Inside The Bills

DE Quinn with a Bills tie

Posted by Chris Brown on April 21, 2011 – 9:10 am

North Carolina DE Robert Quinn, widely forecast as a top 15 pick, has an interesting Bills connection.

Quinn in an effort to improve his speed for the NFL combine and his pro day went to a former Bills speedster for help. Former Bills wide receiver Don Beebe served as Quinn’s speed coach during the pre-draft process.

“I did about half my training at Pensacola, Fla., at API,” said Quinn. “I finished (the last) two and a half, three weeks up in Chicago with
Don Beebe.”

Beebe’s House of Speed has developed a good reputation for shaving precious tenths off of prospect’s 40 times. Coming off of a year of inactivity having served an NCAA suspension that cost him his 2010 season, Quinn still put up the best 40 time at the defensive end position among the top prospects in the draft pool.

He ran a 4.62 at the NFL combine and a 4.6 flat at his pro day.

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Quinn, Jordan tie fan vote

Posted by Chris Brown on April 11, 2011 – 8:22 am

Bills fans texted in for who they felt was the best fit for Buffalo at the all important defensive end position after watching the Countdown to Draft Day position preview on And fans didn’t blindly vote for the top prospect instead choosing to be more selective.

In a dead heat North Carolina DE Robert Quinn and Cal DE Cameron Jordan both took 33% of the vote to tie for first among fan voters. Behind them with 22.2% of the vote was Clemson’s Da’Quan Bowers, whose knee recovery hasn’t been as quick as expected following surgery.

Bills fans have been texting their player preferences for the Bills after watching each position preview in the media center on Just follow the instructions at the end of the video preview to find out how to participate. Guard/center is up next on Monday.

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DE Quinn visiting Ravens

Posted by Chris Brown on April 8, 2011 – 8:39 am

North Carolina prized pass rushing prospect Robert Quinn is making another pre-draft visit.

According to the National Football Post, Quinn is meeting with the Baltimore Ravens. On Tuesday he was at One Bills Drive visiting with Buffalo’s coaching staff.

Quinn is expected to go in the first dozen picks April 28th.

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How no 2010 affects Quinn

Posted by Chris Brown on April 5, 2011 – 3:39 pm

Obviously when a player misses a full year of college ball due to suspension it’s going to affect a player’s report. ESPN’s Todd McShay outlines just how it affects Robert Quinn, who visited with the Bills today (Thursday), and not just from a draft stock standpoint.

“Unfortunately (his stock) could’ve been a lot better if he was able to play this year,” said McShay. “For scouts they’re nervous because to a certain extent you don’t know what you’re getting necessarily. He did not play all year long and sat out the year. Forget about knocking off the rust, but he lost out on the development and being there every day and working (in practice) and getting better at your craft. That’s the frustrating part because there’s so much talent on the defensive side of the ball there.”

The talent will still make him a top 15 pick, especially after what many considered a solid pro day last week. Still, had he played and been productive this past season, he’d almost certainly be mentioned in the same breath as Von Miller.

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Mayock says Quinn fits 3-4

Posted by Chris Brown on April 1, 2011 – 8:39 am

NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock was in attendance at the North Carolina pro day Thursday and after watching DE Robert Quinn’s workout believes he could be an OLB in a 3-4.

Mayock said that he’s ideally a 4-3 defensive end, but believes he’s capable of playing an OLB role in a 3-4. His reasoning?

“He can do that because 90 percent of the time he’s going to be a rush linebacker in the 3-4 and go after the quarterback and only drop occasionally,” said Mayock.

Mayock has said he wouldn’t be surprised if Quinn is a top 10 pick come draft day.

As for Quinn’s teammate DT Marvin Austin, Mayock believes he could now wind up going in the bottom of the first round, as he’s addressed his off the field concerns satisfactorily in the eyes of NFL personnel executives. Austin was suspended by UNC and did not play in his senior season for accepting improper benefits from an agent. Prior to his suspension Austin was considered one of the best defensive tackle prospects in the draft class.

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Quinn’s pro day numbers

Posted by Chris Brown on March 31, 2011 – 2:54 pm

North Carolina DE Robert Quinn had his last chance to perform for scouts and GMs in attendance at the Tar Heels pro day in Chapel Hill. Here are some of his results.

Quinn at 6’4 3/8″ and 264 pounds ran a 4.59 40 time, had a 33-inch vertical and 10’5 1/2″ broad jump. That according to the University of North Carolina official site. He also had 24 reps on the bench. All of those numbers were superior to the figures he put up at the NFL combine last month. No one will deny Quinn’s pass rush ability. What talent evaluators worry about is Quinn being out of football all last year. Nevertheless his talent will still have him go in the first 15 picks.

