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BB 2014 Off-season discussion; Mocks, FA, etc.


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#1 Armchair GM

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 10:08 AM

In hopes of centralizing most of the discussion, I am starting this thread. All things related to the Bills' off-season are welcome...needs, FA targets, draft prospects & mock drafts, futures signings, new hires, likes/dislikes, et al.

Free Agency

Not all that attractive this year. Some big names, but that doesn't mean a good fit, although Jimmy Graham would fit anywhere. I like Decker too, but not so sure he presents the best value for cap money.

2 guys I do like, and I'll get flamed for this, are Brandon Spikes and Wade Smith.

Spikes is what he is...a 2 down, hole plugging run stuffer. He's a liability on passing downs but I think, for the most part, we'd be able to get him off the field in time. Kiko, as much as I love him, is simply not that 250ish ILB that will plug a hole, take out a blocker, shed and tackle. Spikes just blows runs up at or behind the line. Getting IR'd in January for being late doesn't bode well for a contract extension.

Wade Smith is a consistent, above average vet. OG this team will need to bring along what they hope to be solid young prospects. He's old, 33 to start nest season, but he's played his best over the last 2 seasons and would be a a nice stop gap mentor for 1-2 years.

I'm sure there are more guys at the 2nd-3rd tier level that we may kick the tires on, but that involves much more time and access than I got.

Mock Draft 1.0

It's super early...pre Sr. Bowl, combine, etc. so I based mine on what I Billieve to be team need...LB, O Line, WR, TE, SS and RB.

We are off to a good start in building a solid LB core. Kiko played very well and will progress. Manny isn't getting any younger (30 by the time the season starts), and then there is no one...Bradham, Moats and the rest are decent depth guys, but not much more than that. Not even so sure about Bradham in that regard either.

Rd 1, pick 9 - Khalil Mack, LB Buffalo. 6'3" 248Lbs. Homer pick...maybe, but this kid can flat out play! I've seen him all over the place on the draft boards, from top 50 to start the season to top 15 and now a top 10 selection. With the addition of Spikes and this pick next to Kiko and Lawson...pretty sick group!

Over the years we've pieced together a decent O Line. Far from great, but decent. We need some stability here. Wood & Glen are still young enough to blend in some better talent so they can gel. Some stability and longevity goes a long when you get a good group together. Look at Indy. For a bunch of years they had a great OL to protect Manning, which is something to emulate.

Rd 2, pick 41(a) - Cyril Richardson, G Baylor. 6'6" 340lbs. Big bodied brute. Dudes a mauler in run blocking but is surprisingly light on his feet, quick and athletic. He may get snatched up in rd. 1, so next best would be...

41(b) Gabe Jackson, G Miss St. 6'3" 340Lbs. Showed very well against top opponents. Well rounded, heady lineman

Here's where I go WR. This kid shows very well and could end up being the surprise talent of this years draft...yes, better than WAtkins, Evans, Lee...The late season signing of Moeaki signing and my belief that Chandler will extend helps take my attention away from TE for now.

Rd 3, pick 73 - Donte Moncrief, WR Miss. 6'3" 226lbs. Quick, breakaway speed on a big bodied receiver who has great hands and runs sharp, smooth routes. Beats the jam and can get behind a CB. Also, goes over the middle w/out fear. I've read that this kid is a nightmare for DB's.

Back to the OL. We signed our vet and got our young stud at G, so now we need the other bookend. I waited till now because we're still not sure what have in Hairston. Is he made of glass, or does he build upon 2 years ago, progress and become a good RT?

Rd 4, pick 105 - Justin Britt, OT Missouri. 6'6" 315lbs. First ever Kent Hull award winner given to the best collegiate OL in the state of Missouri. Um, doesn't this mean he's an absolute must pick for the Bills? Anyway, Long & lean with great bend. Smooth kick/slide.

Now we address the TE position. Here's a small schooler, division II player that simply dominates at that level. A TE with WR like stats. Missed a yr due to a previous leg injury that came around to cause some trouble.

Rd 5, pick 137 - Joe Don Duncan, TE Dixie St. 6'4" 270lbs. Shattered TE receiving records as a Jr. in 2011, missed 2012 then came back and broke all his own records in 2013. How many TE's catch 71 balls for 1045 yrds and 13 TD's?

Depending on what happens with Byrd, addressing the defensive backfield may make me rethink priority level here, but...

