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Posts of category  "Bills"

Tim Graham takes the first quarterback off the board for the Bills.

With the NFL Draft about a week away, the Los Angeles Times ran a live mock draft Thursday that had beat writers for all 32 teams making their first round selections. Selection duties for the Buffalo Bills fell on Tim Graham of The Buffalo News, who selected North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky tenth overall.

As for his reasoning, Graham writes, “The Bills have so many needs, they would be better off trading back for more picks. They re-signed Tyrod Taylor but still must shape the organization’s long-term future at quarterback.”

At this point, it seems like most Bills fans would rather see the team trade back in the first round, if possible. The Bills only have six picks right now (possibly seven, if they decline to match the Patriots’ offer sheet for RFA running back Mike Gillislee). They also have a few roster holes that match the strengths of this draft, especially at wide receiver and defensive back.

If they do stay at ten, however, Trubisky would certainly be an interesting, if expected, choice. As our head honcho Chris Trapasso noted in an episode of Buffalo Mumblings, Trubisky would be one of the least-experienced first round quarterbacks in history. He’s almost certain to go in the first 12 picks, but if quarterback-needy teams like the San Francisco 49ers and New York Jets pass on him it should raise some eyebrows.

When Graham made his pick, a few common Bills targets were off the board, beginning with safety Malik Hooker, whom the Bears took with the third pick. The Titans took safety Jamal Adams fifth, and the Jets followed with cornerback Marshon Lattimore. Wide receiver Mike Williams went seventh to the Los Angeles Chargers.

Remaining on the board were tight end O.J. Howard (who went 12th), linebackers Haason Reddick (11th) and Reuben Foster (13th), and receivers John Ross (14th) and Corey Davis(16th).

The next quarterbacks didn’t come off the board until the end of the round, when the Texans selected Texas Tech’s Pat Mahomes at 25 and the Chiefs selected Clemson’s Deshaun Watsonat 27.

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Weeks of uncertainty this offseason surrounding Tyrod Taylor‘s contract ended in March when Taylor agreed to a restructured deal that should keep him as the Buffalo Bills‘ starting quarterback this season.

But as next week’s draft approaches, the Bills’ meetings with some of the top quarterback prospects has reignited speculation that Buffalo could be targeting that position with their No. 10 overall pick.

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One of the key pieces of the Buffalo Bills‘ top-ranked rushing offense last season could be headed out the door, and if he does, it would be déjà vu for Buffalo.

The New England Patriots extended Bills running back Mike Gillislee a restricted free-agent offer sheet Tuesday worth $6.4 million over two years, according to an NFL Network report confirmed by ESPN. The Bills have five days to match the offer sheet; if they do not match it, the Patriots will send a fifth-round pick to Buffalo as compensation.

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Aaron Rodgers could have landed in Chicago or San Francisco. New England traded out of the spot in which San Francisco took Jerry Rice. Buffalo passed on Gronk, who grew up minutes away from the city.

NFL Nation reporters pick the top draft “what ifs” for every team that could have had major ramifications — good or bad — on the future of each franchise:

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The NFL draft is less than three weeks away, and there’s no better time like the present to take a closer look at which prospects make sense for each team.

We’ll go through each division to pair prospects for each team on Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3 of the draft. (Even if a team does not have a pick on a given day — example: the Patriots on Day 1 — we’ll still recommend a player, as trades can always change the draft order.)

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A week ago, much of the discussion around the Buffalo Bills‘ first-round pick in the upcoming draft was focused on a pair of positions where the team has needs: wide receiver and cornerback.

Now, with the 2017 draft just over two weeks away, quarterback is once again a hot topic for the Bills and their No. 10 overall selection.

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Editor’s note: The initial version of this story left out a first-round player. It has been updated, and several teams’ picks changed.

The concept for this is simple: I play general manager for every team. This isn’t me projecting picks; this is me making them, for three full rounds, based on what’s best for each team at that slot.

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Mobility is a big part of what makes North Carolina’s Mitchell Trubisky a top quarterback prospect. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Position: Quarterback.

School: North Carolina.

Measurables: 6-foot-2, 222 pounds.

Combine stats: 40-yard dash: 4.67 seconds. Vertical jump: 27.5 inches. Broad jump: 9 feet, 8 inches. 3-cone drill: 6.87 seconds. 20-yard shuttle: 4.25 seconds.

Career stats: 32 games, 386 for 572 (67.5 completion percentage), 4,762 yards, 40 TDs, 10 INTs.

Draft projection: First round.

Reasons:

1. He is built like a classic pocket passer, but has excellent mobility. His solid frame and strong arm are enough to make him attractive to any team seeking a long-term starter. It’s the added bonus of his tremendous athleticism that sets him apart from other quarterback prospects. Trubisky’s raw talent is immense, as is his confidence as a passer. No part of the field is ignored when he throws.

2. He is only a one-year starter, yet managed to establish himself as one of the best quarterbacks in the draft. The fact he was parked behind Marquise Williams for two seasons after his red-shirt year in 2013 is seen as his biggest drawback. Still, Trubisky wasted no time making an enormous impact. His completion percentage in 2016 ranked third among passers in power-five conferences. His passing yards, completions, touchdown passes, and total yards (4,056) were single-season school records.

