the established salary cap for the new league year until March, but it’s projected to be around $121M. The Bills do not provide their cap figures as a team policy. Reports indicate they’ll be around $15M under. That number obviously is subject to change between now and the opening of free agency.

Bills GM Buddy Nix has already said a quarterback may be acquired in free agency. He also mentioned the need to add a “big receiver.” I don’t know if Dwayne Bowe is realistic even though he does want to go elsewhere. His price tag will be high. And you’re right Byrd and Levitre are quality players that would appear to be priorities.

 

2 – Hey Chris,
There has been a lot of talk about the QB position this year & the year before that & the …well you get what i’m saying . Fitz is a Bills kind of guy, hard working, hard nosed kind of QB. I was hoping & still do that he can be that guy. Going forward though in the draft this year a guy is coming out that fits all of the Parcells requirements to drafting a QB of the future . He is a SEC guy (best college conference) A senior , Has been in the program his full time in college , & is prototypical size for the NFL , good arm & college career but not a lot of people are talking about him & i was wondering your thoughts on him . The guy that i have been talking about is Arkansas QB Tyler Wilson, I think he could be a really good QB yet no one is really talking about him . What would your thoughts be on him & his future & the possibility of his & the Bills path crossing down the road ?? Then there is the Alex Smith situation, would you think there would b any for site in that direction as time ticks on ??

Once again Thank you !!
Mr.T from Fort Myers via Nashville
CB: I’m going to be honest and tell you I’m only now getting around to looking at the college players, so I can’t give you an assessment on Wilson. What I can tell you is Alex Smith will not be on San Francisco’s roster later this offseason. I’ve found that if Smith is on the 49ers roster April 1st, his entire 2013 salary will be guaranteed. The price tag? $7.5M. Now that he’s effectively San Francisco’s backup, I can’t see any way that he stays at that price in his current role.

The rub there is if the 49ers wait until the end of March to release him, it puts teams looking for a free agent QB in a bit of a bind. Free agency opens March 12th. Do you sit and wait on the 49ers clipping Smith and bypass other QB talent you might have your eye on? Or do you take what you can get at the opening bell of free agency and address the Smith availability when he’s available? Tough call.

 

3 – Hi Chris,

I applaud the decision to retain Mr. Nix for continuity. I am keeping my fingers cross for the next few years. My question is as follows.

When reporting injuries, the league uses terms like doubtful and probable, etc. What are all these terms exactly means?

Please keep up with the good work.
Regards,
C. J. Wong, Ph.D.

CB: The league allows for four possible listings for an injured player. They are Out, Doubtful, Questionable and Probable. There’s no need to explain out, but the league classifies the likelihood of the injured player playing with these designations as follows.

Doubtful – player has up to 25% chance of playing on Sunday
Questionable – player has up to 50% chance of playing on Sunday
Probable – player has up to 75% chance of playing on Sunday

 

4 – Chris, 

Can you break down the Bills new coaches’ philosophy and scheme? Run heavy or pass heavy? Since the roster was built for spread how does it affect CJ, Fred, and David Nelson? I know it’s very early to speculate with not all pieces in place or other coaches. What type of offense do you think they have run? Great job on the coverage this week. By far best team website and updates by you! 

Thanks, 
Josh 


CB:
Our web staff appreciate the kind words. From what I understand from coach Marrone and coach Hackett, they ran a pro-style offense with up tempo capabilities at Syracuse. I’ve been told to think of New Orleans offense, but with a heavier run game component by those that have observed the Syracuse offense the last few years.

Coach Hackett told me that he and Coach Marrone locked themselves in a room and culled together the best of what several offenses have to offer and came up with their current system. They intend to make use of that in Buffalo.

 

5 – Hi Chris:
First of all, I don’t miss a blog. Keep it up! Where do you think QB Nassib will fall in the draft, and would it be too risky or too much of a reach to go get him? Or what of the possibilities of a trade with Washington for K. Cousins- I thought we should have nabbed him in the draft last year and just missed by a couple of draft selections.

Thanks,
Mike from Orlando, FL

CB: I think at this point it’s hard to judge where Nassib will land, and even after the Senior Bowl, Combine and pro days it’ll be tough to predict where he goes because all it takes is one team to really like him and take him sooner than the so called experts project. That being said most draftniks see him as a second-round prospect. I know Coach Marrone and Coach Hackett have a lot of respect for his game and how he’s developed. However, I don’t think that guarantees they take him in the draft.

As for Kirk Cousins, I think the knee injury suffered by Robert Griffin almost rules out any chance of the Redskins parting ways with Cousins via trade this offseason.


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Posted in Inside the Bills