Posts Tagged ‘Running Backs’

Potential Buffalo Bills Targets in the 2015 NFL Draft: Running Backs

Friday, July 4th, 2014

Melvin Gordon projects as one of the top running back prospects in the 2015 NFL draft. (Photo: Jesse Johnson — USA Today Sports)

BBD Staff Writer: Josh Cornwall

One season into the Doug Marrone/Doug Whaley era in Buffalo, a foundation has been laid to finally get the floundering Buffalo Bills franchise out of the AFC East basement and into the playoff picture. The excitement surrounding the franchise now is different than it has been in recent years because of the quality of youthful talent littered across the depth chart.

Still, two dilemmas face the current Bills’ regime on the not-so-distant horizon that could hinder their long-term plans.

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Scouting the Veteran Additions: What Bryce Brown Brings to the Buffalo Bills

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

The Buffalo Bills made running back a priority by trading a 2015 draft pick to the Philadelphia Eagles for Bryce Brown. (Photo: Howard Smith — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Joe Marino

Despite having an excellent running back tandem in Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller, the Bills have question marks at the position beyond the 2014 season. Both Spiller and Jackson can become free agents at the end of the 2014 season. Jackson will be 34 years old at season’s end and Spiller might command more money than the Bills will have the appetite to pay for a running back on his second contract

That made the need to address the running back position a priority this offseason because in all likelihood, either Jackson and/or Spiller will not be on the team beyond this season.

After they utilized six of their 29 predraft visits on running backs, the Bills tried to trade back up into the second round of the draft to select Ohio State running back Carlos Hyde, according to Chris Brown of BuffaloBills.com. After the San Francisco 49ers struck a deal to move up and take Hyde off the board, the Bills struck a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles to acquire Bryce Brown—a player Buffalo had been negotiating to land for a year-and-a-half, according to Tim Graham of The Buffalo News—in exchange for a conditional 2015 fourth-round draft pick.

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Buffalo Bills Trade for Running Back Bryce Brown

Saturday, May 10th, 2014

The Buffalo Bills continued to be aggressive by trading a future conditional pick, and swapping seventh-round picks, with the Philadelphia Eagles on Saturday to acquire running back Bryce Brown. (Photo: Howard Smith — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

During the Buffalo Bills’ predraft luncheon, general manager Doug Whaley was asked about the concern of the team “mortgaging its future” to be aggressive in this year’s draft.

“Depends on what you mean by mortgaging the future,” Whaley replied. “We give up our whole draft? You’re mortgaging our future. If we give up a second round or a pick next year, again it’s a calculated decision. I would say it all depends on the deal.”

If you read between the lines on that answer, Whaley was clearly thinking about giving up future assets to make moves in this year’s draft.

The Bills made their first “calculated decision” in Round 1 of the draft when they gave up 2015 first- and fourth-round picks to move up from the No. 9 overall pick to the fourth spot and secure Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins. They made another during Day 3 of the draft, when they traded a conditional 2015 fourth-round pick for Philadelphia Eagles running back Bryce Brown.

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2014 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Wisconsin RB James White

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

Wisconsin’s James White is one of the top senior running back prospects in this year’s draft class. (Photo: Jeff Hanisch — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

While the value of the running back position is on a rapid decline, it increases the likelihood that NFL teams can come away with productive running backs in the late rounds of the draft. One such running back is Wisconsin’s James White.

Despite splitting carries throughout his four-year career—and often being on the lower end of the share—White ran for 4,015 yards at Wisconsin, the fourth-most in school history. His 45 rushing touchdowns and 48 total touchdowns rank third among Badgers all-time.

White has had opportunities to shine, and he’s typically taken advantage of them. He played in 52 career games at Wisconsin, missing just one game in a four-year span. He followed up his collegiate career with a strong performance at this year’s Senior Bowl, which included being named the Most Outstanding Player of the North squad in this year’s game.

In an interview with Buffalo Bills Draft in March, White said he thinks he is “one of the best running backs in this draft.”

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Seven Takeaways from Buffalo Bills’ Pre-Draft Visits

Sunday, April 27th, 2014

The Buffalo Bills used almost a quarter of their pre-draft visits to interview potential early-round receiving targets like Texas A&M’s Mike Evans. (Photo: Brett Davis — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

Since the beginning of April, the Buffalo Bills have hosted 29 potential selections in this year’s NFL draft on official visits with the team. It appears as though the team is not using its 30th allotted visit, as Sunday was the NFL’s deadline for pre-draft visitors.

As the team had a finite limit of how many players it could bring to One Bills Drive, the visits list gives a telling indication of what the Bills could be looking for in this year’s draft.

It gives us a better indication of which positions the Bills are looking to draft than it does which players they will actually select. While Buffalo only drafted two of its pre-draft visitors last year—Florida State quarterback EJ Manuel and Clemson safety Jonathan Meeks—its six picks in the first five rounds all came from positions at which the team hosted at least five prospects (quarterbacks, wide receiver, linebacker, safety).

With that in mind, we can get a good idea of what positions Buffalo is looking to upgrade in this year’s draft, what type of players they are looking for at those positions, and more.

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