3. He has exceptional toughness. Trubisky consistently stands tall in the pocket. He does a good job of maintaining poise and making good decisions with where to go with the ball, which he delivers quickly and with a tight spiral – usually before the receiver comes out of their break. He shows an exceptional feel for pass-rushers, and uses his nimble feet to avoid them and buy time. But Trubisky also displays a great deal of competitive fire.

Fun fact: He’s a former Mr. Football in the state of Ohio and grew up a fan of the Buckeyes, but once they signed J.T. Barrett as a quarterback recruit, Trubisky committed to North Carolina. Alabama and Tennessee were among the other schools pursuing him.

They said it: “He’s got quick release, a big arm, good feet. He moves around the pocket fairly well. … However, one year as a starter. I look at that and go, ‘OK, 13 games. How many two-minute situations was he in? How many four-minute situations where he knew he had to bleed the clock and make calls at the line of scrimmage and do pass protections and get the ball out?'” –NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock

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The Buffalo Bills were among the most injured teams in 2016, with multiple starters sitting out and several key reserves missing time. It was particularly noticeable at the wide receiver and safety positions, but it was spots all over the field.

According to Football Outsiders, the Bills lost the eighth-most games to injury in 2016. They lost at least six games from eight players, which was the second-most in the league. The metric factors in a difference of starters on the bench as opposed to reserves as well as players who suit up at less than 100%, so there is some subjectivity:

“Injuries to starters, injury replacements and important situational reserves (No. 3 wide receiver, nickel corner, etc.) matter more than injuries to benchwarmers; and (2) Injured players who do take the field are usually playing with reduced ability, which is why AGL is based not strictly on whether the player was active for the game or not, but instead is based on the player’s game status that week (IR/PUP, out, doubtful, questionable, or probable),” writes Scott Kacsmar.

The biggest note about the Bills in the article comes off as a defense of now-fired coach Rex Ryan.

“Buffalo ranked 25th in AGL in both of Rex Ryan’s seasons on the job… It certainly doesn’t help to lose key players, such as Buffalo getting so little from its top two draft picks (defenders Shaq Lawson and Reggie Ragland), and top wideout Sammy Watkins only playing in eight games.”

Ragland missed the season after having knee surgery in August. Watkins and Lawson both missed half the season with foot and shoulder injuries, respectively. In addition to Watkins, starting receiver Robert Woods missed six games and was hampered in several others. Other starters were also hampered. Left tackle Cordy Glenn (missed five games), Eric Wood(missed seven games), Marcell Dareus (missed four games to suspension and four to injury), Aaron Williams (missed nine games) all lost significant time. And that’s just a snapshot of the starters.

Ultimately, the Patriots and Falcons were in the top eight in 2016 but both overcame significant injuries to make the Super Bowl. It’s why finding depth is so important.

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The 2016 season ultimately ended up as another pretty solid dumpster fire for the Buffalo Bills. Even though the team finished 7-9 and was competitive after a slow start, Rex Ryan was fired following just his second season in western New York .

There were warning signs it might not go well. Specifically when Rex decided to bring his brother Rob Ryan in as the defensive coordinator , a move that felt like a force at the time and certainly carried some all-or-nothing potential to it.

The gamble flamed out, and according to a report from Gary Myers of the New York Daily News on Sunday, there were absolutely some issues relating to the Ryan Bros and how things went down in Orchard Park.

According to Myers, Rex “basically dedicated” last year to “resurrecting the reputation” of Rob and gave him the “run of the place.”

According to a well-placed source, Rex Ryan basically dedicated the 2016 season to resurrecting the reputation of his brother Rob, who most recently had been fired by the Cowboys and Saints. Rob was not the Bills defensive coordinator but had the run of the place. He was almost the co-head coach. It backfired on Rex and they both got canned. Bills owner Terry Pegula was so anxious to end the Ryan reign of error that he let him go with three years and $16.5 million left on his contract. Rex was so concerned about his brother that the staff became dysfunctional. Rex groupies will find it hard to believe it was his fault, but some of his actions behind the scenes were indicative of a coach with a death wish.

The Saints rather unceremoniously dumped Rob from his previous job and the brothers clearly weren’t thrilled about how things went down.

So with Rex having an opening at the defensive coordinator spot, he brought Rob in. The result was Rex piling on the pounds ( he gained 30 pounds by early August ) and the two promising to go nuclear on anyone who had ever wronged them .

Things didn’t quite play out with the Ryans setting the league on fire ; instead things started so poorly that Rex fired offensive coordinator Greg Roman just two weeks into the season. Many people wondered why he wasn’t examining the defensive side of the ball.

It was pretty much presumed that if the Bills missed the playoffs during the 2016 season that Rex would be gone . That was ratcheted up when the brothers started talking about beating Bill Belichick and getting into the postseason.

That didn’t happen and it led to Rex’s ouster ( and eventual employment at ESPN ), and there is a very good case that Ryan’s stubbornness when it comes to his family could have had something to do with it.

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