Rd 6, pick 169 - Hakeem Smith, SS Louisville. 6' 186Lbs. More apt to break up a pass than to pick it off, but uses his length well in coverage and isn't afraid to come up in run support. Is/was all big east every year he's played.

I'm throwing in a RB cuz Freddy isn't getting any younger and CJ will need to prove his big play potential. Though CJ didn't have a bad year, he's coming into his final year of his rookie deal and fell short of the dynamic player moniker he was tabbed with prior to the season.

Rd 7, pick 201 - Storm Johnson, RB UCF. 6' 215lbs. Big back with decent speed who was overshadowed by his QB, Bortles. This kid can run...and run...and run.

Futures signings

IMHO the only one worth discussion right now is our latest signing in Ramses Barden. He's huge, big RZ target who showed a flash, albeit limited to one game before an ACL injury. Interesting player to throw into the WR mix.

Coaches

No major gripes here...actually, wait a minute...what's up with not firing Crossman? WTF? He's terrible, always has been and shows nothing in the way of making any improvement to a very, very weak unit. I get that he's Marrone's buddy, but C'MON MANNNNN!

Fire away!

Edited by Armchair GM, 17 January 2014 - 10:11 AM.


#2 jboyst62

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 10:23 AM

I do not know if Spikes would fit in here with our system or that he would even want to come here.  I think NYJ or Cin are more likely going to be in line for his services.

#3 Kirby Jackson

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 11:25 AM

View PostArmchair GM, on 17 January 2014 - 10:08 AM, said:

In hopes of centralizing most of the discussion, I am starting this thread. All things related to the Bills' off-season are welcome...needs, FA targets, draft prospects & mock drafts, futures signings, new hires, likes/dislikes, et al.

Free Agency

Not all that attractive this year. Some big names, but that doesn't mean a good fit, although Jimmy Graham would fit anywhere. I like Decker too, but not so sure he presents the best value for cap money.

2 guys I do like, and I'll get flamed for this, are Brandon Spikes and Wade Smith.

Spikes is what he is...a 2 down, hole plugging run stuffer. He's a liability on passing downs but I think, for the most part, we'd be able to get him off the field in time. Kiko, as much as I love him, is simply not that 250ish ILB that will plug a hole, take out a blocker, shed and tackle. Spikes just blows runs up at or behind the line. Getting IR'd in January for being late doesn't bode well for a contract extension.

Wade Smith is a consistent, above average vet. OG this team will need to bring along what they hope to be solid young prospects. He's old, 33 to start nest season, but he's played his best over the last 2 seasons and would be a a nice stop gap mentor for 1-2 years.

I'm sure there are more guys at the 2nd-3rd tier level that we may kick the tires on, but that involves much more time and access than I got.

Mock Draft 1.0

It's super early...pre Sr. Bowl, combine, etc. so I based mine on what I Billieve to be team need...LB, O Line, WR, TE, SS and RB.

We are off to a good start in building a solid LB core. Kiko played very well and will progress. Manny isn't getting any younger (30 by the time the season starts), and then there is no one...Bradham, Moats and the rest are decent depth guys, but not much more than that. Not even so sure about Bradham in that regard either.

Rd 1, pick 9 - Khalil Mack, LB Buffalo. 6'3" 248Lbs. Homer pick...maybe, but this kid can flat out play! I've seen him all over the place on the draft boards, from top 50 to start the season to top 15 and now a top 10 selection. With the addition of Spikes and this pick next to Kiko and Lawson...pretty sick group!

Over the years we've pieced together a decent O Line. Far from great, but decent. We need some stability here. Wood & Glen are still young enough to blend in some better talent so they can gel. Some stability and longevity goes a long when you get a good group together. Look at Indy. For a bunch of years they had a great OL to protect Manning, which is something to emulate.

Rd 2, pick 41(a) - Cyril Richardson, G Baylor. 6'6" 340lbs. Big bodied brute. Dudes a mauler in run blocking but is surprisingly light on his feet, quick and athletic. He may get snatched up in rd. 1, so next best would be...

41(b) Gabe Jackson, G Miss St. 6'3" 340Lbs. Showed very well against top opponents. Well rounded, heady lineman

Here's where I go WR. This kid shows very well and could end up being the surprise talent of this years draft...yes, better than WAtkins, Evans, Lee...The late season signing of Moeaki signing and my belief that Chandler will extend helps take my attention away from TE for now.

