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NEWS ARCHIVES - APR 20TH - APR 26TH, 2009 PREVIOUS WEEK

Bills Add Eight Players In Draft

Maybin, Wood In Town: Chris Brown reports for the team's website that Aaron Maybin has arrived in town and he brought with him his mentor, former pro LB Lavar Arrington. The other first round pick, Eric Woods is also in town.

Langster Likes Opportunity: 7th round pick Ellis Lankster told the media that he's very excited and feels good to be a member of the Bills. He considers it a great opportunity. He feels his best traits are his hitting ability and his man to man coverage skills. He wasn't invited to the combine but says he ran a 4.42 and a 4.38 in the 40. He had three tackles in the Senior Bowl game.

Draft May Be Below Average: Many national media types are already saying the Bills had a good draft. They seemed to take people of value at the time of their pick. They took high character and highly intelligent players. Problem is they took six players in their eight picks that are tweeners, five of them will likely play positions they did not play in college. This is a style that has never worked out well for the Bills and it appears they may not have got the right fit in most picks. There is talent there but maybe not the right talent. Draft Grade.

Bills Take Another Corner: The Bills used their last three picks of the draft on players that played in the defensive backfield in college. In round 7 they took their second straight cornerback which wasn't a position of need in the draft. West Virginia's Ellis Lankster was the Bills last draft pick on a weekend that saw them take three offensive and five defensive players. He's another tweener who can play corner or free safety depending on the scheme. He came to West Virginia after playing at Jones County Junior College. He had 68 tackles and three interceptions in one season in West Virginia. Draft Capsules.

Cary Harris To Play Corner: Even though some projected Cary Harris as a free safety the Bills project him at his normal cornerback spot. Bills scouts say he's an ultra competitive kid who is a good corner and a good football player. He has a lot of experience with 33 career starts. He should be helped by playing in such a great program like USC. Speed has been an issue with him but the scouts think that he has enough of it. He compensates for a lack of great speed by being instinctive like some of the other players the Bills drafted this weekend. He plays zone and man to man coverage well.

Cary Harris Excited To Come To Buffalo: The Bills sixth round pick Cary Harris said it felt great to get drafted by the Bills. He told the media that he is already good friends with Keith Ellison so he's excited to get to town and start learning the playbook. He feels playing at highly competitive USC will help him at the next level. He was hoping to be drafted earlier but he ran the 40 at the combine injured and that hurt him. He ran a 4.58 at the combine but says he's a high 4.4 or low 4.5 guy. He said he was surprised to see the Bills draft him.

Bills Add Another Harris: The Bills took their second player named Harris the last two picks. This one is also a defensive back but this one should stay there. They selected USC CB Cary Harris with their sixth round pick. The Bills have one pick in the seventh round. He had three interceptions in his senior year and five in his college career. He's another player with good instincts and toughness. He has good size and a good tackler. His one main downfall is that he isn't that fast and he has had some injuries in the past. Draft Capsules.

Scouts Feel Harris Can Make Move: The Bills scouts say they feel Nic Harris can make the transition to linebacker because he is a good tackler that hits hard. They expect him to play in the box and underneath in zone coverage like Keith Ellison does. The Bills feel he's best suited for playing outside linebacker and they will start him there. He played that position in the Senior Bowl and made a lot of plays. He played middle linebacker and strong safety for the Sooners last year. They expect him to add weight to his frame without much of a problem so he can play at about 240. He is expected to be a solid special teams player. They think his intelligence gives him a chance to step right in and challenge for a starting job right away. He plays faster than his speed because he recognizes things very quick.

Harris Doesn't Mind Playing LB: Nic Harris spoke to the media after being picked in the 5th round by the Bills. The team will play him at linebacker and he says he doesn't mind, he'll play anywhere as long as it helps the team. He's elated that he will be given an opportunity to come out and play. He doesn't expect the transition to be that hard since he played linebacker at the end of last year and acted like one at strong safety. He said he wants to play it doesn't matter if it is at safety or linebacker.

Bills Take Harris: The Bills took their second safety of the draft by taking Oklahoma's Nic Harris. He's a hybrid safety that the Bills likely project as a linebacker in the NFL. He has a lot of speed and is a good athlete. He ran a 4.76 at Oklahoma's pro day and is a solid blitzer. He has good size and good lateral quickness so he can remain at safety at the pro level as the Bills continue to go with flexibility in their picks. Harris is made for the cover-two scheme He played middle linebacker and strong safety last year. May be in the Coy Wire mold. He had 75 tackles last year and caused three fumbles. He had 3.5 sacks in 2006. Draft Capsules.

