Archive for the ‘NFL Draft’ Category

Buffalo Bills 7-Round Mock Draft, Pre-Combine

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015
If the Bills look for a defensive end in Round 2, Preston Smith would be a good fit. (Photo: Spruce Derden)

If the Bills look for a defensive end in Round 2, Preston Smith would be a good fit. (Photo: Spruce Derden)

BBD Contributor: Brian Krosky

Now that the 2014-2015 NFL season has officially wrapped up, the Buffalo Bills enter the offseason looking to further improve on their first winning season since 2004 and continue to chase their first playoff birth since the turn of the millennium.

Although free agency has yet to begin and players can leave the Bills or sign with them, this year’s draft is vital to continue their progress in the fight to dethrone the New England Patriots atop the AFC East.

After trading up to select Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins in last year’s draft, the Bills find themselves without a first- or fourth-round pick this year. Despite Watkins’ rookie success, the deal has been scrutinized due to the production that wide receivers selected later in the draft have had, as the 2014 class of wide receivers could end up being one of the best ever.

That said, the Bills are in possession of an extra fifth-round draft pick that they received in a trade with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, from whom they received that pick and a 2014 seventh-round pick in exchange for a 2014 fifth-round pick.

Not having a first-round pick could hurt the Bills, especially if they wanted to try to make a move and trade up to select one of this year’s top quarterbacks in Oregon’s Marcus Mariota or Florida State’s Jameis Winston. But nonetheless, the Bills should be able to select players this year that can fill positions of need and be developed to contribute.

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2015 NFL Draft Prospect To Watch: Paul Dawson, LB, TCU

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015
After a breakout senior season, TCU's Paul Dawson has emerged as one of the 2015 NFL Draft's top linebacker prospects. (Photo: Kevin Jairaj — USA Today Sports)

After a breakout senior season, TCU’s Paul Dawson has emerged as one of the 2015 NFL Draft’s top linebacker prospects. (Photo: Kevin Jairaj — USA Today Sports)

BBD Contributor: Brian Krosky

The connotation of the word “linebacker” has changed within the past few years. As more and more teams are using linebackers as pass-rushers and putting them on the line of scrimmage with their hand in the dirt, it has created a need for distinction between edge linebackers and off-the-ball linebackers.

TCU’s Paul Dawson fits the latter category as a traditional, stand-up linebacker. He has the potential to be one of the first off-ball linebackers selected in the 2015 NFL draft.

Listed at 6’2″ and 230 pounds by TCU’s official athletics website, Dawson is a former high school wide receiver and junior college transfer who has made a significant impact on TCU’s defense. He was the only player in the Football Bowl Subdivision with 100 tackles, five sacks, and four interceptions in 2014.

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2015 NFL Draft Prospect to Watch: Josue Matias, G, Florida State

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015
Josue Matias could be one of the first guards selected in the 2015 NFL Draft. (Photo: Jamie Rhodes — USA Today Sports)

Josue Matias could be one of the first guards selected in the 2015 NFL Draft. (Photo: Jamie Rhodes — USA Today Sports)

BBD Contributor: Nat Jordan

Florida State interior offensive lineman Josue Matias is expected to be one of the top guards selected in the 2015 NFL draft. He opted out of this year’s Senior Bowl, taking away the opportunity for scouts to comparing him in live action alongside many of the other top senior guard prospects in this year’s class, but he still has a chance to be a high draft pick.

Currently, there aren’t any players in the NFL who were born in the Dominican Republic. Matias, who came to the U.S. at six years old, stands to be the first. A force in New Jersey high school football and then for the Seminoles, Matias has the tools to continue to be successful at the next level.

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25 Standouts, 15 Disappointments from the 2015 Senior Bowl

Sunday, January 25th, 2015
Clive Walford was one of the stars of Senior Bowl week. (Photo: Dan Hope)

Clive Walford was one of the stars of Senior Bowl week. (Photo: Dan Hope)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

Three days of practices and Saturday’s game later, the 2015 Senior Bowl is complete. More than 100 NFL draft hopefuls, including a number of players with a real chance to be first-round picks, participated in this year’s event in an effort to improve their draft stocks.

While the practices are considered to be more important than the game—and all the Senior Bowl activities still are not considered to be as important as what a player showed in his college career—this past week in Mobile will have a real effect on who goes where and when in the draft this April.

In the following rundown, we take a look at which players had the best and worst weeks in Mobile. Note that the following rankings are not a ranking of the order in which these players should be drafted—they are simply indicative of which players helped or hurt themselves the most with their performances at the Senior Bowl.

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2015 Senior Bowl Day 3 Report: Practice Notes and Player Quotes

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015
Thursday was the final day of practices in front of NFL scouts for the 2015 Senior Bowl teams. (Photo: Dan Hope)

Thursday was the final day of practices in front of NFL scouts for the 2015 Senior Bowl teams. (Photo: Dan Hope)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

The North and South teams returned to Ladd-Peebles Stadium on Thursday for one final day of Senior Bowl practice, and essentially the players’ final chances to make a good impression or change negative perceptions about them, as most NFL scouts, coaches and personnel executives will have left town long before the game is played on Saturday.

Many of Thursday’s standouts, including USC linebacker Hayes Pullard and Miami tight end Clive Walford, had already performed well on Tuesday and Wednesday and simply furthered their draft stock rises by capping off fantastic weeks. On the other end of the spectrum, Colorado State quarterback Garrett Grayson and East Carolina quarterback Shane Carden were among those who failed to take advantage of their opportunities to elevate their draft stocks.

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