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Buffalo Bills News - April 29, 2016

Marker Bills trade up, make Alabama LB Reggie Ragland their second-round pick [8:59 PM]
Buffalo News reports: '"We'll have two guys that our defensive players that play football well," Whaley said. "You've got a guy in Ragland that's 258 and runs in the 4.6s. I think a lot of people think this guy is a true 'Mike,' but we feel he can play 'Will.' And with Preston at 'Mike,' I think we've got two physical linebackers that fit our defensive scheme (that we're trying to build in Buffalo. And that's tough, physical players."'

Marker Lawson's history with Ryan makes joining Bills feel natural [8:59 PM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The connection was instant. Shaq Lawson was a freshman defensive end at Clemson, moving into his dormitory with one of his new teammates, Seth Ryan. Seth’s father, Rex, was coaching the New York Jets at the time. The elder Ryan made an unforgettable comment about Lawson graduating from Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Va.'

Marker What They Said: Transcript of Shaq Lawson's introductory Bills press conference [8:58 PM]
Buffalo News reports: 'When I first met Rex Ryan was my freshman year at Clemson. Me and Seth were both moving into the freshman dorms and he was just talking about how he had two first-round picks that attended Hargrave and he said maybe that can be you one day and that was the first thing that he said to me when I first met Rex.'

Marker Keeping it simple, defensive definition & competition does well [8:57 PM]
Buffalo News reports: ' But this was a situation that called for the Bills to simply allow the draft to come to them rather than force something that, at least on the surface, figured to be less certain.'

Marker Buffalo Bills trade up for Reggie Ragland [8:54 PM]
Rochester D&C reports: '“We would have taken him at 19, and lucky for us we found a trade partner in Chicago,” Whaley said. “We got two guys that we would have taken at 19.”'

Marker Good job Bills ... now what's next? [8:53 PM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'So, good job Buffalo. This is a pick most of us can get on board with. I say most because there are always going to be detractors, and I saw several on various message boards Thursday night and Friday morning. Tuning out the lunatic fringe, the Bills took a very good player who can come in and start immediately. Now, if he turns out to be Aaron Maybin, then all the naysayers can come back at me as hard as they want, and I know they will, but this looks like a sound decision to me. And, I actually nailed the pick.'

Marker Buffalo Bills trade up to select Reggie Ragland in second round [8:48 PM]
Syracuse Post Standard reports: 'The Bills had to give up pick No. 117 in the 2016 NFL Draft and a fourth-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.'

Marker Grading the Buffalo Bills pick of Alabama's Reggie Ragland [8:48 PM]
Syracuse Post Standard reports: 'The Bills project Ragland as a weak-side inside linebacker who will play alongside Brown in base sets. Ragland certainly has the upside to be a three-down linebacker and could eventually overtake Brown for the Bills' job of MIKE linebacker.'

Marker How does Shaq Lawson fit into Rex Ryan's Buffalo Bills defense? [8:47 PM]
Syracuse Post Standard reports: '"He walks in, day one, starter opposite Jerry Hughes," Whaley said. "So he can set the edge from the outside, he can rush with speed and power and that gives us two nice rushers off the edge. And then you got the push in the middle with our defensive tackles, so I think this is, again, a guy that has the versatility like you said too. Also, when we go nickel or sub, he can go inside and use his quickness on those interior offensive linemen. So I know coach is ecstatic about it just because of what he brings. First day, coming in off the bus, he's starting and (Rex's) mind's going crazy on different ways he can use him."'

Marker Bills love them some Southern bawl players [8:46 PM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'Of the team’s 40 draft selections since 2011 -- the first full draft cycle for Whaley, after the Bills hired him as assistant GM in February 2010 -- 35 played college ball in a traditional Southeast or Southwest state:'

Marker Bills trade up to draft Alabama LB Ragland with 41st pick [8:44 PM]
AP reports: 'Ragland is listed at 6-foot-1 and 247 pounds and was a consensus All-American after he had a team-leading 102 tackles, including 6 1/2 for a loss, two sacks and two forced fumbles. He was also a finalist to win the Bednarik Award (linebacker of the year) and Nagurski Trophy (defensive player of the year).'

Marker Bills release linebacker AJ Tarpley, tight end Jacob Maxwell [8:44 PM]
AP reports: 'The moves were announced Friday, before the Bills resume the NFL draft with a second- and third-round pick. Buffalo has eight picks in the draft, which it opened Thursday by selecting Clemson defensive end Shaq Lawson with the 19th pick.'

Marker President of Bill, Sabres passing on NHL draft to focus on football [8:43 PM]
AP reports: 'In Brandon's place, the Sabres are sending amateur scouting director Greg Royce and former spokesman and newly promoted HarborCenter general manager Michael Gilbert to the draft lottery.'

Marker Bills release LB Tarpley, who retired due to concussions [8:39 PM]
The Sports Xchange reports: 'The Bills also announced the release of tight end Jacob Maxwell.'

Marker Bills Trade Up For LB Ragland at #41 Overall [8:38 PM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Many mock drafts had either Shaq Lawson or Reggie Ragland going to the Bills at #19 overall -- they ended up with both. Buffalo traded up to the 41st pick to grab Ragland, LB out of Alabama and SEC Defensive Player of the Year.'

