Tag Archives: NFL Draft

Delayed reactions to the Bills draft

After taking a day or two to sit back and reflect how the Buffalo Bills approached their 2011 draft one thing has become obvious about Buddy Nix.  He really doesn’t listen to draft gurus who tell them they need to address the quarterback position.  Nix and coach Chan Gailey have both admitted that they need address the game’s most important position, yet also giving their support to Ryan Fitzpatrick.  One thing to consider about the quarterback position is that there is no greater where for a GM and coach to put his job on the line than with drafting a quarterback highly and having it not work out.  So rather than race to find their franchise guy the Bills seem content (as am I) riding at least this season out with Ryan Fitzpatrick as their quarterback.  This is a contract year for Fitzpatrick, but I’d be shocked at this point if they try to get him an extension for two to three years once they have the authority to do so.

I’m not a fan of handing out grades because we know nothing about how they actually perform.  One grade I will give Buddy Nix and company is an A+++ for effort.  They stuck to their draft board and picked players of huge need (i.e. Defense…see Joe @ Buffalo Wins)

As for the players the Bills selected the common theme was defense which when assessing last years team seemed to have the more immediate and gapping holes.  The Bills also continued their theme of trying to find players who are more suited for the 3-4 front which demonstrated their commitment to that switch and although they will use multiple defensive fronts I would look for more of those to be in the base 3-4.  Picking up Marcell Dareus and Kelvin Sheppard the Bills picked up big, physical players who many consider to have the ability to contribute early in their careers.  Both picks also filled a need for the Bills at the 5-technique as well as ILB.  In the second round, the Bills addressed a more under the radar need in the secondary.  Reviewing all the picks:

Marcell Dareus, DT/DE Alabama – Should at the very least be able to help the defensive front rotation.  With the Bills using both a 3-4 and 4-3 front Dareus should play DE in the 3-4 and be able to slide inside when they mix in the 4-3 front.  Nothing about this pick is ‘sexy’.  He was not a sack machine, but he is a strong, nasty defender that will occupy his blocker and maybe another which is really what you want from your 3-4 end.  He possesses good agility for his size and should still be disruptive in the passing game.  This pick made so much sense for the Bills on a variety of levels.

Aaron Williams, DB Texas – When looking at the Bills needs in this draft, DB was under the radar.  With the continued injuries to Terrence McGee and uncertain return of Drayton Florence, the Bills took a first round talent at the top of round 2.  He’s a big corner over 200lbs and should have no problem helping support the run game.  Depending what the Bills do with free agency when it opens up, Williams should at a minimum compete to be the teams nickel back.

Kelvin Sheppard, ILB LSU – Most of the people I have spoken with love this pick.  Gailey coached Sheppard at the Senior Bowl and loved the ‘intangibles’ of the kid.  A subpar pro day workout hurt his potential draft stock, however I am happy that Nix and Gailey referred to what they saw in Mobile and game tape rather than rely specifically in his measurables.  Again, depending what the Bills do in free agency there is little reason to doubt that Sheppard will be given every opportunity to start at ILB in 3-4 situations.  He’s not a Ray Lewis/Patrick Willis freak on the field, but is a smart defender and fills a huge need for the Bills. 

Da’Norris Searcy, DB UNC – First little, and only head stretcher for me.  There were several highly rated TE on the board and potentially some help along the offensive line.  However, what I think doesn’t matter and the Bills secondary was hardly set in stone.  It is expected that Searcy will make a move to strong safety at some point and will have opportunity to compete in nickel and dime situations.  He is another 200lb plus defensive back that continued the trend of the Bills getting big and physical on defense.

Chris Hairston, OT Clemson – 6’6” 328lbs. He’s a big strong man that finished second at the combine in bench press (33) and first among offensive tackles.  The Bills are going to continue this year with Demetrius Bell on the left side and it should be an open competition on the right side.  Many would have liked to see the Bills address this earlier, but I believe Green Bay selecting Sheard out of Mississippi State at least somewhat toppled that plan. I have long contended that this group is more serviceable than some would suggest.  I think being the third year that some of them play together should allow them to gel.  I think the Bills again could address the right side in free agency, however if they do not this along with quarterback I imagine will be the first two picks in 2012.

Johnny White, RB UNC – The south has risen once again.  White was considered an underrated back by Todd McShay and has played multiple positions in college.  He will be an immediate special teams contributor and should compete for the Bills third RB.

Chris White, LB Mississippi St. – Another senior bowl linkage for Gailey. He should provide some depth at the position and contribute on special teams.  He’s again a big physical defender that allowed Nix to stack positions and try to build some depth.

