Pro Football War Room

2015 NFL Draft - Mock Draft - Buffalo Bills Draft - Rankings

Thoughts on Week 2, Karlos, Dareus

Mike Watkins

8/22/16

@merk256


The Game

-Overall You have to be completely thrilled with what you saw out of Tyrod Taylor. He look poised and in complete control of the offense


-The OL looked shaky at times but it is also down a few starters. The advantage of having Taylor is they don’t have to be perfect but they do have to get better in pass blocking. Run blocking could also use some touch up


-Albright is making this team. Nearly every snap he is making the play or around the play


-The biggest change so far that I have witnessed with the defense is the DL play. They all seem to have bought in. This is big because DL in a 3-4 is not a glamorous position. There is a lot of dirty work involved and the praise comes in the overall performance of the defense rather that the individual


-Goodwin is an athlete and has talent, but can that talent stay on the field. I’m not counting on it


-I think Jerry Hughes is making a return to the double digit sack club. He also might be the leader of this defense


-Worthy is another in a growing list of good under the radar free agent pick ups by Whaley


Karlos Williams

-Completely and utterly disappointed in Karlos. I was excited to have what looked like a two headed monster at RB for at least another 2-3 years. He and McCoy complimented each other very well. I loved the way he ran and played the game as a rookie, he was one of my favorite players week in and week out


-The fall is dramatic and shocking. From a ultra-promising rookie year to being cut because of weight issues(and I’m sure the 4 game suspension played a part). The Hankerson cut sent a message, this cut sends a strait smack in the head to every player on the roster that thinks their spot is a lock. Rex and Whaley sent a clear message to the locker room “Anyone else care to F around and not take this seriously?”


-The one concern, and major one at that, that I had about Williams is the severe concussion he suffered during the year. I do believe that it has played a role in this, to what degree I do not know. My bet is however that Karlos with has a short shelf life with his style and that concussion issue. It actually may be better that he step away from the game for health reasons


Dareus

-I command Dareus for taking the 4 weeks he is going to have away to be proactive and improve his life. Yes it was pot and no I don’t agree that a player should be tested or suspended for the use of it. However it’s the discipline that it’s the issue. The Bills made a big investment and commitment to him by giving him generational wealth. He needs to return the commitment to them not only in season but in the offseason as well. Entering rehab is a step in that direction

Random Bills thoughts of the past week

Mike Watkins

8-18-16

@merk256


First Preseason Game

-The defense looks like it is running smoother. There are still some gaps but the wasted steps and movement is a lot less than it was last year. players seem to be in a lot better position than they were last year


-RB J.Williams reminds me a lot of T.Henry. He is quick with a low center of gravity. He isn't going to break a lot of 20+ runs but he'll pop a lot of 8-10 yarders which will drive any opposing defense nuts


-CB Seymour looks like he is adapting well. At the very least he should be solid depth this year. He still has some work to do but the early returns look great for a 6th rounder


-The Bills DL looks a lot more comfortable in their positions this year. DL coach Blake will be one of the best additions this offseason. You can already see his handy work in the play of Washington


-The WR position still looks like Watkins, Woods and a whole bunch of question marks. Goodwin flashes but you can't trust him to stay on the field


-C.Jones showed some flashes and showed why he really shouldn't see the field for 2016.


-The Ik injury is another one in a long line of injuries at the position but let's be real, he was never anything to write home about. He is more of a pet project of Rex to twist the nuts of the Jets. This will end up being good for the Bills as a player more deserving will take his place


-The Bills really need C.Clay to get through the year healthy. There is nothing and I mean nothing behind him


Overall: I thought the Bills played solid for the first game. There was a lot to like about the rookies and new additions performances. Obviously there is still a long way to go but it looks like the players are more comfortable this year after one game


Other

-I like the cutting of Hankerson. Not that I want to see anyone fail or lose their job but it sends a clear message that you need to be on top of your game everyday


-Extremely Disappointed in Dareus. He needs to get his act together. He is to important of a player and too expensive to be sitting on the sideline for the first 4 games of the year


-Anyone saying to cut Dareus is delusional at best. Talent buys you chances, and it should. An All Pro should not be treated the same as a roster bubble player. This is a sports hierarchy


-Kroy Biermann is a solid player pickup for this part of the year. He’s not going to light the world on fire but he isn’t going to embarrass you either


-Honestly You can call the stadium whatever you want. It’s just something I can’t get that fired up about. I personally think that it’s great that New Era owns the naming rights now. It’s a great local company that I am a huge fan of.

2016 Bills Draft Review and Grades

Mike Watkins

@merk256

5/1/16


Round 1: S.Lawson, Clemson- Need met value in the first round for the Bills here. Once the clock started and he was there it was a done deal for the Bills. I had stated before the draft that if the Bills could come out of Thursday with Lawson or Spence it would be a win. Well, it’s a win. Lawson give the Bills the type of versatile relentless player that Rex loves for his defense. Lawson will start right away according to Whaley and its easy to see why. He puts as much effort into stopping the run as his does rushing the passer. With his size length and athletic ability Lawson should be an ideal fit for the Bills in the defense and contribute right away. Overall this was an excellent pick for the Bills


Grade: A, Need meets value


Round 2: R.Ragland, Alabama-They paid a little much to move up 8 spots but Rex needs his D.Harris/R.Lewis for his defense so you can live with it. Ragland can be that guy. Now while I am not as high on him as others he does offer a lot of things to this defense. He is an extremely intelligent and instinctive player which is needed in this defense. The Alabama defense is one of the more complex in College football and Ragland mastered it. Rex needs this type of mind on the field to make his defense operate properly so Ragland should see time early and often. Now you can spin it however you want but Ragland has issues with pass defense. His own college coach knew it and took him out of certain packages or adjusted assignments to work around it. I expect the Bills to do the same. Ragland will see a lot of time as a blitzer, something he excelled at in college


Grade: A-, Rex gets his Field General


Round 3: A.Washington-The Bills doubled down on DL in the 3rd round and selected one of the better interior pass rushers in the draft in Washington. Ultimately he will be a 3-4 DE but that is not where he will start. Mentally Washington can not play that position even though he is physical ideal. I’ve always said that the hardest part about finding 5 techs and 0/1 techs is finding the players who mentally want to do it. There is no glamour in the position but its extremely important in getting Rex scheme to operate correctly. Washington will spend the early part of his career in the nickel and die sub packages taking advantage of what he does best and that’s getting after the QB. From there its on the coaches to sell him on the less glamorous positions of the 3-4 base


Grade: B, I would have gone NT but there is a lot of promise with Washington in a pass first league


Round 4: C.Jones, Ohio State-Not gonna lie I’m not a fan of this pick. Yes he has the size and the arm, that’s where the good ends. Once opposing teams had tape on him and the coaching staff tried to open the offense more the worse Cardale looked. Those are massive problems and not problems that are easily correctable or correctable at all. He’ll have real issues even becoming a avg back up. I compare him to JaMarcus Russell or John Skelton. Both players had similar attributes and nearly the same issues. The bright side is at least the Bills took a QB. I hope he proves me dead wrong


Grade: F, Passed on better players at the position and far better players at other positions


Round 5: J.Williams, Arkansas- For those who don’t follow college football closely this is very much a “Who?” pick. Williams to me makes a lot of sense. He has a lot of the things I look for in RB’s. First and foremost he has excellent balance. This is so key for any RB as it will add additional key yards to any run. He is also very much a one cut and go RB which is what I prefer at the position. Some may not like the position but with how much the bills run the ball in my opinion they should and will carry 4 RB’s on the roster. The position was riddled with injuries last year and this pick tells me the Bills will not be caught holding the bag again


Grade: B+, Williams is an underrated talent and adds much needed depth to a run first team


Round 6: K.Listenbee, TCU-I feel like I have been saying for over a year now that the Bills offense really needs a deep threat on the other side of Watkins. The popular thought was they needed and most wanted size. To me that made little sense and was redundant. The Bills need a deep threat so they don’t have to count on Watkins to be that guy. By doing so that make Watkins even more lethel because now he can run any route on any snap. This threat would also pull the S back off the LOS allowing players like McCoy and Clay space to operate in the middle of the field. Both of whom are excellent with the ball in their hands. Finally it will allow Taylor to become more comfortable throwing to the middle of the field by uncluttering it, an issue he has. Now is a 6th round pick going to accomplish this? Likely not but it puts the guy, Goodwin, who is supposed to be that threat on notice and gives him some competition. Listenbee has a lot of work to do to become a legit deep threat, yes it takes more than just being fast, but I like what the Bills are trying to accomplish with the selection


Grade: B+, The Bills try to add a home run threat to the offense


Round 6: K.Seymour, USC-Most have killed this pick but honestly I don’t mind it. Right when you start getting to the late 6th and absolutely in the 7th my general rule of thumbe is pick an athletic freak with tech isssues and see if you can coach him up. Seymour is that guy. Measurables are what you want at the position and he needs a lot of work. Start him off on Special teams, have the coaches work with him and see if you can mold him into a solid player. I like the pick


Grade: B, Uber athlete project


Overall draft Grade B+

The Bills had a clear vision of what they wanted to get done in this draft and the issues they wanted to address and for the most part they accomplished it. I agree with and am happy with most of their selections and at worst think this will be a solid draft with a shot to be a key one moving forward for this front office and coaching staff.


Other thoughts

-The Bills did not try and pretend that the issues of last year did not happen or that they can just be coached away and they used their most valuable draft assets to address it. Reading that you likely think “don’t all teams and GM’s do that” the answer is no, they don’t. The Bills were clearly laser focused on addressing the problems of the front 7 last year, specifically the ability to generate a pass rush. They used their first rounder on arguably the most disruptive and best pass rushing DE in college last year. They trade up in the 2nd to get a LB with one of his best attributes being his ability to blitz. They then use their third rounder on a DT who’s best ability is to rush the passer. Its clear the Bills identified the ability to rush generate a pass rush as a big problem and were aggressive in fixing in it


-One position the Bills may regret not addressing is Safety. I think there is a big issue there and with an injury it becomes a really big problem for the Bills. You can not address everything in the offseason but not being more aggressive there may haunt the Bills


-Common thread for most of the Bills selections was big contributors, from big successful winning programs. There first 4 selection came from schools who have been in the title hunt or have won the national title over the past two years. Its clear the Bills wanted winning players from winning schools early and often

Bills Stick to Draft Blue Print - Draft Grade (A-)
by Anthony D. Macari

Bills stuck to a carefully planned script throughout the draft by bringing in prospects they knew well. The picks mostly followed a profile of coming from major programs that produced as a team at the highest level (top 4 picks all played on teams that played for the National Championship over the past 2 years. They also added speed and athleticism to the roster at key positions late. They boldly traded up in the second round for Reggie Ragland and rolled the dice on a raw QB prospect with few starts, but a cannon for an arm and a championship ring on his finger. All in all, they added talent at positions of need that fit a blue print for the kind of team Rex Ryan and Doug Whaley want to build. This team's talent is now a much better fit for what Rex wants to do and hopefully the results show on the field. 

Round 1 - Pick 19 (19)

Shaq Lawson - DE - Clemson

6'3" 269


Hard to imagine a better fit for the Bills than Shaq. He will step in day one and fill Mario Williams role opposite Hughes at DE/ Edge. His versatility is a huge plus and gives Rex a valuable weapon he needs to run his D his way. Lawson has the hands and burst to pressure the QB and the size and strength the set the edge. He had his best games when the light shined brightest especially the National Championship game. If he commits to the weight room and buys into Rex's system, he has the potential to be a game changer. 


Round 2 - Pick 10 (41)

Reggie Ragland- LB - Alabama

6'1" 247


If you love old school football, Ragland will be a favorite. He's a down hill thumper with better than advertised athleticism. He was the heart and soul of 'Bama's National Championship Defense. Most early mocks, including mine, projected Ragland to the Bills. When he slipped to the top of the 2nd round, Whaley pounced and moved up, trading away their 4th round picks in 2016 & 2017. A steep price, but considering, according to Whaley, he was next on their board behind Shaq in the first, this is great value. He fills a huge immediate need and even if he only is on the field for 2 downs early in his career, he's the kind of player that will make all around him better. Even in today's pass happy league, you need an anchor in the middle to stuff the run. That can come by either a space eating nose tackle up front or a thumper like Ragland at ILB. The Bills passing on a true NT throughout this draft means they primarily plan to continue to try to rely on their front 4 to generate pressure and rely on the LB's to stack and shed to stuff the run. Ragland will have to be used in blitz packages to stay on the field on 3rd down, but that could be a strength. Ragland will be an instant fan favorite and as a guy projected to go in the 1st round who slipped to round 2, will come in with a chip on his shoulder. 

Round 3 - Pick 17 (80)

Adolphus Washington- DT - Ohio State

6'3" 301


Washington is a penetrating interior d-lineman that will instantly be used in rotation with Kyle and Dareus inside. With Kyle going down with injuries the past few seasons, this was a much needed infusion of youth and athleticism. He has a sophisticated repertoire of pass rush moves and a great burst to shoot the gap. Rex will turn him lose to get after the passer, but he also can be a force against the run. 3rd straight pick who played in a National Championship game for a major program. 

Round 4 - Pick 41 (139)

Cardale Jones - QB - Ohio State

6'5" 253


Cardale Jones is a physical freak with a cannon for an arm. For the 4th straight pick, the Bills go for a player who played for a National Championship. With that being said, this is easily my least favorite pick in the draft. I can't think of a single case where a QB prospect who got drafted because of his physical attributes but could not win a starting job at his college went on to a successful NFL career. He had a magical run to a National Championship as a 3rd string QB who due to injury was thrust into the spotlight, but he failed to sustain that level of production once there was tape on him in 2015. After 3 games, he was benched and never regained his starting job. The plan is to have him sit and learn, but I just don't see him being able to adjust to the speed at the NFL level with a clipboard in his hand. Connor Cook got knocked for not being named team captain, but Cardale won a National Title at QB, wasn't voted a captain (OSU had 6) and lost his job due to inaccuracy, lack of production on 3rd down and in the red zone and a lack of leadership. I hope I am wrong, but this pick screams bust and a waste of a pick. The biggest risk isn't getting no value out of a 4th round pick, the biggest risk is moves are or aren't made at the position because of that great tease of talent Cardale posses. Potential can be a coach & franchise killer if it fails to materialize.  

Round 5 - Pick 18 (156)

Jonathan Williams - RB - Arkansas

5'11" 220


A shifty 3 down back who sat out all of 2015 due to a foot injury that required surgery. Assuming he comes back 100%, this pick could be a steal. On the surface RB wasn't a need, but the Bills are a team that absolutely wants to base their offense around the run and Shady is 27 with a lot of mileage and Karlos Williams has concussion concerns. May end up being the 2nd best back in this draft behind Elliott. If your in a fantasy keeper league, you may want to scoop him up. 

Round 6 - Pick 17 (192)

Kolby Listenbee - WR - TCU

6'0" 197


Listenbee may be the fastest player in the draft. he ran a 4.39 at the combine with a double hernia. The plan is clear that Bills want to introduce a deep threat opposite Sammy to help open things up for the run game underneath. Listenbee not only brings world class track speed, but has solid hands and the ability to make adjustments to the ball in the air. The major risk, as with most track star receivers, is his ability to stay healthy. 

Round 6 - Pick 43 (218)

Kevon Seymour - CB - USC

5'11" 186


Like Listenbee, Seymour is a burner. He largely disappointed at USC not producing to the level of his ability. However, you can't teach that kind of speed, so if he can become a student of the game he has some great upside. He'll have to make the roster based on his willingness to commit to special teams and in dime packages. 

Quick Thoughts morning of Day 2

Mike Watkins

@merk256

4/29/16


-Sweet Home Alabama: That’s what the Alabama vaunted defenders did on Thursday night. The reality is their stock is being impacted by the former Alabama players that were highly regarded and selected only to not come anywhere close to live up to the billing. Sabans players are now getting the dreaded “System Player” label. I think the drop will be short lived in the 2nd round however

 

-Myles Jack Knee: Once Atlanta passed, a team that has a big need at the position and his former college coach, it became clear that the reports on his knee are accurate if not worse. I still think the knee is worth the risk given the talent level of the player. Some team in the early 2nd will pull the trigger I imagine

 

-Speed Kills: Coleman went right about where I thought he would and Fuller coming off the board next isn’t that surprising. The guy can be a game breaker and you can work on his hands, the 4.3 speed you can not

 

-The QB’s: Will be really interesting how the next set of QB’s shake out. I have two QB’s with a day two ranking and that’s Cook and Hogan.

