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Bills Go Defensive In Draft

AP Photo - 2006 Draft Bills Wrap With Another OL: The Bills wrapped up the draft by taking their third offensive lineman of day two. They selected California G Aaron Merz. The Bills took three offensive players in the entire draft and they all came on the line as no skill position players were drafted. They took six players on defense, three in the secondary and two defensive tackles to go along with a linebacker. There were no defensive ends taken in the draft.

Pennington Comfortable In Two Spots: Terrence Pennington joined the media on a conference call after being drafted by the Bills in the 7th round. He said he's done a good job keeping his weight down the last two years, this was a problem early in his college career. He feels really good playing at 320 lbs. He is comfortable and used to playing at both tackle positions. He did that a lot at New Mexico wherever the Bills want him to play, he'll be ready to go. He said being smart is very important at offensive tackle and the fact that his father has taught him discipline helps him out a lot.

Ellison Excited: Sixth round pick Keith Ellison talked to the media during a conference call after being taken by the Bills. His experience playing safety in the past will help him out playing LB in the NFL. He will play wherever the team wants him to play. He plays faster than he was timed by scouts. The Bills only communication with Ellison before the draft was at the combine.

Pennington Could Play Left Tackle: Scout Terry Wooden said he likes Terrence Pennington's size and his very long arms. He looks like an offensive tackle and has a lot of upside. He has played both left and right tackle. Wooden feels with his long arms and good footwork he could possibly play left tackle in the NFL. He's very strong and is everything you look for when you envision an offensive tackle. He has room to grow physically and mentally, they feel he can gain more strength and size to his lower body.

Another Tall Tackle: The Bills went tall again in the 7th round with the selection of Terrance Pennington. He is the second 6'7" offensive tackle that the Bills have drafted today, they are the only two offensive players picked with one pick remaining. He is stronger and bigger than fifth round pick Brad Butler. He has a good blend of size, strength, and athletic ability.

Williams Has Will To Win: Kyle Williams said he's excited to be part of the Bills organization when he spoke to reporters this afternoon after being taken by the Bills in the 5th round. He feels that his best assets are his tenaciousness and the will to win no matter what. He's looking forward to competing for an opportunity to play and help the team win and get into the playoffs.

Butler Looks Forward To Future: Brad Butler is looking forward to the future and has always dreamed of this day. He knows the coaching staff in Buffalo is good and he's looking forward to playing for them, especially Jim McNally. Anthony Munoz's agency is representing him and he raved to Butler about McNally. He doesn't have a problem if he plays guard or tackle, just wherever they need him.

Ellison Adds Depth: Scout Brad Forsyth said that Keith Ellison gives the Bills versatility at the linebacker position. He started as a safety but moved to linebacker. He's a smart guy who can play all three linebacker positions. He's instinctive and a good, solid all around player who should help on special teams immediately. He's very intelligent who had a very high wonderlic score. He is a good cover guy who can be good in pass coverage and on the coverage teams.

Bills Go Back To Defense: The Bills went back to the defense for their sixth player in seven selections. They chose outside linebacker Keith Ellison with their sixth round selection. Ellison is considered a player that needs development like many players at this stage in the draft. He has very good quickness which is definitely where this defense is headed. He is undersized like many of the other defensive players picked in this draft. He is considered a player with room to grow and has a lot of upside. The Bills have two picks in the 7th round of the draft.

Butler To Play Right Tackle: Scout Doug Majeski talked about the pick of Brad Butler, saying he's a physical, smart tough guy. He does everything they need a right tackle to do, which is where he projects for the Bills as a backup to Jason Peters. He has good feet and hand play and pulls well. Since he's very tall he's not an explosive type of run blocker but he gets the job done. He is good at what he does but when your 6'7" it has to be done differently. They would like him to get a little bit heavier but his technique is sound. Al Groh runs an NFL type environment at Virginia at that helps Butler's development at the Pro level. He has the size to play guard as well and is very versatile. He is an excellent pass protector.

Williams Can Play At Either Tackle Spot: Scout Shawn Heinlen said Kyle Williams has 100% motor every play. He's got quick penetration off the snap and plays with great leverage and uses his hands very well. He creates chaos in the backfield. He's undersized but holds his ground. The Bills plan on playing Williams at the one and the three, so he can backup at both defensive tackle positions. At the beginning he'll backup at the nose but will also see snaps in the rotation at the three, getting him reps from day one. He's a polished player who should be able to adapt quickly to the pro game. He played at a high level since his freshman year, he's also a very high character player.