Nelson Though Buffalo May Be Destination: In his conference call with the Western New York media, Shawn Nelson said he had a strong feeling he would end up in Buffalo. When he was considered the best prospect on the board and the Bills were on the clock with a definite tight end need, he knew where he was going. He said he feels comfortable with how he blocks. He feels he'll be able to contribute immediately once he learns the playbook. He feels polished as a receiver since he played wide receiver in high school. He wants to work hard at becoming a consistent blocker and a good all-around tight end. He says he's at 243 pounds now and wants to play at about 250.

Nelson Should Have Immediate Impact: The Bills probably can rely on Shawn Nelson contributing right away as a pass receiver. The Bills would like him to add about 15 pounds to his frame if he can so he can hold up better as a blocker. The team will likely continue to use Derek Schouman and Derek Fine in the blocking role of a two tight end set on passing downs. Bills scouts say he's extremely athletic and has the downfield speed to get behind safeties. He has gifted hands but he's a little behind in the blocking game because he was asked to do very little of that in college. He need to get a bit bigger and stronger to block at this level.

True To Their Board: Dick Jauron appeared on ESPN's draft coverage this afternoon after their fourth round pick. He said they stayed true to their board and were still able to fill holes they had their team. He credit the scouting staff with doing a tremendous job in preparing for the draft. He feels Aaron Maybin will be able to make the jump to the NFL after playing just one year at Penn St. On the two guard selections of Eric Wood and Adam Levitre really shores up their inside positions on the line. Putting them with Brad Butler gives them a lot of flexibility.

Bills Get TE: The Bills finally got their pass catching tight end and had to wait almost three and a half hours before selecting a player today. They selected highly touted Shawn Nelson from Southern Mississippi. He averaged 15 yards a catch last year and some call him a glorified wide receiver playing tight end. He fits their needs perfectly and he had fallen from a possible second round selection. He was the sixth tight end selected. He had 16 touchdowns and 155 receptions in his collegiate career. Their trade with Dallas yesterday left them without their third or fourth round pick but they got their man with the Eagles fourth round pick acquired in the Jason Peters trade. They have their own pick in rounds five through seven. Draft Capsules.

Front Office Pleased: Dick Jauron, Russ Brandon, and Tom Modrak addressed the media yesterday after their first round selections of Aaron Maybin and Eric Wood. Brandon said they liked Maybin from early in the process and they are excited to have him. He feels Maybin makes the team a lot better thanks to his explosiveness. Modrak likes how Maybin is good on either side and he is young but has a lot of time to get even better. Jauron likes his long reach and his height. Jauron said he plans on keeping Geoff Hangartner at center and they will look at Wood at guard as we previously reported. He likes Wood's demeanor, toughness, and intelligence.


Saturday April 25, 2009

Kugler Likes Versatility: There wasn't a happier man at One Bills Drive on Saturday then OL coach Sean Kugler who got two interior linemen in the first two rounds of the draft today. Kugler was happy with the versatility he got from his new toys. He called 1st round pick Eric Wood a tenacious player who is highly motivated. Kugler admitted they will start him off at guard but they know they can look at him center if need be. Kugler likes that he got two blue collar guys in the draft. He called Wood and 2nd rounder Andy Levitre as tough guys that like to compete and have a good work ethic. Kugler feels Levitre can play guard or tackle but will also get a look at guard first. He called them two outstanding players that they couldn't pass up and they are excited to get them into the offseason program. It makes it very interesting to see how the line will shake out with so many possible combinations.

Catavolos Sees Byrd At Free Safety: DB coach George Catavolos said he sees 2nd round pick Jairus Byrd as a free safety. He calls him a great technician who was very productive at the college level. He studies the game and is very analytical. Moving from corner to free safety will be an adjustment and they will see how he does with it but understands angles which should help him.

Levitre At Guard: Andy Levitre told the media in his conference call tonight that the Bills project him as a guard in the NFL although he played tackle most of his college career. He did say they see him as a possible backup at tackle as well. He says he's ready for anything and will play wherever they put him. He doesn't fill moving to guard will be an issue since he's played the position before although he may be more comfortable at tackle.

Byrd Projects As A Safety: It appears the Bills have projected Jairus Byrd as a safety when they took him in the 2nd round of the draft. They have a lot of depth at both defensive back positions but many felt they were looking to upgrade the safety spot and Byrd is expected to get a look at safety first in the NFL from what the coaches told him. He's excited to do whatever they want to help the team win. He hasn't played safety since high school but knows he can play that position he will just soak up whatever the coaches say.