 

-The Drop: If you think that one video was the reason Tunsil dropped you really do not get how this process works. Its pretty clear at this point Tunsil has some off the field issues. NFL staffs do extensive back round checks and it had been rumored that Tunsil had been slowly dropping for a month. Now we see why

 

The Bills

-A lot of ways the Bills could go here but Some name I like are Billings, Reed, Jack, Smith, Ogbah, Spence, Bell, Alexander, M.Thomas, C.Cook


-Of those my top 3 would be Spence, Billing, and Reed. V.Bell and M.Alexander next up


-That said the Bills really need to find a way to come out of tonight with a S or a LB that can push for a starting gig. My guess is it will be a Safety and I think the Bills will take Vonn Bell if he’s on the board in the 2nd


-With the third Round Pick I believe the Bills will take a QB. Whomever is there of C.Jones, Hackenburg, Hogan

2016 Morning of Mock Draft, Happy Draft Day

Mike Watkins
@merk256
4/28/16
 






1.Rams: J.Goff, Cal
 
2.Eagles: C.Wentz, SDST
 
3.Chargers: L.Tunsil, Ole Miss
 
4.Cowboys: J.Ramsey, Florida St
 
5.Jaguars: J.Bosa, Ohio State
 
6.Ravens: D.Buckner, Oregon
 
7.49ers: P.Lynch, Memphis
 
8.Browns: R.Stanley, Notre Dame
 
9.Buccaneers: V.Hargreaves, Florida
 
10.Giants: E.Elliot, Ohio State, RB
 
11.Bears: M.Jack, UCLA
 
12.Saints: S.Rankins, Louisville, DT
 
13.Dolphins: L.Floyd, Georgia
 
14.Raiders: D.Lee, Ohio St
 
15.Titans: J.Conklin, Michigan St
 
16.Lions: T.Decker, Ohio State
 
17.Falcons: C.Coleman, Baylor  
 
18.Colts: S.Lawson, Clemson
 
19.Bills: K.Joseph, West Virginia
 
20.Jets: J.Doctson, TCU
 
21.Redskins: A.Billings, Baylor
 
22.Texans: L.Treadwell, Ole Miss
 
23.Vikings: N.Spence, E.Kentucky
 
24.Bengals: J.Reed, Alabama
 
25.Steelers: W.Jackson, Houston
 
26.Seahawks: R.Kelly, Alabama
 
27.Packers: K.Dodd, Clemson
 
28.Chiefs: E.Apple, Ohio St
 
29.Cardinals: A.Burns, Miami
 
30.Panthers: W.Fuller, Notre Dame
 
31.Broncos: A.Robinson, Alabama
 
 
-First the Bills selection: The Bills Safety play last year was pretty atrocious. Williams returning will help but he has health concerns. Graham really shouldn’t be a 16 game starter and his value is more in the role of jack of all trades depth.
 
Joseph provides the Bills with a few things. First he’ll be an instant starter. He lives and breathes football which I’m sure made big fans of this coaching staff. He has great instincts and can play either FS or SS. This provides the Bills with protection for both Williams and Graham
 
Joseph also in theory will give Rex that CF ball hawking Safety that allows Rex to do a lot of things in terms of coverage and blitz’s. Since he left Baltimore he has not been able to find that Ed Reed type player to stalk the middle of the field. This is extremely valuable in the defense that Rex likes to employ
 
I personally like Joseph as a player and think he would make a great fit. He improves the defense up the middle on the 2nd and 3rd levels which the Bills desperately need. He can also provide nickel and dime coverage help at the CB spot when needed
 
Can the move down and select him? Possibly, I would try but if he is the pick, I expect it to be made at 19
 
-To me Goff is the no brainer number 1
 
-I have Tunsil and Stanley dead even. I think both will be franchise LT’s. If I had to choose one I would take Stanley but you can’t go wrong with either
 
-49ers selection was one of the more difficult ones. I think Chip Kelly learned in Philly that he should take a QB early in the draft and early in his tenure so he can mold him the way he wants
 
-If Ramsey is on the board and the Cowboys do not select him, the franchise should be stripped from the Jones family
 
-Bosa on one side Fowler on the other. If you are the Jags coaching staff and or fans you must like the sound of that
 
-Giants have been chasing an explosive RB for years. If Elliot is there I think this is the year they finally get him
 
-Its terrible that what should have been a great LB class with 2 lock top 10 picks, 1 of whom would have pushed to been the top selection, was taken from us by injuries
 
-I think you’ll see a lot of DL go at the end of round 1 as the usually flurry of trades happens. They will drop because the class is so deep and teams will figure they can get one later and then panic to move up to get the one they want

PFWR Final 2016 Mock Draft
by Anthony D. Macari

1. Los Angeles Rams:   Jared Goff  QB Cal

The Rams make the bold move up to try to find their franchise QB for their new home in L.A.


2. Philadelphia Eagles:  Carson Wentz QB ND State

Like the Rams, the Eagles make the bold move to trade up to cleanse away the Chip Kelly era.


3. San Diego Chargers: Laremy Tunsil OT Ole Miss

A big blindside protector for Rivers falls in their lap. I don’t believe the smoke screens about Stanley or Ramsey here.


4. Dallas Cowboys: Jalen Ramsey S Florida State

Ramsey vs OBJ will be must watch TV 2 times a year.


5. Jacksonville Jaguars:   Joey Bosa E Ohio State

Jags not only get and potentially dominant edge rusher, they get some much needed personality.


6. Baltimore Ravens:  Leonard Floyd E Georgia

First real swing pick of the draft. I had Elliot going to them earlier but think they look to inject youth in an aging D. With Bosa off the board and questions about Jack and Lawson’s health, Floyd is a good fit.


7. SF 49ers: Deforest Buckner DT Oregon

With no QB worth the reach here, look for them to go on the other side of the ball with a beast for the inside of their D-Line.


8. Cleveland Browns:  Ronnie Stanley OT Notre Dame

There is a lot of late buzz around Stanley. Always a good idea to rebuild starting with the O-Line.


9. Tampa Bay Bucs:  Vernon Hargraves III CB Florida

A major upgrade for their secondary.


10. NJ Giants: Myles Jack ILB UCLA

Potential reward exceeds risk at this point for Giants and fills a long standing need.


11. Chicago Bears: Shaq Lawson E Clemson

As long as the medical questions check out, adding a pass rusher like Lawson is a no brainer for Bears.


12. New Orleans Saints:  Noah Spence E E. Kentucky

Adding pressure from the Edge a good start to rebuilding D.


13. Miami Dolphins:  Ezekiel Elliott RB Ohio State

Fish will run to podium to add top Offensive skill player in draft


14. Oakland Raiders: Sheldon Rankins DT Louisville

Generating pressure up the middle will be a huge plus for this Defense


15. Tennessee Titans:  Jack Conklin OT Michigan State

Titans would be ecstatic if Conklin were on the board to protect Mariota


16. Detroit Lions:  Jarran Reed DT Alabama

Huge hole in the middle of the D-Line field with a huge man.


17. Atlanta Falcons: Darron Lee LB Ohio State

Lee will be a target for defenses like the Falcons that covet speed.


18. Indianapolis Colts:  Taylor Decker OT Ohio State

No bigger priority than keeping Luck on the field.


19. Buffalo Bills: Andrew Billings DT Baylor

Billings is the anchor in the middle the Bills need to run Rex’s Defense properly. Dareus would be free to move to the 3 or 5 tech and Billings will keep the LB’s and Edge rushers clean as he occupies blockers up front. Ragland, Ogbah and Alexander would all be good considerations here for the Defense but adding Billings could make the biggest impact for Rex. Treadwell or Coleman would be strongly considered on offense as will QB Paxton Lynch or Connor Cook but I think giving Rex the tools he needs to dominate on Defense has to be the priority.


20. NJ Jets: Paxton Lynch QB Memphis

Jets give Chan Gailey an athletic QB to coach up. Look for them to re-sign Fitz or bring in Hoyer on a short term contract and start working Lynch in on special packages while they groom him to take over.


21. Washington Redskins: Reggie Ragland LB Alabama

Thumper for the middle of their D.


22. Houston Texans: Corey Coleman WR Baylor

They give Osweiler a deep threat to pair with Hopkins.


23. Minnesota Vikings: Laquon Treadwell WR Ole Miss

Vikings give Bridgewater a big target. Poor 40 time drops him here but super productive and plays faster than timed.


24. Cincinnati Bengals:  Josh Doctson WR TCU

Bengals complete the WR run with a weapon to go opposite Green.


25. Pittsburgh Steelers:  William Jackson III CB Houston

Steelers find good value for a big need.


26. Seattle Seahawks: Germain Ifedi OT Texas A&M

Seattle needs to rebuild their O-Line


27. Green Bay Packers: Vernon Butler DT Lousiana Tech

Packers try to fill BJ Raji's enormous shoes.


28. Kansas City Chiefs: Eli Apple CB Ohio State

Chiefs reach a bit to try to replace Sean Smith


29. Arizona Cardinals: Ryan Kelly C Alabama

One of their few needs.


30. Carolina Panthers: Cyrus Jones CB Alabama

Panthers look to soften the blow of losing Josh Norman


31. Denver Broncos: Connor Cook QB Michigan State

Cook may be most NFL ready QB and may be needed right away for Super Bowl Champs.



Thoughts on possible selections at 19

Mike Watkins

@merk256

4/24/16


Who I want to draft


-N.Spence: Spence is my top choice for the Bills. Yes he will need some work but the talent is there especially from a pass rushing standpoint. In a passing league that trait is at a premium


-S.Lawson: Athletically Lawson could be criticized but I watched him make to many plays in college not to think he is going to be a good to very good player on the next level. His ability to move around in the defense is valuable for what the Bills run


-E.Ogbah: If the Bills were a stratight 4-3 team Ogbah would be the top guy on the list. It will be an adjustment to a 3-4 OLB but given the amount of time spent in Nickel and Dime passages the it shouldn’t be to much of an issue


I’d be happy with


-A.Billings: Any 3-4/Hybrid needs a center of gravity NT. Billings is that and the bonus is that it will allow Dareus to move out to DE and 3 tech in passing downs which is a far better use of his talents


-J.Reed: One of the safest players the Bills could take at 19. Would be an instant contributor and at worst a good player for a decade


-S.Rankins: I don’t love the fit but his talent especially his ability to rush the passer would make an immediate impact. He’d be a great replacement down the line for Kyle Williams


-C.Coleman: of the WR’s Coleman to make would be the best fit for what the Bills have and need


-T.Decker: Could Start at RT immediately and would provide protection if a long term deal cant be worked out with Glenn. More of a RT on Sundays though


-J.Conklin: See Decker


Don’t love it but don’t hate it


-L.Floyd: A lot of really good tape and a lot of bad tape. Has the versatility that I like and so does Rex


-D.Lee: If the Bills didn’t have the Patriots twice a year he would be farther down. Athletically has everything you want. Instincts are sub par however


-R.Ragland: I think he’ll be good, but he’ll never be great due to limitations in coverage


-L.Treadwell: I like the player but I wouldn’t be thrilled with the fit in terms of what the Bills already have at the skill positions.


-M.Alexander: One of the more underrated players in the draft. I like the way Alexander plays. He also provides protection if Gilmore gets away


-A.Robinson: With his physical skills he shouldn’t even been on the board at 19. His engine runs a little to cool for my liking. If they can get that engine to run hot it’d be a very good pick


-P.Lynch: I’m not the biggest Lynch fan but I would like the aggressiveness in getting this QB spot figured out


-C.Cook: There is just something off about Cook. His accuracy is a red flag and so some off the field rumors. But the kid did step up a lot for the Spartans


-J.Doctson: See Treadwell


Think it’s a reach but I like the player, but they should’ve moved back


-V.Butler: There is a lot to like about Butler and how he fits the Bills defense, but I don’t ever see him being elite


-K.Correa: There is a lot of potential but to many times he should have dominated but didn’t


-C.Jones: The talent is there but to many times I watched him mail it in for extended stretches


-V.Bell: Best Safety in the draft not named Ramsey but they could move down into the late first and safely take him in my opinion


-W.Fuller: Big fan of Fullers but his drops will make you drink. But he will make opposing teams pay multiple times deep. At worst he’s Mario Manningham, at best Lee Evans


-J.Bullard: A lot of physical talent that needs a lot of work. Get him a good DL coach and he’ll pay big dividends. Still you want more refinement in the first


-M.Thomas: likely the most well rounded WR in the draft. Has a low ceiling in my opinion though


-S.Cravens: To much of a tweener to use a first round pick on. Will make a nice situational player for a team. Good instincts though


Reach and I don’t like the player


-J.Spriggs: Solid athlete, but will get bulldozed on Sundays


-G.Ifedi: He has a 1st round grade but I don’t see it. I see a project that will take multiple years to straighten out


-R.Nkemdiche: Physical monster but puts forth about zero effort most of the time and the off the field is a big red flagg


-E.Apple: I have a third on him. I don’t like his instincts at all and he’s not nearly as physical as the scouts are making him out to be

2016 PFWR Big Board & Mock Tracker

The fireworks have already begun with the two block buster trades for the first 2 picks in the draft. Now that those moves have been made, the top of the should be fairly predictable.


For the Bills, I see them looking to add Defensive talent early and often that fit Rex's scheme. Getting a big space eating NT will be a critical add and I see them pulling the trigger on Baylor DT Andrew Billings with their first pick. Ragland would be a consideration, but similar 2 down thumpers can be had later in the draft. 


Whaley seems driven to add a QB as either leverage or precaution if Tyrod walks. The best case scenario is for Tyrod to take that next step, stay healthy and be the Bills franchise QB they have been seeking for 2 decades, but I understand investing a high pick as a precaution if that doesn't happen. The one guy in this draft that most intrigues me and may end up being the steal of the whole thing, is Christian Hackenberg. Yes, his numbers were awful his last 2 years at Penn State, but he was put in a near impossible situation. He really should have bailed on Penn State after O'Brien left for the Texans. There is no doubt his play degenerated and he has developed major breakdowns in his fundamentals, especially footwork that will need to be completely broken down and reworked. However, look at his freshman tape when he actually had some talent around him and a coach that had him in a system best suited for his talents. Hackenberg has more control at the line of scrimmage than I have seen given to a college QB since Luck came out. He is best suited to a pro-style play action offense where he can make throws from the pocket or on controlled roll outs. With a solid line and some time to eliminate the bad habits developed behind one of the worst O-Lines in the country the past two seasons, he could develop into a franchise QB and may end 3 years down the road as the best QB in this class. That's a lot of ifs, but I think in the second round, it is well worth the risk. 


The rest of the Bills draft is listed at the bottom of my mock. look for at least 2 LB's to be added, another WR to compliment Sammy and a safety or corner. Adding competition for the RT position is also a need. 

2016 Bills Schedule Notes

For a change, the league seemed to try to be fair when putting together the Bills schedule. There is not the string of late season away games, or tons of games coming off opponents byes, especially division games. Of course, the Patriots do get their annual schedule advantage of having extra time to prepare for the Bills in week 4, but at least its off a Thursday Night game, not a bye. The league also successfully spread out the Bills numerous west coast games, giving them a bye after their lone Monday Night game against the Seahawks. They also put division games before west coast trips and not after. 


The Bills will be tested early with 4 division games in the first half plus a tough road opener against Baltimore and week 3 home match up against Super Bowl contender Arizona. Getting the Patriots times in the first half is an interesting twist. They must break through and win a meaningful game against the Pats. The second half doesn't start easy either with a road prime time affair against Seattle.  The Bills home opener will be a prime time Thursday night match up with Rex's old crew from New Jersey. The Ralph should be rocking for that one. 


The real interesting stretch of the schedule is in the final quarter, where the Bills will get 3 straight December home games and than finish up New Years day on the road against the Jets. The way the schedule sets up, they may need to run the table for those last 4 games to end the playoff drought. 


Looking at this by quarters to get to 10-6, they will need to be 2-2 in the first Quarter with a must win against the Jets at home and pull one upset on the road vs the Pats or Ravens or Cards at home. I think they get the opener against the Ravens and Jets but lose to the Cards and Pats.  