Bills Finally Go Offensive: The Bills finally took an offensive player with their 6th selection of the day, their 2nd of two fifth round picks. They addressed a need at tackle by selecting Virginia's Brad Butler. He is a very physical player that hits hard at the point of attack. He's very tall at 6'7" but doesn't get great leverage. He played mostly right tackle in college but did play to games at left tackle in his senior season.

Bills Add Another DT: The Bills went for their fifth straight defensive selection and their second defensive tackle with the first pick in the fifth round. Kyle Williams of LSU is the newest Bill. He's a highly competitive and productive tackle who's on the smallish size. He is the prototype tackle for the Dick Jauron defense. He is always is flying to the ball and plays with a high motor.

Youboty Looking To Learn: Ashton Youboty talked to the media yesterday during a conference call after he was picked by the Bills in the third round. He was happy that the Bills picked him and his transition will be easier with several Buckeyes on the Bills. He's looking forward to meeting his teammates and learning from the veterans. He also had only one interview with the Bills and it came at the combine. He doesn't know Nate Clements personally but he knows of him and he hopes to follow in the great defensive back tradition of Ohio St. He called Donte Whitner a playmaker who will help the defense out.

McCargo Excited: In a conference call yesterday with the media, the Bills second first round pick John McCargo told the media he is excited and thankful to be going to the Bills and is ready to do whatever it takes for the team. He had little contact with the Bills besides the combine. He thinks he can play either tackle position, he has played one, two, and three technique at NC State. The foot injury that cost him most of his college season last year isn't a problem anymore, he's ready to go right now. McCargo isn't concerned about the projections that he was a reach and he's confident about his ability.

Whitner Expects To Compete For Starting Job: Donte Whitner told the media in a conference call that he's very happy to be in the top 10 and to be a Bills. He said it helps that he knows London Fletcher, Nate Clements, Tim Anderson, and then two rounds later the drafting of Ashton Youboty. He works out with Fletcher since they are both from Cleveland and Fletcher raved about the young man. Whitner didn't have a pre-draft visit with the Bills and not much contact with them. He called football a more mental game than physical. He expects to compete for the starting strong safety job from day one.

Simpson Has Good Size, Speed: Scout Joe Haering said Ko Simpson was a very productive college player who has good size and speed. He's a physical player that is a very good tackler and should help immediately on special teams while learning the ropes at free safety. He has good range to get deep as a safety, he's a good kid that helped turn around the South Carolina program. He has played both safety positions and has the ability to play both but because of his size and position need he will start at free safety for the Bills.

Bills Stay Defensive: The Bills continued to address the defensive side of the ball as day two of the draft got underway. The Bills picked their third defensive back in four picks when they added safety Ko Simpson from South Carolina. He is the fourth junior taken by the Bills. He's a tall, thin safety that didn't go against many wide receivers in coverage in college. He can play the nickel if needed as he did a good job against tight ends and running backs. He has quick feet, and good playing speed. The team has him slotted at free safety which could make him the possible heir apparent to Troy Vincent's spot. The team has now filled backup needs on defense while still desperately needing an offensive tackle.

McCargo May Not Fit: The Bills second round pick John McCargo has the speed that Jauron wants in his defensive front but he plays the same three technique tackle position as newly signed free agent Larry Tripplett. The Bills feel he will be on the field with Tripplett in pass rushing situations and he may eventually develop into a nose tackle that they need. McCargo feels his time at NC State has prepared him to play either tackle position. Right now he joins the team behind Tripplett on our depth chart.

Saturday April 29, 2006

Fewell Excited To Get Three New Players: One person happy with the first day of the draft for the Bills was defensive coordinator Perry Fewell, he was the recipient of three new players. He was excited because he got new players but he's really pumped up because they went out today and made a statement that they want to play solid defense. The players they got come from programs that have had success and they want them to bring that success to Buffalo. Fewell expects all three players to contribute as rookies in some type of way. It may be in situational play but they need to contribute and make the defense better. Fewell had some inside information on Donte Whitner and said he's like a Donovan Darius type who eats and breathes football. On the pick of John McCargo he says they are giving up size for speed but it's a fast game now so they think he'll be fine from what they've seen on tape. All three guys are good, solid football people that are football junkies that want to make their team better. They are good football players with a lot of experience of playing in big college games and they need to get them to do that for 16 weeks in the NFL.

