Pro Football War Room

2013 NFL Draft - Mock Draft - Buffalo Bills Draft - Rankings

Bills Notes and Thoughts

Mike Watkins

(Twitter: @merk256)

4/6/14


-Coming Home: The more I think about the Mike Williams trade the more I like it. Yes Williams has had some off the field issues but his talent is undeniable. Some would be concerned that coming home could be the worst possible thing for him. If he was younger I would agree with that. With Recent events however with his brother I think he realizes that the nonsense really needs to stop or the money is going to. I think Williams in familiar territory might be the best thing for him


-Fit: From a fit standpoint Williams should fit right in. He is a big target and known red zone threat that the Bills have wanted for a while. He also gives S.Johnson a legit running mate at the position making it much harder to roll the coverage towards Johnson. Williams is threat all over the field however because of his YAC ability which should come in very handy with the way the Bills like to spread the field


-Formations: The formation I am most looking forward to and hope the Bills plan on using it often is the 20 Personal (2 RB, 3WR). This personnel grouping gives opposing defenses a lot of issues from a matchup stand point. The key is having one of the RB’s being a team first guy and willing to block sometimes, the Bills have that in Fred Jackson


-Plus One, Minus One: I will never get this fan line of thinking that since Player A has been acquired that means Player B who plays the same position must now go. In this case its Mike Williams and Stevie Johnson. I ask why must Johnson go? He isn’t even in the top 15 of WR paid and the cap jumps up big time next year. By this time next year he likely won’t even be in the top 20 for average per year for WR’s. The most important part though is he along with Williams gives the Bills a very deep and talented WR group. A group that if held in tact is an advantage gained over opposing teams. The Bills should just give that right up after gaining it? Makes ZERO sense to me


-Pressure is on: With each of these moves the pressure mounts on EJ Manuel. He has at the skill positions along with LT and OC a level of talent that any 2nd year QB would kill for. Manuel needs to show a good amount of progress and he needs to do it early. If he doesn’t, I originally thought they would give him the full 16 game slate, he may only get 8 if he doesn’t show something. Honestly he should and hopefully will. The pieces are there on both sides of the ball with the Draft still to go


-Williams draft implications: This move doesn’t say to me that the Bills didn’t like the WR’s in the draft nor does it mean they wont take one. If Watkins or Evans are on the board at 9 both could very well be the pick. What this does tell me however is that the Bills don’t think Watkins or Evans are making it to 9, and I think that assumption is right. I don’t see Watkins getting out of the top 5 and the Raiders and Tampa Bay are said to be really high on Evans


-#9: I think its between Lewan and Ebron right now and I think it’s a flip of the coin. What do the Bills value more at this point, giving the running game and Manuels time in the pocket a boost or giving opposing defenses even bigger matchup problems? My guess would be Lewan is the pick right now but its very slight advantage in my mind. This move also increases the likelihood of a trade down if they can get a team to play ball. Keep an eye on the Rams again


-Draft Plan: I still to date don’t think any of the moves made thus far will prohibit the Bills drafting players at the acquired players positions. I still think they are all still in play


-Defense Drafting: I still think LB and especially DE could be high picks for the Bills. At LB Spikes is on a one year deal, Rivers is getting up there and is more of a very good back up than 16 game starter, and behind them isn’t a whole lot. Expect the Bills to draft at least 1 LB in this draft…At DE I’m surprised the Bills haven’t acquired one in FA’cy thus far. Right now the plan of Lawson and Hughes is a shaky one at best. Lawson while decent at setting the edge at LB is in for a whole new role in Schwartz defense. Hughes seems to fit the defense but again he is going from a blitzer who beat, garnered most his sacks on overloaded side blitzes and beating TE’s for sacks into trying to beat opposing OT’s on an island. His history says that’s not a good fit for him. I expect the Bills to go DE as early as round 2, possibly round one on a trade down


-CJ28 vs CJ28: Interesting nugget came out Friday that the Bills had engaged in discussions with the Titans for Chris Johnson. This says a couple things in my opinion. First Spillers negotiations are going to be tricky and the Bills likely got some preliminary numbers from Spillers camp and didn’t like what they heard. Number 2, I don’t buy into the actual interest in Johnson. I think the Bills engaged in this hoping the story would get out there to send a signal to Spillers camp that they do have options. I’m not worried about getting Spiller done because I think he is a good but not necessary player and next years draft will be the deepest RB draft of the past decade. I have first round grades on 4 RB’s in next years draft right now and that number could get to 6 by this time next year  


-Hughes: Rotoworld reported on Friday that the Bills are prioritizing an extension for Jerry Hughes. I’m not sure how I feel about this. I think the Bills clearly won the trade with the Colts and Hughes really took to Pettines scheme. The latter is where the problem lies. Hughes had been nothing but average to below average until he found his way to Pettine. Until the Bills know how he will react within the new scheme I would hold off. I think it makes sense to at least wait to see what he looks like in camp and a few preseason games before extending him out


-Dareus Deal: Now the deal that needs to get done is Dareus. Dareus is a key player both now and moving forward for the Bills. He is now living up to what most thought he would be when the Bills made him the third pick in the draft. What makes a player like Dareus so valuable is that he fits any defense and has the skill set to excel in any defense. That is a very valuable trait. If the Bills can get this extension done this offseason it will be the most important and key move they make all year

PFWR Prospect Countdown

PFWR Rank
97

Mike Watkins: @merk256 3/31/14

 Davante Adams

College: Fresno State

Height: 6’1

Weight: 212

40: 4.56

Bench: 14

Vert: 39 ½

 

Positives

-Good Build and could add more weight if needed

-Very good set of hands and knows how to track the ball in air

-Physical player can rack up YAC

 

Negatives

-Ok speed

-Will get sloppy with routes

-Blocking is suspect at best

 