Second Quarter, they will need to go 3-1 with wins over 49ers, Rams and Dolphins. A win vs the Pats at home would be a must if they want to contend for the division, but I'll take a Wild Card if you gave it to me right now. So that's 5-3 at the half way mark.


The next quarter is split by their bye. I don't see them being able to knock of the Seahawks in prime time, Cincinnatti and the Raiders on the road will also be tough. The Jags at home is a must win. 2-2 would be great, but 1-3 this stretch is probably more likely. 


That would set up the final 4 as all must wins. They really should run the table for the remainder of their home schedule against the Steelers, Browns and Dolphins (how much fun is it to get the Dolphins in Buffalo deep in December?), which means the January 1st game on the road against the Jets could be a play in game, possibly for both teams. 


Another way to look at it is they need to dominate at home with no more than 1 loss, likely against either the Pats or Cardinals and find a way to get one win in the second half on the road against either the Bengals, Raiders or Jets. 

2016 Mock Draft V 1.0














Mike Watkins

@merk256

4/6/16


1.Titans: L.Tunsil, Ole Miss, OT

2.Browns: J.Goff, Cal, QB

3.Chargers: D.Buckner, Oregon, DE/DT

4.Cowboys: J.Ramsey, Florida State, S/CB

5.Jaguars: J.Bosa, Ohio State, DE

6.Ravens: M.Jack, UCLA, LB

7.49ers: C.Wentz, SDST, QB

8.Eagles: V.Hargreaves, Florida, CB

9.Buccaneers: R.Stanley, Notre Dame, OT

10.Giants: E.Elliot, Ohio State, RB

11.Bears: S.Lawson, Clemson, DE/LB

12.Saints: S.Rankins, Louisville, DT

13.Dolphins: M.Alexander, Clemson, CB

14.Raiders: J.Reed, Alabama, DT

15.Rams: P.Lynch, Memphis, QB

16.Lions: J.Conklin, Michigan St, OT

17.Falcons: E.Ogbah, Oklahoma St, DE/OLB

18.Colts: K.Dodd, Clemson, DE

19.Bills: N.Spence, E.Kentucky, DE/OLB: If the draft plays out this way the Bills would be wise to move back if possible. Getting a 2nd rounder this year or next would be the ideal situation.


That said I don’t project trades in my mocks. Staying here the Bills have to get the most bang for their buck and while the options are plentiful I think Spence makes the most sense. Yes he has off the field issues but the talent will likely be to much for the Bills to pass on


The pass rush needs an injection of youth and talent. Spence is relentless and fits the mold of what the Bills would like to do on defense. I compare him to T.Suggs of the Ravens, Rex Ryan knows the value of having that type of player


20.Jets: L.Floyd, Georgia, LB

21.Redskins: A.Robinson, Alabama, DT

22.Texans: C.Coleman, Baylor, WR

23.Vikings: L.Treadwell, Ole Miss, WR

24.Bengals: A.Billings, Baylor, DT

25.Steelers: W.Jackson, Houston, CB

26.Seahawks: R.Nkemdiche, Ole miss, DT

27.Packers: D.Lee, Ohio State, LB

28.Chiefs: R.Ragland, Alabama, LB

29.Cardinals: T.Decker, Ohio State, OT

30.Panthers: V.Bell, Ohio St., S

31.Broncos: C.Cook, Michigan State, QB

Top 5 Offense, March

Mike Watkins

@merk256

3/27/16









QB

1.J.Goff, Cal

2.C.Wentz, SDST

3.C.Cook, Michigan St

4.K.Hogan, Stanford

5.P.Lynch, Memphis


RB

1.E.Elliot, Ohio State

2.T.Ervin, San Jose St

3.D.Henry, Alabama

4.D.Booker, Utah

5.CJ Prosise, Notre Dame


WR

1.L.Treadwell, Ole miss

2.C.Coleman, Baylor

3.S.Shepard, Oklahoma

4.M.Thomas, Ohio State

5.W.Fuller, Notre Dame


TE

1.A.Hooper, Stanford

2.H.Henry, Arkansas

3.J.Adams, South Carolina

4.J.McGee, Florida

5.N.Vannett, Ohio State


OT

1.L.Tunsil, Ole Miss

2.R.Stanley, Notre Dame

3.T.Decker, Ohio State

4.J.Conklin, Michigan State

5.G.Ifedi, Texas A&M


IOL

1.C.Whitehair, Kansas State

2.J.Garnett, Stanford

3.N.Martin, Notre Dame

4.V.Alexander, LSU

5.R.Kelly, Alabama

Top 5’s Defense, March

Mike Watkins

@merk256

3/14/16

 

4-3 DE

1.E.Ogbah, Oklahoma State

2.J.Bosa, Ohio State

3.S.Lawson, Clemson

4.N.Spence, Eastern Kentucky

5.Y.Ngakoue, Maryland


 

3-4 DE

1.D.Buckner, Oregon

2.J.Reed, Alabama

3.V.Butler, Louisiana Tech

4.A.Robinson, Alabama

5. R.Nkemdiche, Ole Miss

 

DT

1.A.Billings, Baylor

2.S.Rankins, Louisville

3.V.Butler, Louisiana Tech

4.A.Washington, Ohio State

5.A.Robinson, Alabama

 

3-4 OLB

1.S.Calhoun, Michigan State

2.Y.Ngaloue, Maryland

3.N.Spence, Eastern Kentucky

4.L.Floyd, Georgia

5.K.Fackrell, Utah State

 

ILB

1.M.Jack, UCLA

2.R.Ragland, Alabama

3.J.Perry, Ohio State

4.D.Lee, Ohio State

5.J.Schobert, Wisconsin

*J.Smith, Notre Dame: TBD after med recheck in April

 

CB

1.M.Alexander, Clemson

2.V.Hargreaves, Florida

3.J.Ramsey, Florida St

4.K.Fuller, VT

5.W.Jackson, Houston

 

S

1.J.Ramsey, Florida St

2.V.Bell, Ohio St

3.K.Joseph, West Virginia

4.J.Cash, Duke

5.D.Thompson, Boise State

Taking a look at the Bills Free Agents

Mike Watkins

@merk256

2/14/16


Cordy Glenn: This is going to be a tricky deal to work out. The Bills really can not front load it at all given their cap space situation. So with that in mind they have to make this deal with it back loaded, which runs a risk, if Glenn falls apart it will be very difficult to rid themselves of the deal.


From an on the field perspective I consider Glenn a pretty safe bet to be rock solid for at least the next six years. The off the field is focused around his health troubles from the past year. I don’t think it’s a major concern but it is something that has to be accounted for


In the end though the Bills have to get this deal done. If they don’t it will force the Bills to have a pretty dramatic shift in their offseason strategy and priorities. They would have a huge hole on the left side of their line and lose a LT that is a great fir for what Roman wants to get done


Prediction: The Bills tag him and eventually get a long term deal done


Richie Incognito: He wants to be in Buffalo, the Bills want him to be in Buffalo, and the fans want him in Buffalo. This seams like a no brainer. The only thing that can derail it is if Incognito starts asking for elite money. Given his age he needs to be reasonable but so do the Bills. He’s the best OG they have had on the team in years and he fits the mentality of both the team and the city


I think if the Bills can lock up the left side of the OL for at least the next 2 years it will make the offseason a success. Its important for a team that wants to win now to not open up anymore holes in the roster


Prediction: If there is one deal I’m confident the Bills will get done its this one.


Nigel Bradham: Overall I like Bradham I think he is a solid to good LB in a 4-3 system. The problem is he is a terrible fit in the 3-4 hybrid that Rex likes to run. I have been banging this drum for quite some time now. The second Rex Ryan got hired it was bad news for Bradham.


If its me I don’t even offer Bradham a deal. I think the Bills can, need, and will upgrade the LB position this offseason. I don’t think the Bills can afford to sink any type of real money into a player who does not fit the scheme


Prediction: Bradham leaves and lands with either the Eagles, Giants, or Rams


Ron Brooks: I had high hopes for Brooks coming out of LSU. I actually thought he would make a better FS than a CB coming out of college and at the very least be a good ST contributor. The reality is though Brooks is an average CB at best and an ok ST player.


Prediction: Not resigned and will sign a 1 or 2 year deal for a team looking for experience on the back end of the roster


Percy Harvin: I’ve never been that big a fan of P.Harvin. I’ve felt that he has been overrated for awhile and that offenses get tied up trying to force the ball to him. With that said I actually like what I saw from him in a Bills uniform in a Roman offense that he looked comfortable in.


I would like the Bills to attempt to bring him back but it has to be at a reduced cost. He is the playmaker and deep threat that I think the Bills want across from Watkins but his injury history has to limit the compensation


Prediction: I think the Bills bring him back on a one maybe two-year deal. He seems to have taken to the coaching staff and ownership. He also had a go rapport with Tyrod Taylor before injuries ended his season


Alex Carrington: Solid vet who fits the defense. I think he is quality depth and will be brought back on a year year deal


Josh Johnson: I think Johnson could be a quality back up. He knows the system and has a decent physical skill set. He is worth bringing to camp as a 4th QB with a decent shot to hang around


RFA


Corbin Bryant: Can’t imagine the Bills don’t bring him back. Only thing that may stop this is if another team is really desperate on the DL and overpay him. I don’t see that happening


Bacarri Rambo: Of the RFA’s I think Rambo will draw the most interest from other teams. He is better than a back up and could be a 16 game starter on a team lacking Safety talent. I think Rambo grew a lot over this past season.


Chris Hogan: I like Hogan but I think the Bills are looking to go in another direction at the position. I think Hogan lands somewhere else


Ty Powell: There was talk of Powell landing a starting spot before a devastating injury took his 2015 season. I think there will be a mutual interest in him staying in Buffalo so I expect him to return and hopefully at the very least give the Bills depth they lacked at the position last year


Stefan Charles: I’m a fan of Charles but I think it’s a 50/50 shot he returns. He is a good fit but seems to disappear a lot.


MarQuis Gray: Gray was MIA all year in Roman’s offense. I do not expect him to be retained

Drafting a QB and Tyrod Taylor

Mike Watkins

1/31/16

@merk256

The Bills GM Doug Whaley has been pretty open about the fact that he will add a QB in the offseason. This player will most likely come via the draft. I for one am absolutely on board with this train of thought and strategy, the Bills should add another QB and I don’t really mind if it’s a high draft pick


For the past few years I have been stating that the Bills need to attack this QB issues via the numbers game. This is the approach the Seahawks took and to date it has worked out well for them. As a franchise with the way the league is set up you have to keep acquiring talent to exhaustive measures until you find a QB you believe can get you to and win a Super Bowl. If you are not doing this, you are likely spinning your wheels as a franchise.


First and foremost, I like Tyrod Taylor as a player and believe he has a legit shot at being this QB for the Bills. He far exceeded anyone’s expectations this year. That said I have seen this movie before. A QB shows you glimpses of potential, you then in turn project outward his development into thinking you have a franchise QB. Problem is, that development doesn’t always happen. Then you are stuck once again with nothing in the pipeline and back at square one.


This is why I’m for drafting a QB to place behind Taylor. While I believe he has earned the right to go into camp and the season as the starter, I don’t believe he has shown enough to call it day at the position and declare him the guy for the next 10 years. The Bills have to keep the search up and keep acquiring talent at the position. If Taylor falters than you already have the next player developing in the system and ready to get his shot.


Worst case scenario is that you end up with a develop QB that is a tradeable asset and or a quality back up for a 4 year stretch. The downside to this strategy is minimal at best and it’s a process that should keep repeating itself at least every 2 and 3 years.


The reality is its been 16 years since the Bills have been in the playoffs. The quickest way to break that is to get a franchise QB on the roster. They may have that with Tyrod Taylor but the Bills can absolutely not afford to not keep addressing the position. Once you have a clear franchise QB you will not care what you spent in finding that QB.

5 Senior Bowl Players I’m most interested in this week

Mike Watkins

@merk256

1/25/16


1.Tyler Ervin, San Jose State: I’ve been a big fan of Ervin all year. He has good vision and is a one cut and go RB. His size would suggest he is just an edge runner that you try and get in open space but he is a lot tougher runner than that size would indicate. I liken him to Chris Johnson when he came out of East Carolina. Ervin is explosive and should shine in Mobile


2.Cody Whitehair, Kansas State: Whitehair has been the most underrated OL in college all year. I have a fringe first on him now and he could lock himself into the later first after this week. Whitehair has the ability to play all 5 positions on the OL. I have him destined as a very good starting OG and that would be his ideal spot


3.Kyler Frackell, Utah St: I watched Frackell play a couple times this season and he played well. I have recently watched more of his games and I’m pretty convinced he is going in the first round. He always seems to be in the right place at the right time. He also plays with very good leverage, speed, and power. He is an excellent overall athlete and 3-4/Hybrid teams will have him very high on their boards. I want to see how he handles the competition this week


4.Jake Coker, Alabama: The more I watch of Coker the more I like him as a development project on the NFL level. He has an NFL arm and throws a nice deep ball. He also has better accuracy than you would think. For a team that is looking for a project to eventually trade or maybe have a shot to develop into a starter Coker is one to keep an eye on


5.Sterling Shepard, Oklahoma: I’ve been a big fan of Shepard for a couple years now. He’ll never be the biggest or fastest WR on the field, but he knows how to get open. I liken him a lot to Wayne Chrebet. Wherever he lands he’ll make an instant impact from the slot and I imagine become his QB’s favorite target relatively early in the season

Taking a look in January at what the Bills could do at 19

Mike Watkins

@merk256

1/23/16


Now that a blizzard has hit NYC I have some time to write again. First item up is taking a look at where the Bills could go with the 19th in the first round. This is the lowest pick the Bills have had in the first round in a long time. The draft overall is deep and not really top heavy, so the Bills should be sitting in a good spot for what they need to address.


So first lets take a quick look at what the Bills need


ILB: This is one of the weakest spots on the defense. The starters are average at best and there is little behind Brown and Bradham(Who is likely gone). The Bills have to take at least one LB in this draft and should probably take two


OLB/Pass Rush: Outside of Hughes the Bills like ILB have very little to show. They need a player somewhere else that can supply some type of pass rush


OT: If the Bills can not get Glenn under contract this becomes an even bigger need. Even if they do however Henderson nor Mills are 16 game starters on the right side. Henderson you can live with as your back up swing OT and Mills should be brought to camp to fight for a roster spot as experienced depth


DL: Mario Williams will be gone, Kyle Williams is on the wrong side of 30, and Dareus should really be moved from NT to get the most out of him. The Bills shockingly have a lot of issues on the area of the team that at this point last year no one was worried about. Its time to inject it with youth and players that fit what Rex wants to do


QB: The number 2 absolutely needs an upgrade in the worst way and while Taylor showed a good amount the Bills have been down that road before. They need to keep acquiring talent at the spot whether they have a guy or not


WR: The Bills have a bona fide franchise WR in Watkins. What they need across from him is another WR that can beat one on ones on a consistent basis. Woods is good but he’s a notch below a true number 2 WR. He is a great number 3 however


S: I have been harping on this all year, the Bills must drastically improve the play of their S’s this up coming year. The loss of A.Williams was brutal to the group. Graham and Rambo were very average through the year.


CB: In a Rex Ryan defense lets face it he is always going to want talented CB’s. The more he has the more exotic things he can do with his front 7


So with these needs on the board what will the Bills likely do at 19? Obviously a ton will happen before now and April but you can still logically ball park it in January. You first start with a reduction of the needs list.


QB is first off the board. I think that Taylor showed enough where the Bills wont use their first rounder on one.


Next off the board is Safety. The way the board is shaking out right now there will not be a Safety worth taking with the 19th selection in the draft. The second round is where this position gets real plumb


I’m going to remove WR next. Unlike the past few years the talent pool this year is a little light. That coupled with the fact that I personally think the Bills are looking for a deep threat that can take the top off defenses across from Watkins as opposed to what most fans think they are looking for in a big red zone target WR. I don’t think Treadwell will make it to the Bills and even if he does I’m not sure that’s what they are looking for


OT is next off the board. Here is the reality, the Bills have a very good OL coach in Kromer and Roman is an OL guy. Both these guys are going to think that they can find diamonds in the rough later in the draft. This will allow the Bills to pass early on the OL. Honestly, I cant say I disagree. I think their coaching ability allows this team that luxury


You would think removing CB would be a no brainer considering the Bills have Darby and Gilmore. The reality is though I do not think Rex is going to be able to resist taking M.Alexander if he is there. The good news for Bills fans who don’t want a CB selected at 19 is that I think Alexander will be gone and I think that is the only CB he would take at 19


That leaves LB and DL. LB is an interesting case right now with this draft. In September you had 2 top 10 talents at the position in J.Smith and M.Jack with Smith arguably being the most talented player in the draft regardless of position. Two brutal knee injuries have put some doubt into these players ability and R.Ragland forced his way into the conversation through the season.