Marker 5 things to know about LB Reggie Ragland [8:35 PM] reports: '"He's like the Ray Lewis of our defense," Harrison said. "He keeps everybody in line. He makes all the checks, all the calls. He makes sure everybody's on the same page. He really keeps us in line.”'

Marker Cliche aside, the Bills get their guy [11:51 AM]
Olean Times Herald reports: '“In Buffalo, we’re the lead recruiters of Clemson (players) and one way to do it is to draft their guys high,” Whaley said with a laugh, the quickly added, “they won a national championship because they have good players. You don’t want to draft a Clemson player, or any player that isn’t worthy of the value that you put on him.”'

Marker Bills select Clemson DE Shaq Lawson with No. 19 pick [1:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Scouts view the 6-foot-3, 275-pound Lawson is exceptionally quick and athletic. They also see him as being strong at the point of attack, and using his hands well to separate from blockers.'

Marker Bills take their cue from the Super Bowl champions with Shaq Lawson pick [1:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Lawson, the 19th overall pick on Friday night, may be precisely the chess piece Buffalo needs to make offensive coordinators shudder. Too often last season, they weren't.'

Marker Bills play the need card with Lawson [1:57 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The draft board fell right for the Bills. When they picked at No. 19, three of the most talented defensive players were still available: Lawson, Alabama defensive tackle Jarran Reed and UCLA linebacker Myles Jack. Paxton Lynch, the third-rated quarterback, was also on the board.'

Marker Transcript of Bills GM Doug Whaley following drafting of Shaq Lawson [1:56 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Medical staff cleared him, said he can play. Now, if something happens, it’s going to happen, but it’s nothing that we’re real worried about or we wouldn’t have taken him. We got complete faith in our medical staff and they signed off on him, so we’re excited to have him.'

Marker Transcript of Shaq Lawson's comments after being drafted by the Buffalo Bills [1:55 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'I got a lot of experience as a standup guy. I played standup linebacker in high school, played standup at Clemson. Man I am comfortable with it, I am going to be ready to go.'

Marker Clemson's co-DC Marion Hobby on Shaq Lawson: 'He’s an every-down player' [1:54 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '“I don’t want to label that guy as a pass rusher. He’s an every-down player. The guy I’m familiar with that he reminds me of is Shaun Ellis. Shaun Ellis has that great size and great twitch. He played a long time in the NFL. Could’ve played 4-3, could’ve played 3-4. And Charles Grant. He’s another guy who had pass-rush ability but he could play the run and was just a big, physical end.”'

Marker 5 Things to know about first-round pick Shaq Lawson [1:53 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'There is a red flag here. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that after next season, Lawson would need shoulder surgery that'd sideline him "4-6 months" at some point. The Bills aren't concerned. Whaley said that the team's medical staff cleared Lawson and that they aren't worried at all. "It's nothing that we're really worried about," the GM said, "or we wouldn't have taken him." Buffalo must keep an eye on it, of course.'

Marker Buffalo Bills take Clemson's Shaq Lawson in first round [1:52 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Lawson was projected to be a mid-round pick, and it was a dicey proposition whether he would get to the Bills, but in a draft that has been said to be deep in defensive linemen, only three went before Lawson.'

Marker Shaq Lawson to Bills? That was easy [1:51 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '“Very few times can you go into a draft and have a really big need and the guy standing out like sore thumb is the guy you want and it fills that need,’’ said Whaley, who repeated the sore thumb line later on. “We’re extremely excited.’’'

Marker Bills select Lawson with 19th pick [1:50 AM]
Olean Times Herald reports: '“He only had one college season as a full-time starter, but played a significant role in a rotation his first two years. Lawson can play end in a 3-4, or 4-3 but needs to get a little bigger to play in a 3-4. He has excellent overall athleticism and a tremendous upside.”'

Marker Buffalo Bills pick Shaq Lawson in 1st round [1:49 AM]
Syracuse Post Standard reports: 'Some think Lawson is best suited for a 4-3 scheme, but Lawson should be able to stay productive as a 3-4 pass rusher. The question is where the Bills will play him. With Jerry Hughes as one edge rusher and Manny Lawson playing strong-side linebacker, Lawson may be asked to move around the formation a bit. He may not have the size to play as a down lineman in the 3-4, but Ryan likes to find different ways to use players.'

Marker Will Bills' first-round pick Shaq Lawson need shoulder surgery? [1:48 AM]
Syracuse Post Standard reports: '"No, there's no truth to Adam Schefter's report about me having surgery. I don't know where that comes from. I guess he just wanted to put something out there. If I didn't have surgery my freshman year, why would I have surgery now?"'

Marker How Bills' first-rounder Shaq Lawson overcame loss of father [1:47 AM]
Syracuse Post Standard reports: '"He impacted a lot. He made me a man. He made me the man I was today. I had to step up a lot when he passed away, being a father figure for my little brothers and sisters. I was being there for them. So he impacted me a whole lot."'

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