Overview: Adams has been on a steady rise since the draft season started. So much so that you are starting to see him pop up in the late first round. I wouldn’t go that far with him. Adams has a lot to like about him in that he is your classic possession WR who isn’t afraid to go over the middle and will fight for yards after he catches it. He would fit best with a team that has an established down the field threat already on the roster

 

My Grade: Early 3rd

Where I think he will go: Middle 2nd

Mock Draft 1.0

Mike Watkins

(Twitter: @merk256 )

3/28/14

 

This is the first of my two Mock Drafts. The other Mock will be posted in the week leading up to the draft. I assume no trades and this is what I think teams will do not what I would do

 

1.Houston Texans: B.Bortles, QB, Central Florida-Is he the best player in the draft? No, but he plays the most important position in the draft and fits the style that O’Brien looks for in QB’s. Bortles to me is the front runner to go #1 right now

 

2.St.Louis Rams: S.Watkins, WR, Clemson- As much as an OT would make sense I can’t see them passing on a playmaker like Watkins. T.Austin was the pick last year but he needs to be in open space to make an impact. You add Watkins and that will free him up even more

 

3.Jacksonville Jaguars: T.Bridgewater, QB, Louisville- There will be a lot of tempting players at this spot but the reality is the Jaguars don’t have a single QB on the current roster that you would want being a 16 game starter. Bridgewater is the top QB in this class in my opinion and I can’t see the Jags passing on him

 

4.Cleveland Browns: J.Clowney, DE, South Carolina- Most people are thinking QB here but I think Pettine sees Clowney as a player that he can use much like he did with Mario Williams last year in Buffalo. You can line him up almost anywhere and he will cause havoc. I think Pettine first goal in Cleveland is to make the defense elite and Clowney could put them were they want to be with that

 

5.Oakland Raiders: K.Mack, LB, Buffalo- Ah yes, the Raiders, always one of the toughest teams to peg in the draft year in and year out. This year though if the top 5 fall like I have above this selection should be a no brainer. Mack is a versatile playmaker that would be in an instant shot in the arm for a Raiders team looking for an identity and a player to build around

 

6.Atlanta Falcons: C.Robinson, OT, Auburn-I think this pick is between Clowney, Mack, and Robinson. Robinson is the player still left on the board and the need matches the value. I’ve never been a big Sam Baker fan and I imagine they would kick him to the right side and hope they have selected their franchise LT in Robinson for the next 12 years.

 

7.Tampa Bay Buccaneers: J.Matthews, OT, Texas A&M- Tampa Bay continues the overhauling of their Offensive Line with the selection of Matthews. With NFL bloodlines and the ability to play either side of the line Matthews would get Tampa moving in the right direction in the revamping. I imagine E.Ebron will get some strong consideration here as well

 

8.Minnesota Vikings: E.Ebron, TE, North Carolina- The Vikings are in a really tough spot at 8. They value here is not any of their needs. What this really comes down to is how they feel about Manziel. I’m starting to think that they don’t have that strong an opinion on him and that they can get a QB with similar talent, such as Carr, in the second round. Ebron adds another weapon to a very weak spot on their roster to help whatever QB is under center in 2014

 

9.Buffalo Bills: M.Evans, WR, Texas A&M- The Bills have a couple of different way they go here. I personally would liked to have gone defense because I think they right way to build this team around Manuel is to have a top 5 D supporting him so it reduces the amount of plays he has to make. By process of elimination let’s look at my thought process that leads me to the Bills Selecting Evans.

 

On Defense you have a place on each level where a talented player could be added. On the DL the Bills could use a DE that is a better fit for Schwartz defense but there isn’t one left that really is worth a top 10 pick. OLB could still be considered a need but Barr doesn’t fit the defense and this would be a little high for any of Mosley, Shazier, and Van Noy. CB you have a player that is worth it value wise in Gilbert but I feel the Bills are happy with their current group of CB’s. At least happy enough where they won’t spend a top 10 pick on one. That leaves Safety, this is the dark horse position for the Bills here as much as its fan base doesn’t want to hear it. Clinton-Dix and Pryor are not top 10 picks but they are not far off either. The Bills coaches and front office say they are high on Williams and Meeks but that could all just be lip service. That said I don’t think this is the direction they will go at 9

 

That moves the selection to the other side of the ball. You have a couple of options that I imagine the Bills will consider. Those options are OT, WR, OG, and TE. With Ebron already off the board I think it’s safe to say you can remove the TE option. I don’t see an anyway possible an OG is the pick so that is off the board. That brings us to OT, both the need and the value are there with Lewan on the board. The drop off is also significant to the next OT on the board. The issue is however two fold. The first one is the lesson from free agency and the signing of C.Williams. Williams has been considered a bust his entire career and the Bills signed him to a bit of a head scratcher deal. The deal was struck because Marrone said himself he believes he can coach Williams up and out of the bust label. This is important when it comes to the draft. If Marrone believes he can take lesser talent and coach it up Bills fans should really ever expect the Bills to draft an OL very high in the draft. They, and specifically Marrone, believe they can hold off on the position due to his ability as a coach. Is that smart strategy, that’s debatable given the disaster of the LG position last year. When it comes to the draft though I wouldn’t think the Bills will even consider an OL until round 3 at the earliest.

 

The next issue would be where Whaley’s background and where he came up from as a scout. He comes from a system in Pittsburgh and a GM in Nix where Best Player Available(BPA) takes precedent, especially in the first round. In this system certain positions hold greater weight than others. All skill positions are going to outweigh what are considered non skill positions. In this case the impact of a WR is going to outweigh that of a RT. If Whaley, and we don’t know his true philosophy yet considering this is his first draft in the captains chair, is beholden to this line of draft Philosophy then he will take a WR over a OT nearly every single time

 

Now that leads us to WR and the selection of Mike Evans. I’m personally not that high on Mike Evans. I think his lack of route running ability is really going to be an issue for him especially early in his career. I think this whole “High Pointing” and “Contested Catches” ability has been way over blown by media and fans alike. They are luxury skills that account for about 5% of a WR receptions in a given year. The red zone argument is also a false reality as a reasoning because again the amount of contested receptions in that area in reality is far lower than the perception of how many are made.