Wood Feels Great To Be A Bill: When the Bills drafted Eric Wood with their second of two first round picks he said he felt great and had a feeling the Bills were interested in him. He says he prepares his mind and body for each game. He knew because of his size he may be drafted to play guard at that seems to be the case in Buffalo. He played the position at the Senior Bowl and performed well and feels his experience at center will help him at guard in the NFL. He played for former Buffalo coach Steve Kragthorpe who spoke highly of the team.

Maybin Happy To Be A Bill: The top pick Aaron Maybin addressed the Western New York media during a conference call after being picked 11 overall. His immediate reaction was one of being overwhelmed. He feels very happy to go and play for a great city and an amazing franchise. He's looking to build a foundation and knows he has two Penn St. alumni to go to in Buffalo in Paul Posluszny and Bryan Scott. He's been in the process of adding weight and said it's going well and he's handling the extra weight very well. He knows their is an opportunity for growth and to mature a bit and is looking forward to that happening. He was very happy to see Buffalo was picking him but he and no idea there were interested until he was drafted. He spent a lot of time with Poz this offseason as they trained together. Posluszny felt they got a good player.

Bills Trade Back into 2nd Round: The Bills moved back into the 2nd round for the Bills third round pick, 75th overall, and the first of their two fourth round picks, 110th overall. They used their pick to take another offensive lineman as they picked guard Oregon State guard Andy Levitre. He is projected specifically as an inside guy giving the Bills three new interior linemen through the first day of the draft and free agency with the signing of Geoff Hangartner. They have not dealt with the need at tackle meaning they must expect Kirk Chambers to stay outside. He played tackle in college but is considered two short to the play that position in the NFL. He's thick and should hold up well on the inside. Continues to battle weight issues. He was All-American and All-Pac 10 with 13 starts at left tackle last year. Has a rash of penalties in his career but has good awareness. Draft Capsules.

Corner Taken In Round 2: The Bills followed true to their draft board as they took a player at a position where they had good depth in round two. They chose Oregon CB Jairus Byrd with the 42 pick in the draft. This is a surprise since they have decent depth at the site although they did lose Jabari Greer to free agency this offseason. Last year's top pick Leodis McKelvin is expected to start and free agent signee Drayton Florence was expected to serve the nickel role with Ashton Youboty. Byrd is well built and gets a good jam at the line of scrimmage but is on the shorter side at 5'10". He isn't the fastest guy but is quick. He started 37 straight games in his college career. He one the defensive MVP award at the Holiday Bowl and had 83 solo tackles last year and 203 for his college career.

Wood May Play Guard: Chris Brown on the team's website seems to think the Bills may be looking at Eric Wood as a guard prospect. If that is the case than Geoff Hangartner would likely stay at center. Many others see him as having a chance at being the next Kent Hull so it will be interesting to see where the Bills play him in OTAs and minicamp. Draft Capsules.

Bills Take Center: Taking a center with the 28th pick wasn't too much of a surprise. The fact that top prospect Alex Mack was gone and TE Brandon Pettigrew was off the board, it seemed the team would have went with a tackle in this spot Instead they get the Louisville product who will likely move into a starting role. That would move free agent signee Geoff Hangartner to his secondary position of guard. He was the second or third center on most draft boards and was the 2nd one taking in this draft. He is on the smaller side which how the Bills like their interior lineman but is considered very mobile. He weighs in at just 310 pounds. He is considered very intelligent and can play several positions along the offensive line. He is very durable with 49 straight starts at center. He has big hands and a thick frame and is aggressive.

Bills Take Maybin: The Bills used the 11th pick in the draft to take Penn St. DE Aaron Maybin. He was the second end off the board and the Bills had there choice of top LB Brian Cushing and OT Michael Oher. At the defensive end spot they could have taken Brian Orakpo or Everette Brown. Maybin is a light end weighing in at 249 pounds. He can be a situational pass rusher early in his career. He is considered a speed rusher who can help with the team's pass rush immediately but not on an every down basis. Many people had Orakpo rated higher than Maybin and he went a pick later to Washington. He finished with 12 sacks after starting the season on the page before moving into the starting lineup week 3. He is a junior who just turned 21 years old. He was a first team all-american. Draft Capsules.