His teammate who was also suspended this past year, DT Marvin Austin stood on his numbers from the combine with the exception of the broad jump where he posted a 9’1″ leap. That was three inches shy of his 9’4″ jump at the combine. He’s seen as a second-round pick.

The two inside linebackers Bills GM Buddy Nix wanted to look at were Quan Sturdivant and Bruce Carter. Sturdivant stood on most of his numbers from the combine, but ran the 40 and posted a slightly slower time of 4.68, from the 4.63 at the combine. Carter, who is coming off of ACL reconstruction in December, went through positional drills according to Gil Brandt, but I don’t know if that’s possible. Most reports out of Chapel Hill had indicated he wouldn’t be football ready until the fall.

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Nix in Chapel Hill

Posted by Chris Brown on March 31, 2011 – 8:26 am

Bills GM Buddy Nix will be one of the many in attendance at the University of North Carolina for the pro day workout of DE Robert Quinn. But that’s not the only guy Nix will have his eye on.

After addressing premium season ticket holders in a State of the Bills event Monday night, Nix said there were a couple of other players he wanted to see up close.

“I’m going Thursday to North Carolina and see Robert Quinn and the two inside backers,” said Nix. “It’s due diligence. We’ve put too much stock in it and it’s our job to do what we’re doing.”

Nix is presumably talking about Tar Heel inside linebacker Quan Sturdivant and Bruce Carter. Sturdivant has been forecast as a late second or early third round pick, while Carter could come off the board around the same time. He played outside linebacker for the Tar Heels, but projects inside at 6’1 1/2″ and 241 pounds.

Carter is unlikely to do much at the pro day workout. A highly touted linebacker with elite athleticism entering his senior season, a torn ACL this past December threw his draft status into doubt. He had surgery Dec. 14th and likely won’t be ready to perform fully for scouts today.

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Fan Friday 3-25

Posted by Chris Brown on March 25, 2011 – 1:42 pm

Time for your Fan Friday questions from Keep them coming and have a good weekend everybody.

1 – Hi Chris  
I have been thinking the Bills should go defensive tackle or linebacker at #3 overall.  What do you think about them taking Robert Quinn, potentially, the next Bruce Smith? If they don’t put him at End then put him at Linebacker. The guy has everything the Bills are looking for as far as pass rush, and explosiveness, with one year less of wear and tear on the body. 
Go Bills !!!!
Thanks,  Dale

CB: The wear and tear argument is a good one with respect to Quinn, but most NFL talent evaluators worry about the one less year of development. Quinn is a great raw talent and will probably go in the top 15 because of his high ceiling, but he’s also a risk and might take longer to adjust after a year away from football. As a result some teams might not feel comfortable investing a top 10 pick in a guy that might not be able to give you instant impact in year one.

2 – Hi Chris,
Everyone seems to be predicting that the Bills will take a QB with their pick at #3, but I’m not buying it.  Can you give me your prediction on how many team “need” a QB and would take one in the first round if he was the right guy?  I’m thinking there are 4-5 potential first round QBs (Newton, Gabbert, Locker, Mallet) and one of them should fall to Bills in the Second or even third round.

Ashburn, VA
CB: The only way the Bills take a QB at 3 is if they’re convinced that one of the top prospects is a franchise type quarterback, otherwise they pass. But there are a number of teams with a quarterback need in the top half of round one. As I see it you’ve got the following.
Carolina at 1
Buffalo at 3
Cincinnati at 4 (Palmer wants out)
Arizona at 5
San Fran at 7
Tennessee at 8
Washington at 10 (McNabb to be moved)
Minnesota at 12

In reality the only quarterbacks most analysts see going in the top 12 are Gabbert or Newton. Mallett and Locker have character and accuracy issues respectively and might not even come off the board in round one, though QB value tends to get inflated on draft day. We’ll see.

3 – Hey Chris,
My question is in regards to Christian Ponder of FSU. As Gailey has clearly stated that Fitz is his starter going forward at this point, would Ponder be a nice addition to this team. I have seen Ponder play the last 3 years and have seen his skills as well as his flaws. It seems to me that he can play at the NFL level with the right coaching staff and teammates. He has good arm strength and decent accuracy. I know his durability would be a main factor in his NFL career. With Gailey and the rest of the coaching staff, as well as guidance from Fitz, I believe he would be a great asset to our Bills team for little money. Your feedback would be great on the thought of Ponder to the Bills in Rnd 3 or 4. Thank you and as always “GO BILLS” and “GO FITZ”!!!!!!!!!