Rd 3, pick 73 - Donte Moncrief, WR Miss. 6'3" 226lbs. Quick, breakaway speed on a big bodied receiver who has great hands and runs sharp, smooth routes. Beats the jam and can get behind a CB. Also, goes over the middle w/out fear. I've read that this kid is a nightmare for DB's.

Back to the OL. We signed our vet and got our young stud at G, so now we need the other bookend. I waited till now because we're still not sure what have in Hairston. Is he made of glass, or does he build upon 2 years ago, progress and become a good RT?

Rd 4, pick 105 - Justin Britt, OT Missouri. 6'6" 315lbs. First ever Kent Hull award winner given to the best collegiate OL in the state of Missouri. Um, doesn't this mean he's an absolute must pick for the Bills? Anyway, Long & lean with great bend. Smooth kick/slide.

Now we address the TE position. Here's a small schooler, division II player that simply dominates at that level. A TE with WR like stats. Missed a yr due to a previous leg injury that came around to cause some trouble.

Rd 5, pick 137 - Joe Don Duncan, TE Dixie St. 6'4" 270lbs. Shattered TE receiving records as a Jr. in 2011, missed 2012 then came back and broke all his own records in 2013. How many TE's catch 71 balls for 1045 yrds and 13 TD's?

Depending on what happens with Byrd, addressing the defensive backfield may make me rethink priority level here, but...

Rd 6, pick 169 - Hakeem Smith, SS Louisville. 6' 186Lbs. More apt to break up a pass than to pick it off, but uses his length well in coverage and isn't afraid to come up in run support. Is/was all big east every year he's played.

I'm throwing in a RB cuz Freddy isn't getting any younger and CJ will need to prove his big play potential. Though CJ didn't have a bad year, he's coming into his final year of his rookie deal and fell short of the dynamic player moniker he was tabbed with prior to the season.

Rd 7, pick 201 - Storm Johnson, RB UCF. 6' 215lbs. Big back with decent speed who was overshadowed by his QB, Bortles. This kid can run...and run...and run.

Futures signings

IMHO the only one worth discussion right now is our latest signing in Ramses Barden. He's huge, big RZ target who showed a flash, albeit limited to one game before an ACL injury. Interesting player to throw into the WR mix.

Coaches

No major gripes here...actually, wait a minute...what's up with not firing Crossman? WTF? He's terrible, always has been and shows nothing in the way of making any improvement to a very, very weak unit. I get that he's Marrone's buddy, but C'MON MANNNNN!

Fire away!


I like where your head is at. I would substitute Pitta for Spikes based on the mock and I think that would be a great offseason. Nice work!!

#4 Armchair GM

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 11:38 AM

View PostKirby Jackson, on 17 January 2014 - 11:25 AM, said:

I like where your head is at. I would substitute Pitta for Spikes based on the mock and I think that would be a great offseason. Nice work!!

View Postjboyst62, on 17 January 2014 - 10:23 AM, said:

I do not know if Spikes would fit in here with our system or that he would even want to come here.  I think NYJ or Cin are more likely going to be in line for his services.

OK, I guess I meant more of a Spike "type" LB. The down hill, hole plugging, run stuffer. I think that fits on any team.

As for Pitta...why? Looking at the #'s, he doesn't bring anything more than Chandler.

#5 Kirby Jackson

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 11:57 AM

View PostArmchair GM, on 21 January 2014 - 11:38 AM, said:




OK, I guess I meant more of a Spike "type" LB. The down hill, hole plugging, run stuffer. I think that fits on any team.

As for Pitta...why? Looking at the #'s, he doesn't bring anything more than Chandler.

I just think that Pitta is a little more athletic and can stretch the field better. Each is a large target but for the same $ I just think that Pitta is the better player.

I agree on the LB type. Strangely the Bills need more "pluggers" than athletes. Usually teams are looking for the opposite. The guys that they need on defense are the run stopping 1-2 down players like Spikes.

#6 Armchair GM

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 07:13 AM

View PostKirby Jackson, on 21 January 2014 - 11:57 AM, said:

I just think that Pitta is a little more athletic and can stretch the field better. Each is a large target but for the same $ I just think that Pitta is the better player.

I agree on the LB type. Strangely the Bills need more "pluggers" than athletes. Usually teams are looking for the opposite. The guys that they need on defense are the run stopping 1-2 down players like Spikes.
OK, but do you let Chandler walk, try to sign Pitta AND draft a TE? I say re-sign Chandler and draft a #1 TE rather than roll the dice in FA...Better yet, re-sign Chandler, make a move for Pitta and go with my 5th rd pick, above. Go into camp with Chandler, Pitta, Smith, Gragg & Duncan.

