The draft starts in a little under 24 hours and right now, Bills fans are searching the web on everything there is on the upcoming draft, from trade rumors to possible draft picks.
Don't worry, you aren't nuts, everyone at the Bills Community here on Bleacher Report is doing the same thing:
To put some of that Internet surfing to good use, some members of the community got together for a Bills draft round-table.
Special thanks to Daniel Boquard, Andrew Garda, Jarrod Seybolt, Todd Morse and Jeremy Pike for taking part in the discussion.
Well without further ado, lets get this thing moving.
The most shocking news of the off-season came when the Buffalo Bills signed controversial wide receiver Terrel Owens to a one-year deal.
So I ask, what does the Terrell Owens signing bring to the Bills?
Was it done just for marketing reasons or to really improve the team?
Do you like or dislike the signing?
I believe it would be naive to think that the signing was anything but a marketing move. It's no secret that many Bills season ticket holders were considering letting their tickets go. That is until two days before the first deposit was due they sign Terrell Owens.
I think the Terrell Owens move is a couple things. I think its a marketing ploy, a one year test for Jauron and Edwards, and a last ditch effort for playoffs before the uncapped season may come about.
The T.O. signing is a combination of marketing and improving the team. We've already seen how it's made us nationally relevant again. As long as Schonert can draw up a halfway-decent game plan, T.O. should definitely be a very welcome addition talent-wise.
I agree with you to a certain extent. It would be naive for anyone to think that the signing of Owens didn't have anything to do with marketing, seeing as that is certainly not the case.
Season ticket numbers were about to plummet, merchandise sales were most likely on the decline too, not to mention that the Toronto game was an absolute disaster last season.
Bringing in T.O. will give that game the star power it is looking for.
It did have something to do with the play on the field though. I don't think anyone will disagree with me saying that bringing in Terrell Owens made the Bills a better team on the field.
It gives them another top wideout and their offense will greatly benefit from him.
He will take pressure off of the running game and most importantly, Lee Evans. Having two top wide receivers on the team will open up the entire offense.
I do agree with you though, that this is a one-year test for Jauron and Edwards. Jauron is gone if the Bills don't make the playoffs, it is as easy as that.
As for Edwards, this is his third year in the league where star QBs blossom. If he can't get it done with the weapons around him, the Bills might be looking for a new QB and head coach next year.
I don't think you can chalk up TO completely to either marketing or on field success, I think its a combination.
Russ Brandon is calling the shots and He's all about marketing. There's no question TO brings a ton of national exposure and the New England game will probably not be the only Monday night football game we get out of signing TO.
Who’s really going to complain about that?
As far as on the field, TO had more touchdowns then all of our receivers combined last season. That should be enough said right there. Even if he has a disastrous statistical year for Buffalo his impact and importance to our offense will still be great.
A big target gives Trent Edwards a great target and frees up coverage for Lee Evans and opens up the running game for Lynch and Jacks. Not to mention a better offense will vastly improve our defense simply because when they get off the field they won't have to go right back on four plays later.
I always hated TO but it was a great signing and the one-year deal definitely makes it worth the risk.
Does anyone have numbers on how much season ticket sales were going to drop and the impact Owens actually made/is making to market the team?
I'm really interested to know what the true deal with that is.
Sure, it was a marketing ploy, but I think the difference between what you all are thinking and what I'm thinking is that it was made for national marketing and not local marketing.
The Bills were nationally irrelevant. I would think to the casual fan who has moved away, this would be enough to spark their interest again and at least getting them rooting for the team again, if not buying merchandise as well.
It's pretty clear Owens is using the Bills as much as the Bills are using him, but there is always the possibility this works out. Despite what people here want to think about the area, Buffalo has taken many strong personalities and adopted them.
It very well could happen with Owens, and I think its also very very possible Owens will get something he has never really achieved anywhere else—true "king of the hill" stardom.
San Francisco, Philly and Dallas have a lot of stars vying for even just a sports fan's attention, plus they have more to do and much better entertainment scenes.
