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Draft Strategy for 2014


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#1 DC Grid

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 02:42 PM

Watching the combine and seeing how the big boards of various analysts are shaking out, it seems that the Bills will almost be guaranteed the opportunity to draft either Sammy Watkins or Mike Evans with their first pick.  Both of these guys look like elite number ones that would give the Bills and awesome young WR corps for years.  Is there anything the Bills could do better than create an awesome WR corps for EJ or whoever is the QB next with their top pick?  Is there any player aside from a falling top 3 QB who has a greater potential to make a huge impact on the Bills?  Or does the depth at WR in this draft and the Bills relative need at LB or OL dictate a different approach?

#2 3rdand12

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 04:01 PM

If Watkins or even Evans are at nine you really gotta think long and hard on this one.
If both are there i will be stunned ,and not surprised if neither are still on anyone's board. Both stocks are raised from the Combine .

#3 KOKBILLS

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 04:16 PM

View PostDC Grid, on 23 February 2014 - 02:42 PM, said:

Watching the combine and seeing how the big boards of various analysts are shaking out, it seems that the Bills will almost be guaranteed the opportunity to draft either Sammy Watkins or Mike Evans with their first pick.  Both of these guys look like elite number ones that would give the Bills and awesome young WR corps for years. Is there anything the Bills could do better than create an awesome WR corps for EJ or whoever is the QB next with their top pick? Is there any player aside from a falling top 3 QB who has a greater potential to make a huge impact on the Bills?  Or does the depth at WR in this draft and the Bills relative need at LB or OL dictate a different approach?

Good post... :thumbsup:

I think you hit on the reality of the situation instead of a lot of the mindless speculation...The reality is the Bills are 100% dedicated to EJ and that comes straight from the GM...The reality is also that they feel the need to give EJ as much help as they possibly can to speed up his progress...We can all argue about whether or not this strategy is a good one or not...But what we can't argue much about is the fact that the Bills have made their decisions internally and that's what they are going to do if the Draft falls their way...I think they also view a top tier OT as a way to help EJ and the Offense...But I believe their preference is to get him as many match-up challenges for Defenses as they possibly can... B-)

#4 Tipster19

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 01:14 AM

I checked earlier tonight and barring a trade up from another team, and I didn't see a team being able to move up that much, Oakland is the only team that would make sense to select Watkins. Could this guy actually fall to the Bills at #9??! If so then the Bills have a real decision to make here! This draft being so deep at the WR position makes me wonder if the Bills would actually pass on this guy because they think that they can get a more than adequate WR (Allen Robinson?), which they can, in the 2nd rd?? Matter of fact Watkins is the kind of impact player that would allow us to trade down with another team that is picking in the teens (Rams at #13 or Ravens at #17?).

I fully expect the Rams to take OT Greg Robinson with the 2nd pick overall and the Falcons to take OT Jake Matthews with #6 pick. This leaves OT Taylor Lewan as the last viable OT left and at the #9 pick that might be too early to take him.

#5 NDBUFFCUSEFAN

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 01:17 AM

View PostTipster19, on 24 February 2014 - 01:14 AM, said:

I checked earlier tonight and barring a trade up from another team, and I didn't see a team being able to move up that much, Oakland is the only team that would make sense to select Watkins. Could this guy actually fall to the Bills at #9??! If so then the Bills have a real decision to make here! This draft being so deep at the WR position makes me wonder if the Bills would actually pass on this guy because they think that they can get a more than adequate WR (Allen Robinson?), which they can, in the 2nd rd?? Matter of fact Watkins is the kind of impact player that would allow us to trade down with another team that is picking in the teens (Rams at #13 or Ravens at #17?).

I fully expect the Rams to take OT Greg Robinson with the 2nd pick overall and the Falcons to take OT Jake Matthews with #6 pick. This leaves OT Taylor Lewan as the last viable OT left and at the #9 pick that might be too early to take him.