Anyone of the 3 would be a good fit for what Rex does and what the Bills are up against in the AFC East. The questions then become can the Bills afford to wait on a talented LB to get fully healthy if its and or can they wait for a rookie LB to learn this complex defense fast enough to make an impact this year?


That’s a tough question because anyone of the three have a very high football IQ so one would think they could grasp enough to start the season and then gradually produce more and more each week

Another factor is that a lot teams view LB as the RB of defense in that you can find them anywhere in the draft. You don’t have to use a day one pick to find an impact player at the position. That and the LB group this year is the deepest its been in years and is the deepest position in the draft. So with that said I think the Bills will add a vet and take a LB on day 2 or early day 3


That leaves us with DL and OLB/Pass Rush, which happens to be the consensus of the vast majority of people when it comes to the Bills at 19.


First OLB/Pass rush out side of possibly L.Floyd from Georgia I am not really seeing any real possibility at 19 for the Bills. You are starting to have some risers like N.Spence with his off the field issues and Kyle Frackrell stock is also on a steady uphill climb. I don’t know that either will make it up to 19 though


Rex for the most part likes a a couple things in his DL. First he wants a center of gravity NT that controls the LOS and sucks up blockers so his LB’s can roam free. From a pass rush standpoint he requires his NT to push the center of the pocket making it more difficult for the opposing QB to step up into the pocket to avoid the rush and make throws. Any sacks this NT gets is purely a bonus. He technically has that in Dareus but Dareus would be far better suited for the next group.


In the other group of DL that Rex prefers he needs two and ideally three DL that he can rotate through the game. These players need to be comfortable playing both inside and out along with the ability to two gap to be stout against the run, long enough to engage OT on the edge, and stout enough to suck up blockers when need be for the LB’s. These players are not easy to find


Of the two it is easier to find the NT later in the draft then it is to find the hybrid DE/DT Rex prefers. So who are the suspects right now at 19


B.Buckner, Oregon: Would be a great fit but He will be snatched up long before the Bills go on the clock


A.Robinson, Alabama: I like Robinson but I have yet to see this all world player he is often describe as. I think he his a high floor but I think his ceiling is limited compared to others


J.Reed, Alabama: Again the player I am seeing isn’t matching up with the player I am reading about. He’s a safe selection and likely 10 year starter but I don’t see the ceiling others see. I do see him more as a more instant plug and play player, more so than Robinson


R.Nkemdiche, Ole Miss: if you could draw up a DL for Rex Ryans Scheme it would be Nkemdiche. Problem is he runs way to hot and cold. When he’s on though he’s next to unblockable. He has the physical talent to be the first pick but doesn’t possess the drive


E.Ogbah, Oklahoma St: I don’t love the fit but I think he can be productive given how well he uses power and is stout against the run


A.Washington, Ohio State: I think Washington has been one of the more underrated players this season and would be a good fit. Has some off the field issue that need to be addressed


C.Nassib, Penn State: Very high football IQ and plays with good leverage but lacks great athletic ability. Height and weight he fits and mentally he will impress


So what do I think will happen in January at 19. Right now I think the Bills are going to be enamored with Nkemdiche raw talent. They think they are going to be able to get more out of him than other staffs would be able to. However they have been burned numerous times on this concept before with two great examples in Coples and Milliner. Those failures I think will push the staff and the front office away from Nkemdiche


Reality is though I think I have to agree with the consensus right now that J.Reed is the front runner for the Bills at 19. The ability to play inside and out is valuable to the Bills and Rex. His work ethic is unquestioned and the fact that he is playing in a similar style defense will only help with the learning curve. The ability to be able to play, start, and contribute right away will have a lot of value to the Bills who are looking to end a 16 year playoff drought


Side Note Dark Horse: On a final passing note if you are looking for a dark horse candidate for the Bills, I think its WR Corey Coleman from Baylor. He’s arguably the best vertical thereat in the draft and many liken him to Desean Jackson. Again, I think the Bills are more interested in a deep threat than a larger high pointing type WR

It's Win or Go Home Time Again in Buffalo

by Anthony D. Macari @nflwarroom

This was the year it was going to be different. New Owners willing to spend the big bucks. A high profile big name coach with a resume that includes 2 AFC Championship appearances. The team was coming off it's first winning season since 2004. Big name, high price talent brought in and big money spent keeping talent here.

So why after 11 games, are the Bills once again on the brink of irrelevance? How did so much promise, so much talent on the roster not translate into more wins? The blame has to be laid squarely at the feet of Bills HC, Rex Ryan. His headline making bluster and rhetoric was a welcome breath of fresh air from the parade of stoic coaches that have come and gone through the doors at One Bills Drive the past decade plus, but without results, its just hot air.

The Defense has not bought into Rex's scheme and Rex's scheme has not matched his talent in place. Complaints from the Cold Front, who have been at or near the top in sacks and pressure the past 3 seasons, about being directed to drop in coverage on passing downs is at the core of the problem. Rex's scheme is based on confusion and disguising blitz packages to generate pressure, while relying on talent in the secondary and  mistakes to force turnovers. The problem is, the Bills D-Line, its unquestionable strength, can do that all by themselves if unleashed. The Bills D-Line feed off of each other and thrive on getting sacks and generating pressure. You can tell the effort level is not there. Dareus taking plays off, Mario taking plays off. Of course injuries are playing a part. losing Mario for the end of last weeks loss and Kyle for the season is huge, but teams all over the league are dealing with injuries this time of year. Rex needs to find the right fit for THIS team, not his past Jets teams. He needs to either get his players to buy in 100% to his scheme, to him or he needs to adapt his D to fit what  do best.

On Offense, I get the commitment to the run, but there has to be a way to get more passes to Clay and Watkins. The message finally seems to have gotten through about Watkins, but using Clay to keep teams honest in covering the middle of the field or in the Red Zone has not been exploited. I love the big play potential of Tyrod to Watkins, but sometimes its enough to pass for 5 yards on 3rd and 4. Clay is being covered 1 on 1 in the middle of the field and Watkins is seeing off coverage. Take that quick 5 when available, too many of the Bills passing plays take far too long to develop. McCoy is a pleasure to watch, but he can't be expected to move the chains on the ground all game long without a complimentary short passing game.

The red hot Texans come to town. A win, keeps the Bills in the chase with 4 to go. They will have 2 winnable road games against up and down NFC East opponents, then come home to  finish things off against the Cowboys without Romo and Rex's old team the Jets. To  guaranty making the playoffs, the Bills likely have to win them all. If not, a season that started with so much hope will be placed on top of the pile heap of disappointments.

Thoughts on Week 12

Mike Watkins

@merk256

11/30/15


-Everyone is in agreement that Rex Ryan lost this game and I’d have to agree that his lack of in game ability was painful to witness. The Bills need to overhauled their challenge protocol and by all accounts they will do so


-The injuries are piling on top of one another now and its becoming increasingly hard to overcome. The DL missed Mario Williams in the worse way on Sunday. Not having him in there really handicapped the Bills in what they could do. He gives the Bills the ability to just rush four and get at least some pressure. Without him though its next to impossible


-Rex needs to work on in game adjustments. By half time the Chiefs had adjusted to the Bills game plan and the Bills never adjusted back. Now I can see why as the Bills are a bit handicapped in that none of their LB’s or S’s are particularly good at blitzing but some adjustment should have been made


-Good things happen when you throw to Sammy Watkins and that was evident in the first half as Watkins beat everything thrown his way. The Bills and Taylor for some reason decided to move away from Watkins in the second half. It was a mistake and I think they will see it even more during the film review


-There are three players that need to be involved and involved early every game. McCoy, Watkins, and Clay. Clay had a couple of receptions but not enough. He needs to be involved in the game plan more. Clay clicking off first downs will do nothing but open up things for Sammy which will in turn opening up things for McCoy


-RT is a big problem for the Bills and its only going to get worse with Watt and Clowney on the horizon. Henderson is still the best current option but the Bills better have a plan to assist Henderson as best they can come Sunday or its going to get real ugly


-While the sweep has been the bread and butter for the Bills run game this year they are going to have to get better in other running plays as teams are keying on it more and more. Also A.Dixon has no business running this play at any time


-Gilmore and Darby finally had a really rough game. It was bound to happen but it will be interesting to see how they respond against one of the top 3 WR’s in the game in Hopkins


-Tyrod Taylor is coming along but still has a long way to go. Decisions need to be made faster and he was to open up the whole field by using it


-Robey Will be kicking himself over that missed INT for a long time


-Watching McCoy with the ball in his hands is worth the price of admission


Rest of the league


-I think its now a legit question to ask if matt Ryan is actually a franchise QB. I used to think it was crazy to think otherwise but the more I watch him play and flounder the more I am starting to think it’s a legit question. Falcons have a tough decision coming up this offseason


-On the other hand Tannehill clearly isn’t a franchise QB despite being paid like one. I’m not seeing any improvement with him over the past couple years. Yes he can pepper short passes and be decent on the intermediate in about 8 games a year. His decision making however has made about zero improvement


-The way Mike Zimmer uses A.Barr is impressive, you feel like there is two of him on the field


-Sad thing is, in the long run the loss to Denver will end up helping the Patriots. The pressure of an undefeated season now goes away.


-Its safe to say the party is over for Chip Kelly. He wanted full control and now he is experiencing the downside of that control because has no one to blame but himself for the state of the Eagles. He also has failed to adjust to a league that has clearly adjusted to him


-Cam Newton is the NFL MVP and its not close


-Jeff Fisher needs to be on the hot seat. The AFC West was ripe for the taking this year and he’s not even in with his Rams. There is more talent on that team than is being displayed on Sundays

2016 Big Board

Mike Watkins

@merk256

11/19/15









3 players will be added each week as well as an updated ranking


1. C.Cook, QB, Michigan State

2. J.Smith, LB, Notre Dame

3. J.Goff, QB, Cal

4. R.Stanley, OT, Notre Dame

5. J.Ramsey, CB/S, Florida State

6. V.Hargreaves, CB, Florida

7. E.Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma St.

8. L.Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss

9. R.Nkemdiche, DL, Ole Miss

10. J.Bosa, DE, Ohio State

11. L.Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss

12. K.Clark, DT, UCLA

13. E.Elliot, RB, Ohio State

14. M.Jack, LB, UCLA

15. D.Buckner, DE, Oregon

16. T.White, CB, LSU

17. T.Decker, OT, Ohio State

18. S.Wright, LB, Arizona

19. T.Boyd, WR, Pitt

20. A.Robinson, DT, Alabama

21. T.Dural, WR, LSU

22. D.Henry, RB, Alabama

23. M.Thomas, WR, Ohio State

24. S.Lawson, DE, Clemson

25. J.Conklin, OT, Michigan State

26. L.Floyd, LB, Georgia

27. J.Cash, S, Duke

28. K.Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech

29. P.Lynch, QB, Memphis

30. D.Robinson, WR, Florida

31. W.Fuller, WR, Notre Dame

32. R.Ragland, LB, Alabama

33. Y.Ngakoue, DE/OLB, Maryland

34.A.Billings, DT, Baylor

35. S.Calhoun, DE, Michigan State

36. V.Alexander, OG, LSU

37. J.Adams, S, LSU

38. S.Day, DT, Notre Dame

39. J.Brissett, QB, NC State

40. M.Williams, WR, Clemson

5 Fantasy Plays for Week 11

Mike Watkins

@merk256

11/18/15


Week 10 Results

B.Bortles: 17.02

D.McFadden: 7.3

R.Cobb: 7.5

G.Olsen: 12.0

Colts: 2.0

Overall: Very meh week overall. This also now marks the second time I have been burned by R.Cobb.


Week 11 Picks


QB: Mark Sanchez (Draft Kings: 5000 Fanduel: 6400)


-I’m going for a real flier here with Sanchez. My thinking is that Sanchez will use this opportunity to try and pry the job from Bradford and or set himself up in free agency. He is prone to turnovers but he should last year he is very capable of putting up big numbers in this offense. The fact hat the Bucs rank 28th in opposing QB rating helps his case


-Another cost effective play I like this week is Tyrod Taylor. I think the Bills have a favorable matchup against the Patriots secondary or if it goes the way of the previous 15 years Taylor will at least rack a good amount of garbage time stats


RB: Darren McFadden (Draft Kings: 5000 Fanduel: 6800)


-I’m rolling again with McFadden. The Cowboys have a big advantage with their OL vs the Dolphins defense that is currently allows the 2nd most rushing yards per game. I also think McFadden will get bonus yards in the passing game given that he should abuse one of the worst LB cores in the league


-If you are looking to spend big this week I really like D.Freeman


WR: Stevie Johnson (Draft Kings: 3900 Fanduel: 5600)


-Chargers are reeling with Injuries and they have hit the WR spot with Rivers top 2 options out. This leaves S.Johnson there to grab all the targets. The Chiefs top 2 CB’s will struggle with Johnson unique style of route running


TE: Delanie Walker (Draft Kings: 4800, Fanduel: 5700)


-Week in and Week out Walker has been a pretty solid play. He is facing a Jacksonville team that tends to struggle with TE’s. With Mariota running the offense Walker will be a big part of the offensive game plan


Defense: Seattle (Draft Kings:4000 Fanduel: 5400)


-The opposing QB is Blaine Gabbert, again, BLAINE GABBERT…..enough said

Thoughts on Week 10

Mike Watkins

@merk256

11/13/15

 

-You are what your record say you are, but the reality of the situation is there is a drastic difference when the Bills have all three of Tyrod, McCoy, and Watkins in the lineup. When those three play the Bills present defenses with a multitude of issues. This is why I was not ready to give up on the season after a brutal loss to the Jaguars. If the Bills can stay relatively healthy they have the talent to go on a run to not only make the playoffs but be a factor


-Shady McCoy is absolutely electric when he is healthy. You can start to see why Eagles fans dropped their jaws when he was traded and why the Bills were ecstatic to get him. The cuts he makes almost defy physics. He will be a big reason why the Bills make a playoff push


-Saying Karlos Williams has a nose for the end zone is the understatement of the year. The guy is an extremely tough matchup for opposing teams with his size and speed. The “How did this guy last to the 5th round” statements are becoming more and more regular


-If there is a better combo of Starting CB’s in the NFL than Gilmore and Darby I haven’t seen them play yet. They seem to almost play off each other by trying to one up each other and its impressive to watch. Darby is right now the steal of the 2015 draft. You have a rookie playing at a very good vet level. That’s rarefied air for a CB. The future is very bright for both but Darby has the ability to be the best in the game by the time he’s 25 if he keeps working


-Sammy Watkins did not have a big night stat wise but he made a pretty clear statement to D.Revis that he can and will beat him. At a very critical juncture in the game Watkins absolutely abused one of the best CB’s in the game. When we get part 2 in Buffalo in week 17 I’m sure Watkins will be eager to make those stats pop more


-I thought for the most part Taylor spread the ball as best he could during the night. I think Clay could have been a little bit more involved given that the Jets really don’t have anyone who can cover him one on one


-This is the first game where I can say Colton Schmidt really was not very good overall. Hopefully he can shake it off because he is a real weapon for the team when he is on


-The Bills need to get R.Woods a little more involved earlier in the game. Watkins is without a doubt the top guy. With Woods though if you can find a way to get him 4-5 receptions a game it really makes the defense play more straight up and allows for bigger plays to be made by Watkins and McCoy


-The Bills really need to incorporate more screens into the game plan. They need something they can fall back on when they are getting blitzed non stop


-B.Rambo had been taking a lot of heat lately and honestly most of it was just. He however made play after play last night and deserves a ton of praise.