If Owens plays, he will be adored here and, most likely, feel a gratification and accomplishment that he hasn't been able to get from other areas.
The Bills have a big board, listing the top players in the draft and they use that for drafting players. Instead of giving all of the players, give your big board of five players that the Bills should be looking to go after?
Note: This conversation took place before the Jason Peters trade. I would be willing to bet that everyone would put an offensive lineman in one of these spots.
My top 5
1. B.J. Raji, DT Boston College
2. Aaron Curry, LB Wake Forest
3. Everette Brown, DE Florida State
4. Lawrence Sidbury, DE Richmond
5. Shawn Nelson, TE Southern Miss
My Top 5
1. DE Brian Orakpo
2. DE Aaron Maybin
3. WR Jeremy Maclin (remember, TO is only here for one season)
4. TE Brandon Pettigrew
5. DE Everette Brown
These are the players that the Bills should be looking at to take with their first pick.
As for that darn TE position that they will need to address:
1. Chase Coffman, TE, Missour
2. TE Shawn Nelson
3. TE Daniel Gronkowski
3. Brian Cushing
4. B.J. Raji
5. Jeremy Maclin or Michael Crabtree
Top 5 of the draft, while not necessarily by round:
1. Everette Brown
2. Connor Barwin
3. Johnathon Luigs
4. Javorski Lane or Tony Fiametta...or Barbara Streisand
5. Chase Coffman
Looking at all the players available, I really think that the Bills should find a way to land Curry, even if it means trading up.
Curry is considered a lock, and has pretty great character. Landing him would make Poz and Mitchell better, and provide a stud from day one on the field.
If they stay at 11, I really want them to make a best player available versus need pick.
It seems like Stafford, Jason Smith, Curry and Monroe will go top four, in whatever order. After that it seems like begins the next tier of player, and in my opinion that tier seems to be:
Sanchez, Crabtree, Maclin, Andre Smith, Orakpo and I would like them to take whoever falls from that group. If none of them fall, I'd really like them to take a serious look at Michael Oher and Andre Smith.
I really don't like the idea of Kirk Chambers at left guard.
If those don't work or aren't something they want to do, I'd rank the next set as:
Brown, Raji, Tyson Jackson, Jenkins
If none of those excite them, they should trade down
This goes with the big board question, but takes it more in depth. If the Bills stay at pick 11, what player would you most want them to go after and why?
If B.J. Raji is available which I highly doubt, he's the guy I want.
Big, explosive, will help the overall pass rush, plus continue to strengthen the middle of the defense. If he's not available, Everette Brown could come in as a situational pass rusher and eventually replace either Kelsay or Schobel.
Everette Brown. I respectfully disagree with JPike in that I don't think he's a situational pass rusher. I think he's a monster that could increase the production of both the defensive line as a whole and Aaron Schobels production.
B.J. is tempting if he's there at 11, but Kyle Williams is suitable for one more year till we fill our most pressing needs at end and linebacker.
Oh, I think Brown can be more than a situational pass rusher, however, that's what I would see him starting out as in the pros just to get acclimated to NFL speed.
I agree with Jeremy just because Kelsay and Denney are actually quite good at stopping the run.
I would love to see the Bills get Raji but that wont happen. After that I would say any one of the top tier DE's.
They all have their ups and downs but I like Maybin because he could also play linebacker and that would help the Bills all around.
Linebacker for run downs and then on nickel or dime sets against the pass the Bills could put him down on the line.
Well at least we can all agree that the D-Line positions are the most pressing needs. I don't want B.J. to be honest; the Bills have pretty good DT's with Stroud, Johnson and Williams.
The DE's are where the Bills should be looking at. Personally, I would love if the Bills were able to pick up Maybin, but Brown would be a great pick, too.
As long as the Bills don't go TE or DB in the first round, I don't see where they can go wrong.