Justin Rogers, DB Richmond – I really don’t know anything, but a late round smaller school player will probably need to be ‘coached up’.  Bills secondary is depleted so there will be an opportunity for him to make the team barring what the team does in free agency.

Michael Jasper, DT Bethel – He’s big and chuncky like Moto Moto from Madagascar 2 (yeah I have a two year old).  Honestly, he’s a very large man that Nix and Gailey will really have to work and will probably not see much time at all this season.

I love what the team did in the draft, but it’s going to take at least one more for them to stack depth at positions and carry that depth.  I’m not as concerned they didn’t address the quarterback position although I would expect Ryan Fitzpatrick to be re-signed very soon once the team is permitted to do so. At the very least, the team appeared to get better this past weekend.  They’ve officially got me excited to see some of these young guys.  Even amidst a lockout….damn you NFL!

Twitter: @brianbund

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The Bills are still in the same position

After the Buffalo Bills took Marcell Dareus with the third overall pick in the NFL draft, they sat back patiently and let the rest of the first round unfold.  Now the Bills sit with the second pick in the second round coming up tonight.  The first pick of the round belongs to the New England Patriots and lets be serious, there is probably no way they are making the pick.  They will look to shop this pick and move back hopefully only a few spots and get one of their top players on their board.

This leaves the Bills with a chance to get one of their top two remaining players depending who that first pick is.  Much like the third pick the Bills are going to have to decide whether or not one of the remaining quarterbacks (Dalton, Mallett or Kaepernick) are the right person to lead this franchise or whether they should address other needs (Kyle Rudolph, Akeem Ayers, etc).  I personally believe the Packers selecting Derek Sherrod out of Mississippi State took one of the players that the Bills would have been forced to strongly consider off the board. 

Buddy Nix and company are in a great position to once again get a player they feel should help this team for the next decade.  Assuming that someone trades with the Patriots for a quarterback then the Bills are in a similar position to the third overall pick in that their choice may off the board and they will need to decide whether a secondary quarterback is the best fit or fill other needs.  Based on what I’ve come to understand of Buddy Nix he’s not going to force the decision for the quarterback.  If they want Mallett, Dalton or Kaepernick he will take them without reservation, but he also will not be afraid to go another direction.

I’m almost more excited for this pick compared to the first because of the uncertainty.  I’m sure Adam Schefter and all other beat writers will ruin the suspense at some point today, but I like where the Bills are at.  I really do.

@brianbund

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Patience Bills fans

I keep hearing Bills fans scream that the quarterback is the most critical component of a successful team and I could not agree more.  However, for the time being there are two thoughts I have on QBs and the Bills.  Ryan Fitzpatrick is good enough to get this team to a winning record and playoff contention.  Two that this team does need to upgrade the QB position to compete for a Super Bowl or have the ability to win games when they don’t play their best.

All of that being said, I don’t think it is critical for this team to select a QB this year for the sake of saying they have addressed the position.  I would personally be just as happy if not more so for following the New York Jets model several years when they took Fergurson and Nick Mangold, then the following year made a point to trade up for Mark Sanchez.  I would like to see the Bills address defense with the first pick and a player that can help them be more competitive this year with their second.  Then in 2012 chances are they’ll still have a top 15 pick and could move up into the top 10 for a quarterback.  Is this perfect?  Nothing is in the draft and if they end up taking a quarterback, I’m ok with that too.  But I hope I really don’t hear too much about how they had to address the quarterback position, because there are more than enough needs to be addressed over the next couple seasons. 

Regardless of how the next several hours and days pan out.  Let’s remember that this team has multiple holes and that one draft isn’t going to fix it all.  It’s going to come down to string several good drafts together and hopefully last years’ continues its development and can be supplemented by this group, regardless of positions.

Twitter: @brianbund

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Dear Buffalo Bills draft selection: Prove it

I have two two-word sentences to whoever the Buffalo Bills select tonight.  ‘Good luck. Prove it’.  Other than that I don’t care who it is they select, what position he plays (unless it’s a running back) and whether he is a one-year wonder or college production machine.  The truth of the matter is that there are probably 5-15 players you could argue that the Bills could end up with that many fans would be happy with and would on paper help this team.  None of that matters unless that player actually ends up helping the team and based on recent first round experiences I will reserve the majority of my judgment until it is time to see them on the football field. 

