Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 3-21

Posted by Chris Brown on March 21, 2014 – 11:39 am

Free agency is still up and running, but the focus will steadily move toward the NFL draft. In the meantime we answer some of your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Hi Chris,
In putting on your Draft Hat, who do you think the Bills will draft over the first three rounds? By position I would to see a LB, OL, TE.  It would not surprise me if they trade down in the first round again in order to gain additional picks.

Thanks very much, as always I appreciate your input.

Bob Hammond
Rochester, NY

CB: I think based on what they’ve acquired in free agency to this point (2 LB, 1 G, 1 CB, 1 RB) it has not changed much. Here’s why. I see the three positions you mentioned along with WR as their top four needs. Though they have added a pair of linebackers who each figure to have starting roles and play a lot, the depth at linebacker is not where it needs to be. So I do expect them to take a linebacker. I’m just not sure it’s going to be early.

On the offensive line with Erik Pears entering the final year of his contract and Chris Hairston’s status still up in the air pending a medical re-check this spring, offensive tackle is a position I expect to be addressed in the first two rounds. The same goes for wide receiver preferably one that is 6’3” or taller.

Tight end could be a consideration if the right kind of game breaking talent is there, but absent that opportunity I don’t think we see one added to the roster.

 

2 – Chris,

With so many underclassmen declaring for the draft. Do you anticipate a richer pool of undrafted free agent? 

Harris W.

CB: I think that is a very safe assumption. In fact talking to some NFL GMs at the NFL combine most of them seem to be more excited about the quality of talent they’ll be able to sign after the draft is over. With 100 underclassmen declaring for the draft this spring, it’s essentially three extra rounds of prospects that won’t get drafted. So the undrafted pool might be the deepest ever.

 

3 – Hey Chris,

Thanks for all of your combine coverage, its great. My question is about the draft. I think that the Bills need to surround EJ with more weapons before addressing the O-line in the later rounds. What do you think about getting Ebron or Watkins in the first and then someone like Gabe Jackson or Cyrus Kouandjio in the second? Or maybe a Martavus Bryant in the third? He is a big fast receiver that we are looking for. I think Ebron and Watkins would be a great explosive weapon for EJ. What are your thoughts?

Go Bills!
Mike 

CB: I think there is depth at offensive tackle where you could find a starting caliber player in round two.

If Sammy Watkins is there at nine the Bills will sprint up to the podium with the card. However, I’d be stunned if he’s still on the board past Oakland at five. I think ninth is too high for Ebron. I’d consider Texas A&M’s Mike Evans.

An offensive tackle I like for round two is Tennessee’s Tiny Richardson. If there’s a run on tackles late in round one however, I’m worried he won’t be there. We’ll see.

 

4 – Hello Chris,

I am struggling to figure out why the Bills are not on the QB needy teams list? What evidence was provided last year that EJ Manuel is at all capable of winning games yet alone a super bowl championship? His short passes were off target and thrown with way too much velocity. His deep ball was nonexistent. I’ve been a Bills fan for over twenty some odd years since I watched Ronnie Harmon drop the ball in the end zone in Cleveland. I have never felt compelled to ever write before but Myself and many, many others cannot sit by and watch another 3 years of this kid stink it up. Please tell Russ, Doug , Jim O, and Coach to move up and get the A&M kid. Everyone knows EJ is not the goods.

At the very least can someone at least acknowledge this and stop trying to convince themselves by trying to convince us, You don’t move back in the draft if you think the guy is the “guy” you take him at 8 or whatever they picked last year, Seriously I’m begging. I listen to Murphy and I realize how difficult it’s becoming to even be fan of this team any longer. We don’t need a receiver or tight end…We need a Quarterback! 

Thank you and enjoy your work.
Paul

CB: I’m going to respectfully disagree with you here. Ten NFL starts does not a career make. If that was the case Troy Aikman would’ve been run out of Dallas on a rail when they went 1-15 in his first NFL season as a starter. Buffalo’s personnel execs are all in on EJ Manuel, so giving up on him after 10 games, which truth be told had some encouraging and discouraging performances, would be foolhardy after investing a first-round pick.

You have to trust in your coaches to develop him and his work ethic to lead to appreciable improvement. You’re entitled to your opinion just like everyone else. I just think no matter what side of the fence anyone is on concerning EJ, all of it is premature.

 

5 – Chris,

The Bills QB’s: EJ, Tuel and Thad Lewis
Do you envision the Bills adding depth at the position in the draft say an Aaron Murray or Zach Mettenberger who may fall due to knee injuries, and may be perfect for the Bills to groom behind EJ this year.
Or do you think they prefer someone with more experience?   Along the lines of: Josh freeman, Chad Henne, Josh McCown

-Jim

CB: I’m going to let Bills GM Doug Whaley handle this one with a recent comment he made on the radio last week.