Bills Announce All-Time Team: The Bills announced their 50th anniversary team today. The team was picked by an online vote of fans and 15 of the 25 members of the team came from the Super Bowl era. Van Miller hosted the announcement and Jim Kelly announced the offense while Steve Tasker announced the defense. Jim Kelly led the offensive team along with Thurman Thomas, James Lofton, Eric Moulds, Pete Metzelaars, and Andre Reed. Ruben Brown, Joe DeLameilleure, Kent Hull, Bobby Shaw, and Jim Richter rounded out the offensive line. Brian Moorman, Steve Tasker, and Steve Christie were the special teams players. The defensive players were headed by Bruce Smith, Shane Conlan, Cornelius Bennett, and Darryl Talley. Also on the all-time defensive team are Tom Sestak, Fred Smerlas, Mike Stratton, Butch Byrd, Nate Odomes, Henry Jones, and George Saimes. Marv Levy is the coach of the 50th anniversary team.

Talks Steady: Russ Brandon told the team's website that talks with other NFL teams have been steady and they are excited for the start of the draft. The team is narrowing down their draft board for the 11th overall pick of the draft to a handful of prospects. He said they are keeping an open mind to possible trades and are going to stay true to their draft board.

Bills Expected To Stay Put: Russ Brandon told ESPN's Tim Graham this morning that it is highly doubtful the team will move either of their first round picks in today's draft. Brandon went on to speak highly about three first round players, USC LB Clay Matthews, Penn St., DE Aaron Maybin, and Florida St. Everette Brown. This of course can all be a smokescreen. It should be an interesting day.

1st Round Mock: Draft weekend is here! Bills Daily gives you our annual first round mock draft. Correspondent Rich Orefice has the bills picking OT Andre Smith with the 11th pick in the draft and has TE Brandon Pettigrew falling to the Bills at #28. Check out the entire first round projections. 1st Round Mock Draft.


Friday April 24, 2009

Bills Looking To Trade Up? There are hundreds of rumors that float around on the eve of the NFL Draft. One going around is that the Bills may be looking to use their two first round draft picks to have the flexibility to trade up. The rumor from scout.com says that the Bills are trying to move into the top 5 to get Alabama OT Andre Smith. This makes no sense since they'll have to pay an unproven rookie drafted that high up just about as much as they would have paid a proven player like Jason Peters. Look for the Bills to stay put if anything they may trade down a bit.


Thursday April 23, 2009

Seven Round Mock: For the tenth straight year wae have released our Bills seven round mock draft. We have the Bills going for defensive end Brian Orakpo with their first pick and wrapping up the first round with a right tackle, possibly William Beatty. The Bills should fill their big needs early in the draft so they can pick up players for depth later in the day on Sunday. Bills Mock Draft.

Holes To Be Filled: The NFL Draft is almost upon us and the Bills have a lot of holes to fill particularly on the offensive and defensive lines. They also need help at tight end and outside linebacker. This draft got a lot more interesting thanks to the Jason Peters trade giving them three picks in the top 42. Our draft page is the place to check out all weekend long. Complete Story.


Wednesday April 22, 2009

Simpson On Block? More rumors are developing about possible trades the Bills may make before this weekend's draft. The latest report from Football Post is that the team is looking to trade Ko Simpson. He is the third player rumored to be on the block this week. Other players rumored to be going for draft picks are Chris Kelsay and Roscoe Parrish. The Bills may be looking to stockpile draft picks while getting rid of players that have underperformed or are at areas of strength on the depth chart. This seems to be the possible beginning of a quiet rebuilding project.


Tuesday April 21, 2009

Draft Page Launched! We have launched our 2009 draft page. As in previous years, it will house our Bills draft board. We will also have our draft capsules of each pick shortly after they are drafted. At the end of the draft we will have our grades on this page as well. We also have links to our draft preview, our Bills 7th round mock draft, and our 1st round mock draft all coming up later this week! Go to the page now to check out our links to draft sites around the net. Draft Page.


Monday April 20, 2009

Rhodes Looking To Compete To Start: As we reported yesterday, Dominic Rhodes expects to get a lot of playing time early in the season and his goal is to be the starter for the first three games with Marshawn Lynch serving his suspension. Rhodes met the media at One Bills Drive today. He feels he was wanted and needed in Buffalo. He plays with a chip on his shoulder and feels he will get the opportunity to perform with the Bills. He wants to give the Bills a reason not to take him out of the lineup after those opening three games. He said he plays like an angry little guy and feels he's a young 30 since he's never been a full time starter. He leaves everything on the field on Sunday and didn't back off the radio interview on Friday saying he always has the mindset to compete to start. He has already started watching film and likes how Trent Edwards gets the ball to the backs out of the backfield.



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