Here’s a list of players that depending whether or not the Bills trade out of the third spot they could end up with any of the likes of Cam Newton, Marcell Dareus, Von Miller, Blaine Gabbert, Patrick Peterson, AJ Green,Nick Fairley, JJ Watt, Cameron Jordan and on and on.  There’s arguments that Buddy Nix will not take a player who could be classified as a one-year wonder (Fairley or Newton) and will look for a player who had multiple seasons of production (Green, Peterson, Miller).  Looking at the last two drafts you can see an example of each.  In 2009 the Bills selected Aaron Maybin who was riding the production of 1 year and possessing an edge speed rush that had Bills fans salivating.  Now he can’t even get on the field and hasn’t registered one sack or made any significant contribution to the team.  In 2010, the Buffalo Bills selected what could be argued as the antithesis of Maybin in CJ Spiller.  Although it was seen as a luxury pick that the Bills could not waste CJ Spiller was one of the most productive college football players in history with 4,324 career total yards.  He was seen as explosive and dynamic and would open up the Bills playbook with his versatility.  After one season, it is my opinion that it is impossible to truly judge Spiller’s affect however it is easy to say that he did not necessarily burst onto the NFL scene.

The point here is that whenever the Buffalo Bills make the selection on Thursday night, it will be praised and ridiculed from people all over the country when in fact none of it even matters until he produces (or doesn’t) on the field.  Tim Graham of ESPN.com had an article where Buddy Nix that goes onto to show how important parts of the process are AFTER the draft into the development of a player.  I truly am of the belief that the Bills are not as far as some may be from being a playoff team, however as successful as they have been in rounds after the first, the first round and especially top 10 picks present an opportunity to obtain impact players.  The Bills need to make sure they get someone that can produce on the field for the next decade, regardless of position.

For the record, the only player I really don’t want the Bills to pick is Nick Fairley and even that could end up being moot.  I think that the Bills football operations have had a significant overhaul in the culture of how they approach the draft.  Nix is a disciple of John Butler and AJ Smith and Bill Polian who many people praise for their handling of the football departments.  So regardless of who they pick my words to them are, ‘Good luck. Prove it.’

Twitter: @brianbund

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Immediate Reactions

How bad was that to watch?  Honestly, if this team hasn’t become a joke enough.  I’m not even sure where I’m going to go with this, but here’s my best chance to wrap up that piece of shit:

 

Needless to say, I hated that game.  I hated hearing those Dolphins fans cheer, I hated that the game was in a dome.  I hated everything about today. 

 

JP Losman is gone, out of here and not a good quarterback.  How funny was the CBS breakdown of his progressions and then they put a ?.  That was hysterical.  I’m sure someone is going to pick him up and give him a chance, but he’s going to play himself out of a solid contract.

Wonder if I'll have a job next year?

Wonder if I'll have a job next year?

 

This is becoming a broken record, but how about Marshawn Lynch carries the ball for more than 13 times?  I don’t care that he had 31 yards, you need to commit to him and give him the ball. 

 

Seriously, our offense is awful.  That was the second game in a row that was painful to watch.

 

We’ve all ripped play calling and it was a combination of play calling and execution, but the first down call to run a fade to Evans in stead of Hardy was atrocious.

 

The Bills do not have a single player on their team that is in the top 5 of their positions.  The talent just isn’t there.

 

The Bills are a sloppy team and it started with Losman, but Royal had a drop (Go figure), Lynch had a drop and there were numerous other instances where this team was sloppy and showed why they are not as close as the rest of the AFC East is.  And for the second week we had a bad snap?

 

Is anyone else sick and tired about hearing how hard and how much heart Ryan Denney and Chris Kelsay have and play with?  They aren’t that good and it’s compounded by not having a health Aaron Schobel on the other end.

 

Can we just fast forward 5 months until the draft?

Wish we were at this point now.

Wish we were at this point now.

 

 

 

 

I wasn’t even sure how this was going to end up and it pretty much went the way I thought it would because of the ways played. Discombobulated and unorganized.  I don’t care what anyone says, the coaching is awful at the top and Turk has taken a dive.  It’s like a Mike Martz offense and we don’t have that type of personnel.  The reason I like Steve Johnson is he seems to be the only one that gets the middle of the field.  The Bills need a tight end to stretch the middle of the field.  We need a center that can handle playing against a 3-4. 

 

Game balls go to all of us Bills fan for dealing with this shit.  It’s awful.  I don’t know why we keep doing this, but we do and I love us and this organization, but it feels like a bad marriage and we are constantly taken advantage of and abused.  On top of it we had a game ripped away from us. I don’t go to many games any more, but I have lots of friends who are season ticket holders and they’re angry.  We’re constantly told we’re not a good enough region for a football team and need to do things to survive.  Well today the Bills played like they didn’t deserve us as a fan base, although they always will have us.

 

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