Posts Tagged ‘Buffalo’

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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Khalil Mack and More Prospects to Watch on Bowl Season’s Opening Saturday

Saturday, December 21st, 2013

Khalil Mack will be in the spotlight when Buffalo plays San Diego State on the bowl season’s opening day. (Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

The opening Saturday of bowl season may not feature college football’s marquee teams, but it certainly does include some of the nation’s marquee talent.

The prime game on the schedule is the Las Vegas Bowl, which kicks off between two ranked teams, No. 20 Fresno State and No. 25 USC, at 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC. To find out more about the top NFL draft prospects playing in the game, including arguably the nation’s top senior quarterback prospect in Fresno State’s Derek Carr and two of college football’s best wide receivers in Fresno State redshirt sophomore Davante Adams and USC junior Marqise Lee, check out Joe Marino’s Prospect Preview of the game.

Saturday’s other three bowl games also each include players whose names should be called in the 2014 NFL draft.

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Joe Marino’s Senior Running Back Rankings for the 2014 NFL Draft

Friday, December 13th, 2013

Carlos Hyde has broken out as the top senior running back with a fantastic season at Ohio State. (Photo: Andrew Weber — USA Today Sports)

BBD Staff Writer: Joe Marino

The running back position has decreased in draft value over the past few seasons. NFL teams have been able to find backs later in the draft who prove to be viable starters.

That’s exactly what I see in many of the senior running backs in the 2014 class. Some of them are situational-type players, but most of them are prospects that could fill the role of a starter who gets selected in the later rounds of the draft and proves to be a tremendous value pick.

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