LSU’s Sheppard excited to visit

Posted by Chris Brown on March 17, 2011 – 9:18 am

LSU LB Kelvin Sheppard wasn’t shy about making his morning pre-draft visit to One Bills Drive known. Here’s his twitter post about it.

Shepp_LB11 Morning!! Early morning in Buffalo then off to airport and back to the boot.

Sheppard is referring to Louisiana with his boot comment, since the state is shaped like a boot. The LSU LB, who visited along with Texas A&M LB Von Miller, already knows Buffalo’s coaching staff well having run the defense for the South team at the Senior Bowl for defensive coordinator George Edwards. He’s forecast by most draft services as a third or fourth round pick, and would be an excellent fit as an inside linebacker in a 3-4 behind veterans like Paul Posluszny and Andra Davis. Miller was also on the South team roster for the Senior Bowl.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

NFL scout mock is interesting

Posted by Chris Brown on March 16, 2011 – 2:03 pm reporter Albert Breer decided to have an anonymous NFL scout provide him with a mock draft. The results are interesting to say the least. First and foremost neither of the top two quarterbacks come off the board in the first four picks.

The unnamed scout has Marcell Dareus going first overall to Carolina followed by Patrick Peterson to Denver and at three he has the Bills taking Von Miller.

He doesn’t have quarterback Cam Newton or Blaine Gabbert coming off the board until five to Arizona and eight to Tennessee.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Brooks mock has LB to Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on March 15, 2011 – 2:52 pm’s Bucky Brooks mock draft has what is becoming a more and more popular pick for the Bills at 3 in his mock draft.

After having Cam Newton first overall to Carolina and Denver taking Marcell Dareus, Brooks has the Bills selecting Texas A&M LB Von Miller third. Here’s his reasoning behind the pick.

Chan Gailey would love to find an interior defender to anchor his 3-4 scheme, but Miller’s pass rushing prowess would provide an instant impact to a unit that has notoriously struggled to get to the quarterback. Miller’s speed, quickness and disruptive skills could evoke memories of Cornelius Bennett coming off the edge for Bills’ fans.

I’ m not ready to tab Miller a Bennett clone, but there is a lot of momentum building among mock draft crafters for Miller to the Bills at 3.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

PFW picks pass rusher for Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on March 14, 2011 – 4:24 pm

In ProFootballWeekly’s most recent mock draft they’ve got the Bills taking a pass rusher third overall.

PFW’s latest mock has Marcell Dareus going first overall to Carolina, followed by Da’Quan Bowers to Denver at two. They then select LB Von Miller third for Buffalo with the following comment on the pick.

With Dave Wannstedt on board and the Bills’ committing to a 4-3 look, the importance of adding more explosion to the pass rush became increasingly important, and there is not a more explosive pass rusher in this draft than Miller.

At the combine Chan Gailey made it pretty clear they’re going to be a multiple front so they’re not exactly committing to a 4-3 at all, where most believe Miller would fit best as an OLB. Of course that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t fit at OLB in a 3-4, but at 240 he’d more likely play on the weak side.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 3-11

Posted by Chris Brown on March 11, 2011 – 11:12 am

Let’s get right to your questions from

1 –
The Bills have long neglected to upgrade the TE position. If Kyle Rudolph of Notre Dame is available in the second round, what do you think are the chances they would draft him? Rudolph is a rare combination of possessing solid blocking skill and a vertical threat as well. For a second round pick, Rudolph will probably be the most talented rookie available at that stage of the draft. Do you think Chan Gailey will finally address this weakness of the Bills?  I realize that improving the defense is a priority, however picking Rudolph would improve the OL while providing Fitz with another target, he so desperately needs.
Go Bills!
Buffalo Bill

CB: While I agree that Kyle Rudolph is the best tight end talent in the draft, I’d be surprised if the Bills drafted him in round two. The positional holes on this team are much more pressing at defensive line, linebacker and quarterback. In fact I think cornerback is a position that is likely to be addressed prior to tight end.

I think when you look at the talent that emerged for the Bills at wide receiver last season, it reduced the need to add a difference maker at tight end. Rudolph also has injury questions to answer at his pro day in April. 

2 – Hi Chris,
I read what you said about Dareus and Fairley. Is 3 too high for Kerrigan for Purdue? He seems like an Aaron Schobel type. The other 2
guys, although beasts, seem like 4-3 tackles, instead of 3-4 ends? Also, do we stick with Fitz or take like a Kaepernik or Ponder in the 3rd round. Really like both those guys in the Senior Bowl. Ponder go IT done and Kaepernick has a rocket! What are your thoughts?

