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Rd 3, Pick 89 (25): LB Terrell Bernard, Baylor


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1 minute ago, Airseven said:

The defense gets embarrassed over and over again against quality offenses. We know their top-ranking last year was deceiving. Simply adding more speed and athleticism, at any position, was a need. Bernard accomplishes that much. The question is third round value which was poor.

The third round had me scratching my head, too, but just because the pundits valued him in the 3rd round doesn't necessarily make it "gospel."  The Bills value players differently, I think because they really value the intangibles.  Obviously, there wasn't someone on their board that they valued more.  Beane said the run on WRs didn't play a part.  They have players currently on the team in depth positions that they like.  Ultimately, if players work out, it doesn't matter where they are drafted.  I do understand you position, though.

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1 minute ago, UKBillFan said:

I hope he is a steal and this thread will be treated like Josh's draft thread in the lore of TBD. Cook was a round too early but I can accept it; we needed a RB and he shows promise. We have someone where Beane has picked the player, thrown him at the coaches and told them to get the best out of him. In the third.

That's a real twisted description of what Beane said.

 

Then again, what's the issue of taking an athlete that's versatile and letting the staff maximize his ability?

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4 minutes ago, UKBillFan said:

So having slept on it I'm still unimpressed with the pick. Bernard himself looks to have promise but as a fourth or fifth round pick, not a third. He's a reach and I don't think we're in a position where we needed to reach.

 

I hope he is a steal and this thread will be treated like Josh's draft thread in the lore of TBD. Cook was a round too early but I can accept it; we needed a RB and he shows promise. We have someone where Beane has picked the player, thrown him at the coaches and told them to get the best out of him. In the third.

I agree. I have no idea how people can get behind this pick as a 3rd rounder. It baffles me how people just blindly support an obvious reach. It's like buying a civic for 45k and saying I know it's going to be a great car. 

Edited by newcam2012
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35 minutes ago, Tom Donahoe, GM said:

 

Bills can coach up LBs. I have no issues there. Seems like a smart AJ Klien replacement to me.

the level of coaching the Bills possess is only a Positive when it comes to molding this new talent. Give them the professional strength and conditioning, coach and develop them up into the best version of themselves as athletes. Im gonna cut the kid some slack and say well he Knows now there are doubters...show the world how RIGHT Beane and company were to draft him. Show up and show OUT young man. I'm pulling for you.

Just now, newcam2012 said:

I agree. I have no idea how people can get behibd this pick as a 3rd rounder. It baffles me how people just blindly support an obvious reach. It's like buying a civic for 45k and saying I know it's going to be a great car. 

show me your crystal ball where you can make such claims with such certainty and then I might buy your rhetoric.....until then you are blowing a lot of hot air its not convincing me its just all talk no reasoning.... 

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Speed, smarts, leadership, intangibles.  I think Beane went w/ his gut on this one, and saw a guy who could add a lot to this team.  

 

Maybe he could have gotten him in a later round, but who knows.  We also have to get out of the drought-era mentality where every pick had to hit for us to even be competitive.  Beane can take some risks now and it doesn't have as much of an impact if it doesn't pan out.

 

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4 minutes ago, newcam2012 said:

I agree. I have no idea how people can get behind this pick as a 3rd rounder. It baffles me how people just blindly support an obvious reach. It's like buying a civic for 45k and saying I know it's going to be a great car. 

It's almost like when the Bills drafted wrong Josh. 🙄

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1 minute ago, newcam2012 said:

I agree. I have no idea how people can get behind this pick as a 3rd rounder. It baffles me how people just blindly support an obvious reach. It's like buying a civic for 45k and saying I know it's going to be a great car. 


My counter argument is that football fans and draftniks get way too attached to their pre-draft rankings. 

We read these draft guides and watch a few Youtube highlight videos and think that all our perceived values are unimpeachable. We think that we know -- without ever having seen these players in person, ever having watched ACTUAL tape, ever having interviewed them and put them up on the whiteboard -- as much as the professional scouts and GMs who HAVE done those things.

So you get attached to your Lindy's or Athlon Sports or Dane Brugler draft guide ranking and consider it gospel, and then when the player gets picked earlier, you say it's a "reach", and if they get picked later, you say it's a "steal". 