Youboty No Brainer: The Bills were surprised that Ashton Youboty was sitting there when they picked at #70 overall and it was a no brainer to pick them according to scouts in the war room. They had first round grades on him and thought he would go no later than mid second round. They also feel fortunate to get two defensive backs from Ohio St., a school known for breeding DBs for the NFL. Scout Marc Ross said Youboty was a little inconsistent but has good size and he's a smooth athlete with real good ball skills and is a good player.

Bills Finish Defensive Day: The Bills added another Ohio St. defensive back in the third round, this time instead of a reach pick, it looks like they got a bargain. Ashton Youboty was projected to be a first round pick by many people and will add to depth at corner which is a must in the Tampa cover two defense. He is the third defensive player they chose in day one, all three were Juniors with two coming from the Buckeyes. He has a good combination of size, strength, and athleticism. He has some technique issues that should be easily correctible.

McCargo Fills Need: The Bills Brass said John McCargo filled a need for the team and Marv Levy said it's fine if people feel he was a reach. They think he was a player that filled a dire need at a position that wouldn't have been available for quite a while if they lost out on McCargo. Tom Modrak said he anticipated people would think he's a reach but he doesn't listen to draftniks. His biggest asset is quickness. It is something you can't develop but he is very quick. He still needs to grow and is young as an underclassmen. They expect him to work hard to get where they need him. His quickness is a must in the three technique defense they have. They are aware that he was injured in his junior year but he was checked out and they felt it was ok to pick him. Dick Jauron said the coaching staff is very excited about the two guys they got in the first round. They are high quality guys that are high energy guys with great athletic ability. They are young guys that they feel will learn.

Levy Didn't Want To Risk Wait: Marv Levy said they didn't want to wait to pick up John McCargo. He was the player they targeted and thought it was worth giving up the third rounder to make sure they got their man. They are very impatient about trying to win so the fact that they drafted two juniors doesn't matter, they will want them to learn as fast as they can.

Bills Trade Up For McCargo: The shocking way of this draft continued for the Bills as they traded their second and third round picks to the Bears to move up and take DT John McCargo from NC State. McCargo was projected by many to go in the third or fourth rounds there seemed to be no need to trade up to get him. This is the second questionable move by the Bills today. They reached for two players and lost one draft pick instead of gaining draft picks and picking the same or better players. Among the players available when the Bills picked was the second best offensive tackle Winston Justice.

Brass Agreed On Whitner: Marv Levy addressed the media after the drafting of Donte Whitner, he said he's the only one that Levy, Dick Jauron, and Tom Modrak agreed on. Levy said they liked his physical qualities including his vertical jump and the way he plays football along with his intelligence, and that he's a dedicated film rat with coverage abilities and a great motor. Jauron said he doesn't see Whitner as someone being slotted in at either safety position. He's capable of playing either safety position and they are interchangeable to some degree, although Whitner fits a bit better at strong safety. The coach thinks he's outstanding in every area, they really like this guy as he gives it everything he has on every play. Jauron said it helps the middle of the defense getting a player like this. Modrak agreed that collectively he was the guy, even though he admitted it was a surprise to the masses. Part of the reason to take him was his conviction to the game especially the way he studies and how much it means to him.

Leinart Not A Thought: Marv Levy said they weren't going in looking at a QB since they feel good about the QB situation. They will get better at QB by making the team better around the QB. They weren't shaken up by Leinart being on the board when they picked. There wasn't a proposal that would have fit for them to move down and have Donte Whitner still there. There was talk that Cleveland would have taken Whitner at #13.

Bills Shock Draft: The Bills shocked the draft by selecting Ohio St. safety Donte Whitner with their first draft choice at #8 in the draft. Whitner was picked right after safety Michael Huff was off the board and while both coveted defensive tackles and QB Matt Leinart remained on the board. Whitner is a smaller defensive back who is very versatile and should crack the starting lineup as a rookie as a replacement for Lawyer Milloy. The fact is, he would have been available five to ten picks down the line. They should have traded the pick to someone coveting a quarterback. As we reported this morning, the Eagles and Bills were reportedly talking trade and the Bills had a secret pick of someone that would be available later, Whitner appears to have been that guy.

