Posts Tagged ‘Buffalo’

Teammates Again: Canisius High School’s Jimmy Gaines, Derek Brim Back Together as Buffalo Bills

Monday, June 9th, 2014

Jimmy Gaines (pictured) and high school teammate Derek Brim are back in Buffalo. (Photo: Kim Klement — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

Adjusting to the life in the NFL is a challenge for all rookies, but Buffalo Bills undrafted free-agent signings Jimmy Gaines and Derek Brim have an advantage of familiarity.

The two Western New York natives are not only familiar with the city of Buffalo but also with one another. Gaines and Brim were both 2010 graduates from Canisius High School, a private, all-male secondary institution in Buffalo, where they were football teammates.

Gaines went on to the University of Miami, where he was a three-year starter at linebacker. Brim stayed local at the University at Buffalo, where he began his career as a walk-on but emerged as a starting safety midway through his junior season.

Both players did enough to capture the interest of the Bills, who made room for the local products on their 90-man preseason roster. That doesn’t ensure they’ll be on the Bills’ 53-man regular season roster, but both players are fighting hard to turn their opportunity into a career.

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2014 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Buffalo RB Branden Oliver

Sunday, April 27th, 2014

Branden Oliver hasn’t gotten much attention leading up to this year’s draft, but the Buffalo product is determined to make it in the NFL. (Photo: Raj Mehta — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

You probably already know about Khalil Mack, the star outside linebacker prospect who is set to become the University at Buffalo’s first-ever first-round pick. What you might not know is that his former college roommate could also be selected in this year’s draft.

Branden Oliver has been one of college football’s most productive running backs over the past few years, rushing for 3,751 yards and 33 touchdowns over his final three seasons for the Bulls.

Somehow, the hard-charging runner has been largely overlooked leading up to the draft.

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2014 NFL Scouting Combine Impressions: Day 3 (Defensive Line and Linebackers)

Monday, February 24th, 2014

Aaron Donald was the star among defensive linemen at this year’s NFL Scouting Combine. (Photo: Pat Lovell — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Joe Marino

Monday’s on-field portion of the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine featured the draft’s best defensive line and linebacker prospects as the depth of the draft continued to prove itself in workouts. While no prospect was able to officially record a sub-4.5 second 40-yard dash, there was plenty of speed and athleticism on display alongside a few disappointments.

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Nine Possible No. 9 Overall Picks for the Buffalo Bills

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

Texas A&M’s Jake Matthews could be an immediate upgrade on the Buffalo Bills offensive line. (Photo: Thomas Campbell — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

The National Football League is officially in its 2014 offseason, meaning that the entire league (well, maybe not quite yet for the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks) is shifting its attention to how it can make its team better for next season.

While free agency and possibly trades will be an important step, there is no bigger opportunity to improve a roster than the annual NFL draft, which will be held May 8-10 this year. The Buffalo Bills, by virtue of their 6-10 record, hold the No. 9 overall selection in the first round of this year’s draft.

A top-10 pick is always a valuable commodity, and the Buffalo Bills sit in a good position. The Bills should have the opportunity to draft a very good talent who provides an immediate upgrade at that slot, and although they have some needs, they have a roster well-rounded enough to have the flexibility to draft for the best player rather than the biggest roster hole.

We won’t know for sure who will be available at the No. 9 overall pick until the No. 8 overall pick has been announced on May 8, but there will be no shortage of speculation around the pick nonetheless. The Bills should be able to come up with nine worthy candidates to be their first-round pick; the following nine options (plus one, see end of page 2) might be their best.

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2014 NFL Draft: Linebacker Options to Fix Buffalo’s Run Defense

Sunday, January 12th, 2014

If the Buffalo Bills choose to improve their linebacker corps with the No. 9 overall pick, UCLA’s Anthony Barr is one possible option. (Photo: Andrew Weber — USA Today Sports)

BBD Staff Writer: Eric Samulski

The Buffalo Bills improved in many ways under a new coaching staff in 2013, but stopping the run continued to be a problem. The Bills ranked 28th in the NFL in run defense, allowing 129 yards per game, 4.4 yards per carry and 19 runs of longer than 20 yards.

Middle linebacker Kiko Alonso had a tremendous rookie year, totaling 159 tackles and two sacks, but he showed far more value in coverage, sometimes being swallowed up by blockers in run defense. If the Bills are going to get better against the run as a team, they need to spend the offseason adding more stout talent around Alonso in the linebacker corps.

With that in mind, the Bills should have their eyes on some of the following linebackers in the upcoming draft who excel against the run. Most of these players have experience in versatile defenses or possess skill sets that would lend themselves to defensive coordinator Mike Pettine’s hybrid system.

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