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Offseason Priorities


GreggTX
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Ignore those who say it is too early for this. Never too early for draft talk IMO. After all inside the building they have been thinking about it since the BLESTO meetings in May / June.

 

What would my priorities be for the draft?

 

1. Offensive Line - they have to get better up front. They just have to. Mitch Morse has been steady as a Bill but hasn't lived up to the big FA contract they gave him as, at that time, the best paid center in the league. Dion had a difficult start this year after the first bout with covid but it felt like the second bout of covid kinda drew a line under it and he has been really good in recent weeks. I've seen promise from Spencer Brown as a rookie, but make no mistake that is all he has been - promising as a rookie. Personally I am open to anything on the line. I only take guys I think can play left tackle in round unless I truly believe they are elite prospects at other spots... so if a top end tackle prospect falls to us in the 1st I'd take him and then figure out who plays best where afterwards. Otherwise I am definitely prioritising finding an interior lineman I think can start early in rounds 2 through 4. I also expect them to have some sort of swing at a guard in free agency.

 

2. Wide Receiver - I am the guy that dislikes old guys. It's the NFL folks. The best athletes win. If you have lots of 30+ guys on your offense you probably don't have the athletic advantage. Let Sanders walk, cut Beasley. Try and bring McKenzie back and then find an outside speed guy in the first two days of the draft. Put them into the mix with Isaiah, Stef, Gabe and you have some youth and a nice mix of skillsets. 

 

3. Interior Defensive Line - Ed Oliver has had an excellent season, especially the second half of it. Harrison Phillips has had a nice month. They have decisions to make on Harrison and Star (either re-sign Harrison and cut Star or let Harrison walk and retain Star) and then they have a decision on restricted free agent Justin Zimmer off an ACL. Butler is gone. They might need to fill two spots here to compliment Ed and whichever of their 1 techs they keep. 

 

4. Corner - Levi Wallace has been an unsung hero this season. Had his best year as a pro. Was doing so even before Tre got hurt but the way he has stepped up as the most experienced corner since Tre went down has been mighty impressive. He is a free agent. He didn't get many looks last year so the Bills got him back cheaply. Maybe the same happens again or maybe his play alerts other teams to him and he gets a payday the Bills can't match. Could Dane Jackson step right in as your #2? Sure. But given Tre will be working back from his ACL you'd want another viable option there too. Again, somewhere in the first 4 rounds of the draft they have to look at corner IMO. 

 

They are my "ideal world" first four picks of the draft..... my sleeper needs:

 

5. Safety - the Bills have two excellent safeties. It cannot be underestimated how important Hyde and Poyer have been to everything McDermott has done - schematically, culturally, leadership wise... they were the first to acquisitions of the McDermott era and they have been two absolute cornerstones. Jordan Poyer deserves his overdue recognition. Hyde, who had a slightly below par 2020 and I worried might be on the downslope, has had a nice bounce back year. But Hyde is 31 and Poyer will be by the time the 2022 season kicks off. They have both been exceptionally healthy over the 5 years too which is a credit to them. The Bills have Juan Johnson and Damar Hamlin as day 3 draft picks who play teams and provide depth (Johnson is a core STs guy) but they need to keep stacking there because one day soon a Bills team will lineup without those two guys on the backend. 

 

6. Tight End - maybe less a sleeper need - it's a big need. We have a legitimate top 10/15 tight end in Knox now, but we have zero depth behind him. This is not a good tight end class but I feel like thought should be given to a late flier on a guy. You are not getting a well rounded guy late but either take a late guy who is more of a blocker or take a late guy who is essentially a big slot receiver at the tight end spot. 

 

7. Linebacker - again we have some young guys, but we are likely to move on from Klein for cap reasons which does weaken our depth behind Edmunds and Milano. 

 

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10 minutes ago, GunnerBill said:

 

2. Wide Receiver - I am the guy that dislikes old guys. It's the NFL folks. The best athletes win. If you have lots of 30+ guys on your offense you probably don't have the athletic advantage. Let Sanders walk, cut Beasley. Try and bring McKenzie back and then find an outside speed guy in the first two days of the draft. Put them into the mix with Isaiah, Stef, Gabe and you have some youth and a nice mix of skillsets. 