This was his response when asked in a radio interview if they planned to add a quarterback in free agency or the draft.

“At this time no, but again we will keep all options open,” Whaley said.

Whaley then went on to indicate that they’d be fine going into camp with the three quarterbacks on their roster (Manuel, Lewis, Tuel) along with their practice squad QB who was on the roster last year.

“Comfortable, very comfortable and then you throw Dennis Dixon in,” he said. “All those guys are going to be another year in the system, so if you bring someone else in they’ll be new in the system. So we’re comfortable with where we are with the quarterback position.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

A closer look at draft’s underclassmen

Posted by Chris Brown on January 31, 2013 – 2:10 pm

The 2013 NFL draft will have a record 73 underclassmen in the pool of prospects. Here’s a detailed breakdown of the junior eligibles courtesy of DraftMetrics.com.

According to DraftMetric’s number crunching, 32 of the 73 underclassmen this year are either defensive linemen or defensive backs.

Only one of the 73 underclassmen is a quarterback this year. There were five quarterbacks in the 2012 draft pool that were underclassmen. Per DraftMetrics nearly two-thirds of the drafted quarterbacks were taken in the first round over the past 10 years.

Finally, since 2003, about 75 percent of the players declaring early ended up being drafted.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Another record year for underclassmen

Posted by Chris Brown on January 15, 2013 – 1:57 pm

Once again the number of underclassmen has set a new mark with 74 underclassmen declaring for the 2013 NFL draft. Today is the last day for underclassmen to forgo their remaining college eligibility and enter the draft pool. There might still be a few more today, but for now here are the 74 underclassmen that have declared by position.

The list was compiled by CBSSports.com. Last year there were 65 underclassmen that declared for the draft.

QB Tyler Bray, Tennessee
QB Kyle Padron, Eastern Washington

RB Eddie Lacy, Alabama
RB Giovani Bernard, North Carolina
RB Joseph Randle, Oklahoma State
RB Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina
RB Le’Veon Bell, Michigan State
RB Jawan Jamison, Rutgers
RB Knile Davis, Arkansas
RB Spencer Ware, LSU
RB Stefphon Jefferson, Nevada
RB Michael Ford, LSU
RB Trabis Ward, Tennessee State
RB Cierre Wood, Notre Dame

WR Keenan Allen, California
WR Robert Woods, Southern Cal
WR DeAndre Hopkins, Clemson
WR Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee
WR Justin Hunter, Tennessee
WR Da’Rick Rogers, Tennessee Tech
WR Stedman Bailey, West Virginia
WR Kenny Stills, Oklahoma
WR Josh Boyce, TCU
WR Brandon Kaufman, Eastern Washington
WR Marquess Wilson, Washington State

TE Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame
TE Zach Ertz, Stanford
TE Jordan Reed, Florida
TE Dion Sims, Michigan State
TE Gavin Escobar, San Diego State
TE Levine Toilolo, Stanford

OT Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M
OT D.J. Fluker, Alabama
OT Justin Pugh, Syracuse
OT Chris Faulk, LSU
OT Menelik Watson, Florida State
OT David Bakhtiari, Colorado

OG Alvin Bailey, Arkansas

OC Travis Frederick, Wisconsin

DE Bjoern Werner, Florida State
DE Damontre Moore, Texas A&M
DE Sam Montgomery, LSU
DE Corey Lemonier, Auburn
DE William Gholston, Michigan State
DE Stansly Maponga, TCU
DE Joe Kruger, Utah

DT Johnathan Hankins, Ohio State
DT Sheldon Richardson, Missouri
DT Sharrif Floyd, Florida
DT Akeem Spence, Illinois
DT Bennie Logan, LSU
DT Kwame Geathers, Georgia
DT Brandon Moore, Texas
DT Darrington Sentimore, Tennessee

LB Jarvis Jones, Georgia
LB Barkevious Mingo, LSU
LB Kevin Minter, LSU
LB Alec Ogletree, Georgia
LB Jelani Jenkins, Florida
LB Tom Wort, Oklahoma

CB Dee Milliner, Alabama
CB Xavier Rhodes, Florida State
CB Logan Ryan, Rutgers
CB David Amerson, NC State
CB Tharold Simon, LSU
CB Nickell Robey, USC
CB Tyrann Mathieu, LSU
CB Terrence Brown, Stanford
CB Steve Williams, California
CB Mike Edwards, Hawaii

S Matt Elam, Florida
S Eric Reid, LSU
S Tony Jefferson, Oklahoma

P Brad Wing, LSU


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Posted in Inside the Bills

65 underclassmen in draft pool

Posted by Chris Brown on January 18, 2012 – 4:27 pm

Here are the 65 underclassmen that declared themselves eligible for the 2012 NFL draft. The total of 61 breaks last year’s record of 56 underclassmen, so the new CBA with reduced financial windfalls for rookies has apparently not dissuaded underclassmen from forgoing their senior seasons.