CB: Three is too high for Kerrigan. There’s still some question as to whether he’s athletic enough to transition to a 3-4 OLB or if he’s strictly a 4-3 end. I tend to think he’s just just a 4-3 end. His game is similar to Schobel’s, but Schobel was a mid-second round pick.
Kerrigan will come off the board somewhere between 15 and 25.

Ponder did do well at the Senior Bowl. Some of the experts believe he’d work best in a west coast offense, which the Bills are not, but there is a relationship there with Gailey. Kapernick is more of a project because he operated out of the Pistol offense and did a lot of running (4,000 yards rushing in college). He’s got an arm, but it’s the decision making where he’s got a lot of work to do in terms of reading progressions and getting timing down delivering the ball when he hits the back of his drop in rhythm. There is talent there however.

3 – Hi Chris,
I highly doubt that Nick Fairley will be available when the Bills pick, so I wanted to get your thoughts on two other prospects that may be feasible options for them.
First is Da’Quan Bowers. Do you think he has the ability and stature to play end in a 3-4 front in the NFL? Might he be better suited to play Outside linebacker if he dropped a few pounds? Or do you only see him as end in a 4-3 front?
Second is Von Miller. I had the opportunity to watch the Senior Bowl, and although linebackers were not allowed to blitz (limiting his full potential), he still played a strong game, exhibiting much of the talent, intelligence and understanding he has for the game. He looks like he could be an excellent outside linebacker, but he seems a bit undersized for the position at the NFL level (238 lbs). Do you think his lack of size may be an issue at all?
Just wanted to get your thoughts on these two individuals and whether you think they would be an ideal fit for Buffalo’s present defensive scheme.
Thanks Chris.

CB: The people in the know that I’ve talked to believe Bowers can handle an end role in a 3-4 as well as a 4-3. At 275 pounds with an upper body that is said to be freakishly strong most think he’s more likely to be a 3-4 end than a 3-4 OLB. Now I’m sure not all NFL teams will feel that way, and I suppose if he lost weight OLB in a 3-4 could be an option. But to me that’s a big ‘if’ with him.

As for Miller he’s impressive on tape. There’s no debating that. He did drop into coverage a bit more as a senior. At the Senior Bowl he showed me he’s more than capable of covering stuff in the flat and on wheel routes. That intermediate range might be a different story. He’s a pass rushing terror though and that’s why he’s going to be a top 5 pick.

The Bills need to improve their pass rush, there’s no question about that so he’s definitely a consideration for them at 3.

4 – Hey Chris. My question is in regards to the QB class this year. Knowing that Coach Gailey is moving forward with Fitz as the starter next season, what are your thoughts on Ponder? I love Fitz and expect more consistency from him this year and believe he could lead us to the playoffs. Onto Ponder, I see him as a great 2nd stringer to learn the system and grow due to Gailey and the coaching staff. In a year or two he could provide an answer for our offense if things do not go right with Fitz, or a good bargaining chip in the trade market. I have watched him his whole career and know he has a durability issue. His strengths are very good, however, and I can only see him get better in the NFL. Thanks and as always “GO BILLS!!!!”
Ocala, FL

CB: The thing I like most about Ponder is his natural leadership. Players just rally around that guy and he’s a fiery leader, one where you can see it out on the field. I think Bills fans would love that. NFL personnel people like that too because leadership can’t be taught.
I think his arm is good enough and coming from a pro style offense at Florida State is also a plus. He gets criticized for making some bad decisions late in games last year, but to me I saw most of them as a guy trying to make a play for his team. On occasion he may have been trying too hard, but I’d rather have a guy willing to take risk to win a game than no risk at all.

5 – Hey Chris,

I have noticed that the Bills are getting new uniforms for the 2011 season which is awesome. My question though is that I heard Nike has struck a deal with the NFL to revamp all the uniforms, at least I thought it was for the 2012 season. So does that mean these new uniforms will only be worn for one year or will the new nike ones come in a couple more years?


Garrett from Pa

CB: From what I have been told Reebok will be in charge of the new jersey design this year. Then Nike takes over in 2012, but changing the jersey would require formal application to the league, which can take up to 18 months. So as I understand it Nike will inherit the jersey design from Reebok and make no changes.