 

That said the Bills have made it pretty clear they would like a receiving option with some size on the roster. They have been sniffing around a WR or two in Free Agency that would give them that. Evans would provide the size and has the ceiling the Bills would want in a first round WR. Throw him into the mix with Stevie, Woods, and Goodwin and that gives the Bills a great mix of depth and skill sets for EJ Manuel to work with.

 

If the Bills can tap into Evans Physical gifts and improve him as a route runner(This is where having one of if not the best route runner in the game in S.Johnson comes in handy) then the sky is the limit for Evans. The things I like about Evans are his aggressive nature playing the position of WR on top of very good hands. Evans has the makings of a number one WR but he is going to take some time to get there. Given where the Bills are with their current group of WR’s they can allow Evans to grow into the position and not put it all on him from day 1.

 

Now with that said, if this selection is made with the intent of green lighting a S.Johnson trade than I am not for this selection at all in any way. I believe this selection should be made with the intent of keeping Stevie and dropping a player like TJ Graham down the depth chart or straight off the roster. Again as stated before, adding Evans to this WR group makes it borderline elite with potential. Adding Evans and taking away Johnson, strips the Bills of that gain.

 

Trading down: If the draft falls this way some will want to trade down. Problem with that is that with the draft being this deep, most teams will want to go down and not up. That will make it very difficult to get teams to part with any type of valuable draft pick to go down a couple slots.   

 

10.Detroit Lions: Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State- To me this is a no brainer pick where value meets need. The Lions have had trouble with the CB position for what seems like forever. Gilbert is the most complete CB in the draft and should start from day one to finally shore up this position on the Lions

 

11. Tennessee Titans: A.Barr, LB, UCLA- The Titans can go a number of different ways here. Barr however is an excellent fit for new DC Ray Horton's scheme. Barr could start immediately and have an impact under Horton

12.New York Giants: T.Lewan, OT, Michigan- The Giants want out of this spot but if they stay Jerry Reese is a BPA drafter through and through. Rumor is he is high on both Ebron and Evans, but both are gone at this point. Lewan getting down to here would be to tough for them to pass on as they are in the middle of rebuilding their OL

13.St.Louis Rams: H.Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama- The Safety spot has been an issue for awhile for the Rams. Pryor could also be the pick here but I think Fisher would prefer a center fielder type who can cover TE's and slot WR. Clinton-Dix fits that. If the Rams can come out of day 1 with the top WR and arguably the top Safety it would be a home run.

14.Chicago Bears: A.Dennard, CB, Michigan State- The Bears defense is in the midst of an overhaul. So I imagine this will be the highest rated defensive player on the board no matter the position. Ideally the Bears would like a DL to be the top guy on the board here but I don't see that being the case. Dennard to me is the guy and it fills a need

15.Pittsburgh Steelers: L.Nix, DT, Notre Dame- Pittsburgh calling card has always been defense and last year it took a bit of a step back. The D misses C.Hampton in the worst way and getting in my opinion the top rated DT at 15 who could be in the rotation from day 1 would be a good get for the Steelers 

16.Dallas Cowboys: A.Donald, DT, Pittsburgh- Jerry Jones is quickly becoming the new Al Davis when it comes to the draft. He's going to take players he wants when he wants. Despite Donald stock rising faster than any other player I still think this is too high for him. The reality is though for the Tampa 2 to work correctly you really need to have a disruptive 3 tech. Donald has flashed the skill set to be that player

17.Baltimore Ravens: K.Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech- Ozzie Newsome is another BPA drafter, question is, who would he have as the highest player on the board at this point? That's anyone's guess but I'm going to go with Fuller here. It's not the biggest current need but the bottom could drop out on the position for Ravens over the next couple of years

18.New York Jets: C.Pryor, S, Louisville- Rex will always want to keep his defense stocked with talent and with the talent they lost at CB a talented Safety could go a long way in helping making a smooth transition with the new CB's. I would see a WR here or maybe an OL, but again the Jets are built on a dominating defense and an offense that does just enough.

19.Miami Dolphins: Z.Martin, OT/OG, Notre Dame- Dolphins needed 4 new OL starters when the offseason began. They landed one in B.Albert and adding Martin provides them with options at both OT and OG depending on where they need him the most

20.Arizona Cardinals: D.Ford, OLB/DE, Auburn-Abraham had a good 2013 but it's only a matter of time before the bottom drops out on him. Having Ford on board could lessen that blow

21.Green Bay Packers: M.Lee, WR, USC- I could see defense here but I think Lee will be too good to pass up. The Packers are built on a "our offense and QB are better than yours" philosophy. The more weapons at Rodgers disposal the better

22. Philadelphia Eagles: R.Hageman, DT/DE, Minnesota- The transition to a 3-4 continues. Hageman gives the Eagles options at both the 0 and the 5 tech. They can score points with some of the best offenses in the league but until they can stop opposing teams it will limit their ceiling

23.Kansas City Chiefs: B.Cooks, WR, Oregon State- Bowe is a good possession WR and Cooks will add the explosion dynamic to the offense. Cooks should be a good fit in Andy Reid's system

24.Cincinnati Bengals: X.Su'a-Filo, OG, UCLA- I imagine the Bengals want to move Whitworth back out to LT. With that move it leaves a big gaping hole at OG. Su'-Filo fills that immediately.