WR Jermey Maclin could also be a player the Bills should give a look at too. The guy is a flat out playmaker.
Remember, TO is only signed for one season. Although after Hardy's first season, I don't think the Bills are going to want to pick another WR high for the second year in a row.
Matt, the reason I'd go for Raji in the first is that I think that Lawrence Sidbury can be had in the second. He's ten pounds bigger than Brown, and a bit faster as well. Similar production this last year, he's just from a small school. If we got both Raji and Sidbury, I'd be a very very happy man.
I'll pretty much be all right with anything other than RB. I just don't think I care enough for it to matter.
In case you missed it:
"Bills agreed to terms with DT Marcus Stroud on a two-year extension that includes $20.5 million in ‘new money’."
Stroud is essentially getting a new four-year, $28 million contract. $12 million is guaranteed and he'll get $16M in the first two seasons.
Stroud turns 31 in June, battled injuries in each of the 2006-2007 seasons and isn't nearly the pass rusher he once was. It's pretty surprising that the Bills are extending his deal when he was already signed through 2010.
What do you guys think on the new deal.
I think it's a good move in getting a veteran player locked up who even though battled some injuries in previous years had nothing wrong this past season.
He's definitely an asset and will continue to help those around him. Now, they need to get a pass-rushing end and that'll help a lot.
So, in closing, glad he'll be with us for a while, maybe a little more money than we'd like, but a good move. And I think it means bye-bye Peters.
They could have used this money towards Peters, but I think maybe there's something more than just money keeping the two sides apart.
We have all been searching through a ton of mock drafts looking for players that are "picked" the most by some of the experts out there. Keep in mind that this is if the Bills stay in their 11th position. I have tried to find some of the more controversial picks that the Bills could make.
Would you want to pick the TE Brandon Pettigrew with the 11th pick?
Why or why not?
A lot would have to happen for me to be willing to take Pettigrew at 11.
All the possible defensive playmakers need to be gone. If any of those five are available, then no.
Pettigrew is not worthy of the eleventh overall pick and tight end is not a big enough need to warrant that pick unless you're getting a Tony Gonzalez-level player.
I do not think Tight End is as big of a need as some as the Bills other holes. Defensive End, Guard, and Outside Linebacker are all more important holes to fill I feel.
Schouman and Fine are young so I think we can give them another year before having to pick a Tight End so early in the draft.
Couldn't agree more with Pike and Seybolt. Pettigrew ran a terrible 40 at the combine and I think it's way too much of a stretch to grab him at 11. If they really want Pettigrew they need to trade down or trade Peters for a later round pick and go Defense with 11 overall.
I think the Bills need a play-making tight end - but no way is there a guy I take at 11. If they were involved in a trade to move back, then later in the first, a guy like Pettigrew might be an option.
But I agree End, guard and LB are bigger needs.
I agree with AGarda there, the Bills do need a play making tight end, however Pettigrew is not worthy of the 11th overall pick. He has good size, but there are other tight ends out there that are very similar in stature.
His college numbers weren't great and he didn't even reach the end zone in his senior season. He is a great blocker but there are just so many questions with him.
Can he get open and create separation?
Can he run proper routes?
Character is also an issue with him.
I wouldn't be ticked off if the Bills got him with his possible upside, but I think there are better players out there to get than Pettigrew, unless they trade down or pick up a mid 20s pick with a trade.
I hate this theory of a player not being "worthy" of a pick. If the team takes him at 11 he is worth the 11th pick. No different than Whitner being "overvalued" with the eighth pick or Ted Ginn with the 10th.
They were taken there, so that is their value.
Teams evaluate players differently, and often vastly differently than Kiper, Kirwan, Mayock or McShay.
Now how do I feel about Pettigrew?
Trade down to get him. They don't do that though, so if they want him and think he will be an impact player, take him
Same question as the Brandon Pettigrew one, if the Bills are at No. 11 and Maybin is available, do you want them to pick him up?
There are a few question marks with him but the potential is there too.
