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Bills Daily Week in Review - April 10th - April 16th, 2000Previous Week

Draft Replenishes Earlier Cuts

This week saw three more salary cap cuts before the Bills could draft. The draft helped replenish some of the losses the Bills have had this off season. Here's the week in review with our take on the situation.

The draft saw the Bills replenish some of their holes on defense during the first day and some holes on the offense and special teams during the second day. The following is a quick recap of what the Bills did during the draft and our take on it. For complete coverage check out our draft page.

    First round pick Erik Flowers is the first defensive end taken by the Bills since Bruce Smith was taken in 1985. Flowers has added weight without losing speed and he sky rocketed up draft charts last week. Our Take: Flowers immediate impact will be felt as a dime linemen and a pass rusher. He may be groomed to replace Marcellus Wiley if he leaves via free agency next year. Just like Antoine Winfield replaces Thomas Smith this year.
    With the second round pick, the Bills went for need and took safety Travares Tillman. He was rated the fourth or fifth best safety in the draft but is aggressive and is a solid run stopper. Our Take: He will be given a chance to win the starting job in camp, the Bills may have reached a bit for him but he fills a huge need. Expect Henry Jones to help him out.
    In round 3, they took outside linebacker Corey Moore. He fell because of his size. He was dominant at college at defensive end but will play linebacker in the pros. Our Take: Will be a pure pass rusher this season, but will have a chance to take over Gabe Northern's position somewhere down the line.
    On the drafts second day the Bills turned to offense as they first took WR Avion Black. He is a speed receiver and a solid kick returner. He's a junior who had academic problems. Our Take: Will instantly replace Kevin Williams as a returner and will have a chance to develop into the third receiver spot, but probably not this year.
    In round 5, the club took RB Sammy Morris. He is another player with academic problems, he can play both halfback and fullback and is an excellent receiver. Our Take: Another tweener back who will add to a crowded backfield of players with similar skills. Morris seems to be in the mold of Shawn Bryson and Jonathan Linton.
    Rounds 6 and 7 were about taking the best available athlete. In the 6th round the club took a 25 year old project. Defensive tackle Leif Larsen is a big, powerful player who has little football experience. With their first of two seventh round picks the club went with a local boy, University of Buffalo's Drew Haddad is sure handed, with great insticts but minimal speed and is small. They finished the draft by picking LB Deshon Polk from Arizona. He will play on the inside and is a good pass defender. Our Take: These three players were taken for their athletic ability, any impact they have on this year's team will be on special teams.
Other news this week, before the Bills could draft they needed to free up salary cap space. They were forced to release Sam Gash, Kevin Williams and Kamil Loud. These cuts freed up about $2 Million which should allow the club to sign most of their drafted players. Our Take: On the field this won't hurt the Bills much. Gash never carried the ball last year and the club will now go to a one-back offense that Antowain Smith is more comfortable in anyway. Williams struggled as a returner in his two years here, he will be missed more as a third down receiver. Loud never made an impact on the team and he seemed to fall out of favor with the club last year. The biggest effects of the cuts will be in the locker room where Gash was a leader. His blocking will also be missed but the club will have to develop new blocking schemes for a one back offense.
The deadline for signing restricted free agents to an offer sheet passed ths week. This means these players rights now are exclusive to their team. Marcus Spriggs, Donovan Greer, and Daryl Porter signed their offer sheets this week.
Some news from earlier this week, was head coach Wade Phillips clarifying his comments about the QB situation. He stated that Rob Johnson is the number one QB but that they may look for certain situations to bring Doug Flutie into the game. Our Take: Phillips is trying to avoid repeating his mistakes of last off season. Johnson is the guy and everyone knows it. He may be trying to appease Flutie by saying he will try to work him in. Any sort of QB rotation doesn't normally work in the NFL, but it may be intriguing to bring Flutie in for a series or two in certain spots.

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