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racketmaster

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  1. Have been down on Jones since late last season but it is good to see him putting in the work. Not sure it will translate to catching and running away from defenders but it can't hurt. It is possible the added strength will allow him to be more of a physical wr that can body up and out muscle defenders. Make or break year for him.
  2. Dawson Knox is a classic reason as to why you wait on drafting a tight end until the 2nd and 3rd rounds. He has all the measurable of an elite tight end (height, weight, speed) but just did not have the production because he was rarely used in the Ole Miss offense. George Kittle is a the most recent classic example of a quality tight end at the NFL level that had very little production at the college level despite all the athletic measurables. We have seen others over the years become elite tight ends without having much or any college production. Jimmy Graham played 1 year of college football and had a total of 17 receptions. Antonio Gates did not even play college football. But they had the measuables and athletic skill to develop into elite players. Now I'm not saying Knox is going to be an elite tight end on the level of Kittle or Gates, but he could easily turn into a top 15 tight end. He is the type of prospect I was hoping the Bills would identify outside of the first round. I would not be shocked if Knox ended up having just as good of a career at Hockenson and there are a few reasons why: 1. The nature of the position lends itself to high quality tight ends coming out of the 2nd and 3rd rounds. TE is similar to the RB position where you don't have to get one in the first round. In fact, the 2nd and 3rd rounds have each produced more quality and elite TEs than the first round. 2. Knox has the elite measurables in terms of height, weight and speed. He ran in the 4.5s while Hockenson was a 4.7 speed guy. Plus Knox has a little more shiftiness and nimbleness to him where as Hockenson and Fant are a little more straight line speed guys. In any case, Knox stacks up athletically with the 2 first round tight ends. 3. Knox is an underrated blocker. Hockenson gets all the blocking attention and it is deserved but watching Knox, he is a very good blocker. Ole Miss had the confidence to match Knox up 1 on 1 with Josh Allen and Montez Sweat numerous times from the games I watched in 2017 and he more than held is own. Sometimes Knox got help from a RB chipping and they did not always match up on the same side. But when I saw Knox run and pass block 1 on 1 against those 2 first round picks, he did a great job. His blocking ability will keep him around in the NFL and give him a chance to get on the field and develop as a pass receiver. 4. Opportunity. Knox had little opportunity at Ole Miss. When given a chance, he could make difficult adjustments to the football and showed reliable hands. One of the broadcast teams said that Knox had the best hands on the Ole Miss team that obviously included Metcalf and AJ Brown. Knox is a fluid route runner and former high school quarterback. He is smart and has the ability to run a variety of routes. In the games I watched he was able to get deep down the field for would be touchdowns but was underthrown or not thrown to at all as the Ole Miss QB was situation was less than impressive. 5. Competitiveness, tough and willing to put in the work. Knox showed his competitive nature in his blocking and I trust the Bills to identify players that truly want to get better. He also played through a hernia injury last year that required surgery in the off season. It is the draft so there are no guarantees, but Knox is the type of TE that teams should target in the middle rounds because he could easily turn into a home run pick.
  3. Happy that Bills did not end up taking Metcalf as I began to think he was on their short list with the rumors swirling and DK seemingly fitting the athletic profile of this regime. Watching DK, you can be mesmerized at times by his size and speed but they are often followed by frustrating missed opportunities (drops and failed jump balls). DK may end up being a good fit in Seattle. He will have opportunity and Wilson throws a great deep ball which is what he is best at. Personally, I would have liked the Bills to find their way to AJ Brown but maybe there were some intangibles missing as Brown dropped further than what I would have thought.
  4. 33 tds the past 2 seasons with WVU. Almost 1000 yards in back to back years. Has a nice skill set so he could be interesting.
  5. There are a number of differences beyond the numbers because we know the numbers were not what got Allen drafted that high last year. Amongst other things: 1. Allen has a quicker release as Jackson’s is a little more elongated. 2. Allen was the better runner. 3. Maybe most importantly, Allen appeared to have a higher competitive spirit on the field. I often go back to the Iowa game that Allen gets torched for and recall a play in which another jailbreak occurred and it took 9 Iowa defenders to bring Allen down because he just kept fighting and would not give up on the play. I saw Jackson as a player that seeemed to be on cruise control most of the time. Some of that is that he is tall and smooth but I also did not see enough of that never give in spirit from him. That said I think he could easily become a Derek Anderson type and seems to be a great pick up as a developmental prospect for a backup spot.
  6. It’s probably a little unfair to compare Knox to Kittle seeing how Kittle really exploded this year for San Francisco but there are some similar athletic traits. And TEs like Knox are examples of why you wait until after round 1 to draft them. It is a very unique position (lineman and wr combination) and often guys come out of nowhere in college to become productive NFL players. Knox was generally talked about as a 2nd or 3rd round prospect so to get him at the end of the 3rd was a good value. Based on the history of the position and the fact he was underused at Ole Miss, I would not be surprised in the least if Knox put up similar production to Hockenson in their NFL careers. It is just how this position seems to work.