2012 NFL draft underclassmen
Alvester Alexander, RB, Wyoming
Dwayne Allen, TE, Clemson
Edwin Baker, RB, Michigan State
Mike Ball, RB, Nevada
Jamison Berryhill, RB, Texas
Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
Michael Brockers, DT, Louisiana State
Bryce Brown, RB, Kansas State
Vontaze Burfict, LB, Arizona State
Orson Charles, TE, Georgia
Morris Claiborne, DB, Louisiana State
Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State
David DeCastro, G, Stanford
Tiree Eure, TE, Minnesota
Marcus Forston, DT, Miami
Stephon Gilmore, DB, South Carolina
Chris Givens, WR, Wake Forest
Dorian Graham, WR, Syracuse
Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
Jewel Hampton, RB, Southern Illinois
Cliff Harris, DB, Oregon
Dont’a Hightower, LB, Alabama
Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech
Ronnie Hillman, RB, San Diego State
Max Holloway, DE, Boston College
Jayron Hosley, DB, Virginia Tech
Janzen Jackson, DB, McNeese State
LaMichael James, RB, Oregon
Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina
Aldarius Johnson, WR, Miami
Damaris Johnson, WR, Tulsa
Chandler Jones, DE, Syracuse
Matt Kalil, T, Southern California
Dre Kirkpatrick, DB, Alabama
Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin
Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College
Ronnell Lewis, DE, Oklahoma
Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
Terrell Manning, LB, North Carolina State
Jonathan Martin, T, Stanford
Bobby Massie, T, Mississippi
Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois
Lamar Miller, RB, Miami
Brock Osweiler, QB, Arizona State
Eric Page, WR, Toledo
Donte Paige-Moss, DE, North Carolina
Nick Perry, DE, Southern California
Bernard Pierce, RB, Temple
Ken Plue, G, Purdue
Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis
Rueben Randle, WR, Louisiana State
Riley Reiff, T, Iowa
Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
Josh Robinson, DB, Central Florida
Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers
Darrell Scott, RB, South Florida
Tommy Streeter, WR, Miami
Darron Thomas, QB, Oregon
Johnny Thomas, DB, Oklahoma State
Phillip Thomas, DB, Syracuse
Barrett Trotter, QB, Auburn
Olivier Vernon, DE, Miami
Brandon Washington, T, Miami
David Wilson, RB, Virginia Tech
Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State


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Underclassmen that have declared

Posted by Chris Brown on January 6, 2012 – 11:06 am

Here’s an updated rundown of the college underclassmen that have declared themselves eligible for the 2012 NFL Draft. The deadline to declare for this year’s draft is Jan. 15th.

Justin Blackmon WR Oklahoma State
Vontaze Burfict LB Arizona State
Fletcher Cox DT Mississippi State
David DeCastro G Stanford
Marcus Forston DT Miami (Fla.)
Chris Givens WR Wake Forest
Ronnie Hillman RB San Diego State
Jayron Hosley CB Virginia Tech
LaMichael James RB Oregon 
Alshon Jeffery WR South Carolina
Matt Kalil OT USC
Ronnell Lewis OLB/DE Oklahoma
Andrew Luck QB Stanford
Chandler Jones DE Syracuse
Terrell Manning LB N.C. State
Jonathan Martin OT Stanford
Whitney Mercilus DE Illinois
Lamar Miller RB Miami (Fla.)
Donte Paige-Moss DE North Carolina
Nick Perry DE USC
Bernard Pierce RB Temple
Dontari Poe NT Memphis
Chris Polk RB Washington
Riley Reiff OT Iowa
Mohamed Sanu WR Rutgers
Tommy Streeter WR Miami (Fla.)
Robert Turbin RB Utah State
Olivier Vernon DE Miami (Fla.)
Brandon Washington OT Miami (Fla.)
David Wilson RB Virginia Tech


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Final underclassmen list

Posted by Chris Brown on January 19, 2011 – 2:19 pm

Here’s the final official list of underclassmen that have been granted eligibility for the 2011 NFL draft. There are a record-high 56 players in all, up from last year’s 53.