Browns may be looking to take Watkins at 1a and the best QB with their 1b pick, I am holding out hope that Watkins falls to 9. If Watkins is gone I think best OT/LB is the way to go.

#6 over 20 years of fanhood

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 09:16 AM

View PostDC Grid, on 23 February 2014 - 02:42 PM, said:

Watching the combine and seeing how the big boards of various analysts are shaking out, it seems that the Bills will almost be guaranteed the opportunity to draft either Sammy Watkins or Mike Evans with their first pick.  Both of these guys look like elite number ones that would give the Bills and awesome young WR corps for years.  Is there anything the Bills could do better than create an awesome WR corps for EJ or whoever is the QB next with their top pick?  Is there any player aside from a falling top 3 QB who has a greater potential to make a huge impact on the Bills?  Or does the depth at WR in this draft and the Bills relative need at LB or OL dictate a different approach?


Another approach is improve the line with some top talent at OT and G.  Make that better, running game and pass blocking get better, which will in turn make the WRs we have look better...

My wish list is ROT, WR, ILB, LG, RG... Not necessarily in that order. I think there are plenty of vet RBs around to pick up if Freddy starts slowing down.


#7 YoloinOhio

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 04:15 PM



Chris Trapasso@ChrisTrapasso 10m

Here's my #Bills-centric 2014 Draft Big Board with game-film links to all listed prospects ---> http://bit.ly/1lfZEBA #BillsMafia



#8 thebandit27

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 04:20 PM

I could see any of Jacksonville, Cleveland, Oakland, TB, or Minnesota taking Watkins.

Most teams play with 3 WRs on the field more than 1/2 the time anyway...and as Mayock puts it: "this guy is special"

#9 YoloinOhio

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 04:35 PM

View Postthebandit27, on 24 February 2014 - 04:20 PM, said:

I could see any of Jacksonville, Cleveland, Oakland, TB, or Minnesota taking Watkins.

Most teams play with 3 WRs on the field more than 1/2 the time anyway...and as Mayock puts it: "this guy is special"
I can see Jax taking him... he is from FL, they need a "star", Caldwell said he will not reach for a Franchise QB. Watkins on the field with Blackmon might even make Henne look OK for awhile, they can take a QB later.

Edited by YoloinOhio, 24 February 2014 - 04:35 PM.


#10 dubs

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 04:54 PM

The Bills are in a really good position this year.  Now, with the disclaimer that 1) draftniks and experts are not foolproof, and 2) something crazy always happens in the draft, let's make the assumption that there are 9 prospects in the top tier of the draft or at least likely to be drafted in the top 9.  They would be:

Defense:
   Clowney
   Mack
   Anthony Barr
Tackles:
   Greg Robinson
   Jake Matthews
Receiver:
   Watkins
Quarterback:
   Bridgewater
   Bortles
   Manziel

I think the Bills do one of three things:
Best case scenario: Watkins drops and drafts him
Medium case scenario: Someone other than Watkins drops and trade down
Worst case, still a good outcome: Take the BPA.  The only two on that list I wouldn't want are Bortles and Bridgewater.

Just my one cent.

#11 papazoid

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 04:56 PM

take the best player available......unless it's a QB - Doug Whaley

unreal.

#12 chris heff

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 05:35 PM

Here is what I think makes this difficult. This draft is deep at WR and OT. Do you take a tackle (would have to be Robinson or Mathews) that sees himself as a LT and play him at RT, where he is not going to be happy? Or do you move Glenn, to where he won't be happy. You kind of assure yourself that you will eventually let one walk. You could get a RT in 2 or 3.

The Bills really don't have a number one WR. If you take one at 9 it would have to be Watkins, maybe Evans. Then there is Ebron, would he be a better option the Evans? Can he platy a Jimmy Graham type role? Then go get a WR in 2 or 3?

What if Mack is there? Then you get a RT and WR later?

