In Lawson, Bills match value and need [1:37 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Lawson is a very good fit for a Bills team that was near the bottom of the league in getting to the passer last season and then released defensive end Mario Williams. The Bills need someone to play the edge as much, if not more, than any other spot on the field. And Lawson is one of the best in this draft.'
Shaq: ''No truth'' to report of pending shoulder surgery [1:36 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'In a conference call with the Buffalo media, Lawson said there is “no truth whatsoever” to that report, but did say he’s had a minor right shoulder injury since his freshman year, but that it’s never been something that’s bothered him.'
Bills select DE Shaq Lawson with 19th overall pick [1:35 AM]
WKBW-TV reports: 'The 21-year-old was a star a season ago, setting a new career high with 12.5 sacks and led the country with 25.5 tackles for loss to lead the Tigers to an undefeated regular season, ACC title and trip to the national championship game.'
Bills draft pass rusher Shaq Lawson [1:34 AM]
WROC-TV reports: '"Very few times you can go into a draft and have a really big need and that guy standing out like a sore thumb is the guy you want and the guy that fills that need," Whaley said. "We never thought he would drop to us at 19, and when it got closer and closer, we all said let's keep our mouth shut."'
Shaq Lawson: Buffalo feels like home [1:33 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: '“It was the best pre-draft meeting I had,” Lawson said. “Everybody else’s meeting was up tight, asking you who the fourth president was. When I went into that meeting room I just felt laid back. Talking to me about football and things like that.”'
5 things to know about 1st-round pick Shaq Lawson [1:32 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: '"It taught me some strong values, about being responsible, about having some life structure," Lawson told NFL.com. "The most important lesson I got out of it was time management. You were up early every day for PT (physical training), your face had to be shaved, your shoes had to be shined."'
With holes to fill, Bills need to ace draft [4:11 PM]
Wellsville Daily Reporter reports: 'The Bills are likely to go defense when they make the 19th pick tonight, with filling a hole somewhere in the front seven a top priority. The Bills are going all-in on Rex Ryan’s 3-4 scheme this year, but the linebacker corps as it stands today is one of the thinnest positions on the roster. Bradham is an Eagle, A.J. Tarpley retired and Tony Steward was cut. Manny Lawson and Preston Brown are the only returning backers who made any impact in 2015, and Brown’s sophomore season was uneven.'
Draft lottery full of uncertainty [2:13 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'With 10 minutes allowed between picks, Buffalo’s choice figures to come around 11 p.m.'
Bills enter draft with holes to fill [2:12 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: '“Every draft you’ve got to find difference makers,” Whaley said. “Every draft you’ve got to try and hit on as many guys as possible. The internal pressure to hit on a draft is what drives us. We’re excited about it and we accept that challenge.'
Bills, yet again, wrestle with the QB conundrum [1:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Not good enough to make the postseason, not bad enough to land a franchise savior. That’s the story for an entire generation of fans. Heck, the year they started 0-8 — and were in love with Cam Newton — they finished a noble 4-4.'
Why this draft is so critical for the win-now Bills [1:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '“I think it’s certainly a tall order,” former Tampa Bay Buccaneers GM and current ESPN analyst Mark Dominik said of this being a transformative draft for the Bills. “They’re fortunate in the fact that they do have a Sammy Watkins on the football team. It looks like they’re very happy with Tyrod Taylor and they’ve got LeSean McCoy (who received a fat pay raise after being acquired from Philadelphia last year), so it’s not like they don’t have any talent.'
Mixed signals make Bills tough to figure [1:57 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Contemplating those two issues, I can see how objective fans might feel a bit conflicted about the state of the team. After spending through the nose to go 8-8 last season, are the Bills a true contender or a team in decline?'
Fan-demonium: Long-time season-ticket holder gets the draft call [1:56 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The 64-year-old Derringer became the winner of a lottery among Bills’ season-ticket holders, and will be the team’s fan representative at the NFL Draft in Chicago.'
Quick outs by Jay Skurski: Draft tidbits and rarities [1:55 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '7: Former first-round picks currently on the Bills’ roster: DE Manny Lawson (’06, Bengals), C Eric Wood (’09), DE Jerry Hughes (’10, Colts), DT Marcell Dareus (2011), CB Stephon Gilmore (’12), QB EJ Manuel (’13) and WR Sammy Watkins (’14).'