25.San Diego Chargers: B.Roby, CB, Ohio State- I think this is way too high for Roby and I see him more as a safety. That said a lot of teams see him as a CB and a 1st rounder

26.Cleveland Browns: J.Manziel, QB, Texas A&M- I don't see the Browns liking Manziel enough to take him top 5. Down here however, I think the Browns pull the trigger.

27.New Orleans Saints: K.Ealy, DE/OLB, Missouri- Ealy is the type of pass rusher the Ryan defense likes. He's comfortable both with his hand on the dirt, kick inside, or from a two point stance

28.Carolina Panthers: J.Verrett, CB, TCU- Most have a WR earmarked for here but I think they will hold off for that addition

29.New England Patriots: T.Jernigan, DT, FSU- Patriots added massive upgrades at the CB spot in free agency and now the pass rush from up the middle will get a shot in the arm

30. San Francisco 49ers: K.Benjamin, WR, FSU- 49ers continue their search for young WR to pair with Crabtree.

31.Denver Broncos: CJ Mosley, LB, Alabama- Defense, defense, and more defense for the Broncos. They have the offense and they need players that can start immediately during Manning’s last year or two max

32.Seattle Seahawks: O.Beckham Jr, WR, LSU- Lot of ways Seattle could go here. The defense comes back mostly intact. Beckham gives the Seahawks more explosion on offense to get them back to the big game.


Other Thoughts

-I expect there to be a real heavy run on WRs in the 2nd and early third. If that's the case and the Bills who already took a WR in round one should be prime to cash in on another position. I see LB and DE being the target in round two if the Bills go WR in round 1

-The wild card in this draft for the Bills is the DE spot. Mario Williams is locked in at one spot but outside of him there are some serious questions marks. Lawson and Hughes are ok fits for Schwartz defense but mostly on passing downs. Lawson was good at run defense in Pettiness system at LB, at DE in Schwartz system however it's a different ball game. I've seen some mention Branch at DE because he played it in Pettiness system. In this system Branch exclusively a DT and will not play DE unless of an emergency situation. With questions at both starting DE and depth I could easily see the Bills drafting two DE

-DT is also another dark horse position. In either this year or next year’s draft the Bills should start to find a replacement for life after Kyle Williams
 
-The Bills need to take advantage of a very deep draft at the OG spot. I know Marrone thinks he can coach players up but given the talent in this draft at that position he should take a good player and make him great rather than an average player and make him above average

 

-I wouldn’t mind the Bills taking a flier on a QB in day 3. Two names I would like would be either A.Murray or T.Savage.

Thank You for Your "Foolishness" Mr. Wilson
Anthony D. Macari @nflwarroom

There are certain men, whose lives touch more than the norm. Who's unique vision, passion, talent or perseverance make a dramatic difference in the lives of so many more than their immediate circle of friends and family. The world lost such a man today. 


As a young business man, Ralph C. Wilson Jr. joined a group of visionary men to form what became known as the Foolish Club. They saw a potential market for professional football and chose a different path to launch a new league to compete with the established National Football League. Ralph Wilson founded the Buffalo Bills and along with his American Football League colleagues, shook the foundation of american sports. 


Without their vision there would be no Super Bowl. Furthermore,without Mr. Wilson's integrity and perseverance there would be no football Sundays in Orchard Park, NY. At any time, he could have followed the lead of other owners who in the middle of the night packed up helmets, pads and footballs and left a community behind for greener pastures. Instead, Mr. Wilson was the one who stood up each time an owner threatened to move and made the case for loyalty to a community. He became the voice of the small market fighting for the shared revenue model that has kept the competitive balance in the league. He was the eloquent voice of the loyal fan who loved their local team and couldn't bare to see them leave town.


In the next days and weeks, we will finally learn the post Wilson Era fate of the Buffalo Bills, but no matter the outcome, Bills fans today should be grateful for the man who fought and risked it all to bring football here in the first place. Across the social media world, they are doing exactly that by honoring the man who stayed loyal to the community from start to the end, which sadly came today. 


I have no knowledge of what the plan is for the Bills ownership beyond today, but I feel confident Mr. Wilson had a plan that would keep them in Buffalo. No matter the fate of the Bills, I as a fan of the Buffalo Bills am thankful for the Hall of Fame life of Ralph C. Wilson Jr. 


Rest in Peace Mr. Wilson!

Bills Free Agent Thoughts: Spikes, Dixon, Chandler

Mike Watkins

(Twitter: @merk256 )

3/17/14

 

Brandon Spikes, LB: I’m not a real big Brandon Spikes fan. I think he is a limited player who does one thing well and everything else below average. I really wasn’t really high on him as a free agent because of the money he would want wouldn’t match what he actually provides on the field. That said, even I can’t argue against the one year deal he signed with the Bills. The risk is almost nothing and the Bills don’t get financially tied to a player who likely doesn’t warrant that commitment. The Bills got there two down run stopping thumping LB to get them through the year. Worst case is he leaves at the end of the year no harm no foul. It also doesn’t prevent the Bills from drafting his replacement this year because guys like Spikes can be found on the third day of the draft


Read the full article: Bills Free Agency Notes


A look at the Bills 3 Signings from Day 2 of Free Agency

Mike Watkins

(Twitter: @merk256 )

3/13/14

 

Chris Williams, OG: I don’t like this signing. It’s not because of the money, 1 million a year or 10 million a year wouldn’t make a difference and it’s not because of his PFF rating because if you follow me at all you know I never use that system because I think it is inherently flawed. Chris Williams just isn’t any good, I thought he was a reach and a bust when the Bears drafted him and then he goes on to the Rams and starts 16 games but was not good at all. Sure can you isolate some moments but overall Williams was part of their problem not part of their solution. People say “well he has to b e better than Lergursky”, Does he? Honestly I don’t think he is. I think they are close if not the same with the only difference being some size. In the end all I can hope for is that Marrone sees something in him that he can coach up, because he needs a lot of coaching up. I felt there were better options to be had out there if the Bills were looking for a vet upgrade at the position. It is what it is but I’ll be shocked if he is on the roster or even in the league in 2 years