Edited by Armchair GM, 22 January 2014 - 07:16 AM.


#7 Kirby Jackson

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 08:21 AM

View PostArmchair GM, on 22 January 2014 - 07:13 AM, said:


OK, but do you let Chandler walk, try to sign Pitta AND draft a TE? I say re-sign Chandler and draft a #1 TE rather than roll the dice in FA...Better yet, re-sign Chandler, make a move for Pitta and go with my 5th rd pick, above. Go into camp with Chandler, Pitta, Smith, Gragg & Duncan.

You are forgetting about Moeaki; he is under contract for another year. I would let Chandler walk, try to sign Pitta and look for a blocking TE late in the draft.

Pitta, Moeaki, Gragg & draft pick would be my TE group.

#8 Ryan L Billz

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 08:43 AM

Espn was saying Graham will be franchised if need be. No way Saints let him out.

Storm Johnson in the 7th ?   Yes please, could be another Zac Stacy who crushed for the rams as a 5th rounder.

#9 NewEra

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 09:39 AM

I'd let chandler walk.  I'd rather roll the dice on someone else if he wants over 2 mill a year.  I'm over watching him drop big third down catches.  His stats aren't representative of his skill level imo.  Below average blocker.  Below average hands.  Below average speed. Great height.

I like the draft though. Everyone and their brother on this'd board has Richardson as our 2nd round pick.  Makes sense as he's the top guard, but I just can't see him lasting til round 2.  I think the only way he get him is by trading back in rd1 and using our 1st on him.  Gabe Jackson would be great too.   Brandon Spikes, eh.  I know we don't need anymore small slot type WRs, but I'd snatch up Robert Herron from Wyoming. Match the senior bowl practice and he was easily the most impressive player I saw.  He gets it.

Edited by NewEra, 22 January 2014 - 09:45 AM.


#10 Armchair GM

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 09:51 AM

View PostArmchair GM, on 22 January 2014 - 07:13 AM, said:

OK, but do you let Chandler walk, try to sign Pitta AND draft a TE? I say re-sign Chandler and draft a #1 TE rather than roll the dice in FA...Better yet, re-sign Chandler, make a move for Pitta and go with my 5th rd pick, above. Go into camp with Chandler, Pitta, Smith, Gragg & Duncan.

Can't believe I forgot about Moeaki...that was a true brain fart. Makes it a bit easier to let Chandler walk.

#11 BillsGuyInWilton

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 01:01 PM

*cracks knuckles*

Okay, here is my very early mock offseason.  I reserve the right to change and edit this post every few minutes, dependent on team happenings.

Re-Sign
----------
S Jairus Byrd (Duh), 5 year deal
K Dan Carpenter, 2 year deal
DE Alex Carrington, 1 year deal
LB Arthur Moats, 2 year deal
OL Thomas Welch, RFA
WR Chris Hogan, RFA

Release / Choose Not To Re-Sign
-------------------------------------------
TE Scott Chandler
S Jim Leonhard
TE Mike Caussian
OT Erik Pears (2.9 million in savings)
QB Kevin Kolb (3.1 million in savings)

Unrestricted Free Agents
--------------------------------
WR Kenny Britt, 1 year deal
TE Brandon Pettigrew, 3 year deal
OT/OG Rodger Saffold, 5 year deal (our "big" free agent signing, can play at either RT or LG)
LB Mike Neal, 3 year deal

NFL Draft
-------------
1)  Sammy Watkins, WR out of Clemson
2)  Kyle Van Noy, OLB out of BYU
3)  Gabe Jackson, OG out of Mississippi State
4)  C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE out of Iowa
5)  Storm Johnson, RB out of Central Florida
6)  Connor Shaw, QB out of South Carolina
7)  Kenarious Gates, OT/OG out of Georgia

#12 Kirby Jackson

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 02:09 PM

View PostBillsGuyInWilton, on 22 January 2014 - 01:01 PM, said:

*cracks knuckles*

Okay, here is my very early mock offseason.  I reserve the right to change and edit this post every few minutes, dependent on team happenings.