 

Bill, can I get your $0.02 on Isaiah Hodgins?  The guy had enough promise coming out of Oregon State a few years ago in a decent WR class to go in the 6th round.  Davis outperformed the sh!t out of him in camp, and then injuries, and then rehab, and then...(and so on).  Good size on the kid, but is this another Duke Williams?

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Regarding this thread:

Football Falling Off GIF by Barstool Sports

not your best work Greg. 
 

25 minutes ago, Whites Bay said:

Bill, can I get your $0.02 on Isaiah Hodgins?  The guy had enough promise coming out of Oregon State a few years ago in a decent WR class to go in the 6th round.  Davis outperformed the sh!t out of him in camp, and then injuries, and then rehab, and then...(and so on).  Good size on the kid, but is this another Duke Williams?

I’m no GB,  but I watched a ton of him at OSU.  Seriously lacks any type of explosion. They should have him train with Vince McMahon this offseason, teach him now to block and make him a TE.  He was a huge matchup problem in college due to his size/length, but lacks separation skills for the nfl Level imo.  

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37 minutes ago, Whites Bay said:

Bill, can I get your $0.02 on Isaiah Hodgins?  The guy had enough promise coming out of Oregon State a few years ago in a decent WR class to go in the 6th round.  Davis outperformed the sh!t out of him in camp, and then injuries, and then rehab, and then...(and so on).  Good size on the kid, but is this another Duke Williams?

 

So I wasn't a massive Hodgins guy coming out. I worried about his ability to separate. He didn't get much separation at Oregon State and while he used his body well in contested catch scenarios there is, obviously, a big jump in the standard of DBs you are trying to box out when you get to the NFL. I know the much missed bandit27 really liked him and the Bills must see something there to keep working with him and keep him around. I think if he has a role in the NFL it is the way the Bills used Justin Hunter a few years ago when they signed him off the street - as a specialist redzone guy who isn't going to give you much between the 20s. 

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Thanks, gents.  I'm just wondering if there's a "diamond-in-the-rough" quality about him that allows the front office to underprioritize the WRs in the next draft.  I echo the sentiments shared that Beasley and Sanders are too far past the wrong side of 30, and something needs to be done to address it.

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24 minutes ago, NewEra said:

 

I’m no GB,  but I watched a ton of him at OSU.  Seriously lacks any type of explosion. They should have him train with Vince McMahon this offseason, teach him now to block and make him a TE.  He was a huge matchup problem in college due to his size/length, but lacks separation skills for the nfl Level imo.  

 

I didn't see this before I replied but safe to say I agree. 

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Never to early to talk off-season/draft/team-building.

 

Draft:

Early rounds - CB, G/C, WR

Late rounds to build depth - DT, LB, TE, S

 

Free agent targets:

Interior OL

Big Slot WR

RB

DL

 

Some FA Targets I'm interested in

WR: Chris Godwin, JuJu Smith-Schuster

OL: Andrew Norwell

RB: Tony Pollard, Cordarelle Patterson

DL: Akeim Hicks

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10 hours ago, GreggTX said:

These would be my offseason priorities.

 

Plan a parade that winds through Buffalo neighborhoods, allowing as many average Buffalonians as possible to see the Lombardi trophy. Have a huuuuuge party at city hall, bringing all of the franchise's heritage on stage to honor our rich past and current championship. Make the day a western NY holiday.

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7 hours ago, BringMetheHeadofLeonLett said:

Hi this is Greggg from timelyposts.com.  Don't be fooled by those other Gregggs, with only two g's at the end of their names, they don't represent our company.  And we wish nothing but the best for the fans of your team.  Thank you, and God Bless Texas.  

I've been to Texas. Awesome country to visit. Wouldn't want to live there.

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The OP has a few good points, but forgets the fact that there is a salary cap to contend with.  