  7. I'd be surprised if we went TE in the first. Hockenson is going to be a very good TE and would be a good fit in Buffalo but I just don't see him as a special talent. The TE class is super deep this year and it is a position that teams regularly find excellent talents in the middle rounds. Here are my top reasons against TE in the first for the Bills. 1. People are sleeping on Tyler Croft. The Bills signed him quickly in free agency and he appeared to be high on their target list. He got a decent contract and when he got the starting spot in 2017 he was a productive tight end for the Bengals. I believe Croft is still only 25 years old and we may not have seen his best football yet. I do believe the Bills need to draft a tight end this year, but I don't think it is as big a need as some would have us believe. 2. The tight end class this year is very deep. It begins with Hockenson and his teammate Fant but there are at least 10-12 talented prospects at this position. A player like Trevon Wesco can be had in the 5th or 6th and if you watch his blocking ability (excellent) and how nimble he is with the ball in his hands he has some potential. There are a lot of interesting tight end prospects in the middle rounds from Jayce Sternberger to Kaden Smith. Many of these players show excellent potential and have had excellent college production. If the Bills wait, they can still find a good prospect in the middle rounds. George Kittle was an afterthought in the 2017 draft (5th round) as he had little production at Iowa and we have seen how he has exploded in the NFL. 3. If you examine the quality and elite tight ends playing in the league right now, you will notice that the majority of them come from the 2nd and 3rd rounds. In fact, when I looked at the numbers more came from the 2nd (30%) and 3rd (30%) than the 1st round (20%). And with the depth this year at the position I see no reason to think this trend won't continue. Hockenson may be the safest tight end pick, but can anyone really say that he will be better than a player like Jayce Sternberger. To me it is too close and for that reason I would wait at the position and draft for value beginning in the second round. And with the depth this year, I think there will be a productive player or two found in the 4th and 5th rounds.
  8. Maxx Crosby could be a very real possibility, especially if the Bills don't take a DL in the first round. I like Crosby very much and he was one of the pre-draft visits so he is definitely on the radar.
  9. It would be a great match and it would be nice to add some speed and explosion at that position next year.
  10. I'm beginning to think the Bills might actually draft DK Metcalf at 9. I think they would have liked an interior defensive lineman or edge rusher like Williams, Bosa, Allen or Oliver but they are all likely to be gone by pick 9. Sweat appears to be falling due to heart condition and I think Burns is the better edge rusher anyway but I have a feeling that Metcalf ends up being the selection over Jonah Williams. If we learned anything from last year it is that Beane likes ultra talented, big, physical, athletic freaks at the top of the draft. Both Allen and Edmunds were considered raw athletic freaks for their respective positions. DK Metcalf fits that profile and he might be a perfect match with Allen at QB. Beane and McDermott have seen up close what Julio Jones can do to opposing defenses and Metcalf is that type of athletic freak. Beane is also not shy about taking on players that have some injury risk (ie. Mitch Morse). For my second pick I see the Bills drafting Bryce Love in the 4th round. This seems to be a very good match as the Bills could afford to red shirt him for a year. After that year, McCoy and Gore will likely be gone and Love can step right in with Yeldon and whomever else they decide to be a 3rd rb (maybe McCoy or Gore return for 1 more year).
  11. Burns is definitely one of the top edge rushers in this class. I'm a big fan and would have no issues with the pick. He is long, flexible, smooth, fast, athletic and has an array of pass rush moves.
  12. If I had to choose one over the other I would choose best player available because if you start reaching for need then in all likelihood you as a GM will be back at the draft in a year or two looking to fill that same position because you reached and missed. In reality, BPA and need are both factored into a GM's draft plan or at least they should be. If you just go strictly BPA and end up drafting 6 offensive lineman because they were the highest rated players on your board and your team already has 4 of 5 spots locked down by young lineman, that would not be a good plan. Conversely, if you had a need for lineman and reached for the position by taking 6 of them in the draft, that also would not make sense as you were passing up more talented players at other positions just to try and fill a need with lesser rated players. A good GM will have drafted well in the past and filled most of their holes in free agency so that there is not a glaring need at a position. In rounds 1 and 2, acquiring highly talented players is the key so BPA takes priority over need. But even then a good GM has a plan and will try and get the BPA at a position they have some need for at the top of the draft. It may require the GM moving up or down the draft board in order to draft the best player at a position your team could use. As the draft moves into the middle rounds drafting for need becomes more of a factor. Again, you should never be passing over 20 players on your board to take the 21st at a position of need but in the later rounds players are going to be closely grouped together and there will be negligible differences between them. If your team is absolutely stacked at the LB position it would make sense to avoid that position to draft other spots where the player has a better chance at making your team and contributing on the field.
  13. I don't believe Hockenson will be drafted at 9 but if he is selected the Bills could certanly do worse. Hockenson is one of the safest players in the draft and he should have a long and productive career, barring injury. But I just don't see the value in picking Hockenson at 9 for the following reasons: 1. People are sleeping on Tyler Croft. The Bills signed him quickly in free agency and he appeared to be high on their target list. He got a decent contract and when he got the starting spot in 2017 he was a productive tight end for the Bengals. I believe Croft is still only 25 years old and we may not have seen his best football yet. I do believe the Bills need to draft a tight end this year, but I don't think it is as big a need as some would have us believe. 2. The tight end class this year is very deep. It begins with Hockenson and his teammate Fant but there are at least 10-12 interesting prospects at this position. A player like Trevon Wesco can be had in the 5th and if you watch his blocking ability (excellent) and how nimble he is with the ball in his hands he has some potential. There are a lot of interesting tight end prospects in the middle rounds from Jayce Sternberger to Kaden Smith. Many of these players show excellent potential and have had excellent college production. If the Bills wait, they can still find a good prospect in the middle rounds. 3. If you examine the quality and elite tight ends playing in the league right now, you will notice that the majority of them come from the 2nd and 3rd rounds. In fact, when I looked at the numbers more came from the 2nd (30%) and 3rd (30%) than the 1st round (20%). And with the depth this year at the position I see no reason to think this trend won't continue. Hockenson may be the safest tight end pick, but can anyone really say that he will be better than a player like Jayce Sternberger. To me it is too close and for that reason I would wait at the position and draft for value beginning in the second round. And with the depth this year, I think there will be a productive player or two found in the 4th and 5th rounds.
  14. I’d love the second scenario where we draft Oliver/Sweat but trade back up for AJ Brown. Bills would add 2 immediate impacts on both sides of the ball.
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