Player Pos. College
Adams, Darvin WR Auburn
Austin, Marvin DT North Carolina
Ayers, Akeem LB UCLA
Baldwin, Jon WR Pittsburgh
Bowers, Da’Quan DE Clemson
Brown, DeAndre WR Southern Mississippi
Burton, Brandon DB Utah
Casey, Jurrell DT Southern California
Clay, John RB Wisconsin
Claytor, Nick T Georgia Tech
Cobb, Randall WR Kentucky
Dareus, Marcell DE Alabama
Doss, Tandon WR Indiana
Evans, Darren RB Virginia Tech
Fairley, Nick DT Auburn
Gabbert, Blaine QB Missouri
Green, A.J. WR Georgia
Gurley, Tori WR South Carolina
Guy, Lawrence DT Arizona State
Hamler, Jamel WR Fresno State
Harper, Jamie RB Clemson
Harris, Brandon DB Miami
Hill, Will DB Florida
Houston, Justin LB Georgia
Hynoski, Henry RB Pittsburgh
Ingram, Mark RB Alabama
Jones, Julio WR Álabama
Keiser, Thomas LB Stanford
Leshoure, Mikel RB Illinois
Lewis, Dion RB Pittsburgh
Lewis, Javes DB Oregon
Little, Greg WR North Carolina
Liuget, Corey DT Illinois
Mallett, Ryan QB Arkansas
Moore, Rahim DB UCLA
Newton, Cam QB Auburn
Parr, Zane DE Virginia
Peterson, Patrick DB Louisiana State
Quinn, Robert DE North Carolina
Ridley, Stevan RB Louisiana State
Rodgers, Jacquizz RB Oregon State
Rudolph, Kyle TE Notre Dame
Sands, Robert DB West Virginia
Sash, Tyler DB Iowa
Siliga, Sealver DT Utah
Smith, Aldon DE Missouri
Smith, Torrey WR Maryland
Smith, Tyron T Southern California
Tarrant, Jerrard DB Georgia Tech
Todman, Jordan RB Connecticut
Vereen, Shane RB California
Watt, J.J. DE Wisconsin
Wilkerson, Muhammad DT Temple
Williams, Aaron DB Texas
Williams, Ryan RB Virginia Tech
Wilson, Martez LB Illinois


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Declared underclassmen

Posted by Chris Brown on January 15, 2011 – 9:47 am

Here is the latest list of underclassmen that have declared for the 2011 NFL Draft. There are currently 52 with one day left to declare (Jan. 15th).

Underclassmen in 2011 draft.

Akeem Ayers – OLB – UCLA
Jon Baldwin – WR – Pitt
Da’Quan Bowers – DE – Clemson
DeAndre Brown – WR –  So. Mississippi
Brandon Burton – CB – Utah
Jurrell Casey – DT – USC
John Clay – RB – Wisconsin
Nick Claytor – OT – Georgia Tech
Randall Cobb – WR – Kentucky
Marcell Dareus – DT – Alabama
Tandon Doss – WR – Indiana
Darren Evans – RB – Virginia Tech
Nick Fairley – DT – Auburn
Blaine Gabbert – QB – Missouri
A.J. Green – WR – Georgia
Tori Gurley – WR – South Carolina
Lawrence Guy – DT – Arizona St.
Jamel Hamler – WR – Fresno St.
Jamie Harper – RB – Clemson
Brandon Harris – CB – Miami (FL)
Will Hill – S – Florida
Justin Houston – OLB – Georgia
Henry Hynoski – FB – Pitt
Mark Ingram – RB – Alabama
Julio Jones – WR – Alabama
Taiwan Jones – RB – E. Washington
Tom Keiser – OLB – Stanford
Mikel Leshoure – RB – Illinois
Dion Lewis – RB – Pitt
Corey Liuget – DT – Illinois
Ryan Mallett – QB – Arkansas
Rahim Moore – S – UCLA
Cam Newton – QB – Auburn
Zane Parr – DE – Virginia
Patrick Peterson – CB – LSU
Stevan Ridley – RB – LSU
Jacquizz Rodgers – RB – Oregon St.
Kyle Rudolph – TE – Notre Dame
Robert Sands – S – W. Virginia
Tyler Sash – S – Iowa
Sealver Siliga – DT – Utah
Aldon Smith – DE – Missouri
Torrey Smith – WR – Maryland
Tyron Smith – OT – USC
Jerrard Tarrant – S – Georgia Tech
Jordan Todman – RB – UCONN
Shane Vereen – RB – Cal
J.J. Watt – DE – Wisconsin
Muhammad Wilkerson – DT – Temple
Aaron Williams – CB – Texas
Ryan Williams – RB – Virginia Tech
Martez Wilson – ILB – Illinois


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Skill positions dominate underclass eligibles

Posted by Chris Brown on January 16, 2009 – 2:56 pm

Not surprisingly, the skill position players dominate the group of 41 underclassmen that have declared for the NFL draft this spring.

Receiver was the position with the most underclass declarations with nine. In fact the receiver (9) and running back (7) positions account for almost 40 percent of the early eligibles for the draft this spring.  

Cornerbacks were the next highest position group with six of them leaving school early.

The fewest declarations were made at safety (1), linebacker (1), guard (1) and offensive tackle (2) with players like USC’s Taylor Mays and Florida’s Brandon Spikes choosing to return to school for their senior years factoring into those low figures. There were no early declarations made by centers or fullbacks, but that is usually the case.


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