#13 Astrobot

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 05:41 PM

I'm using a revised Big Board for this, and it will likely change again after the next day or so with the Combine still going on, but here's my thinking here and now:

ILBhas only three difference-makers in the draft: Mack (gone), Mosley, and Skov. After that, Borland, Smallwood, Jackson etc. are a major drop-off, and I'd stick with whom we have if that happens.

IF we need a difference-making TE (Murphy says we don't), we better pull the trigger at RD1#9 or RD2#41 (Ebron-Niklas-AS-J, in that order). Ebron just distanced himself from the others. But AS-J is a viable RD2#41 option, as is Niklas. Amaro is more of a slot guy and is the most predictable what route he'll be running  from that spot. I actually like Niklas over Amaro for what Hackett's trying to do (three-tier zone-read), as Niklas can also be in-line as if to block and end up running a seam route.

Except for DT43 IMHO, WR is the deepest in the draft and several FA WRs could be considered #1 or #2 quality. Bills will likely signal their intentions early which way they'll go at WR. However, Bills shouldn't rely on the draft, as we need to get one of the bigger redzone guys left when we pick in RD2#41 (Mike Evans will be gone; Donte Moncrief and Kelvin Benjamin might be gone). Plan B is still a good one--you take the TE that's left between Niklas or AS-J. I don't think both will be gone.

We can wait 3 rounds max for a difference-making OG, and even longer for our RT. Still think the OGs at RD3 and RD4, as well as Brockport native Branden Albert and the uber-smart Urschel make sense. We could also draft a swing tackle earlier and have him play RT.

Due to upcoming 2015 FA, we also have to consider DE (Dareus), S (AWilliams and Searcy), and RB (Jackson). The Bills looking at RD4-5 Safety this past weekend and RB Andre Williams (who I have at RD4 but moved up a bit over the weekend with his Combine results) shows me their hand.

My draft, then, would take the ILB at RD1#9. I'd want Mack, Mosley, or Skov next to Alonso.
I'd then have the flexibility to take my TE at RD2#41, the big WR.
RD3 is OG, and RD4 is the RB, RD5 is their S, and RD6 is a OL guy and RD7 is a DT43 to back up Dareus.

#14 chris heff

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 05:49 PM

View PostAstrobot, on 24 February 2014 - 05:41 PM, said:

I'm using a revised Big Board for this, and it will likely change again after the next day or so with the Combine still going on, but here's my thinking here and now:

ILBhas only three difference-makers in the draft: Mack (gone), Mosley, and Skov. After that, Borland, Smallwood, Jackson etc. are a major drop-off, and I'd stick with whom we have if that happens.

IF we need a difference-making TE (Murphy says we don't), we better pull the trigger at RD1#9 or RD2#41 (Ebron-Niklas-AS-J, in that order). Ebron just distanced himself from the others. But AS-J is a viable RD2#41 option, as is Niklas. Amaro is more of a slot guy and is the most predictable what route he'll be running  from that spot. I actually like Niklas over Amaro for what Hackett's trying to do (three-tier zone-read), as Niklas can also be in-line as if to block and end up running a seam route.

Except for DT43 IMHO, WR is the deepest in the draft and several FA WRs could be considered #1 or #2 quality. Bills will likely signal their intentions early which way they'll go at WR. However, Bills shouldn't rely on the draft, as we need to get one of the bigger redzone guys left when we pick in RD2#41 (Mike Evans will be gone; Donte Moncrief and Kelvin Benjamin might be gone). Plan B is still a good one--you take the TE that's left between Niklas or AS-J. I don't think both will be gone.

We can wait 3 rounds max for a difference-making OG, and even longer for our RT. Still think the OGs at RD3 and RD4, as well as Brockport native Branden Albert and the uber-smart Urschel make sense. We could also draft a swing tackle earlier and have him play RT.

Due to upcoming 2015 FA, we also have to consider DE (Dareus), S (AWilliams and Searcy), and RB (Jackson). The Bills looking at RD4-5 Safety this past weekend and RB Andre Williams (who I have at RD4 but moved up a bit over the weekend with his Combine results) shows me their hand.