-The Bills really need to work on play clock management. Far too many times the Bills brought it right to the edge and were lucky a flag to didn’t come flying out. This mismanagement also led to burning three time outs which is completely absurd on multiple levels. It didn’t cost them a win this game but it could in the future


-The defense overall I thought looks like its heading in the right direction. They still have some drives where they get far out of position but those are starting to be cut down, especially over the past couple of weeks. There is still a ways to go but overall players are starting to execute better

5 Fantasy Football Plays for Week 10

Mike Watkins

@merk256

11/11/15

 

Week 9 Results

Roethlisberger: 22.36

Langford: 23.7

Crabtree: 26.3

ASJ: DNP

Patriot: 9.0


Overall: Best week for me overall this year so far. I landed in the money on all my plays and in triple digits on three of them.Langford despite not reaching the end zone provided enough punch in yards to make him well worth the play. Crabtree was a big winner across all my plays. ASJ did not play and luckily it was in the morning so adjustments could be made

 

Week 9 Picks

 

QB: Blake Bortles (Draft Kings: 5600 Fanduel: 7800)

The Ravens defense is allowing the 4th most passing yards per game as well as the 3rd highest QB rating in the NFL. Despite the Jaguars not being good one of the lone bright spots has been Bortles. He has been consistent throwing for multiple scores in six of eight games so far.


-If you are willing to spend at the position this week, Brady is a great play. Most could stay away due to his past with the Giants but I don’t buy it and if you have money to burn he’s a safe play


RB: Darren McFadden (Draft Kings: 4900 Fanduel: 7000)

-As long as McFadden is the starting RB in Dallas I’m going to be using him in a lot of my plays. At some point he is going to break off a huge Sunday behind that line and his price is still too good to pass up. As long as he keeps getting around the 30 touches he has been getting he will be a solid play


-If you are looking for a higher end Play I like Gurley again this week. He’s on a hot streak and I’d ride it until it runs out


WR: Randall Cobb (Draft Kings: 6700 Fanduel: 7700)

-I’m buying low on Cobb this week because Cobb is due for a breakout and the Lions are terrible at coverage. Allowing the most yards per attempt in the league, North of 8 yards. Cobb and Rodgers have not been on the same page lately but I expect it to break this week. Cobb also still see’s a lot of red zone target

 

TE: Greg Olsen (Draft Kings: 6300, Fanduel: 6300)

-No TE see’s more targets then Olsen and I expect that to stay steady this week. The Titans have had issues with opposing TE’s and I think they will continue this week. They also have allowed 3 multiple game TD’s to opposing TE’s


Defense: Rams (Draft Kings:3600  Fanduel: 5400)

-The Bears racked a nice win on Monday night with a decent night by Jay Cutler. That I think comes back down to earth this week against the Rams. The Rams haven’t allowed a TD at home in 3 games and while I don’t expect that performance I still expect a good one

Thoughts on Week 9

Mike Watkins

@merk256

11/9/15



 -What you witnessed on Sunday against the Dolphins is pretty much the exact vision Rex Ryan and Greg Roman had for their offense in the offseason. McCoy and Williams acting as a one two punch at RB with Watkins beating teams over the top to keep the defense honest. Its obviously not always going to click like that but each game that is what the Bills are aiming for

 

-The difference between Tyrod Taylor and EJ Manuel is literally night and day. The offense functions far better and the opposing defense is on edge the entire game due to Tyrod’s threat to run. The biggest separation is Taylors calmness in the pocket and the ability to hit the short and intermediate passes on a far more consistent basis. Taylor keeps making the statement that the QB problem is solved in Buffalo. There will still be some bumps in the road but Taylor continues to head in the right direction

 

-When McCoy and Williams are healthy it is a massive advantage for the Bills. The ability to have fresh legs in the game on a regular basis with two very talented back is a big advantage for the Bills. Each by themselves would be productive but when the two are combined their styles play off each other very well

 

-Watkins had himself a day. This year has been a rough one for Watkins. Injuries have kept him off the field and the frustration has boiled over into some social media outburst. Sunday Watkins took those frustrations out on B.Grimes and the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins had absolutely no answer for Watkins all day and they paid for it dearly. Fans were reminded why he was the 4th overall pick in the draft. His combination of speed and power at the WR is very rare and difficult for opposing teams to stop. When Watkins is on the field he makes the entire offense better whether he is targeted or not

 

-The defense once again struggled for the majority of the game. The score may not reflect it but the lingering issues remain and the biggest one is that the pressure on opposing QB’s seems to be no where to be found most of the game. They changed a little but in the second half with Hughes leading the charge. The Bills are hopefully that it’s a sign that it has clicked for the team and that improvements will be seen in the near future

 

-I’ve been saying it all year and will continue to say it, the LB’s and S’s on this team are a big issue. They are in the wrong position nearly all day and none of them are particularly good at blitzing so its really handicapping what Rex Ryan can do

 

-Quite frankly I’m tired of hearing the excuses of what’s wrong with the defense. The execution is terrible and that lands on both the coaches and the players. If they are not understanding it then find a new way to teach it. To the players I don’t care if the coaches ask you to drop back every single snap, do it, and execute it they way they want it executed

 

-I’m starting to see why there were rumors of Rex wanting to be aggressive in getting David Harris to Buffalo via free agency and why the Jets were so dead set on not allowing that to happen. Harris would keep Bradham off the field(A clear weak link in the defense) and his intelligence in the system would have allowed a better understanding and application of the defense as a whole

 

-Tackling as a whole needs to be improved. To many plays are getting 10-20 yards tacked on just because of poor technique

 

-I’ve seen all I need to see from D.Moore, the Bills can move on

 

-A.Williams cannot get back soon enough

 

-John Miller was beat a few times by Suh but overall, for a rookie, held his own against one of if not the premier DT in the NFL

 

-R.Incognito needs to be the first extension out of the gate this offseason. He has turned his career and life around, and I’m happy to have him on the team and would like him to continue to be a Buffalo Bill

 

 

Rest of the NFL

 

-The Dolphins just are missing big pieces all along their roster. The back seven is a big problem out side of Jones. The problem is changing it over is going to be an issue with the deals that have been handed out

 

-A.Brown of the Steelers was like a man among boys against the Raiders. The cuts he was making against the Raiders DB’s were straight abusive

 

-I’ve been saying it since September, Cam Newton is the MVP of the league and its not close

 

-The league needs to come down hard on A.Talib. Intentionally trying to injure another player should result in a suspension, one that sends a clear message across the league

 

-Did anyone expect Jerry Jones to really say anything else about Hardy?

 

-Winston and Mariota to me both showed a lot this week. Both still have some ways to go but at least they are validating their selections

 

-The Bengals are for real. I like many have been holding back on that proclamation but its becoming harder and harder to argue against it

 

-B.Gabbert won an NFL football game as a starting QB, let me repeat that, B.Gabbert won a football game as a starting QB

2016 Big Board

Mike Watkins

@merk256

11/5/15


3 players will be added each week as well as an updated ranking






1. C.Cook, QB, Michigan State

2. J.Smith, LB, Notre Dame

3. J.Goff, QB, Cal

4. R.Stanley, OT, Notre Dame

5. J.Ramsey, CB/S, Florida State

6. V.Hargreaves, CB, Florida

7. E.Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma St.

8. L.Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss

9. R.Nkemdiche, DL, Ole Miss

10. J.Bosa, DE, Ohio State

11. L.Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss

12. K.Clark, DT, UCLA

13. E.Elliot, RB, Ohio State

14. M.Jack, LB, UCLA

15. D.Buckner, DE, Oregon

16. T.White, CB, LSU

17. T.Decker, OT, Ohio State

18. S.Wright, LB, Arizona

19. T.Boyd, WR, Pitt

20. A.Robinson, DT, Alabama

21. T.Dural, WR, LSU

22. D.Henry, RB, Alabama

23. M.Thomas, WR, Ohio State

24. S.Lawson, DE, Clemson

25. J.Conklin, OT, Michigan State

26. L.Floyd, LB, Georgia

27. J.Cash, S, Duke

28. K.Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech

29. V.Alexander, OG, LSU

30. D.Robinson, WR, Florida

31. W.Fuller, WR, Notre Dame

32. P.Lynch, QB, Memphis

33. Y.Ngakoue, DE/OLB, Maryland

34.A.Billings, DT, Baylor

5 Fantasy Football Plays for Week 9

Mike Watkins

@merk256

11/4/15

 

Week 8 Results

Manning: 38.0

Forsett: 7.9

Diggs: 18.5

Bennett: 4.7

Seahawks: 5.0


Overall: One really big hit with Manning who carried the majority of my teams. Diggs was a nice value at WR. Forsett was a big letdown along with the Seahawks defense. My losing streak with TE’s continues and I’m now rethinking how I pick them overall. I’m either going to just build teams around elite talent or just go bargain hunting since I get nothing out of the position anywhere

 

Week 9 Picks

 

QB: Ben Roethlisberger (Draft Kings: 6600 Fanduel: 8300)

-Roethlisberger knocked the rust off last week and I expect him to be exponentially better. The Raiders are an improved team but the matchup of QB and WR to the Oakland secondary is to good to pass up. When Ben has both Bryant and Brown he is averaging 328 yards and 2.2 TD’s

-Another Cheaper alternative is Eli Manning. He won’t match what he did with the Saints but he still has a good matchup vs the Bucs

 

RB: Jeremy Langford (Draft Kings: 4000 Fanduel: 6400)

-Langford looks like he will be getting the bulk of the carries against a very suspect Chargers run defense. Langford was a darling of the NFL draft combine and has been stuck behind a very talented Matt Forte. Langford is a tough runner and with fresh legs he could do some damage to what looks like a defeated Chargers team


WR: Michael Crabtree (Draft Kings: 4900 Fanduel: 5800)

-I expect the running game to be abandoned rather quickly in this matchup with the Steelers. Crabtree has been the beneficiary of teams now focusing on Cooper. He is a favorite of D.Carr in the Red Zone. Plus in a shootout or blowout situation he could get a lot of garbage time points at a cheap price

 

TE:  Austin Seferian-Jenkins (Draft Kings: 2800, Fanduel: 5200)

-This is dependent on whether ASJ makes it back on the field. He is currently close to returning from a shoulder injury. He is a super cheap option with big upside. So if he doesn’t hit it doesn’t kill me because I can use the money elsewhere to upgrade. If he does hit than it’s a big time bonus. The Giants are also terrible when it comes to covering opposing TE’s.


Defense: Patriots (Draft Kings:3300  Fanduel: 4900)

-I like this matchup for the singular reason that Cousins turns the ball over and the Patriots are very adapt at forcing turnovers

2016 Big Board

Mike Watkins

@merk256

10/29/15








3 players will be added each week as well as an updated ranking


1. C.Cook, QB, Michigan State

2. J.Smith, LB, Notre Dame

3. J.Goff, QB, Cal

4. R.Stanley, OT, Notre Dame

5. J.Ramsey, CB/S, Florida State

6. V.Hargreaves, CB, Florida

7. E.Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma St.

8. L.Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss

9. R.Nkemdiche, DL, Ole Miss

10. J.Bosa, DE, Ohio State

11. L.Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss

12. K.Clark, DT, UCLA

13. E.Elliot, RB, Ohio State

14. M.Jack, LB, UCLA

15. D.Buckner, DE, Oregon

16. T.White, CB, LSU

17. T.Decker, OT, Ohio State

18. S.Wright, LB, Arizona

19. T.Boyd, WR, Pitt

20. A.Robinson, DT, Alabama

21. T.Dural, WR, LSU

22.D.Henry, RB, Alabama

23.M.Thomas, WR, Ohio State

24. S.Lawson, DE, Clemson

25. J.Conklin, OT, Michigan State

26.D.Robinson, WR, Florida

27.J.Cash, S, Duke

28. K.Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech

29.V.Alexander, OG, LSU

30. L.Floyd, LB, Georgia

31.W.Fuller, WR, Notre Dame

5 Fantasy Football Plays for Week 8

Mike Watkins


@merk256


10/29/15






QB: Eli Manning  (Draft Kings: 6600 Fanduel: 7300)

-Manning Price is down on both sites so he is becoming a bargain at this point. The Saints are in the top 10 in yards allowed in the passing game. Overall this should be a good bargain game at the QB spot if you are looking to load up elsewhere.


RB: Justin Forsett (Draft Kings: 6100 Fanduel: 6900)

-The Chargers are having real issues with the run this year with the only team worse being the Cleveland Browns. The Chargers are giving up a league worst 5.3 yards a run on top of being in 2nd place in total rushing yards allowed at 132. I really like Forsett this week because the Ravens are due for a win and he see’s a ton of touches in both the run game and passing game

 

WR: Stefon Diggs (Draft Kings: 4800 Fanduel: 6700)

-I’ve been on the Diggs bandwagon since his days at Maryland. The league is now becoming aware of his explosive ways. At his current value he is a bargain that will likely see his way on each of my teams this weekend. He’s averging about 9 targets, 6 receptions, and 108 yards over his last three games. Against the Bears this is a great matchup for the hot streak to continue.

 

TE:  Martellus Bennett (Draft Kings: 4900, Fanduel: 5700)

-The only TE getting more targets in the league today is Gronk. Its pretty clear Cutler likes to get the Ball to Bennett. The Vikings tend to struggle with TE’s so this is a good matchup for me to break my extremely cold streak on selecting this position week in and week out.


Defense: Seattle (Draft Kings:3700  Fanduel: 5200)

-This selection is based on the matchup vs the starting QB. Cassell against the Legion of Boom is one that likely won’t work out well. Dallas can still run the ball but I imagine Seattle will take the pass away and then throw 8 in the box to slow down the run. In either case I expect multiple turnovers from the Cowboys

Thoughts on Week 7

Michael Watkins

@merk256

10/27/15


(Due to travel for London I’m behind)


-Manuel: If you have been following me over the years, specifically the last three years, you know that I am not a EJ Manuel fan. I think he held a very talented FSU team back, he had no business being a first rounder, and he has shown that he really has no business taking snaps in the NFL. The London game solidified all these to the point where I hope I never have to see EJ take another snap in a Bills Uniform again.


I seriously don’t know what else people want to see out of him. Yea he’s 16 starts in and people act like it’s a travesty to say the book is written. I’m sorry its over for EJ the guy is a bust. I don’t need to see anymore. I didn’t need to see the first 16 starts to come to this conclusion. If anyone beyond this point says that they need to see more or EJ needs more time, thank them. You officially identified someone who knows absolutely nothing about QB’s in the NFL. File and remember it when they try to speak on it in the future


-Defense: I have no idea how anyone in their right mind can blame the defense for this. I saw a little bit here and there on twitter about it and also it was heard from time to time in the stands. The defense actually played well overall if you subtract the EJ gifts off the board. It would actually be a blow out in the Bills favor. Is there still work that can be done, absolutely. There effort though was wasted.


-Injuries: I really don’t like using injuries as any type of excuse except at one spot, QB. Its pretty clear at this point Tyrod Taylor is light years ahead of EJ Manuel. It also tells me this competition in camp was over far earlier than we realize. Its due to this that I’m not ready to mail the season in yet. Yes the Bills have put themselves in a very tough spot with a brutal loss but there is still a lot of the season left. Just like Buffalo took a tough unexpected loss, they are also fully capable of dishing one out


-Bad Call: Was it a bad call on Robey? Yes it was…Want to know whats worse? Allowing yourself to be in a position against a team you are clearly more talented then where a call like that can cost you the game. Bad calls happen, its apart of the game and unavoidable. Bad play to get you to the point where those calls cost you, is avoidable


-More McCoy: McCoy really is a rare athlete. This is the first time I have seen him in person and I have to say he has some of the quickest feet and lateral movement I have ever seen. It’s very impressive to watch live. I hope he can keep the injuries at bay the rest of the year because he really is what makes this offense go


-Honeymoon: It was a fun offseason and first few weeks of the season. For Rex however the talking needs to stop and the walking needs to start. He really needs to spend these next two weeks tweaking the defense to fit what he has. It doesn’t need major changes but something to give these guys confidence in what he is calling. Again the defense is good, better than most, but there is something just not clicking to get this defense to where it should be. I know area that is affecting it is the safety play, to date its been pretty awful. It can be shored up though


-Bye Time: As many have stated the Bye could not have come at a better time. If the Bills can come out of it with Taylor, Karlos Williams, Sammy Watkins, McKelvin, and a even healthier McCoy then the Bills are fully capable of making a run. That is a lot of reinforcement fire power to add to an already talented group


Random Thoughts


-Really was not able to see any of the other games on Sunday because I was trying to soak in as much of London as I could. I know this much, I’ll be coming back. London to me is a city every person should visit once in their lifetime. The culture and the history alone are worth it. I have visited many cities in 16 countries over the past 12 months and London is easily in the top 3. Do yourself a favor and plan yourself a trip out there. Believe me you wont regret it


-Couple of positions for the Bills on the upcoming draft to keep an eye on


+Safety: Rex can not be pleased with their play to date. Graham gives a great effort but the angles he takes and his late reactions are costing the Bills. Look for the Bills to spend a high pick on this position


+Linebacker: Bills need to replace Bradham and need a serious upgrade in depth here. I expect another high selection here.