 

Corey Graham, CB: This signing to me makes more sense. The Bills secondary was ravaged by injuries last year and cost the Bills at least one game if not multiple as they tried to patchwork it together. Graham the 16 game starter I don’t like, but that is not what he was signed for. He was signed for depth behind McKelvin and Gilmore, to give the Bills a bigger Nickel option to Robey, and to upgrade the Special Team’s. For that he is well worth what they are paying him and the fact that he is a home town kid is a nice bonus

 

Keith Rivers, LB: This may sound odd but I have wanted the Bills to acquire Rivers for the past three years. Rivers to me is the type of LB every team needs on its team. He is a bit of a Jack of all trades master of none. He has experience at both OLB spots and can fill in at ILB in pinch. He is not a 16 game starter but if you have a LB that goes down for a month he can hold the fort on not kill you in the process. Add in that he is a great locker room guy and I feel the Bills got a real bargain at 5 million

 

Other thoughts:

 

-I hope the Graham signing means the Bills staff is looking to move Ron Brooks to Safety to give him a look. I have been banging this drum since last offseason that I think he would make a better FS than a CB in the NFL

 

-It’s pretty clear the Bills strategy in free agency this year. Stock up on depth while waiting out some of the bigger name starters price to drop. The Bills once again last year had to deal with an onslaught of injuries that hurt them by exposing the back end of the roster. I would expect 2 more signings from the Bills. One more depth player and then make a run at a starter

 

-I don’t think any of the above signings takes any of those positions of the Bills draft board

 

-Eric Decker is a nice player, but the one thing jets fans are going to realize real quick is how different a WR can look depending on who is throwing him the ball

 

-The R.Saffold sign and failed physical is about as Raider as it gets

 

-No doubt in my mind Revis was landing in New England once he was released.

 

-Let the Revis trade be added to the long list of examples of why you never trade away your first round picks

Free Agent Thoughts

Mike Watkins

(Twitter: @merk256 )

3/11/14

 

-The 3 day tampering window needs to end. I get what the NFL was going for when they first put it in, they wanted a college signing day atmosphere when Free Agency actually opens 3 days later. That however at this point is clearly never going to happen. The rules in this 3 day grace period are not exactly clear and teams have a dip your toe in the water mentality to it. I think it’s a gigantic waste of time and the NFL should jut have opened up Free Agency 3 days ago

 

-M.Vick is a name that intrigues me as a Bills fan. I think that the Bills want to have some type of veteran QB on the roster for multiple reasons. First in foremost you need a QB on the roster that has actually won games in the league. This is something that could help EJ just as much as a good QB coach or OC. He needs someone to bounce things off of in game from a guy who has played the opposing team. The other reason, If EJ flounders early I think the Bills may be quick to pull the trigger on him. Reality is the Bills need to get back to the playoffs. Patience waived bye bye a decade ago. The team is now going on a decade and a half with no appearance. You cannot sit there and worry about fan support if the main thing that breads that support hasn’t been accomplished this century, winning

 

-I think there is no single Free Agent this year being more overrated by Bills fans than ILB B.Spikes. Yes he is a thumper against the run, but that’s about it. In my opinion you can find guys like that in the middle of the draft at a fraction of the cost. He is a two down LB, but he is going to want to be paid like a 3 down one. If you want a two down thumper that has to come off the field on passing downs because he gets exploited by TE’s and RB’s then I suggest the Bills draft A.Jackson from Western Kentucky in the 5th or 6th round. That guy lays hits on players that make them forget their childhoods

 

-I have been saying it since the Bills hired Schwartz, the Bills have to add a couple DE’s to the roster. They only have one right now is Mario Williams that comes close to the profile of what Schwartz will run. Hughes will be a DE but he is not a 3 down DE by any stretch. Personally guys like J.Allen and Peppers (if released) would be a decent adds on two year deals. I however would expect a signing more in the line of a W.Young or a M.Shaughnessy, then for the Bills to double back in the draft on day two or early day 3

 

-Finding a good OL at a decent price in this period is going to be a bit difficult. So many teams have issue along the OL that the price is going to naturally go up. If I am the Bills I wait for the dust to settle and try and pick off a decent veteran. The draft is just too deep along the OL to spend any real big money in FA’cy on it

 

-Bills should upgrade their 3rd RB position. Jackson and Spiller are the clear horses but far too often they were both banged up at the same time this past year. A name I like for that spot is James Stark

 

-The Byrd watch has been an interesting one as it seems he is not getting the attention that most thought he would. Every day it seems like a possible option of his goes in another direction. However like I tweeted out on Sunday I am hearing both NY teams have contacted him and are interested. Rex wants a center fielder ala Ed Reed from his Baltimore days, and the Giants front office has always been high on Byrd. You also add in that Perry Fewell is the DC that welcomed Byrd into the league and is the coach who pushed the hardest for him in the Bills draft room in 2009

 

-I like Veldheer but in my opinion for the long run he is going to find himself on the right side of the line instead of the left sooner rather than later.

 

-Overall I think this free agency class is below average. B.Orakpo was the only player I would have given big money to if he had ever seen the light of day on the open market

 

-I think H.Nicks is well worth the risk on a one year deal

 

-I like E.Decker but you have to be careful what you pay him. He is not a #1 WR in this league but would be a great compliment to a team that does have that established #1

 

-I think Major Wright will be a steal in this Free Agency class. I liked him a lot coming out of Florida and I think he can be had for a decent price

Tony's Mock 1.0

Anthony D. Macari

@nflwarroom


The first round is in the books. I projected 4 QBs, and 6 WR's to go. The more you look at this draft the more you realize how deep it is. I will update this every week from now until the draft and will start working on adding a 2nd and eventually 3rd round.