This year's draft, more than any other before it, hasn't proven this once and for all: Fans know nothing. Media knows nothing. 

This isn't to say we have to blindly accept or defend all the picks that teams make. Sometimes they're dumb picks. So you may be right. Maybe Bernard was a reach. Or maybe your perceived value of him is wrong, and the pro scouts are right, and he'll play valuable sub-package downs for two years and then take over for Milano and save the Bills $7.5M. 

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9 minutes ago, newcam2012 said:

I agree. I have no idea how people can get behind this pick as a 3rd rounder. It baffles me how people just blindly support an obvious reach. It's like buying a civic for 45k and saying I know it's going to be a great car. 

 

Why is it an "obvious reach?"

 

Because a few mocks online had him later?

 

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4 minutes ago, newcam2012 said:

By your own accounts most had him projected as a 4th, 5th, and 6th round pick. To boot, you cherry picked this info from umpteen sources to try to support your viewpoint. It's no singing endorsement for the Bills 3rd round selection. No way should this guy have been selected on the 3rd round! Unless you like Beane reaches?

This is the kind of "who won the draft" thinking that increasingly bears no resemblance to reality.

 

This NFL draft basically an efficient market now. We used to see a lot of seat-of-the-pants GMs out there making decisions that were sometimes weird. I'm thinking Tebow here - the Josh McDaniels displaying his smartest man in the room syndrome and thinking he could turn a guy nobody saw as an NFL QB into just that by drafting him 25th overall. We almost never see that in the first round anymore.

 

Of course, there's going to be a much wider difference of opinion as you get into later picks: less of a consensus of who is the best player left on the board at pick 100 overall vs. pick 50, at 150 vs. at 100, etc. And then we get to the point where teams - particularly good teams (the Bills!) are going to be drafting based on need rather than best player available. So that injects more uncertainty as we move into the 3rd, 4th, 7th rounds. There's a perfectly good basis to criticize a "need" pick that doesn't appear to fill a real need, but that's not the case here since "Milano backup" is a real need.

 

But at least through about the 3rd round, one thing doesn't change: the information available to the 32 GMs out there. That's particularly true of players coming from a Baylor, where tape of every game, including conference championships and a major bowl game, are available. There's a tiny bit of team-specific info out there from interviews (and apparently in Bernard's case, from coaching staff personal relationships), but really, this is about as efficient a market as any player selection process in professional sports - unlike, say, MLB, we're not talking about pure athletic talent of an 18 year old high schooler vs. a strong statistical profile of a 21 year old major college player. The NFL has both: the athletic measureables, and the results against high-level competition.

 

So that's why I keep out of the interminable mock draft discussions,, and also most (with the exception of this one!) post-draft discussions. I have no basis for thinking I have more information that Brandon Beane about Terrell Bernard, about what other GMs think about him and where he may be selected, or about anything that matters. I know a little more about the Bills and where they stand in the competitive cycle (namely, this is the time to win a Super Bowl) and their positional needs now and in the next 3-4 years, and the pick makes perfect sense to me from that perspective. I have yet to see anyone here through 28+ pages provide any persuasive argument as to why this is an objectively poor draft pick - I've only seen speculation (the "Kiper had him as a 5th rounder" type stuff, or the "we could've traded down and taken him later" stuff) that I will simply ignore unless there's an objective basis for saying it.

 

 

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This guy is much more Milano than Edmunds.

Those expecting him to take over at MIKE are in for disappointment, I suspect. He's not a MIKE. I think he CAN player there if he has to fill in for injury or something, but he's a WILL.

When the Bills DO have to play 4-3 -- say, against the run-heavy Colts and Ravens of the world -- they'll now be able to do so while remaining much more viable against the pass. Playing nickel against these run heavy teams allowed them to get trampled by the ground game. Playing 4-3 against these teams left them vulnerable to play-action passing and second level completions.

Now, they can play more 4-3 than they have in the past if they choose to. I still expect them to be primarily a nickel defense, but when they DO go base, it should be much more effective with someone like Bernard in the lineup.

Versatility and unpredictability on defense. Versatility and unpredictability on offense. These are the themes of this draft. so far.