Bonus – Chris

You mention how the offensive line seems to have gained depth this year with much of it in the middle, and Eric Wood and Geoff Hangartner compete for the starting center role with Kraig Urbik the likely starter at right guard and you believe the odds on favorite to start at  right tackle is Erik Pears. My question has to do with Chad Rinehart, he was a OLT in college projected to the right side in the pros. Does he have a chance at RT? or does Gailey and staff see him strictly in the middle? and why strictly in the middle ?    
Thanks J.C. ( ex-NY upstate resident ) now living Katy, TX

CB: They see him mainly as a guard because of his feet. Rinehart is a grinder that’ll punch you in the mouth in the blink of an eye, but they feel he’s better suited inside as opposed to out on the edge where he has to cover more space. I liked what he gave the Bills at guard last year and he’ll likely be competing with Urbik for that right guard role if Wood in fact competes with Hangartner at center.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Miller private workout w/Den

Posted by Chris Brown on March 11, 2011 – 9:45 am

The Denver Broncos hold the number two pick in the draft and it’s a virtual lock that they use that pick on a defensive player. Traveling in a lot of the same scouting circles as the Bills this week, the Broncos gave an extra long look to a certain Texas A&M linebacker.

According to the Denver Post the Broncos had a private workout with A&M LB Von Miller. Knowing the Broncos are going to a 4-3 from a 3-4 defense they presumably see Miller as an OLB in that scheme. At 240 pounds he’s not a fit size-wise to play end. With Elvis Dumervil coming off a major injury, it’s conceivable to think that Denver addresses their pass rush, but Alabama’s Marcell Dareus, Clemson’s Da’Quan Bowers and Auburn’s Nick Fairley all figure to be in play as well.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

LB Miller high on Cowboys

Posted by Chris Brown on March 10, 2011 – 9:59 pm

Texas A&M LB Von Miller is widely projected as a top 10 pick. After a solid pro day earlier this week, he may have even solidified himself as a top five pick. But there’s a team in the top 10 he’d prefer to play for.

In fact he said on a local radio station in Dallas that he was disappointed that he didn’t have a personal interview with the Cowboys who hold the ninth overall pick.

“I was kind of bummed out that I didn’t get an interview from the Cowboys,” Miller told 103.3 KESN. “I kind of hovered around their suite, and whenever they got free time in between college guys, guys they were meeting with, I’d kind of go in there and kind of talk to the scouts and try to pull Coach Garrett aside and Coach Ryan and see if I could get a little session with them, a two-minute thing where I could talk to them. I was trying my hardest to meet with all those guys, but they told me they have like a hometown [day].”

The Cowboys do have a local day where they do meet with prospects from a lot of the Texas schools that are in close proximity to them with pre-draft visits.

Miller wasn’t shy about labeling himself a big Cowboys fan growing up.

“I always saw myself with a blue star on the side of my helmet,” Miller said. “Growing up in Dallas, all my life I’ve never ever lived anywhere else. So of course I’m a big Cowboys fan. We’ve got a Ring of Honor just in our game room at home.”

While Miller’s allegiance is understandable being a Dallas native, but to express hope that you’re a future Dallas Cowboy doesn’t exactly endear you to the 31 other NFL clubs that are considering you as a draft choice.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

LB Miller improves 40 time

Posted by Chris Brown on March 9, 2011 – 2:24 pm

Texas A&M LB Von Miller had already impressed with a very good combine workout. On Wednesday he took it up another notch besting his 4.53 40 time in Indy.

According to’s Gil Brandt, the Aggies gifted pass rusher clocked a 4.49 40 time. Miller is widely forecast as a top 10 pick in this year’s draft.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

McShay has Miller to Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on February 10, 2011 – 1:47 pm

The pace of the mock drafts are picking up now that the Super Bowl is behind us and ESPN’s Todd McShay likes a pass rusher for the Bills at third overall.

With defensive linemen Da’Quan Bowers and Nick Fairley off the board to Carolina and Denver respectively, he has Buffalo taking Texas A&M’s Von Miller.

Miller, who is profiled today on, played a hybrid DE/OLB role in A&M’s defense, and by most accounts at the Senior Bowl helped to answer questions about his ability to drop into pass coverage.

As a side note McShay does not have LSU CB Patrick Peterson coming off the board in his mock draft until the 7th overall pick to San Francisco.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Von Miller update

Posted by Chris Brown on January 27, 2011 – 7:14 pm

Texas A&M LB Von Miller was not at practice Thursday, reportedly due to illness. Head coach Chan Gailey provided an update on Miller’s status with respect to Saturday’s Senior Bowl game.

“I think Von will be fine,” said Gailey. “It was just a minor problem. He’ll be back in the walk through (practice) tomorrow I think.”

Miller is widely considered one of the best prospects here at the Senior Bowl. Unfortunately with no blitzing he won’t be able to rush the passer from an outside linebacker position where he has been lining up this week.

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Posted in Inside the Bills