Would you want him in a Bills uni for next season?
If Brown and Raji are off the board and we haven't traded Peters and can't trade down, then yes. I'd take him before Pettigrew.
No. I don't want Maybin, nothing against him but with a No. 11 overall pick I'm looking for an immediate starter, not a workout wonder who can maybe start in three-years.
If Brown, Orakpo, and Raji goes the Bills should take the next best player on the board for a position of weakness. Brian Cushing.
I personally would be ecstatic if the Bills selected Maybin—the kid just has so much upside. He is a guy who, for lack of a better term, goes balls to the wall on every play and effort is just incredible. His size is questioned, but after putting on 25 lbs in muscle mass this off-season, to bring his weight up to 252 lbs. the guy definitely has the physique to play on the next level.
He is quick too and attacks the ball from all over the field and is also great in pursuit.
The Bills have enough run stopping DE's, they need a great pass rusher and that is exactly what Maybin is. He will also turn into an every down DE, too. The guy is just a force and his 12 sacks last season speak for themselves.
Getting a guy who can rush the QB opposite Schobel will help him out greatly too. Maybin would allow both DE to put pressure on the QB and that would also allow Marcus Stroud to be a force in the middle too.
It is just a great move overall if Maybin becomes a Bill. His ability to play LB can't be overlooked either.
Do not want. Their entire line—Kelsay, Schobel, Williams, Johnson, Ellis, have all been billed as "high motor" guys. Get the guy with the most skills. If they think Maybin is the best DE available, take him, if they think there are better DE's but Maybin fits some system they think they have, take the best player.
Another thing to look at other than the prospects that the Bills could be drafting are the players that are already on their team.
The question is, are you for or against a Jason Peters trade and why?
Rumor is, he could fetch a first and a third and some of the teams linked to Peters have pretty good draft picks; Philadelphia (21st pick and 28th), Detroit (three picks in the top 33, first, 20th, 33rd), St. Louis (second).
If you were the Bills GM, would you trade Peters? Why or why not?
I would hesitate to trade Peters—tackles on the offensive line are too hard to come by. Besides, the Bills already need to shore up the “O Line”—why take a step back and have to build it up more? Instead of at least having Peters, now you have to replace him and get at least one more guy. Two stepes back.
Now, what could factor in might be if a team like the Seahawks were willing to swap first rounders, then you could grab a top OT.
Still, I think they already have issues on the “O Line” and trading Peters compounds it.
I would prefer not trading him, but if the Bills cannot get a deal done with him by the draft, I expect him to be traded. They do not want a repeat of last year.
He was more often than not a liability on the line. I'd rather get someone in here that is willing to play for a contract rather than sit out and move Langston Walker over to left tackle if it's a rookie until the rookie proves he can play well at LT.
Unless they get a haul similar to what the Broncos got for Cutler, they need to pay the guy. Period.
Well I guess we got our answer. I don't love the trade for them. It's ok, but I think it's one of those things they may regret later. Iggles made out well, if Peters comes to play, but I stand by my assessment that they now have to add another piece to an “O Line” that already needed work. Instead of one brick, they now need 2.
With the AFC East being one of the toughest divisions in the NFL and facing very strong opponents this year, what do you think the Buffalo Bills record will be?
What are the repercussions or rewards of said record?
For me it is still a little too early to be picking games with the draft and the pre-season still to come; however I will say it will be a tough task.
Last year was their chance to make the playoffs, by playing the two worst divisions in football. Now they have to play the two best and are in one of the toughest division in football.
I am more worried about their in- conference games though, in which they got swept last year.
I am not really afraid of the Dolphins or the Jets, but the Patriots will be sweeping the Bills again, no question about it. For me, 2-4 in the division is very realistic, but they could just as easily be swept again.
As a homer, I would hope for the wild card, but realistically, this season should make it a decade in which the Bills have not made the playoffs.
Well there you have it. That should have taken a few minutes to get through. Now, get back to Googling prospects names!