 

A "big" upgrade at OT is a very expensive option.  I think a quality Guard would  be cheaper and would provide a lot of help to the run game.  The RBs are not holding the run game back, the blocking is.

 

CB another expensive add.  Pass defense has be great in the back end.  Keep what we have and use the draft to add help.  

 

Star may be over paid, but with 7.7 million in dead money against his 9.2 million cap hit makes him a keeper imo.   

 

 

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10 hours ago, ScottLaw said:

You don’t have interior offensive line on your list and WR is way too low. It’s a higher priority than a lot of people seem to think.

100%. Don’t be surprised if round 1 is a WR, David Bell Purdue reminds me a lot of Diggs. But it’s all dependent on FA…. I want Allen Robinson in FA.

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3 hours ago, Ridgewaycynic2013 said:

The house needs a coat of paint. 🤔

Key RB?  Or merely prurient interest on your part?

We need the best pass catching RB the league has ever seen. Then Josh can take lots of short passes as runs and turn them into huge gains!

5 hours ago, GunnerBill said:

 

No he isn't. 

I know you love Diggs as much as I do but I have to recognize the best when I see him...:wub: ALWAYS open and catches everything, TD machine.

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12 hours ago, GreggTX said:

These would be my offseason priorities.

 

1. Big upgrade at RT: I admire the effort by Spencer Brown and he may well have a bright future, but we're in win now mode and he still needs a lot of polishing. 2 probowl OT's would make the whole offense run more smoothly. If, in the mean time, Brown becomes one of our top 5 OL, great. Those are the problems coaches like.  I'd have placed the DL as priority 1, but we've already invested in young talent there and Harry is starting to come around.

 

2. CB2:  I commend Dane Jackson for how well he's held up, but he should really be our CB4 with Wallace as CB3. We probably can't afford another CB at White's level of proficiency, but someone halfway between White and Wallace would really help. Besides, White may not be back in 2022 if he needs the full 14 months to recover.

 

3. Power RB: If we're not building a dome, we need a tank at RB that can go toe to toe with, Henry, Mixon, Taylor in sloppy, cold weather. Stats show that in treacherous footing, heavier, stronger backs run relatively better than lighter, shiftier backs. I've kinda given up on Moss. He can play, but he can't handle that kind of load and generate the results we need. This would also help when Josh is having a bad game. Let the run game take some of the weight and give Josh a chance to ease back into the game with more play action and easier completions. Keep Singletary as RB2.

 

4.TE Depth: Dawson Knox has made big strides, but he's still not elite. Getting another good TE would be nice, especially if he's a decent run blocker as well as a proficient receiver. Sweeny may not even be around very long.

 

5. NT: With Harry's ascent, this becomes less urgent, but Phillips still has a long way to go. Star was overpaid. Time to upgrade and move on. Harry's not a true NT. We also don't really know where his ceiling is. We still need a decent true NT for those pound n' ground slugfests in high winds and snow.

 

WR: Sanders and Beasley have been on a bit of a decline lately. Are Davis, McKenzie and Stevenson the answer or do we need more competition?

 

...And then there's Tremaine Edmunds and Jerry Hughes.

 

...Oh and get a darn Punter!


Update RT? Ridiculous. Waste of time. 

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3 hours ago, GunnerBill said:

Ignore those who say it is too early for this. Never too early for draft talk IMO. After all inside the building they have been thinking about it since the BLESTO meetings in May / June.

 

What would my priorities be for the draft?

 

1. Offensive Line - they have to get better up front. They just have to. Mitch Morse has been steady as a Bill but hasn't lived up to the big FA contract they gave him as, at that time, the best paid center in the league. Dion had a difficult start this year after the first bout with covid but it felt like the second bout of covid kinda drew a line under it and he has been really good in recent weeks. I've seen promise from Spencer Brown as a rookie, but make no mistake that is all he has been - promising as a rookie. Personally I am open to anything on the line. I only take guys I think can play left tackle in round unless I truly believe they are elite prospects at other spots... so if a top end tackle prospect falls to us in the 1st I'd take him and then figure out who plays best where afterwards. Otherwise I am definitely prioritising finding an interior lineman I think can start early in rounds 2 through 4. I also expect them to have some sort of swing at a guard in free agency.