+OL: With Glenn contract up, Incognito’s up, Henderson and Wood up and down play this unit right here could turn to shambles really quick. This is also why I have said signing Bradham over Glenn would be a terrible move by the Bills.


+WR: Much like the OL this position could fall off a cliff real quick after the season. It won’t be a popular selection but it might be needed, especially if things with Harvin head even more south

Thoughts on Week 6

Mike Watkins

@merk256

10/19/15


Bills


Evaluation Time: 6 Games in the defense is not looking good, and it was supposed to be the unit this team was supposed to lean on. The biggest issue to date is the million dollar mile that is the Bills DL has been ineffective at best. They and Rex are not on the same page and now the frustration is starting to show. The biggest issue is that they are far to often being restrained in their roles or being put in positions that do not take advantage of their talents.


In the past Rex has used exotic blitzes to generate pressure. In that the DL main goal was to eat blockers to create pass rushing lanes and to defend against the run. Doing that here with the talent the Bills have on the DL is a waste of their talents. I’m sorry but Mario Williams should not be dropping into coverage anymore than maybe once or twice over the course of a game. On the flip side counting on your back 7 to generate this pressure is a mistake and a waste of their talent as none of them are really good at blitzing besides Robey.


I understand this is what Rex has done in the past but its time to adjust what he does to what he has. The Bills can not continue to keep getting next to nothing from their DL in terms of pressure or sacks. Its time to uncork this front 4 and let them do what they do best.


Shady’s Return: Bills fans finally got a taste of what McCoy brings to the table. The OL had actually improved their run blocking dramatically over the past few weeks but the issue was they did not have a RB that was quick enough to take advantage of the lanes. McCoy did so today and looks like the running game might finally be hitting its stride


Watkins: After a very questionable interview with some quotes that are going to follow him Watkins had a nice game until he once again left the game with an injury. After playing through multiple injuries his rookie year Watkins health is now becoming a legit concern. You can call for the ball and want the targets all you want. If you can’t stay on the field it means nothing


Backups: Manuel did an ok job, but Tyrod Taylor has nothing to worry about. Manuel really has no business being a starting QB in this league. For some reason people still feel the need to ask for more chances for him. I don’t I saw enough at Florida State to know he’ll never be the guy for any team ever


Safety Issue: The Bills have a real issue on the back end of their defense. The safety play has not been good. Lucky for the Bills the starting CB play has been excellent to date limiting the exposure on the back end. With Safety being a key component of Rex defense I would expect an overhaul in the offseason but there isn’t to much they can do about it now


Go Goodwin: I’m tired of M.Goodwin. He seems like a good guy but he truly is not built for this sport. He can not even make it through two games without leaving injured. Due to a need because of injuries the Bills have little choice with him this year but I really do not even want to bring him to camp next year. He has become a waste of time and resources


MASH: The Bills are on a brutal string of injuries right now. Injuries are not an excuse for anything and that’s why you build depth. The thing that should be looked into however is the prevention. Bones break, things tear, but most other injuries are preventable. Its something to look into for the future


Big Picture: Reality is the Bills roster is riddled with injuries, they had their back up QB, and their top unit is not playing to its peak. Despite all of that the Bills were in it for the majority of the game. The Bills just have to push through at this point beat the Jags and get into the bye and hope the roster can mend itself


Rest of the NFL


-Everyone can look at the record all they want, reality is Peyton Manning is not he QB he used to be. He can still win games but he will be exposed against better defenses


-Miami did their new coach proud with a a beat down of the Titans. The DL finally showed up and the whole team finally showed the fight a lot of their fans had been waiting to see. Will it carry over through the season is yet to be seen but it’s a great start


-KC was a mess before they lost Charles, they are a full blown disaster right now and may be getting close to blow it up mode. Alex Smith is not the guy who can take a team to where it ultimately wants to go. I’d let Reid do the rebuild however


-I’ve been saying it for three weeks now and I’ll keep saying it, Cam Newton is the MVP of the league and its not close. He is doing a phenomenal job with very limited talent at the skill positions


-Its not a slow start anymore and its not missing Chancellor, the Seahawks have issues and are not the team of the past three years. The fight and drive is missing and if it continues the next thing that will be missing is the playoffs

2016 Big Board

Mike Watkins

@merk256

10/16/15

 

3 players will be added each week as well as an updated ranking

 





1. C.Cook, QB, Michigan State

2. J.Smith, LB, Notre Dame

3. J.Goff, QB, Cal

4. R.Stanley, OT, Notre Dame

5. J.Ramsey, CB/S, Florida State

6. E.Elliot, RB, Ohio State

7. V.Hargreaves, CB, Florida

8. L.Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss

9. E.Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma St.

10. J.Bosa, DE, Ohio State

11. M.Jack, LB, UCLA

12. L.Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss

13. D.Buckner, DE, Oregon

14. S.Wright, LB, Arizona

15. T.Boyd, WR, Pitt

16. S.Oakman, DE, Baylor

17.K.Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech

18. L.Floyd, LB, Georgia

19. K.Clark, DT, UCLA

20. R.Nkemdiche, DL, Ole Miss

21. T.Dural, WR, LSU

22. A.Robinson, DT, Alabama

23. T.White, CB, LSU

24. J.Conklin, OT, Michigan State

25. T.Decker, OT, Ohio State

5 Fantasy Football Plays for Week 6

Mike Watkins

@merk256

10/15/15

 

Week 5 Results

Rivers: 21.6

Forsett: 25

Allen: 8.7

Daniels: 0

Ravens: 3.0


Overall: Two hits and three misses. Daniels was a long shot flier that I ended up taking out of a lot of my lineups before 1pm. Ravens were an absolute disappointment and I need to get it out of my head that these Ravens are anything like the previous decade. Rivers and Forsett did well though and they were in the vast majority of my plays

 

Week 6 Picks

 

QB: Tom Brady (Draft Kings: 8100 Fanduel: 9000)

-Yes, he is one of the most expensive QB’s this week and I like to find cheaper options and less played options. My thinking here is that everyone is going to assume everyone is going to play him and then he won’t get played that much at all. The reality is Brady is at his best when you question him. The Colts as you know, unless you have had your head completely in the sand the past 8 months, are the team that complained about the air in the footballs. Due to that I think Brady is going to look to punish the Colts and embarrass them. Look for a huge day and its worth the price

 

RB: Charcandrick West (Draft Kings: 4000 Fanduel: 6200)

-West is the weekly RB that looks in line to take starters carries at a reduced price. With Charles down a lot of people assumed that K.Davis will get the bulk of the carries but its West that will likely get the touches. Going up against a Vikings defense that is 29th against the run he should and could be in for a nice day at a cheap price


WR: Willie Snead (Draft Kings: 3300 Fanduel: 6200)

-Snead is still a bargain as his production keeps going up. He’s averaging 4.4 catches for 76 yards per game as well as getting 8 targets per game over the last 4. Marques Colston is out and the game could be a shootout giving Snead even more value

 

TE:  Antonio Gates (Draft Kings: 4600, Fanduel: 5500)

-Coming off a suspension Gates price is being kept down so you should add him while you can. He had a stat line of 92 yards and 2TD’s while being targeted 11 times. He has been and clearly still is Rivers favorite target. At this price he should be in the majority of your lineups

 

Defense: Colts (Draft Kings:3100  Fanduel: 4800)

-The Redskins are going to try and keep it a ball control game and the Jets happen to have the top ranked run defense in the league. This has the lowest over under this week and to its with good reason. Neaither team is going to light the offensive world on fire. Look for the Jets to come out on top and a very low scoring affair

Thoughts on Week 5

Mike Watkins

@merk256

10/12/15

 

Buffalo Bills

 

-Did you learn nothing, offside: The game could not have started any other way could it? After a penalty plagued Giants game the Bills decided they still had one in the tank and were called for an off sides on the kick off that negated a fumble recovery and took points off the board. The good news is it got better from there in terms of penalties. There is still a good amount of work to be done, For the time being though they seem to have drilled in the point that the inane 15 yarders for unsportsmen like conduct and late hits are completely and utterly unacceptable

 

-Trouble with the flats: The Bills in the early going had issues with covering anything out in the flats. It has been a weak spot that continually gets exploited. They were able to shore it up as the game went along today but its still an issue to keep an eye on

 

-Defense gassed, but good: You have to hand it to the defense over all today. For the vast majority of the game the Bills offense hung the defense out to dry. Yet despite being on the field all day they came through time and time again. Then they were able to end the game with two of their stalwarts, Dareus and Gilmore, coming up big in the clutch. They still have a ways to go but you are seeing more reacting than thinking out there

 

-Offense starts slow again: Second week in a row where the offense has struggled out of the gate. Now some of this can be attributed to the fact that the Titans knew the Bills almost had nothing at RB. Still its becoming a problem and the Bills will get stuck in holes they can not dig out of

 

-Tyrod Taylor: Have to hand it to him, when it mattered the most he took the game over. Its hard to decide what he biggest play of his was. The 25 yard TD run, The 25 yard 3rd down conversion, or the 40 plus yard completion to C.Hogan. All of them were extremely difficult and extremely clutch plays to do. Defenses are adjusting to him and he and Roman are adjusting back. This week it was his legs, next week it could be back to his arm or both

 

-The Hounds: Gilmore and Darby just keep getting better and better. Its getting to the point where opposing OC are just going to start staying away from them all together. When that happens you are going to see the productivity of this defense go through the roof. Gilmore is really good right now, Darby, has shot to be even better a year from now

 

-The Weak Spot: I’ve said it before and you’ve read it before, Bradham is a issue. The Bills have no better option right now but that won’t be the case in the offseason. He’s a decent player but he’s not made for this defense. I don’t care what the tackle numbers are. He’s limited in coverage and is an average at best blitzer.

 

-Watkins: It has been absolutely brutal for the Bills at the skill positions so far this year with the two best players on that side of the ball on the shelf. I do believe the Bills are doing the right thing however. People don’t remember it now but the New York City media tore OBJ up for the first month of his rookie season because he was dealing with a nagging injury. The Giants stood strong and allowed him to fully heal, then boom he had a great year. I think the result will be the same for Watkins. Could he have played the last two games? Likely, but at what cost? Then this calf issue would just follow him all year. The same can be said about McCoy. Help is on the way and the Bills are thinking long term as they should

 

-Lost in the Woods: Somehow someway the Bills have to get R.Woods going in this offense. He has to much talent to be used as little as he has. Against the Bengals I would like to see an effort to get him involved early. It will only help the overall offense in the end

 

-Center Issue: E.Wood in a very short time period has become an issue along the OL. He is getting beat far to often and the play needs to pick up. He has a big cap number and with the Bills up against it he may be one of the casualties if he keeps it up

 

 

Rest of the NFL

 

-The Titans are heading in the right direction. They have a good staff and they have the franchise QB to lead them. What they really need on offense is work horse RB. If they can add that to the mix the titans will be a force to deal with in 2016 and beyond

 

-I don’t know Greg Hardy, never met him and I don’t want to meet or know him. The nonsense just doesn’t stop with him and I cant imagine anyone but the Cowboys actually giving him any type of big money moving forward.

 

-Charles Woodson is the best defensive back of my generation and quite possibly the best athlete. The guy remains ageless and looks like he could play another 3 years. Its hard to believe that before Green bay picked him up he was thought of to be done.

 

-Brutal blow for the Chiefs in losing Charles. K.Davis will soften it but the guy who really needs to step up is A.Smith. Its time to move beyond being a game manager

 

-The Saints should and will blow up the roster this offseason. They should not however blow up the coaching staff beyond the defensive side of the ball. Sean Peyton is to good to just let walk out the door

 

-You can blame the Seattle record on a lot of things but I think the number one item is that they are not nearly as hungry as they have been. To many rings and to many contract extension

 

-We can all keep turning a blind eye to it but if you think Peyton Manning is still the same Peyton Manning we are watching different games. The defense is carrying them right now and that’s fine, fine until you meet the upper elites of the NFL

 

-Patriots have a legit shot at 19-0

 

-Arizona is far better and I mean FAR better than I thought they would be this year. Completely missed the boat on them.

 

-Rams should stay the course with Jeff Fisher. The reality is he needs to find his QB, and no Foles is not that guy

Gameday Daily Fantasy Forecast

by Anthony D. Macari


With some big names hobbled or out today there may be some last minute value to be found.


The Bills will be without Sammy Watkins, McCoy and Karlos Williams today. Look for Boobie Dixon to carry the lion share of the load at a bargain basement price (DK $3000). At WR look for Percy Harvin to be the #1 target and at (DK $4600) that's a good price. Charles Clay at DK $4600 may also see even more targets today and is a solid play.


Elsewhere, I'd shy away from paying big money on Julio Jones (DK $9200) even though he's playing he will be hobbled with a hamstring. If he's in your lineup, a last minute swap to Odell Becham Jr (DK $9000) would be a good move. I look for him to have a bounce back week. 


I also like the Phillip Rivers (DK $6200) / Keenan Allen (DK $7200) combo this week vs the Steelers. 


Vincent Jackson (DK $5000) and the Giants D ($2900) or Chiefs D ($2800) vs a High School Bears lineup today should round out a solid lineup. 

2016 Prospect Rankings Week 5

by Anthony D. Macari


Each week, Mike and I will post our Big Board prospect rankings. Mike posted his weekly list on Wednesday (See Below) and here is my initial rankings. At this point the rankings are based as much on expected performance as they are on actual production to this point. As the season goes on we will add to the list and factor in current season performance more heavily.


1. DE: Joey Bosa, Ohio State


Teams are game planning to stop Bosa but he has still been effective stuffing the run and generating pressure, if not piling up sacks. 


2. DT: Robert Nkemdiche, Ole Miss


Has finally started to live up to awesome potential. Freak athlete who has dominated inside despite facing constant double teams. Led the way up front for the big win vs Alabama.


3.  CB: Vernon Hargreaves III, Florida


Dynamic athlete who could be an impact shutdown play-making corner from day 1.


4. QB: Connor Cook, Michigan State


Cook has the size, arm strength and football IQ to be a franchise QB at the next level. 

5.  QB: Jared Goff, California


Extremely efficient and accurate. Seems to be comfortable as the spotlight grows and the competition gets stiffer. 


6. OT: Laremy Tunsil, Ole Miss


Prototypical blind side protector. Held out of game 1 as he is being investigated for accepting benefits from an agent.


7. OT: Ronnie Stanley, Notre Dame


Great size and athleticism. Experienced on both edges as well as inside at Guard. Active hands and gets to second level.


8. RB: Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State


Bell cow back with an explosive first step. Talented Buckeye squad will once again ride his back to the playoffs and a possible back to back championship. 


9. LB: Myles Jack, UCLA


A 3 down backer with equally impressive pass coverage and rush skills. Can play inside or out in multiple fronts.


10. WR: LaQuan Treadwell, Ole Miss


Huge opportunity for the physical receiver to make an impact this week vs Alabama.

11. S: Jalen Ramsey, Florida State


Versatile S with corner like coverage skills but the size and attitude to step up in the box and help stuff the run.


12.  WR: Tyler Boyd, Pitt


Good size and burst. Will fight and win one on one jump balls.


13.  OT: Taylor Decker, OSU


The unquestioned leader of OSU's formidable line. 


14. OG: Vadal Alexander, LSU


Paving the way for RB Leonard Fournette and the nations most dominant running game. SEC O-Lineman of the week vs Auburn leading the way for over 400 yards rushing. The Orange will have their hands full this week.


15. DE: DeForest Buckner, Oregon


Versatile D-Lineman who projects best to 5 tech in a 3-4.


