Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 5-4

Posted by Chris Brown on May 4, 2012 – 11:56 am

In the wake of the NFL draft here is the latest edition of your questions from  Let’s get to it.

1 – Hi Chris

I enjoy reading your articles and blog -thanks for the insight into 1 Bills Drive. 

After listening to Buddy & the guys discuss the draft, I had a question on how the Bills categorize players and stack their board.  Typically, most draft websites or mock drafters grade and rack players based on their position – for example, CB or WR. 

But NFL teams really use players in specialist roles – X,Y, and Z receiver; slot DB vs boundary CB; dime OLB vs rush OLB; etc.

I’m wondering if Buffalo categorizes and stacks their draft board based on these specialist roles or if they stack them based on the position? How does this impact how they run their draft – I assume if they need a dime DB, they are going to look at the highest rated one left on their board, as opposed to a higher rated boundary CB to fill that need? 

Tim from Syracuse

CB: No, the Bills rank players with an overall board regardless of position by round. They also have a board that ranks all the players by position, but where they might fit within that position, ‘X’ receiver for example or slot CB is taking into account with their evaluation.
I think it’s fair to assume that a cornerback that can play on the boundary is going to have a higher grade than a CB that can only play in the slot. So the player evaluation of strengths, weaknesses and versatility and limitations properly rank the players and remove the need to further categorize rankings into specialty roles.


2 – Hi Chris,

I was wondering why the Bills have not kicked the tires on Marcus McNeill. He has the size that Buddy Nix covets, he was at one point considered an elite LT in this league, there is that San Diego connection, he is only 28, and I wouldn’t think the price would be too high at this point in the free agency game. So why not? Injuries? I know he had a neck issue but we could at least give him a physical. Was there a drop-off in his skill set that I am not aware of? I would think it would be worth it to bring him in for a visit/workout and see what he could bring to the table, and it would allow us to look at other positions early in the draft if he is healthy.

Thanks for your time!

CB: It is an injury issue with the neck problem as you point out. I believe knowing that Nix was directly responsible in drafting McNeill for the Chargers, that if there’s a chance for McNeill to be medically cleared for football again that Nix will be one of the first to know. In fact it wouldn’t shock me if Nix checks in with McNeill’s agent periodically for updates on the OT’s status. That’s not to say that they want to sign him, but you always monitor potential options that you believe can be a fit for your team.


3 – Hey Chris,

Last year you guys had cameras in the draft room during the first several rounds and posted a video chronicling the thought process of Buddy and the scouts as the pics/rounds developed. I thought this was incredibly insightful and interesting to watch so is there any chance of this happening again this year?

Andrew in Tonawanda.

CB: I’m happy to tell you that we will again have a video presentation of how Buffalo came to make their first three picks. It will air next week on We’ll be sure to give you a heads up as to when it’s posted in the media center. I’m looking forward to it because I believe you fans will really enjoy it. Good behind the scenes material.


4 – Chris,

GM Nix & Company did a great job in free Agency landing two (2) pass rushing DE in Mario & Mark

Like the draft adding +2 Corners, +2 OTs and +2 LBs

Had on my draft wish list

CB- Stephon Gilmore
OT – Cordy Glenn
LB – Nigel Bradham
LB – Tank Carder
I know TJ Graham is a speed burner, but is he going to be durable to play an O/S WR for 16 games ?  If you’re on IR doesn’t matter how fast you are.

In the 6th round I would have loved to have seen the Bills draft QB BJ Coleman as a developmental QB, perhaps challenging Thigpen for # 2, Bills waited to long on that move and the Packers took him in the 7th.  Not sold on Thigpen to come in and move this team if needed.
CB: I think that is something we’re just going to have to wait and see. We all know that cornerbacks in the NFL are far more physical than in college. The Bills believe in Graham’s ability to handle an outside role, so I think everyone needs to wait and see what he can do when we get to training camp and the bodies start banging. 

As for a developmental QB, you’re not alone. There are a lot of Bills fans that wanted a project QB to be drafted. But they’ve got Aaron Corp coming in and they’re pursuing free agent options, though there doesn’t appear to be anything imminent coming down the pike on Vince Young.

But I think the Bills will live up to what they always say they do, which is they’ll always look to make an upgrade at any position and if they can they do it.


5 – Hey Chris , I’m happy with the draft this year, we filled the needs that we needed at LT,LB , DB,  LT was a big need for us and we did get Huge LT that are going to improve by working with Mario  and Mark Anderson,,,,One question for you round four if the Redskins didn’t take Kurt Cousins do you think the Bills had him in their sights,,?                                                                   

Thanks Chris   

CB: I know they did like Kirk Cousins, but when you consider what they landed in the fourth and fifth rounds it’s hard to argue with the talent they accumulated. Cousins I think can be a nice player, but they need players that are going to help their depth on the field early. Cousins would not be that, so I think that’s why they grabbed players like Bradham, Brooks and Sanders and Carder. Players that will line up on special teams, possible subpackage roles on defense (Brooks) and challenge for a swing tackle role (Sanders).

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