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So, I've popped in and out of this thread, read some posts, considered various objections, and I'll say that I found the pick perplexing, too, for many of the same reasons people raised here:  size, need, etc.  I've come to one conclusion:   Each and every objection that people raise to the Bernard pick was known to and understood by McDermott and Beane, and they took the guy anyway.   These guys are, as we all know, not stupid.  

 

Now, it's possible that they've made a mistake in their evaluation of the guy, and he will turn out not to have much value to the team.  And that may be the opinion of some people on this board, and their opinion may prove to be right.   I never put a lot of stock in those opinions, because the coaches and scouts have a lot more information than we do, so those opinions usually aren't based on nearly as much information as McBeane have.  Still, maybe those people are right. 

 

So, what is going on here?  Fundamentally, I think McBeane decided that the guy is just too good of a football not to add to the team.  He's athletic, smart, team-oriented, and a tireless worker.  In other words, he is the quintessential McDermott guy.   What is McDermott's plan for him?   I'd guess that he has ideas, but he doesn't have a single plan.   Maybe the guy takes Milano's job in a year or two, and the Bills trade Milano.   Maybe he takes MIlano's job, MIlano moves to the middle, and the Edmunds experiment ends.  In the short term, I'm guessing that he takes Klein's spot, and although he lacks the run stopping ability Klein brought, he adds speed, so the defense can be more versatile in how it attacks.   Bernard will rush the passer.  He will, as others have said, occasionally play in place of the nickel or dime back, because he can cover but he can do other stuff, too, so the Bills' intentions will be masked.  For example, if he's on the field in place of Johnson, he might be assuming the run-defense responsibility of one of the safeties, who in turn will be in pass coverage.   He almost certainly will take a role on the special teams, with the potential to be a star there. 

 

In short, I think Bernard is another (I hate the phrase) Swiss army knife.   He's a good football player whom McDermott wants on the field.  McDermott's pass defense schemes are somewhat ahead of the league, generally, and I think McDermott thinks Bernard may be the prototype for a different defender, a guy who's a combo linebacker/safety who's also a pass rusher.  

 

I don't know, but I am sure there are very good reasons why Bernard is now a Buffalo Bill. 

   

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22 minutes ago, newcam2012 said:

I agree. I have no idea how people can get behind this pick as a 3rd rounder. It baffles me how people just blindly support an obvious reach. It's like buying a civic for 45k and saying I know it's going to be a great car. 

It baffles me that just a fan thinks he knows more than a professional football organization.  Where did you have Dean slotted in your mock?

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Scouts’ opinions of Bernard from Bob McGinn’s draft profile series on Golongtd.com:

 

 

TERREL BERNARD, LB, Baylor

Height: 6-1.

Weight: 222.

40: 4.59.

Wonderlic: 30.

 

Hometown: La Porte, Texas.

 

Fact/Stat: Fifth-year senior, three-year starter … Finished his injury-riddled career with 317 tackles (31 ½ for loss), 16 ½ sacks, three interceptions, no forced fumbles and 12 passes defensed.

 

What NFL scouts told me about him before the draft…

 

AFC scout: “He’s better than the Wyoming guy (Chad Muma) but he’s little and he had a broken shoulder last year. He is a football-playin’ dude. A great kid, and really, really smart. Remember, Dat Nguyen was 218 at his pro day, too.”

 

NFC scout: “He’s just little. He’s got some quickness. He’s extraordinarily smart. Great makeup. He’s a leader. He’s an alpha. But he’s small, and in the NFL they start running power at you. They’re going to make you go straight down the pipe and take on that 330-pound pulling guard. He’s going to get bounced around. He’s tough, but he’s not strong. I wish I could say I liked him more. Put it this way: if he succeeds, it wouldn’t surprise me. He’s the type of guy that will find a way.”

 

AFC scout: “It wouldn’t surprise me if he could wear the green dot.”

 

NFC scout: “He can wear the green dot.”

 

AFC scout: “Undersized guy but he’s a good player. Late pick. He ran in the 4.5s. Best in space and laterally. He can rush the passer. Times his blitzes. Drops easy. Can cover.”

 

NFC scout: “Small guy that plays hard but very limited. He got beat up trying to take on. Not a very good athlete. He knows how to play. He’s got instincts. Free agent.”