Re-Sign
----------
S Jairus Byrd (Duh), 5 year deal
K Dan Carpenter, 2 year deal
DE Alex Carrington, 1 year deal
LB Arthur Moats, 2 year deal
OL Thomas Welch, RFA
WR Chris Hogan, RFA

Release / Choose Not To Re-Sign
-------------------------------------------
TE Scott Chandler
S Jim Leonhard
TE Mike Caussian
OT Erik Pears (2.9 million in savings)
QB Kevin Kolb (3.1 million in savings)

Unrestricted Free Agents
--------------------------------
WR Kenny Britt, 1 year deal
TE Brandon Pettigrew, 3 year deal
OT/OG Rodger Saffold, 5 year deal (our "big" free agent signing, can play at either RT or LG)
LB Mike Neal, 3 year deal

NFL Draft
-------------
1)  Sammy Watkins, WR out of Clemson
2)  Kyle Van Noy, OLB out of BYU
3)  Gabe Jackson, OG out of Mississippi State
4)  C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE out of Iowa
5)  Storm Johnson, RB out of Central Florida
6)  Connor Shaw, QB out of South Carolina
7)  Kenarious Gates, OT/OG out of Georgia

If that we our offseason I would be thrilled. I'm on record as not being a hogan fan and with the additions of Watkins and Britt there is no reason to keep him around. On the flip side I think that Leonard adds to the defense (he's so smart). Flip flop those 2 and that offseason would be unbelievable.

Edited by Kirby Jackson, 22 January 2014 - 02:17 PM.


#13 Security

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 02:15 PM

WR or LB in round 1.  They need to trade Stevie Johnson, and will need a WR.

Really need a DL, but people are infatuated with Kyle Williams and want him to be the the father of their children.

#14 Ryan L Billz

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 02:23 PM

View PostSecurity, on 22 January 2014 - 02:15 PM, said:

WR or LB in round 1.  They need to trade Stevie Johnson, and will need a WR.

Really need a DL, but people are infatuated with Kyle Williams and want him to be the the father of their children.

They do not "need" to trade Stevie Johnson.   I'd put that very low on the needs list.

#15 Armchair GM

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 08:53 AM

View PostSecurity, on 22 January 2014 - 02:15 PM, said:

WR or LB in round 1.  They need to trade Stevie Johnson, and will need a WR.

Really need a DL, but people are infatuated with Kyle Williams and want him to be the the father of their children.

I know how much you love KW...but I agree. And whomever it is MUST be on 350Lbs+...big bodied, space eater that will demand doubles from time to time and force the RB's to the outside.

Like I said in another post, KW and Dareus are the same type of player. Neither can jamb up the middle and cause the kind of disruption a bigger bodied guy would. However, they both are the type that can clean up the mess that true big man would create. That being said, I wouldn't be opposed to shopping KW. He's been around for a while and has given all he can to this team. I'm not sure how much more he could contribute.

#16 YoloinOhio

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 11:30 AM

@nfl: Every 2014 free agent listed by team http://on.nfl.com/19Sgwu0

#17 kr632

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 02:32 PM

View Postjboyst62, on 17 January 2014 - 10:23 AM, said:

I do not know if Spikes would fit in here with our system or that he would even want to come here.  I think NYJ or Cin are more likely going to be in line for his services.

You posted this before pettine was hired as the browns coach. Im curious as to why spikes would be a fit with the jets and not here when we run/ran the same scheme as them?

#18 jboyst62

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 05:03 PM

View Postkr632, on 24 January 2014 - 02:32 PM, said:

You posted this before pettine was hired as the browns coach. Im curious as to why spikes would be a fit with the jets and not here when we run/ran the same scheme as them?
He fits the Jets MO - adds to their attitude and rep.  Attitude is a lot to do with it.  Without Pettine now I think an overly aggressive playing player could cause harm to the development of the younger guys on defense.

#19 Bob Malooga

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 05:20 PM

Brandon Spikes will follow Pepper Johnson, I would almost bet money on it...those two are apparently very close.

Plus, I wouldn't want him on this team...and I don't think Fred Jackson and/or Eric Wood would want him, either.


Pick up your proven linemen in free agency...use the draft to get your own playmakers at WR, TE, LB, etc.

#20 TakeYouToTasker

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 06:12 PM

View PostSecurity, on 22 January 2014 - 02:15 PM, said:

WR or LB in round 1.  They need to trade Stevie Johnson, and will need a WR.

Really need a DL, but people are infatuated with Kyle Williams and want him to be the the father of their children.
What's the matter?  Got tired of baddly losing this argument in the other thread?