The Bills and this year's NFL Draft: What you need to know [1:54 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Bills’ special draft event: Team will host a VIP gathering Saturday at (716) Food and Sport, where Bills coaches and the Bills’ first-round pick will announce selections in Rounds 4-5 that will be streamed live on the team’s website, with select picks being broadcast from the event on various NFL media platforms.'
How the Bills have fared over the last five drafts [1:53 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'In the case of the Bills, the grade for what they’ve done in the draft since 2011 is better than the 20-year snapshot … but not dramatically. Call it a C. The Bills’ 35-45 record through that stretch is below average, although there at least appears to be somewhat of a foundation, provided largely by the last five drafts, on which the team can build.'
Vic Carucci's 3 Bills thoughts: 'Bama options, QB risks, Brady saga [1:52 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Let's face it. The best/smartest/safest thing the Bills can do with the 19th overall pick of the draft is use it on a defensive lineman.'
Five positions Bills need to address [1:51 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '“The college game and the NFL game … it’s just completely different,” said Bills director of personnel Jim Monos, referring to the styles of play as much as the obvious gap in talent. “It’s every position. So really, it’s just a completely different game and the challenge is, can you be a good evaluator, do your work well enough to know if he can make it for us? If you’re good evaluators, you’re going to find a guy in any round.”'
What teams ahead of the Bills can play spoiler to the player you want? [1:50 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'So, what teams do you need to be on the lookout for taking the player you want the Bills to select? Here’s a position-by-position look at what teams selecting 9-18 have the most potential to ruin your evening. Obviously teams are listed multiple times because they have multiple needs.'
Free advice for the Bills brain trust [1:49 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'I want them to take a quarterback. I don't think they will but I still want one. I don't necessarily have a guy I prefer. Quite honestly, after Jared Goff and Carson Wenz, its a bunch of guys who need time to develop.'
5 things Bills fans should root for in Round One [1:48 AM]
WKBW-TV reports: 'Paxton Lynch goes early, like, Top 10 early.'
Jay Skurski’s Mock Draft 3.0: Bills in good position to land starters [1:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson.'
Bills fan donates 100,000 items to Buffalo History Museum [1:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'In simple terms, the collection includes more than 6,000 three-dimensional items, including game-worn jerseys, helmets, shoes, mugs, pennants and buttons, along with more than 100,000 archival items, such as tickets, programs, posters, schedules, football cards and autographs.'
A selection of some of the best Bills collectibles donated by a fan [1:57 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The game-day programs of every Bills game ever played, more than 1,100 in total, including home, away and neutral-site games.'
Should Bills consider Robert Nkemdiche in first round? [1:56 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Nkemdiche is the guy who fell off the balcony of a hotel outside Atlanta in mid-December and was hospitalized with minor injuries. In his room, police found marijuana, though Nkemdiche denied having smoked it, saying only that he was drunk. Still, because the pot was found in his room, he was charged for possession.'
Bills draft most important in years [1:55 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Logic says that maintaining the status quo in some areas and dumping salary in others — on a .500 team mind you — doesn’t improve a roster. If anything, Buffalo’s roster now has the depth of a conversation at 4 a.m. at Mighty Taco.'
Doug Whaley explains how Andrew Luck cost Buffalo Bills a shot at Cam Newton [1:54 AM]
Syracuse Post Standard reports: '"When we first started the draft process, we thought we'd have a good shot at Newton," Whaley told Sports Illustrated. "Andrew Luck, had he come out, would have been the first pick. Denver was at No. 2, and they didn't need a QB. So we thought, We'll get Cam at No. 3."'
The most realistic Bills options at 19 [1:53 AM]
WKBW-TV reports: 'These are the positions that I believe the Bills are interested in going after in the first round, along with 16 players that I think are in consideration for the team’s top pick.'
Who is Robert Nkemdiche? HS coach says he's a 'worker,' good fit with Rex Ryan [1:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Then there's a personnel director telling The Journal Sentinel "The guy has disaster written all over him" ... another saying "he’d be a guy you give a big contract to and he’d be happy" ... and a scout adding "He doesn’t just think football, football, football 24/7."'
Alabama defensive lineman sees Bills as perfect fit [1:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Scouts dub this one of the best defensive line draft classes in history. It could prove foolish to take zero swings at the plate. Buffalo released the lethargic, overpaid Mario Williams and are currently very thin up front. A large Bills contingent was on hand to see Reed light up position drills at Alabama’s pro day. When Reed needed to nix his flight to Buffalo due to the birth of his second child, the Bills took matters into their own hands.'
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