16. LB: Jaylon Smith, Notre Dame


17. WR: Mike Williams, Clemson


18. DE: Jordan Jenkins, Georgia


19. OT: Jack Conklin, Michigan State


20. DL: A'Shawn Robinson, Alabama


21. DL: Kenny Clark, UCLA


22. DE, Carl Nassib, PSU

2016 Big Board

Mike Watkins

@merk256

10/8/15

 

3 players will be added each week as well as an updated ranking

 







1. C.Cook, QB, Michigan State

2. J.Smith, LB, Notre Dame

3. J.Goff, QB, Cal

4. R.Stanley, OT, Notre Dame

5. J.Ramsey, CB/S, Florida State

6. E.Elliot, RB, Ohio State

7. V.Hargreaves, CB, Florida

8. L.Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss

9. J.Bosa, DE, Ohio State

10. D.Buckner, DE, Oregon

11. M.Jack, LB, UCLA

12. L.Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss

13. E.Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma St.

14. S.Wright, LB, Arizona

15. T.Boyd, WR, Pitt

16. S.Oakman, DE, Baylor

17.K.Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech

18. L.Floyd, LB, Georgia

19.K.Clark, DT, UCLA

20.J.Conklin, OT, Michigan State

21.T.Dural, WR, LSU

22.A.Robinson, DT, Alabama

5 Fantasy Football Plays for Week 5

 

Mike Watkins

@merk256

10/7/15

 

Week 4 Results

D.Carr: 14.84

K.Williams: 14.5

R.Cobb: 6.9

G.Olsen: 3.8

Colts: 5.0


Overall: No way around it, bad week all around. K.Williams did all right but not nearly the output that was expected. Colts were a longshot swing and a miss. Cobb was a big money bust

 

Week 5 Picks

 

QB: Philip Rivers (Draft Kings: 6200 Fanduel: 7500)

-The NFL’s passing yardage leader through four games, Rivers has been consistent week in and week out so far. Through the first quarter of the season he has 3 multiple TDs in three out of four. Add in that the Steelers pass defense is nothing to write home about this should be a good bargain

 

RB: Justin Forsett (Draft Kings: 5800 Fanduel: 7200)

-He tore up the Steelers defense and the Browns run defense is even worse. If there is a clear marker in Pettine coaching career both in Buffalo and Cleveland its that his defenses struggle against the run. Right now the Browns are giving up 5.1 yards a run which is terrible.


-Wouldn’t blame anyone if they keep riding the D.Freeman train until it runs cold


WR: Keenan Allen (Draft Kings: 7200 Fanduel: 7700)

-Allen is in the top 10 in both targets and receptions so far this year so it’s a big reason why I’m doubling up on the Chargers this week. That and much like the Browns run defense the Steelers pass defense is terrible. Steelers have allowed a WR to go off every week against them so far and I think Allen is the next man up

 

TE:  Owen Daniels (Draft Kings: 2700, Fanduel: 4900)

-The Raiders are currently the worst in the league when it comes to defending opposing teams TE’s, thus Daniels is my sleeper of the week.The Raiders have allowed a TD to every TE they have faced this year and I think the streak continues this week. To date the averages for opposing TE’s are 87 yards, 8 receptions, and 1.5 TD’s


Defense: Baltimore (Draft Kings:2900  Fanduel: 4500)

-I’m banking on McCown starting this game. The reality is the Ravens should win this game with ease and McCown is mistake prone so the turnovers should be plentiful playing from behind

Buffalo Bills Quarterly Report

Mike Watkins

@merk256

10/6/15


Here’s what I had to say about the first set of 4 games in my season preview


“-In the first 4 games I think it’s important the Bills come out of it at least 2-2 with the ideal wins being against the Patriots and Miami. It’s a tough quarter to call because the Bills could easily go 3-1 or 1-3. Going 1-3 wouldn't be a killer but it would put them in a hole from the get go that will possibly bite them later. 2-2 keeps the playoff pace”


So as it stands right now the Bills pretty much did what they had to do in the first quarter of the season to keep the playoff pace. It would have been nice to have the 2 wins come against the AFC east but at least one of them was. The other against the Colts could provide help down the road in a tie breaker.


Still, considering that the Bills have installed new systems on both sides of the ball along with having a new head coach and essentially a rookie QB, coming out of that slate of games .500 is right where they need to be. There is still a lot of room for improvement and hopefully getting healthier will accelerate that


Here’s what I stated for the next slate of 4 games against the Titans, Bengals, Jaguars, and Dolphins


“In the next 4 the Bills have in my opinion a good shot at 3-1 and even 4-0. It’s a good matchup for them in all 4 games. So if they can get 2-2 in quarter one and 3-1 in the second set of 4 that will be a nice record heading into the second have off the season”


3-1 is still the goal for this next slate of games and completely reasonable goal. Obviously if they could come out of the set 4-0 that would provide some breathing room down the line. 2-2 wouldn’t be a back breaker but it would start leaving little room for error down the road


Offense through the first four games


-Taylor has been a little bit up and down but that was to be expected. He is essentially a rookie QB so there will be mistakes but you would like to see him get better week to week and I think the Bills are seeing that right now. He never looks overmatched in the pocket and uses his legs when he has to. Overall he is validating the coach’s belief in him


-The Bills have some nagging injuries that are affecting them through the early part of the season. McCoy is a tough one to take because he was expected to be a big part of the Bills offensive attack in both the running and passing game. To date Karlos Williams has done a nice job picking up the slack but the Bills really need to get McCoy back into the fold. Watkins is another one that the offense misses and will benefit greatly from his return. The Bills made the choice, and rightly so, to just bite the bullet now and allow Watkins to get healthy so they can have him for the longer haul.


-The OL has been up and down through the first 4 games. They are still adjusting to a new style offense and QB so there were bound to be some bumps in the road. Miller is a big loss right now and it showed in the Giants game. The sooner he can get back the better. I still expect to see the unit to improve as the season moves along


-Charles Clay has been worth every penny to date. Between his impact in the passing game and his blocking in the run game it’s been refreshing to actually see a TE produce week in and week out. I imagine when Watkins and McCoy return his stats may go down a little but his impactful plays may actually go up due to more mismatches and space to operate in


-From a coaching standpoint I’ve liked what I have seen from Roman. His game plans have been good overall and his play calling has a rhythm to it that the Bills have lacked for the past couple of years. Its also pretty clear that the Bills are much more than this ground, pound, and three yards of dust offense that everyone expected them to be. Roman like to attack down field and does a good job of keeping opposing teams off balance.


Defense through 4 games


-The defensive line isn’t putting up the stats they have in the past couple of years here in the early going but that doesn’t mean they are not impacting the game. Opposing teams have now moved to getting the ball out as fast as possible when playing the Bills relying on YAC and short passes to move the ball. It’s had its up and down success to date so far and is really dependent on the type of QB the Bills have faced. It’s a small cause for concern but the Bills defensive staff is too good to allow this to continue all year and will adjust and the Bills DL’s impact will continue to grow through the year


-The LB’s I’m still not completely sold on. Yes they put up nice tackle numbers but have been exposed a number of times in coverage and over pursuit. Brown is still the best among the three and will be good player moving forward. Bradham is still up and down and Lawson is average at best


-The secondary has been pretty good for the most part with the story being how well R.Darby has played. He wasn’t expected to be a starter from the get go but a set back in McKelvins recovery opened up an opportunity and Darby has seized it. I liked Darby a lot coming out of college and he is far exceeding what I thought he would be early in his career. The safety position however is in a little bit of disarray. Graham is still learning the position and figuring out the angles. Rambo is a nice back up but he’s by no means a starter.


Overall thoughts


-Have to give Whaley credit, he has assembled a talented group of starters and has given the roster depth at the majority of the positions. He is afraid to make a move or a deal and in a league where trades are becoming more and more common he is showing his value. He deserves a good amount credit for this draft class to date. With no first round pick he has 3 selections that are performing at a first round level


-The hype could not have been any bigger for Rex to start the season. In reality there are going to be some bumps in the road as the staff installs their system and he gets to know what he has on the roster, what works and what doesn’t, and who he can count on. There is some worry about the defense but I think they will settle into a good groove real soon. There is to much talent on that side of the staff for the defense to continue to get better and better


-Greg Roman has been a breath of fresh air with the offense. He keeps it up and he will be among the most sought after coordinators for a head coaching spot this offseason. He has done a phenomenal job with Taylor and the overall offense looks far more crisp and balanced than it ever did under Marrone


-Put bluntly, the Bills have to get their collective heads out of their collective asses when it comes to penalties. You can be aggressive but there is a fine line between aggressive and stupid, the Bills have crossed that line far too many times this season. Controlled Chaos should be the goal the rest of the year

Thoughts on Week 4

Mike Watkins

@merk256

10/5/15

 

 

Bills

 

Tyrod the Rookie: Back when Taylor was named the starter I mentioned that despite Taylor being in the league for four years he is essentially a rookie. With that there are going to be some growing pains and some lulls if you will. For most of the game Taylor was in one of these Lulls. He was finally able to snap out of it towards the end but it was to little to late. This is what the Bills are going to have to live with for this year for better or worse. They have to hope that the talent they have at the skill positions can overcome it when it does

 

Rex Defense: Four games in and a defense that was supposed to be an all time great has some issues. The Bills blitz and they blitz a good amount of times. The problem is its leaving gapping holes in coverage and teams are taking advantage. The Bills have to start revaluating how they apply pressure to opposing teams QB’s. The vaunted and very expensive front four is not getting the pressure it should. The Bills should not have to rely on the back seven to apply pressure and nor should we see the Bills marquee DL dropping into coverage. Rex and company have to take a hard look at how they are rushing the passer because opposing teams will continue the same pattern until the Bills prove they can stop it

 

Clay Day: Anyone still think the Bills paid to much, seriously, anyone, anywhere? Its funny that back in the summer there was actually a week long stretch where people that that he would have a big impact on the offense. He has found his grove in this offense and has quickly become one of Taylors favorite targets. For a young QB that is critical

 

Watkins: The stats don’t show it nearly as much as they should but not having Watkins on the field is an issue for the Bills. Harvin and Woods are nice WR’s and make great complimentary contributions to what Watkins brings to the table. The problem is neither are close to the talent Watkins is and thus the opposing defense do not respect them as such. Watkins is the type of WR that can tilt the field. By that I mean a defense can not just handle him one on one because he is far to explosive with the ability to score from anywhere on the field. When that type of talent is on the field Safety’s have to move farther off the line of scrimmage and favor his side of the field. This opens up the offense for every other player. When he is not on the field opposing teams can play straight up and that makes thing a lot harder on an offense being led by a young QB.

 

McCoy: So can we just put to bed this notion that the Bills can trade away McCoy? I get it he has a big cap number and Williams has looked the part. Williams however found it a bit tougher to find the lanes that he had been finding. It’s not all due to McCoy absence but it’s part of it. Having McCoy back there keeps opposing teams on edge with a completely different style of running. Having Williams spell him benefits them both and is a nightmare for opposing teams. The sooner McCoy gets back the better, and I’m going to enjoy this combo for the next at least 3 years

 

Gilmore and Darby: By years end if not already, you can argue the Bills have the best set of CB’s in the NFL. I liked Darby coming out and thought he would be good. He is officially blowing those expectations out of the water. The rate at which he is getting better is quite frankly astonishing. You add in what Gilmore already is and the Bills have a phenomenal CB situation. To think the Bills are still not at full health yet with their CB’s is a scary thought.

 

Safety is an issue: I like C.Graham I think he is a useful player to have in the secondary. That said he is having some issues with getting the angles down required to play the position. It’s a problem right now and with Williams down its compounding it. Rambo is a nice depth player but that’s all he is. A.Williams when he finally returns needs to start playing with some restraint. His reckless abandoned style, while fun to watch, will make him a frequent visiter to the injury report. With a struggling Graham and an overmatched Rambo he needs to stay healthy

 

LB issues: Everyone can recite the tackle numbers of Brown and Bradham and that’s great they look good on paper. Problem is the opposing teams have identified both of them as an area they can attack in the passing game and they are doing it on a regular basis. They are out of position on a regular basis and due to that a lot of short dump offs are going for much larger gains than they should. I’ve said this before and I’ll keep saying it, extending out Bradham would be a mistake. He’s not as good as a lot of this fan base perceives him to be

 

 

Rest of The League

 

-The good news for Eagles fans and media is there is no secrete on who to blame for the increasingly bad situation the Eagles find themselves in. Look no farther than Chip Kelly. I wrote in the offseason that Chip should be careful what he wishes for in having complete control and that the Eagles had made a mistake giving him all of the authority when the league had moved away from that type of set up. The Chip Kelly to the Texas Longhorns watch is beginning to heat up

 

-The Dolphins are a disaster right now and Philbin along with their front office. I’m not sure a coaching change will in effect do anything. The Dolphins might as well ride out the year with Philbin

 

-I feel bad for the Browns, really I do. That is an absolutely horrible way to lose a game and being a fan of the Bills I have had many moments like that one

 

-Dallas Cowboy fans are finding out why I like to spend extra money on a solid back up QB. Its often looked up as a waste but when you need him to get you through a month or so of games at least playing .500 so you can remain in the playoff hunt it will be the best money you ever spent

 

-I don’t know the ins and outs of the deal the 49ers gave Kaep, but for their sake I hope they have an easy out. He and Tomsula are a disaster and ownership clearly backed the wrong pony this past offseason.


-Just when you think the raiders have turned the corner they go and drop one to the hapless Bears. The arrow is still pointing up but it’s a loss like that will take some air out of your balloon

 

-My early front runner for league MVP is Cam Newton. If there is another player carrying his team more than Newton I haven’t seen him yet

 

-Atlanta has become the team to watch this year. Their offense is explosive and there defense is night and day compared to last year. What Quinn has done with that team in a short amount of time has been impressive

 

-Bill O’Brien is completely on the hot seat yet but he should get ready for it to get warm

5 Fantasy Football Plays for Week 4

Mike Watkins

@merk256

9/30/15

 

Week 3 Results

C.Newton: 29.9

Freeman: 39.8

Robinson: 8.8

Gronk: 17

Texans: 6.0


Overall: I hit big on Cam and Freeman which led to me finishing in the money on every game I played this past weekend. Robinson was a bit of a let down as the Patriots just suffocated the Jaguars every which way. Gronk was solid but not spectacular and the Texans defense was a bit of a let down

 

Week 4 Picks

 

QB: Derek Carr (Draft Kings: 5300 Fanduel: 7000)


-The biggest difference between last year and this year is the caliber of WR Carr is throwing too. Cooper looks like a home run of a selection and Crabtree has been solid on the other side. This has led to a nice uptick in stats completion % is up from 58 to 63, YPA 8.1 from 5.5, and his interception rate is down to 1.1 from 2.0. The Bears secondary is pretty dreadful having just 1 INT and allowing a brutal 70% completion percentage along with 8TD’s

 

RB: Karlos Williams (Draft Kings: 3400 Fanduel: 6300)

-Same logic that applied to Freeman last week is being applied to Williams this week. McCoy at best will see a reduction in snaps due to a lingering hamstring injury. The reports are that he likely won’t go at all but it’s still something to keep an eye on leading up to the game. If he doesn’t go expect Williams to but up big numbers at a cheap price.


-Another play I like this week is L.Murray for the Raiders. In fact I like any offensive player that goes up against the Bears


WR: Randall Cobb (Draft Kings: 7400 Fanduel: 8200)


-The 49ers are currently allowing 10 YPA, and Cobb is a target machine right now with Rodgers. He currently is getting 35% of the Packers red zone targets. The 49ers secondary is about to get carved up in a big way

 

TE: Greg Olsen (Draft Kings: 5400, Fanduel: 6300)


-Olsen is Newton’s most reliable target and has had two straight games with 11 targets. That’s a big number for a TE and given that this is one of the harder positions to project you look for targets to lead. Another aspect of this matchup that I like is that the Tampa 2 in general struggles with covering good TE’s.


-Another play I like this week is Witten from the Cowboys. Put shortly the Saints are terrible against opposing TE’s

 

Defense: Colts (Draft Kings:2800  Fanduel: 4400)


-I’m going with a low budget flier here. It’s based on nothing but the fact that the Colts have owned the Jags for a while and if they get out to a big lead it will make Jacksonville one dimensional. When that happens Bortles becomes mistake prone and a very average OL starts giving up a ton of pressures and sacks.