My draft, then, would take the ILB at RD1#9. I'd want Mack, Mosley, or Skov next to Alonso.
I'd then have the flexibility to take my TE at RD2#41, the big WR.
RD3 is OG, and RD4 is the RB, RD5 is their S, and RD6 is a OL guy and RD7 is a DT43 to back up Dareus.
I'd be good with all that. If Mack is gone and Watkins is there do you take him or Mosley?

#15 YoloinOhio

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 07:04 PM

FYI - for you Twitterers... @BuddyNixon's OBD source is now tweeting Bills stuff on his own @KevinMassare. Won't cut and paste all his tweets and I don't know the validity of his info, but he apparently has a connection which he feels OK tweeting publicly and indicated that they are going hard after a ILB in FA (Spikes is an option but based on his want to come here and price as they will not overpay for him) and they all indications are they are interested in Watkins or Mosely at 9, if both are gone he doesn't know. Also that they won't take less than the 35th pick in the draft from Cleveland for Byrd. Also he has hear nothing at all on Carrington, meaning they aren't bringing him back or already have a deal worked out.

Also:
Kevin Massare@KevinMassare  1m
J.J. 'Unga interest is real. I could see him in our starting lineup in 2014. At RG/RT I am not sure.

Edited by YoloinOhio, 24 February 2014 - 07:18 PM.


#16 Astrobot

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 07:22 PM

View Postchris heff, on 24 February 2014 - 05:49 PM, said:

I'd be good with all that. If Mack is gone and Watkins is there do you take him or Mosley?

Mosley. I don't think Watkins is there any more. He'll go at #2, #5, or #7.
Still not bad RD1-4:

1 9 Buffalo C.J. Mosley ILB Alabama
2 41 Buffalo Troy Niklas TE Notre Dame
3 73 Buffalo Anthony Steen OG Alabama
4 105 Buffalo Morgan Moses RT Virginia

#17 chris heff

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 07:39 PM

View PostAstrobot, on 24 February 2014 - 07:22 PM, said:



Mosley. I don't think Watkins is there any more. He'll go at #2, #5, or #7.
Still not bad RD1-4:

1 9 Buffalo C.J. Mosley ILB Alabama
2 41 Buffalo Troy Niklas TE Notre Dame
3 73 Buffalo Anthony Steen OG Alabama
4 105 Buffalo Morgan Moses RT Virginia
I worry about LBs  and DL from Alabama, should I get over it?

#18 CSBill

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 07:44 PM

View PostAstrobot, on 24 February 2014 - 07:22 PM, said:

Mosley. I don't think Watkins is there any more. He'll go at #2, #5, or #7.
Still not bad RD1-4:

1 9 Buffalo C.J. Mosley ILB Alabama
2 41 Buffalo Troy Niklas TE Notre Dame
3 73 Buffalo Anthony Steen OG Alabama
4 105 Buffalo Morgan Moses RT Virginia

Not a fan of the top two picks . . . I think Moses is not that high . . . any guy from ND is slower and less athletic than you think he should be . . . and concerning Moses, would love him, but some draft people have him going in the late first round, hard to believe he'll be around in the fourth. I'd be happy if the Bills drafted him in the second.

#19 Astrobot

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 07:46 PM

View Postchris heff, on 24 February 2014 - 07:39 PM, said:

I worry about LBs  and DL from Alabama, should I get over it?
Mosley's as disciplined as they come. He's the more natural fit for a 4-3 defense and is the run-stopper that the Bills need.

I don't care if you have worries about Alabama DL---Steen plays OL.

#20 chris heff

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 07:50 PM

View PostAstrobot, on 24 February 2014 - 07:46 PM, said:


Mosley's as disciplined as they come. He's the more natural fit for a 4-3 defense and is the run-stopper that the Bills need.

I don't care if you have worries about Alabama DL---Steen plays OL.
I wasn't talking about Steen, I was just saying that I worry about LBs and DL from Alabama.