Read the full draft here: ADM Mock

My Ten Guidelines to Navigating NFL Free Agency

Mike Watkins

(Twitter: @merk256 )

3/5/14

 

1.Age: Ideally you are looking for players in the 25-28 year old range. These are the players that are in the primes of their careers and thus those are the years you are willing to pay a premium for

 

2.Name vs Game: Everyone has seen it on so many mediums. Player A gets released, Fan has heard player A’s name before, thus he must be good and fits what the team is doing. Far too often, but not as much as when FA’cy first started, front offices and fans got caught up in a player’s name instead of what he actually is or where his talent level is currently… which leads us to number 3

 

3. Pay players for what they will do not what they have done: Too many players, especially coming off a Super Bowl, are looking for a retirement plan and a team to fund it. You can’t get suckered into that as a team. Players on the wrong side of 30 should never be given anything over a 3 year deal or paid a premium for that deal. If anything the team should stick to one year deals with players at this age

 

4. Don’t give long term deals to any RB at or over 28: Pretty simple, the line for RB’s is 30 and the value on them has plummeted. Give any type of RB that type of money that late in his career and it usually ends up being a horrible deal that can and will really mess up your cap situation. The cost of which could be retaining a more talented younger player. RB’s peak earlier than any other position and once they hit 30 the production usually drops like a rock. So at 28 you MAY get 2 years of decent production but not enough to be tied to the years 30 and after

 

5.They are free for a reason: Most fans seem to forget this. Most teams in the league are not in the habit of just letting good players walk out the door. It’s not always the case but 9 times out of 10 a good player hits the market for a reason, and usually it’s not a good reason. Understand why the player is being allowed to walk, and no, it’s not always because he wants more money than the team is willing to pay

 

6.Stop gapping: If you are a rebuilding team this is a waste of time and will actually hurt the team in the long run. Let the younger players play, no amount of practice time will ever value live in game regular season snaps. For playoff teams looking to get one or two more steps farther it can be useful but you can’t go overboard, 2 starters max. It also helps if the stop gap player(s) are ringless. One year deals only

 

7.Big Game Hunting: Ultimately this should only be done every three years for a team. It is key that a few things line up, Age, Need, and Timing. In his Prime, Your team has a big need at that position, timing in that the team letting him go is doing so for non negative reasons as in against the cap or an adequate replacement already on the roster. Big game hunting every 3 years as opposed to every year keeps you in good cap condition as opposed to in cap jail

 

8.In house: Ultimately signing your own FA’s is the most productive. You know what you are getting. The key here, for the more talented players, is to get a year ahead of their impending FA’cy year. The better team’s in the league such as Seattle have become masters at this

 

9.FA’cy caries the same risk as the draft, just with bigger numbers: There is this logic out there that singing a player via FA’cy vs drafting carries less risk due to the player already producing in the league. The risk is generally determined to be far less given the “known quantity”. Problem with this theory is its completely false and many teams have been bit thinking it. The risk is the same and here’s why. While a player may be producing on this level on a team that isn’t yours it doesn’t mean he can do it anywhere. That player has been coached a certain way, played around a certain type of player, in a certain scheme, and in a different part of the country. There is no way to mimic those exact conditions on your team. For example, If say a WR goes from a league MVP at QB to a Rookie starter at QB it is completely unrealistic to expect the same results. Up until recently the term bust hadn’t been applied to free agent signings. Now you are seeing it more and more as it begins to resonate with people that that term should be applied to free agency.

 

10.The most important rule: FA’cy should augment your draft not the other way around. If you as a team keep continually using free agency as the main pipeline of talent for your team, you will forever be mediocre. If you draft well you do well, plain and simple. Great teams are not built in March, they are built in April(Well, May this year)

PFWR Big Board Countdown

WR: Paul Richardson

@PRichJr

Colorado

Height: 6003 Weight: 175lbs

40: 4.40 10: 1.54

Bench: x VJ: 38"

 

 

 


Positives

-Explosive player with speed to keep defenses honest

-Good hands, Doesn’t body catch

-Team leader

 

Negatives

-Lot of nagging injuries

-Blocking leaves a lot to be desired

-Will avoid contact

 

Overview: I have Richardson as a first round prospect to start the season but the more I saw of him the more limitations I saw as a player. While he is an explosive athlete he lacks the refinement of the better WR’s in college. His intermediate routs need a lot of work and he also needs to know how to take hits as he often leaves his body exposed which leads to him missing portions of almost every game he is in. He is a willing team player so if he can find his way onto a team that doesn’t need his contribution immediately it will help him in the long run

 

My Grade: 3rd

Where I think he will go: Late 2nd

Bills Front Office Leave Stones Unturned Again
Anthony D. Macari @nflwarroom

"Leave No Stone Unturned" "Draft Well and Retain Your Own Stars" "Build Through the Draft" "Don't confuse effort with results" Those are just some of the quotes Bills fans have heard repeatedly from the Bills front office as they preach patience to a fan base who has been subjected to sub-mediocrity for well over a decade now. 


Read the Full Story Here: Stones Un-Turned

Final Thoughts on Byrd

Mike Watkins

(Twitter: @merk256 )

3/4/14


-First things first, Byrd should be commended for being a Pro’s Pro both on and off the field. He provided many exciting moments during his tenure as a Buffalo Bill and for that I along with many other Bills fans thank him


Read Full Story: Byrd

Trevor Reilly

 

Height: 6’5

Weight: 245

Bench: 26

40: x

 

Positives

 

-Good Football IQ

-Plays with good leverage

-Comfortable with the hand in the dirt or standing up

 

Negatives

 

-Not a great overall athlete

-Will get exposed in coverage

-Age, will be a 26 year old rookie

 

Overview: Reilly is one of these players that every coach loves to have on his team. He works hard every day and will run through a wall if you ask him to. He really only fits Hybrid and 3-4 defenses, which will keep his stock level through most of the draft process. I think at worst a team will be getting a good special teams player who can give quality pass rushing snaps on obvious passing downs.