 

2. Wide Receiver - I am the guy that dislikes old guys. It's the NFL folks. The best athletes win. If you have lots of 30+ guys on your offense you probably don't have the athletic advantage. Let Sanders walk, cut Beasley. Try and bring McKenzie back and then find an outside speed guy in the first two days of the draft. Put them into the mix with Isaiah, Stef, Gabe and you have some youth and a nice mix of skillsets. 

 

3. Interior Defensive Line - Ed Oliver has had an excellent season, especially the second half of it. Harrison Phillips has had a nice month. They have decisions to make on Harrison and Star (either re-sign Harrison and cut Star or let Harrison walk and retain Star) and then they have a decision on restricted free agent Justin Zimmer off an ACL. Butler is gone. They might need to fill two spots here to compliment Ed and whichever of their 1 techs they keep. 

 

4. Corner - Levi Wallace has been an unsung hero this season. Had his best year as a pro. Was doing so even before Tre got hurt but the way he has stepped up as the most experienced corner since Tre went down has been mighty impressive. He is a free agent. He didn't get many looks last year so the Bills got him back cheaply. Maybe the same happens again or maybe his play alerts other teams to him and he gets a payday the Bills can't match. Could Dane Jackson step right in as your #2? Sure. But given Tre will be working back from his ACL you'd want another viable option there too. Again, somewhere in the first 4 rounds of the draft they have to look at corner IMO. 

 

They are my "ideal world" first four picks of the draft..... my sleeper needs:

 

5. Safety - the Bills have two excellent safeties. It cannot be underestimated how important Hyde and Poyer have been to everything McDermott has done - schematically, culturally, leadership wise... they were the first to acquisitions of the McDermott era and they have been two absolute cornerstones. Jordan Poyer deserves his overdue recognition. Hyde, who had a slightly below par 2020 and I worried might be on the downslope, has had a nice bounce back year. But Hyde is 31 and Poyer will be by the time the 2022 season kicks off. They have both been exceptionally healthy over the 5 years too which is a credit to them. The Bills have Juan Johnson and Damar Hamlin as day 3 draft picks who play teams and provide depth (Johnson is a core STs guy) but they need to keep stacking there because one day soon a Bills team will lineup without those two guys on the backend. 

 

6. Tight End - maybe less a sleeper need - it's a big need. We have a legitimate top 10/15 tight end in Knox now, but we have zero depth behind him. This is not a good tight end class but I feel like thought should be given to a late flier on a guy. You are not getting a well rounded guy late but either take a late guy who is more of a blocker or take a late guy who is essentially a big slot receiver at the tight end spot. 

 

7. Linebacker - again we have some young guys, but we are likely to move on from Klein for cap reasons which does weaken our depth behind Edmunds and Milano. 

 

Gunner, you are one of my many favorites on this site. I love your analysis. I agree with your list wholeheartedly. I still think the Bills need that explosive RB. I want to see what Breece Hall runs in the 40. If he’s 4.4 or better, he’s my 1st rd pick. Many will disagree, but this will help Josh game exponentially. Look at his stats, he’s best in the playaction game. I’d fix the interior line like you said later in the draft because of the depth. Jake Ferguson or Jeremy Ruckert would be an ideal #2 TE. DB depth is a concern and I’d target the HBCU teams improve there. Markquese Bell at safety. Decobie Durant and DeJaun Warren at CB. I’m also getting a punter. I like Araiza the best. DL prospects like Travis Jones or Siaki Ika can be had in RDs 3 or less. Looking forward to compensatory picks to help acquire the extra talent that’s in this draft like Darrian Beavers at LB

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12 hours ago, ScottLaw said:

You don’t have interior offensive line on your list and WR is way too low. It’s a higher priority than a lot of people seem to think.

 

Totally agree with this.

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