Now with the NFL Combine in full gear, both Chan Gailey and Buddy Nix have been interviewed in Indianapolis. Here is a review of their feedback, as well as other NFL Combine developments and how those will affect the Buffalo Bills plans.
Gailey went on record yesterday as stating that he prefers the Bills to come in to camp with four quarterbacks. That part is fine, but for now we have no way of knowing if that means he'll waive one of the current three, and then trade for a veteran and draft a prospect to bring his total up to four.
The goal of four also means that even though you may usually carry two QBs plus your emergency QB, the fourth QB will then have to be waived or subjected to taxi squad, where he could then be signed away by another team, a la Brian Brohm.
Nix said that he was still willing to let Aaron Schobel take more time if needed to make his decision on retirement, and that the roster bonus Schobel has coming can be moved to a later date, so it will not be a stumbling block to the decision-making process.
Both Gailey and Nix agreed that the Brad Butler retirement decision has repercussions, and that it will force their hand. It also appears that Marshawn Lynch will not be traded, as the duo has stated that you need two running backs to be successful, and after Fred Jackson, the cupboard is bare. So, I doubt that Lynch will be traded anywhere.
Now, what about the combine developments for Bills Prospects?
The admission that the Bills took the time to interview two of the top tight ends, Oklahoma's Jermaine Gresham and Florida's Aaron Hernandez, was interesting to me. I did not think that the Bills were realistically going to be able to land either one, in light of their more pressing needs at offensive tackle, defensive nose tackle, QB, wide receiver, and linebacker.
With Shawn Nelson already in fold, and Derek Schouman presumably coming back, the need for Gresham or Hernandez does not appear that high on the list. I suspect this is more of a case of the Bills covering the bases, doing their due diligence, so that if somebody unexpectedly falls way down the board, they are in a better position to know if that is somebody they want to select or not.
Dan LeFevour did not throw at the combine, but neither did Sam Bradford, Jimmy Clausen, Tim Tebow, or Colt McKoy. It was revealed that LeFevour is throwing the ball in workouts to Buffalo native, and ex-Syracuse wide receiver, Mike Williams. That would be interesting if both of those prospects were drafted by the Bills.
Who Is Moving Up on the Bills List?
It would appear that Bruce Campbell and Terrence Cody are both moving up the Bills draft board. The Maryland tackle and the Alabama nose tackle both showed positive signs with regards to their physical shape. Campbell is a monster physically and graded out as the fastest tackle at the combine, so it may mean that he will not be there when the Bills have their second pick at 41.
Cody had weight issues, but has recently shed 20 pounds from his massive frame just since the Senior Bowl, which demonstrates that he is serious about getting back in to football shape to begin his professional career.
A fast time by University of Buffalo running back James Starks will move him up the draft boards, and will probably prevent the Bills from considering him, with so many other positions of need.
Chan Gailey has strong feelings for his players from Georgia Tech. One of them in particular is interesting to me. Wide Receiver Demaryius Thomas broke his foot doing drills in preparation for the combine. If he is unable to heal fast enough, that will prevent him from conducting the full blown workout that scouts prefer to see the prospects subjected to before the NFL Draft.
If other teams are not able to test Thomas first hand, then you would think Gailey would be more than interested in picking up his former player if he falls to the fifth round or so. It is a shame that some of these kids could see their draft board stock plummet due to a freak injury, but that is the cruel realities of professional sports.