 

My Grade: 5th

Round where I think he'll go: 5th

OLB: Telvin Smith

@TelvinSmith_22

Florida State

Height: 6030 Weight: 218lbs

Hands: 10 1/4 Arms: 32 1/2

40: 4.52 10yd: 1.53

Bench: DNP VJ: 31.5


Positives

-Good range

-Very Good first steps

-Seeks out contact

 

Negatives

-Will have the Tweener label

-Out of position a lot

-Coverage Skills average for both LB or S

 

Overview: Smith may get a little boost from teams that are looking to incorporate the Hybrid LB/S spot into their defense. He will however not even be on the board for teams looking for the more traditional player at either spot. As a player he is really well rounded and by all accounts a very devoted player Those two things alone are enough to get drafted and find a place in the league

 

My Grade: 4th

Where I think he will go: 3rd


Mike Watkins

(Twitter: @merk256 )


Post Combine NFL and Draft Thoughts

Mike Watkins

(Twitter: @merk256 )

 

-I think how the OT shake out will be interesting to watch during this draft. On the one hand there is so many possible quality ones that teams may feel they can wait. However when the draft draws closer and on draft day their stock always takes a late rise. Teams always need OL and a starting OT is usually seen as a safe pick. You will be hard pressed to find fans that ultimately won’t get behind the upgrading of that position


Read Full Article: Post Combine


PFWR Pre-Combine TOP 100 Rankings 

Our Pre-Season number one prospect, Jadeveon Clowney, remains in the top spot heading into the combine. In a deep and talented class starters can be found throughout the top 100. The class is particularly deep at Tackle, Wide Receiver and Linebacker.


PFWR Top 100 + Rankings 

PFWR Pre-Combine
Big Board

  1. DE: Jadeveon Clowney, S. Carolina 
  2. OLB: Khalil Mack, Buffalo 
  3. WR: Sammy Watkins, WR Clemson 
  4. OT: Jake Matthews, Texas A&M 
  5. OT: Greg Robinson, Auburn 
  6. OLB: Anthony Barr, UCLA 
  7. QB: Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville
  8. DE: Stephon Tuitt, Notre Dame
  9. CB: Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma St, 
  10. OLB: Kyle Van Noy, BYU
  11. OT: Taylor Lewan, Michigan 
  12. QB: Blake Bortles, UCF
  13. WR: Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt
  14. WR: Marqise Lee, USC 
  15. DT: Louis Nix, Notre Dame 
  16. TE: Eric Ebron, North Carolina 
  17. CB: Darqueze Dennard, Michigan St
  18. OLB: Scott Crichton, Oregon St 
  19. DT: RaShede Hageman, Minnesota 
  20. DE: Trent Murphy, Stanford 
  21. FS: Calvin Pryor, Louisville 
  22. CB: Jason Verrett, TCU 
  23. OLB: Carl Bradford, Arizona St. 
  24. OLB: CJ Mosley, Alabama 
  25. TE: Jace Amaro, Texas Tech 
  26. TE: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington 
  27. IOL: Zack Martin, Notre Dame 
  28. WR: Allen Robinson, PSU 
  29. DE: Kony Ealy, Missouri 
  30. WR: Mike Evans, Texas A&M
  31. DT: Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh 
  32. WR: Brandin Cooks, Oregon State
  33. FS: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Alabama 
  34. OLB: R.Shazier, Ohio State 
  35. OLB: Dee Ford, Auburn 
  36. SS: Deon Bucannon, Washington St 
  37. IOL: David Yankey, Stanford 
  38. RB: Ka'Deem Carey, Arizona 
  39. RB: Tre Mason, Auburn 
  40. CB: Marcus Roberson, Florida 
  41. WR: Odell Beckham Jr, LSU 
  42. OT: Cyrus Kouandjio, Alabama 
  43. TE: Troy Niklas, Notre Dame 
  44. ILB: Chris Borland, Wisconsin 
  45. DT: Will Sutton, Arizona State 
  46. DE: Kareem Martin, North Carolina 
  47. QB: Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
  48. OT: James Hurst, North Carolina 
  49. OLB: Christian Jones, Florida State 
  50. RB: Lache Seastrunk, Baylor 
  51. FS: Jimmy Ward, N.Illinois, 
  52. RB: De'Anthony Thomas, Oregon 
  53. RB: Carlos Hyde, Ohio State (Mid 2nd)
  54. IOL: Xavier Su’a-Filo, UCLA (Mid 2nd)
  55. CB: Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech (Mid 2nd)
  56. FS: Bradley Roby, Ohio State (Mid 2nd)
  57. DT: Timmy Jernigan, Florida State (Mid 2nd)
  58. DE: Marcus Smith, Louisville (Mid 2nd)
  59. TE: C.J. Fiedorowicz, Iowa (Mid 2nd)
  60. DT: Ego Ferguson, LSU (Mid 2nd)
  61. IOL: Cyril Richardson, Baylor (Mid 2nd)
  62. IOL: Gabe Jackson, Mississippi St (Mid 2nd)
  63. DE: Dominique Easley, Florida (Late 2nd)
  64. WR: Kelvin Benjamin, Florida State(Late 2nd)
  65. OT: Tiny Richardson, Tennessee (Late 2nd)
  66. DE: Jackson Jeffcoat, Texas (Late 2nd)
  67. OLB: Morgan Breslin, USC (Late 2nd)
  68. OLB: Jonathan Brown, Illinois (Late 2nd)
  69. ILB: Yawin Smallwood, UConn (Late 2nd)
  70. OT: Morgan Moses, Virginia (Late 2nd)
  71. ILB: Preston Brown, Louisville (Late 2nd)
  72. CB: Lamarcus Joyner, Florida State (Late 2nd)
  73. QB: AJ McCarron, Alabama (Early 3rd)
  74. WR: Donte Moncrief, Ole Miss (Early 3rd)
  75. SS: Craig Loston, LSU (3rd)
  76. CB: Louchiez Purifoy, Florida (3rd)
  77. SS: Ahmad Dixon, Baylor (3rd)
  78. WR: Jeff Janis, Saginaw Valley State (Mid 3rd)
  79. OLB: Christian Kirksey, Iowa (3rd)
  80. OLB: Jeremiah Attaochu, Georgia Tech (3rd)
  81. ILB: Shayne Skov, Stanford (3rd)
  82. ILB: Jordan Zumwalt, UCLA (3rd)
  83. DE: Aaron Lynch, South Florida (3rd)
  84. OLB: Brent Urban, Virginia (3rd)
  85. DT: Deandre Coleman, Cal (3rd)
  86. DT: Kelcy Quarles, South Carolina (3rd)
  87. DE: Will Sutton, Arizona State (3rd)
  88. IOL: Russell Bodine, North Carolina (3rd)
  89. OT: Billy Turner, North Dakota St (3rd)
  90. TE: Richard Rodgers, Cal (3rd)
  91. QB: Derek Carr, Fresno State(3rd)
  92. TE: Xavier Grimble, USC (3rd)
  93. RB: Bishop Sankey, Washington (Early 3rd)
  94. QB: Zach Mettenberger, LSU(3rd)
  95. RB: Marion Grice, Arizona St (3rd)
  96. WR: Jarvis Landry LSU (3rd)
  97. WR: Davante Adams Fresno State (3rd)
  98. WR: Paul Richardson, Colorado (3rd)
  99. OLB: Trevor Reilly, Utah (3rd)
  100. OLB: Telvin Smith Florida State (3rd)