Bills, Eagles Trade? A rumor out of the Philly area says that the Bills and Eagles may be working on a draft day deal. The Eagles are known to want to move up, while the Bills wouldn't mind moving back. If a deal is made the Bills would move back six spots to #14 and get the Eagles 2nd rounder according to one report. The Eagles aren't sure they want to part with the 2nd rounder. Here's the catch, Philadelphia covets getting Brodrick Bunkley the guy supposedly the Bills want. One report says the Bills secretly want another player that will be there at 14, so they don't mind doing the deal, getting another pick, and losing out on Bunkley. Time will tell.

Draft Weekend Is Here! The NFL Draft is finally here and it promises to be a busy weekend for the Bills and the other 31 NFL teams. The first shocker took place last night as the Texans have agreed to a deal with Mario Williams making him the surprising first pick in the draft. This shouldn't affect the Bills pick at all. Stay with Bills Daily all weekend for the latest on the Bills draft. Check out our homepage for links to scouting reports from players the Bills select. Check this latest news page out for quick blurbs on the Bills picks and excerpts from draftee and administration press conferences after each pick. Also don't forget to go to our draft page for our draft board which also has links to scouting reports along with our draft capsules and links to other draft related articles.

Friday April 28, 2006

Thomas Signing Official: The Bills made it official this afternoon, they have added much needed depth to the running back spot by signing veteran unrestricted free agent Anthony Thomas. The "A-Train" was brought in for a look last offseason but wasn't signed until being given a second look by his former head coach in Chicago Dick Jauron. Thomas was drafted by Jauron and had two 1,000 yard seasons in Chicago.

Report Says Bills Get Thomas: John Clayton of ESPN is reporting that the Bills have agreed to a one year deal with running back Anthony Thomas. He will provide great depth for the Bills where they were lacking at the running back position. This is one less position the Bills will need to look at during the draft.

Very Important Draft: This shapes up to be the most important draft for the Bills in years. They are obviously in a re-building project even though they don't admit. A big part in finding out if it is successful, is how they do in this draft where they hold 10 picks at this time. They need immediate help on both lines and depth at many other positions. We take an analytical look at what is ahead this weekend. Complete Preview

Thursday April 27, 2006

Bills Sign Reyes: The Bills have signed unrestricted free agent Tutan Reyes. He visited the Bills back on April 11th. He has started 28 of his last 30 games at guard for the Carolina Panthers. He could immediately win the starting left guard spot for the team and at the very least adds some depth. It also makes guard a less important position during the draft.

Ngata To Bills? Bills Daily reporter Rich Orefice has done a first round mock draft for us. He has the Bills taking Haloti Ngata with the eighth pick in the draft. Our seven round mock draft has the Bills picking Brodrick Bunkley. Time will tell. Let us know what you think by taking our poll on our homepage. 1st Round Mock Draft

Wednesday April 26, 2006

Kelso To Radio Booth: The Bills and 97 Rock announced that former Bills' safety Mark Kelso will replace Alex Van Pelt as the radio analyst for Bills games this season. Van Pelt is now the Bills offensive quality control coach. Kelso was the favorite to win the job and said his experience as a safety in the NFL will help him in this job since he was the quarterback of the defense calling the plays during his days on the field. Paul Peck will return as a sideline reporter but Jeff Burris will not. He will be used by the radio station during the week but not on game days.

Tuesday April 25, 2006

Jackson Shines: The big bright spot for the Bills in NFL Europe has been RB Fred Jackson who had 71 yards rushing on just 12 carries, he added one catch and two punt returns this past weekend. QB Craig Ochs has cemented the starting job in Frankfurt, leading the team to a 18-17 win over Berlin. He finished 18 of 27 for 176 yards. S Rob Lee was credited with two tackles this week. K Nick Setta made his Europe debut this week and hit both field goal attempts from 24 and 33 yards.

Woodbury Injured: QB Tory Woodbury has seen an early end to his NFL Europe season. He injured ligaments in his foot during practice last week. He never saw the field at QB but played special teams for Cologne. Injury Page

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