Plenty of speculation out there about how the roster will be re-shaped this offseason at some key positions like QB and OT. Remember you can email me at AskChris@bills.nfl.net. Let’s get to this week’s edition.
1. Hey Chris,
Who are some players you think the bills should look at in free agency and the draft that you yourself are pretty high on? Also are there any trade possibilites you can think of ? And any chance some of the current bills players under contract get traded this offseason? I think we need more picks in the draft do you?
CB: First, I don’t think the Bills are hurting for draft picks. They have nine total with an extra six and seven. I would not be surprised however, if they trade out of the ninth pick to move down in round one and scoop up an extra three.
I do think free agency in this uncapped year is going to restrict player movement to a certain degree, but there are still some big names out there like Karlos Dansby, Julius Peppers and Vince Wilfork, though I do see Wilfork getting franchised. Players I wouldn’t mind the Bills targeting would be New England DE Jarvis Green, San Fran NT Aubrayo Franklin or Baltimore DE Dwan Edwards.
Signing restricted free agents away from other teams will prove difficult. Poison pill offer sheets really won’t exist anymore for restricted free agents because there’s no cap.
I think trading for a QB might prove to be the best means of getting someone in here to either take hold of the starting job or compete for it. It’s going to depend a lot on who is made available by what teams and what they’re looking for in return.
As for players on this roster that could be traded, I believe with a new defensive system and a new coaching staff that almost any player is fair game.
2. Hi Chris,
Can you please give us an update on Keith Ellison’s recovery? Do you think he will be back with the team next year? Even with missing 1/2 the season he is 8th in tackles on the team?
CB: To my knowledge Keith’s injury wasn’t one that was going to require a major offseason of rehabilitation. As to whether he’ll be back with the team next season, I believe it’s more in doubt now with the 3-4 defensive scheme being implemented by defensive coordinator George Edwards. I don’t see him as a fit in that scheme.
3. Hey Chris,
Do you actually think that the Bills will take McClain at 9? I think it would be the best option for them, but as of right now they are projected to be taking a tackle in that spot.
I know we are in desperate need of a tackle, but is it worth taking the 4th best tackle at 9, when you can get the top LB, or one of them at that spot to help improve our run defense.
CB: I think a lot of fans believe it makes more sense now that the Bills are moving to a 3-4 defensive scheme. There’s no question that certain positions like RB or LB are spots where talented college prospects can make an instant impact for an NFL team as a rookie.
But I still stick to the philosophy of getting your big people early in the draft. The left tackle spot needs to be addressed with a player that is NFL ready. The players at the top of the draft have the best skill set and in many cases the greatest chance to succeed sooner rather than later (see: Michael Oher).
With the 3-4 being implemented NT is a bigger need now as well. I do like McClain, but I’m having a hard time overlooking the OT need of the Bills after last season’s struggles up front for Buffalo’s offense.
4. Hey Chris
Who do you think the bills would draft if they moved up 1 or 2 or more picks in the draft? Also do you think that they could trade aaron schobel to another team for maybe another draft pick and have two 1st round picks or two 2nd round picks?
CB: I don’t see the Bills moving up in round one. If anything I see them moving back a bit into the mid-teens. If they could find a willing trade partner close to Schobel’s Texas home like New Orleans or Houston I don’t see a 32-year old defensive end fetching a 1st or 2nd round pick. Believe a 3rd is more like it.
5. Hi Chris,
George Edwards seems like a good hire, but I’m curious about the 3-4 scheme. By my count, we don’t have a true nose tackle for a 3-4 defence and we’re already short on linebackers before adding another to the field.
Moving Maybin to LB means we have to get two new DEs to replace Schobel and Kelsay in a year or two, plus a true nose tackle, plus we still need another linebacker like we would have in a 4-3 — meanwhile it turns Stroud and Williams from playmakers into role players since neither of them really fits the nose tackle position.
That means instead of needing one DE and one LB to shore up the front seven in a 4-3 scheme, now we need two DEs, a NT and a LB for a 3-4 scheme.
Seems like we’re making life tough on ourselves from a personnel standpoint in the rebuilding process (I’m scared to think how we can rebuild the offence with all this to focus on already). Am I off base?
Thanks a lot,
CB: I’d agree that there will be more of a personnel focus on defense now with the new 3-4 alignment as I had suspected. I agree that Stroud is not a true nose, but could play it in a pinch. He’s better suited as a five-technique DE like a Richard Seymour.
I believe Chris Kelsay could bulk up to play end and I think Spencer Johnson is a perfect end in a 3-4 as well. Kyle Williams is athletic enough to play end in a 3-4 and on passing downs he can kick inside to the nose.
At LB I’d see Mitchell going inside alongside Poz, with Maybin at one OLB and depending on what they think of Nic Harris, maybe draft a 3-4 LB.
The biggest need though as you point out is a true NT, and they’re not easy to find. Fortunately it is a deep class of DTs this year. How many are capable of playing two gap in the NFL remains to be seen. OT and NT are the two biggest positional needs right now. Without an elite QB prospect I think OT and NT must be addressed early in the draft.
Tags: Aaron Schobel, Fan Friday, George Edwards, Keith Ellison, Marcus Stroud, Rolando McClain
Posted in Inside the Bills