Twitter Tweet Button

4/1/2014

@Merk256

1.Houston Texans: B.Bortles, QB, Central Florida

2.St.Louis Rams: S.Watkins, WR, Clemson

3.Jacksonville Jaguars: T.Bridgewater, QB, Louisville

4.Cleveland Browns: J.Clowney, DE, South Carolina

5.Oakland Raiders: K.Mack, LB, Buffalo

6.Atlanta Falcons: C.Robinson, OT, Auburn

7.Tampa Bay Buccaneers: J.Matthews, OT, Texas A&M

8.Minnesota Vikings: E.Ebron, TE, North Carolina

9.Buffalo Bills: M.Evans, WR, Texas A&M-  

10.Detroit Lions: Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State

11. Tennessee Titans: A.Barr, LB, UCLA
12.New York Giants: T.Lewan, OT, Michigan
13.St.Louis Rams: H.Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama
14.Chicago Bears: A.Dennard, CB, Michigan State
15.Pittsburgh Steelers: L.Nix, DT, Notre Dame
16.Dallas Cowboys: A.Donald, DT, Pittsburgh
17.Baltimore Ravens: K.Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
18.New York Jets: C.Pryor, S, Louisville
19.Miami Dolphins: Z.Martin, OT/OG, Notre Dame
20.Arizona Cardinals: D.Ford, OLB/DE, Auburn
21.Green Bay Packers: M.Lee, WR, USC
22. Philadelphia Eagles: R.Hageman, DT/DE, Minnesota
23.Kansas City Chiefs: B.Cooks, WR, Oregon State
24.Cincinnati Bengals: X.Su'a-Filo, OG, UCLA
25.San Diego Chargers: B.Roby, CB, Ohio State
26.Cleveland Browns: J.Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
27.New Orleans Saints: K.Ealy, DE/OLB, Missouri
28.Carolina Panthers: J.Verrett, CB, TCU
29.New England Patriots: T.Jernigan, DT, FSU
30. San Francisco 49ers: K.Benjamin, WR, FSU
31.Denver Broncos: CJ Mosley, LB, Alabama
32.Seattle Seahawks: O.Beckham Jr, WR, LSU

ADMArC's Mock 1.0

@nflwarroom

1. Texans-DE:Jadeveon Clowney

2. Rams-OT:Greg Robinson

3. Jaguars-QB:Blake Bortles

4. Browns-WR:SammyWatkins

5. Raiders-QB :Johnny Manziel

6. Falcons-LB:Khalil Mack

7. Bucs-OT:Jake Matthews

8. Vikes-QB:Teddy Bridgewater

9. Bills-OT:Taylor Lewan

10. Lions-WR:Mike Evans 

11. Titans-OLB:Anthony Barr

12. Giants-OLB: C.J.Mosley

13. Rams-CB: Justin Gilbert

14. Bears-CB: Darqueze Dennard

15. Steelers-S: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

16. Cowboys-DT: Louis Nix

17. Ravens-WR:Marqise Lee

18. Jets-TE: Eric Ebron

19. Dolphins-OG: Zack Martin

20. Cardinals-S: Calvin Pryor

21. Packers-OLB: Kyle Van Noy

22. Eagles-S: Deone Bucannon

23. Chiefs-WR: Brandin Cooks

24. Bengals-CB: Jason Verrett

25. Chargers-DE: Stephon Tuitt

26. Browns-QB Derek Carr

27. Saints-DE Dee Ford

28. Panthers-OT Morgan Moses

29. Patriots-DT Ra'Shede Hageman

30. 49ers-WR: Jordan Matthews

31. Broncos-DT Aaron Donald

32. Seahawks- WR: Odell Beckham