 

AFC scout: “He can wear the green dot. Really smart. Just a really good player. Undersized, a little stiff, little limited in space. He just really has a nose for the ball and he always finds it. I do think he’ll be a low-end starter. You’ll want better but it’s hard to find teams that have three linebackers better than him.”

 

NFC scout: “He’s a versatile, every-down starter if he’s able to gain weight and stay healthy. All ball all the time. Confident, but not arrogant. Hard practice player. He’s the type you would hire to be a coach after he is done playing.”

 

AFC scout: “Definitely he could wear the green dot.”

 

NFC scout: “He’s too small and doesn’t make enough plays for me. Fifth or sixth round.”

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23 minutes ago, Logic said:


My counter argument is that football fans and draftniks get way too attached to their pre-draft rankings. 

We read these draft guides and watch a few Youtube highlight videos and think that all our perceived values are unimpeachable. We think that we know -- without ever having seen these players in person, ever having watched ACTUAL tape, ever having interviewed them and put them up on the whiteboard -- as much as the professional scouts and GMs who HAVE done those things.

So you get attached to your Lindy's or Athlon Sports or Dane Brugler draft guide ranking and consider it gospel, and then when the player gets picked earlier, you say it's a "reach", and if they get picked later, you say it's a "steal". 

This year's draft, more than any other before it, hasn't proven this once and for all: Fans know nothing. Media knows nothing. 

This isn't to say we have to blindly accept or defend all the picks that teams make. Sometimes they're dumb picks. So you may be right. Maybe Bernard was a reach. Or maybe your perceived value of him is wrong, and the pro scouts are right, and he'll play valuable sub-package downs for two years and then take over for Milano and save the Bills $7.5M. 

Great post! 👍

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4 minutes ago, Logic said:

Scouts’ opinions of Bernard from Bob McGinn’s draft profile series on Golongtd.com:

 

 

TERREL BERNARD, LB, Baylor

Height: 6-1.

Weight: 222.

40: 4.59.

Wonderlic: 30.

 

Hometown: La Porte, Texas.

 

Fact/Stat: Fifth-year senior, three-year starter … Finished his injury-riddled career with 317 tackles (31 ½ for loss), 16 ½ sacks, three interceptions, no forced fumbles and 12 passes defensed.

 

What NFL scouts told me about him before the draft…

 

AFC scout: “He’s better than the Wyoming guy (Chad Muma) but he’s little and he had a broken shoulder last year. He is a football-playin’ dude. A great kid, and really, really smart. Remember, Dat Nguyen was 218 at his pro day, too.”

 

NFC scout: “He’s just little. He’s got some quickness. He’s extraordinarily smart. Great makeup. He’s a leader. He’s an alpha. But he’s small, and in the NFL they start running power at you. They’re going to make you go straight down the pipe and take on that 330-pound pulling guard. He’s going to get bounced around. He’s tough, but he’s not strong. I wish I could say I liked him more. Put it this way: if he succeeds, it wouldn’t surprise me. He’s the type of guy that will find a way.”

 

AFC scout: “It wouldn’t surprise me if he could wear the green dot.”

 

NFC scout: “He can wear the green dot.”

 

AFC scout: “Undersized guy but he’s a good player. Late pick. He ran in the 4.5s. Best in space and laterally. He can rush the passer. Times his blitzes. Drops easy. Can cover.”

 

NFC scout: “Small guy that plays hard but very limited. He got beat up trying to take on. Not a very good athlete. He knows how to play. He’s got instincts. Free agent.”

 

AFC scout: “He can wear the green dot. Really smart. Just a really good player. Undersized, a little stiff, little limited in space. He just really has a nose for the ball and he always finds it. I do think he’ll be a low-end starter. You’ll want better but it’s hard to find teams that have three linebackers better than him.”

 

NFC scout: “He’s a versatile, every-down starter if he’s able to gain weight and stay healthy. All ball all the time. Confident, but not arrogant. Hard practice player. He’s the type you would hire to be a coach after he is done playing.”

 

AFC scout: “Definitely he could wear the green dot.”

 

NFC scout: “He’s too small and doesn’t make enough plays for me. Fifth or sixth round.”

 

Ouch.

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