Posts Tagged ‘Shayne Skov’

2014 NFL Draft Positional Breakdowns: Inside Linebackers

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

Alabama’s C.J. Mosley is the only first-round prospect in this year’s draft class of inside linebackers. (Photo: Chuck Cook — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Joe Marino

The 2014 draft class of inside linebackers looks to be about par for the course. A variety of skill sets with an overall lack of quality at the bottom of the rankings is what I have come to expect from the position, and this year appears to be no different.

Alabama’s C.J. Mosley is far and away the premier talent of this group and will be on everyone’s early list for 2014 defensive rookie of the year. Depending on what teams are looking for, players with starter upside could be had throughout the first four rounds.

An average of 11 inside linebackers have been drafted each year over the past five drafts. I have graded 16 prospects as draftable this year.

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Ryan Talbot’s Buffalo Bills Seven-Round Mock Draft: Version 3.0

Saturday, March 22nd, 2014

If the Bills believe “big wins” at wide receiver, Mike Evans could be their choice in the first round of the 2014 NFL draft. (Photo: Thomas Campbell — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Ryan Talbot

The Buffalo Bills have been active in free agency, adding starters and/or depth at running back, tight end, offensive guard, linebacker, cornerback and special teams. The team might still be actively pursuing free agents, as evidenced by Kenny Britt’s recent visit to One Bills Drive, but any signings now will be few and far between, which should mean is adjusting its needs and determining who it should target in this year’s NFL draft.

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Ryan Talbot’s Buffalo Bills Seven-Round Mock Draft: Version 2.0

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

If Jake Matthews is on the board at nine, the Bills would be foolish to pass on him.  (Photo: Brett Davis — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Ryan Talbot

With version 1.0 of my Buffalo Bills mock draft being more than one month old, it’s time for another look at how Buffalo’s draft could stack up. It’s early February, so it’s safe to say there’s still plenty of uncertainty when it comes to the 2014 NFL draft. In general, teams will have a better ideas of how their draft boards stack up after some of their roster holes get filled via free agency.

For the sake of this mock draft, I’ll make a few free agency predictions. First, I think the Bills will resign Jairus Byrd long-term or replace him with a fellow free agent (T.J. Ward and Chris Clemons are two solid options that come to mind). Buffalo could also add a left guard in free agency along with a veteran defensive lineman.

If they can address those needs with veteran signings, here’s one way they could continue building their roster with their seven picks in this year’s draft.
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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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Joe Marino’s Senior Inside Linebacker Rankings for the 2014 NFL Draft

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

Alabama inside linebacker C.J. Mosley stands out among senior inside linebacker prospects for the 2014 NFL draft. (Photo: John David Mercer — USA Today Sports)

BBD Staff Writer: Joe Marino

If you are looking for a rangy, middle linebacker for a 4-3 defense who can stay on the field every down, the 2014 NFL draft’s senior class is not for you if you miss out on Alabama’s C.J. Mosley.

Mosley is in a class of his own and deserves consideration as a top-20 draft selection. After that, we see a solid group of run-stopping thumpers who could pair with a more athletic player inside in a 3-4 defensive scheme to create a formidable duo, but who project to be two-down players.

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