CB: Unfortunately I don’t see Christian Ponder lasting until round 3. I think he goes in the top half of round 2. After an injury-riddled senior season, he’s had a productive pre-draft period. He performed well at the Senior Bowl on Chan Gailey’s South team taking MVP honors. In the games I’ve seen him play the leadership comes naturally to him. He’s not afraid to take chances and he’s really smart. He’s also played in a pro-style offense at Florida State so the transition for him figures to be shorter than other QBs in this class. Personally I like him as a talent. Some so called experts say he’s best suited to play in west coast system, but I think his ability can take him beyond that.

4 – Chris,
Like you, I think Ryan Fitzpatrick did a great job at QB this past year and don’t believe Buddy will draft a QB at 3.  Last year Buddy said the Bills need playmakers and then drafted one.  I believe he will duplicate exactly what he did last year, he will first draft a playmaker with pick #3 ( Peterson think Revis, Von Miller think Mathews or Green think Fitzgerald), then focus on the defensive front seven in rounds 2-4 along with a developmental QB and maybe a TE.
So, could you please name some of the 3-4 DEs and ISLBs that would be available in rounds 2-4, along with the names of QBs better suited to the what the Bills do.  I’m thinking a smart guy who can process information like RF but with a stronger arm.  Also, a few TEs as well.  I truly believe that Buddy and Chan are turning this team around. 
Thank you for your great work and keep it coming!  Go Bills!!

CB: Here you go.
ILBs in round 2 – Martez Wilson – Illinois; round 3 – Kelvin Sheppard – LSU, Quan Sturdivant – UNC, Colin McCarthy – Miami; round 4 – Greg Jones – Michigan St., Nate Irving – N.C. State

DEs in round 2 – Cameron Heyward – Ohio St., Christian Ballard – Iowa, Jabaal Sheard – Pitt; round 3 – Allen Bailey – Miami, Pernell McPhee – Miss. St.; round 4 – Pierre Allen – Nebraska, Rickey Elmore – Arizona, Greg Romeus – Pitt

QBs that could fit in the Bills scheme really doesn’t apply because Chan Gailey always adjusts his scheme to fit the players as evidenced by what he did in going from Neil O’Donnell to Kordell Stewart in Pittsburgh. The good thing about that is it could open the Bills up to more possibilities if they choose to take a QB.

TEs – round 2 – Kyle Rudolph – Notre Dame, Luke Stocker – Tennessee; Round 3 – D.J. Williams – Arkansas, Lance Kendricks – Wisconsin; round 4 – Jordan Cameron – USC, Rob Housler – Florida Atlantic, Virgil Green – Nevada
5 – Chris, 
Can you break down what the scouts think about the three best mobile QBs in the draft, that being Newton, Locker, and Kaepernick.  Judging on Chan’s desire for a guy that can move out of the pocket and what round they can be had (NEWTON 1) (LOCKER/Kaepernick 2-3), who makes the most sense for the Bills just on talent and ability to drop back to be a full time passer. I think Kaepernick seems like a great talent and has put up better numbers than most QB’s. Locker could also develop better. He’s got major arm and legs. How interested are the Bills in Locker and Kaepernick compared to the rumors of Cam?


CB: Most scouts in the league that I’ve seen quoted anonymously are concerned with Locker’s inconsistencies in terms of accuracy and decision making. Great athlete, but accuracy in the NFL where the windows are smaller is key. With Newton it’s the offense he comes from and concerns about his character and work ethic. Again a great athlete with loads of potential, but playing QB in the NFL is a lot more than being athletic are the issues for scouts. Finally Kaepernick, again fantastic athlete, but comes from a pistol offense where they spread things out. But he was a four-year starter and has consistent numbers. His mechanics have been knocked (long wind up), but he’s clean as far as the intangibles and as a leader. Pretty sharp too. All these NFL teams have to determine if these QBs are franchise type material. That’s the question that must be answered.

As far as how interested the Bills are, that’s tough to say. Locker, Newton and Kaepernick haven’t been in for pre-draft visits to this point. That obviously could change in the coming weeks. Chan believes mobility is important, but doesn’t rule out QBs that are as mobile necessarily. Here’s what he said at the combine about mobility in a QB.

“I think you have to be able to adjust. Mobilty helps, yes, but if you don’t have a mobile quarterback and he’s your best quarterback then you better find a way to be successful without having mobility involved in it. We did it with Troy (Aikman) in Dallas. Troy wasn’t a bootleg type guy, but we did it a little bit just to keep them honest. You have to adjust. Whoever your best player is you adjust around what they do.”

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