Thoughts on Week 3

Mike Watkins

@merk256

9/28/15


-There was a lot of pent up frustration after the Patriots beat the Bills down in week 2. The Bills let out that frustration on the Miami Dolphins in their home opener. The Bills started off fast and never looked back for the whole game. It was to date the most complete performance by the Bills yet under Rex Ryan

 

-The game on paper is a really bad matchup for the Dolphins and I said as much when I saw the Bills open up as 2.5 dogs. The Dolphins just don't have enough on offense to keep up with the Bills on defense. On the other side of the ball Miami doesn't have what they need in the secondary to handle all the Bills talent at the Skill position

 

-Karlos Williams is quickly becoming one of my favorite players. The guy just gets yards every time he gets the ball in his hands

 

-I’ll never understand why fans of teams have issues with keeping two talented players at the same position. Yes Karlos Williams is doing well, that doesn’t mean McCoy should take the brunt of criticisms. Having them both gives the Bills multiple options and gives opposing defenses big issues

 

-The name of the game against the Bills now is 3 step drops and quick passes. You can still expect that next week against the Giants and for the foreseeable future. This week though the Bills started to disrupt it by bumping more and getting their front four into passing lanes. The sack numbers will stay down during this but expect the turnovers to start to go up.

 

-For a class that wasn't supposed to contribute the Bills 2015 draft class is paying early dividends. Williams we have already covered, Darby has been just as good. The knock on Darby was ball skills coming out of the draft, well it safe to say that the Bills coaching staff focused on that and looks to have fixed the issue through three games. Darby keeps getting better and better. With that skill set the sky is the limit for him.

 

-It was a Clay day very early in the game. He got the party started in Miami by cutting up the Miami defense on the first drive and made a very clear statement that he is worth every penny the Bills are paying him

 

-The game as a whole was exactly what you want to see out of a young QB on the road coming off a bad loss at home to the reigning Super Bowl champs. Taylor started fast and did not look back. He is showing week after week that the bills may have finally found a solution to their decade and a half QB problem

 

-Sammy Watkins needs to get these lingering injuries figured out. They are starting to rack up and he may need to look into how he prepares himself for games. The calf injury doesn't sound serious but it again removes him from the field.

 

-Percy Harvin without Watkins on the field took a lead role and I think it will be great building his confidence moving forward. He made clutch receptions and moved the chains. He also kept the defense honest all day which won’t show up on the stat sheet

 

-I said last week that the Bills getting their teeth kicked in by the Patriots in week 2 might actually end up being a positive. I think this game proved that it might just be that. Getting humbled like that after all the talking and coverage leading up to the game was a humbling experience for the Bills. It showed them htat there is still a lot of work to be done and no team is going to just lay down


-Enjoy Greg Roman while he’s here Bills fans, he keeps this up and he will be a leading Head Coaching candidate in 2016. He has made the offense look like night and day compared to the last 2 years

 

 

Rest of the League

 

-Miami is in a really tough spot. For some reason they extended out a coach that really had no business being extended out. The Dolphins looked absolutely deflated on Sunday and that lands on the Head Coach

 

-Furthering Miami’s issues is having 200 million dollars tied up in a completely lost N.Suh and a QB who on his best day is Alex Smith. Miami has had GM issues for years and it doesn’t look like its going to improve anytime soon. The money spent on Suh is especially a killer. They poured all that money into a position and the side of the ball that didn’t need to be fixed

 

-The Jets were brought back down to reality on Sunday. They have a multitude of issues on both sides of the ball that will continue to be exposed as the season goes on. The biggest issues are a weak OL and a suspect pass rush. Both issues linger from last year.

 

-The Patriots did not punt once and put up 35 first downs….unreal

 

-The Eagles finally got a win over an overrated Jets team but the issues are still there. Bradford still looks like he can not find any rhythm in the offense

 

-There is no “Harbaugh effect” Kaep just isn’t that good and he has no business getting paid what he does. Its pretty clear after his last 18 game slate

 

-Raiders are going to keep getting better and better. They will not make the playoffs but they are going to be a .500 football team

 

-Just start Manziel Cleveland, and I don’t even think Manziel will ever amount to anything.


-Staying on the Browns. I said back when Pettine was first mentioned for the Job that he shouldn’t be so quick to jump at the first opportunity. I think he is starting to see why he should have been more calculated

 

-Pittsburgh is about to find out why a backup QB is important. You need to have a guy that can get you through 4-6 games playing .500 ball. If you can’t muster that the season is done

 

-AJ Green and Julio Jones are playing a very fun game who’s team is happier that they got a contract extension done


-The Bears are entering full blow it up mode and I for one commend them for recognizing it early. To many times teams wait on it and it in the end sets them back. Look for the Bears to keep moving some of their older players off the roster for assets to help speed up the rebuild


2016 Big Board

Mike Watkins

@merk256

9/24/15

 

3 players will be added each week as well as an updated ranking

 










1. C.Cook, QB, Michigan State

2. J.Smith, LB, Notre Dame

3. R.Stanley, OT, Notre Dame

4. J.Bosa, DE, Ohio State

5. J.Ramsey, CB/S, Florida State

6. E.Elliot, RB, Ohio State

7. J.Goff, QB, Cal

8. L.Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss

9. V.Hargreaves, CB, Florida

10. D.Buckner, DE, Oregon

11. M.Jack, LB, UCLA

12. L.Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss

13. E.Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma St.

14. S.Wright, LB, Arizona

15. T.Boyd, WR, Pitt

16. S.Oakman, DE, Baylor

5 Fantasy Football Plays for Week 3

 

Mike Watkins

@merk256

9/23/15

 

Week 2 Results

Palmer: 22.2

Cunningham: 4.7

Williams: 16.4

Olsen: 10

Rams: 4.7


Overall: In a word, terrible. Palmer and Williams are my only saving grace and they were only above average at best. Tre Mason playing killed the Cunningham pick and I swapped him out of my lineups Sunday morning

 

Week 2 Picks

 

QB: Cam Newton (Draft Kings: 6800 Fanduel: 7900)

-His price has dropped 800 on Draft Kings and $500 on FanDuel since the start of the year. I like the matchup against the Saints, who have allowed almost 10 yards a pass. Kelvin Benjamin’s injury is likely keeping Cam’s price down but he has picked it up on the scrambling side with 12 rushes a game

 

-Honestly a Higher price play you can’t go wrong with is Tom Brady, The Patriots have about zero interest in running the ball

 

RB: Devonta Freeman (Draft Kings: 4600 Fanduel: 6500)

Keep an eye on T.Coleman, if he is officially ruled out then this will be a good play at a good price.In two games Freeman has received 17 plays in the Red Zone and that number will only go up with no Coleman. Where Coleman really because valuable is in the passing game where he has become Matt Ryan’s favorite check down target

 

WR: Allan Robinson (Draft Kings: 5200 Fanduel: 6600)

-Bonus here is that the Jags are likely to be down for a nearly all of this game, and that means Robinson is going to get big time garbage yards. In the last 4 games Bortles has targeted Robinson at least time times so it’s clear that Robinson is his favorite target. Patriots tend to allow a lot of receiving yards so at this price Robinson will likely be on all my teams this week

 

-B.Marshall is another Player I like as every big WR is abusing the Eagles

 

TERob Gronkowski (Draft Kings: 7400, Fanduel: 8400)

TE is the toughest position to predict week in and week out and this week there is no real great matchup. So in this case I’m willing to spend because Jacksonville has no one that can stay with Gronk and I imagine he is going to have a big game with a lot of red zone targets

 

-Charles Clay is another player I would consider. Miami’s LB’s are week and he could be extra motivated at the return to play his former team Miami

 

Defense: Texans (Draft Kings: 3200, Fanduel: 5000)

 

-Its JJ Watt and Company against a rookie QB with a terrible OL, that’s really all that needs to be said

Thoughts on Week Two

Mike Watkins

@merk256

9/21/15


Buffalo Bills

 

 

-Utilization of deep speed: In a predictable game plan the Patriots stacked the box and bet that Tyrod Taylor could not beat them with his arm. This is going to be the case for the vast majority of the Bills games this year. The only way to back the opposing team off the LOS is to start hitting deep throws. Taylor hit a nice one late to Watkins that along with the Harvin TD against the Colts will at least give opposing teams some pause in game planning. The Bills have to start hitting these passes earlier in the game for it to be effective.

 

 

-Growing pains with Tyrod: When the Bills named Tyrod Taylor the starter for the year they did so knowing that he is essentially a rookie and there are going to be some growing pains. Against the Patriots the Bills had to deal with these pains for the first time. Taylor looked rushed and often confused for most of the day. He sailed passes high and often could not identify opposing defensive looks. This is going to be part of the process with Taylor, and there will be more games like this.

 

 

-Sticking with the run longer: I understand the Patriots were stacking the box, but the Bills after a strong first drive in which they marched down the field with a great mix of run and pass for some reason moved away from the run on the next two drives. This made them predictable and the Patriots pounced because the Bills did exactly what the Patriots wanted them to do, put the game on Taylor’s shoulders and not McCoy’s. The Bills need to hang with the running game in the early portions of the game far better than they did Sunday in the future. I would also like to see more of a mix of Karlos Williams and McCoy on the same drive. I think there styles complement each other and adjusting to each frustrates defenses

 

 

-Defense was the big issue: 500 plus yards and 40 points is a big problem. Was the offense an issue in this game? Sure, but nowhere near as big an issue as the defense. The Patriots outside of a few drives did whatever they wanted to Rex Ryans defense. They ran short quick patterns on three step drops to negate the Bills pass rush and the Bills could not figure out a way to counter it at all. The Patriots especially abused the Bills LB’s and Safety’s in coverage figuring out that those two groups are the weak link in the Bills pass defense

 

 

-OK to get fired up but has to be Chaos in control: I’m completely fine with getting fired up and I don’t care about talking trash to an opponent. The problem however is when it starts affecting the game in an negative way. A.Williams for example could not control himself for a good part of the game and because of that cost the Bills points and allowed the Patriots an easier path to the end zone. The Bills MUST get better at this if they are to make a playoff run. 15 yard personal foul penalties are completely and utterly unacceptable

 

 

-Being Humbled: The one bright spot about this may be the fact that the Bills were thoroughly beat in all phases of the game. This could have a positive effect on the team in that the press is nice but the work still has to be put in. Hopefully the reaction is to never be that completely dominated again. It could also spiral but I believe the Bills mentality to be the opposite of that and I think they will take their aggression out on an overrated Miami team

 

 

 

Rest of the League

 

 

-I missed the mark on the Saints: I thought the Saints would be far better than this heading into the year. Losing to Tampa Bay at home however is a big blow and all of a sudden an offense that was so explosive for years looks predictable and Brees looks like he’s on his last legs. Still a long way to go but this team seems destined to be blown up at the end of the year

 

 

-Tom Brady is that good: Tom Brady is the best QB I’ve seen play, ever. I for the longest time was on the Joe Montana train but I’m officially off. Year after year Brady just continues to be far ahead of anyone else and has not lost a step. It really doesn’t matter who you surround him with he will elevate their play

 

 

-Heat is going to start to get real turned up on Chip Kelly: I wrote in the offseason that the Eagles took a big chance and in my opinion made a big mistake making Kelly the be all end all for the Eagles. The early returns are not looking good for the Eagles or Kelly. With now 35 games on tape opposing defenses have now adjusted to Chip Kelly’s offense and we are finally going to see how good Kelly is because this is something that has almost never happened to him. He needs to adjust back. If he can’t, you may see him bolt to the college ranks at the end of the year which would be a disaster for the Eagles

 

 

-Seahawks Fire: Despite what Kam Chancellors agent wants you to believe, no, Kam is not the reason for the 0-2 start. The more likely culprit is that a lot of the players have settled after multiple trips to the Super Bowl and most of the roster getting paid

 

 

-57 million per tackle: That’s the return on investment for the Dolphins so far and according to a Sports Illustrated report Suh is free lancing and becoming disgruntled. Suh and Miami’s DL seem to be in a funk as they are generating very little pass rush, but the last thing they need right now is Suh disgruntled and basically calling for scraping the Defense for something better suited for himself.

 

 

-Money Well Spent: Atlanta has to be absolutely thrilled they were able to lock up J.Jones when they did. He has been worth every penny through 2 games. He is staking his claim to best WR in the game.

2016 Big Board

Mike Watkins

@merk256

9/17/15

 

3 players will be added each week as well as an updated ranking

 





1. C.Cook, QB, Michigan State

2. J.Bosa, DE, Ohio State

3. R.Stanley, OT, Notre Dame

4. J.Smith, LB, Notre Dame

5. J.Ramsey, CB/S, Florida State

6. E.Elliot, RB, Ohio State

7. M.Jack, LB, UCLA

8. L.Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss

9. V.Hargreaves, CB, Florida

10. D.Buckner, DE, Oregon

11. J.Goff, QB, Cal

12. L.Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss

13. E.Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma St.

5 Fantasy Football Plays for Week 2

Mike Watkins

@merk256

9/16/15

 

Week 1 Results

Bradford: 15.44

Ivory: 22.5

Green: 8.8

Witten: 22

Panthers: 21


Overall: I hit on 3 of 5 and Bradford after a terrible start at least ended respectable. Green was a killer, I thought he would have a much better game against a very suspect Raiders defense.

 

Week 2 Picks

 

QB: Carson Palmer (Draft Kings: 6700 Fanduel: 7800)


-The Bears finished in the bottom 5 in completion percentage allowed, yards per pass attempt allowed, and pass defense ranking last year so this is a prime spot for Palmer at a decent price. Aaron Rodgers throttled them for a 78 percent completion percentage. Under Bruce Arians, Palmer has thrown 2+ TDs in more than half of the games he’s played with Arians as his HC

-Have Money to burn? Drew Brees will be a great higher end play this week

 

RB: Benny Cunningham (Draft Kings: 4400 Fanduel: 5800)


-This is my sleeper value of the week. Redskins played the run well in week one and that’s why this price is kept in check. Reality is Cunningham was A 20 touch back against Seattle. That is the type of volume you want when looking for a RB. Not only is Cunningham going to benefit from Tre Mason being out but he is also involved in the passing game. Which with the Rams lack of talent in that area will get Cunningham even more possible touches

 

WR: Terrence Williams (Draft Kings: 4200 Fanduel: 6300)


-Obviously with Bryant out Williams value is naturally going to go up. The Eagles allowed 246 yards and 2 TD’s on 16 receptions week 1, so there is a good amount of potential here. Williams if a favorite of Romo but even more so when Bryant is out.

 

TE: Greg Olsen (Draft Kings: 4900, Fanduel: 6000)


-Last week I went with Witten because I thought everyone would go with Olsen. This week I’m going Olsen because I think everyone is going Witten. Best way to have success on the one week sites is to go against the grain. Olsen underwhelmed after a slow start so I think people will back off him this week.  Thing is Travis Kelce lit up the Texans last week and I think we are about to see a repeat performance.

 

Defense: Rams (Draft Kings: 3100, Fanduel: 4900)


-Biggest myth in this league right now is that Cousins is a capable QB. He’s not, he doesn’t sense pressure at all which leads him to forcing and hurrying a lot of throws. The throws then turn into INT’s. This bodes well for a very good Rams front 4 that is eager to face an overmatched QB

 

-Miami is another good play this week. Jags just don’t have the horses to stay with any elite defenses

Thoughts on Week One

Mike Watkins

@merk256

9/14/15


Buffalo Bills


-Tyrod Taylor began to validate his coaches naming him the starter for the Buffalo Bills right from the get go week 1. It wasn’t perfect but it was a really good game for a QB making his first NFL start. He looked poised and in control the entire game. Two things that I saw that really impressed me, one he always keeps his eyes down the field even when scrambling and two running is his last resort not his first option.


-The running game is a little bit of a work in progress but it usually is for most teams at the beginning of the year. Defenses are fresh and are more in sync than offenses. With the Bills it will also be a little more difficult in the early going because like the Colts did Sunday opposing teams will first look to take away the run and namely McCoy. It’s a smart move right now, McCoy is an elite explosive player and if you have to choose you will take your chances with Taylor beating you and rather than McCoy.


-I have zero concerns about Watkins not being involved in the offense Sunday. With as many weapons as the Bills have its going to happen a game here and there. It’s one of the advantages the Bills have on offense


-The concerns about the Bills defense during the preseason were overstated. Like I said during the preseason Rex is notorious for not showing anything during the preseason and uses it to focus on technique and overall concepts. Sunday showed his defense is clearly intact and ready for a great season


-Corbin Bryant showed he can hold his own in the absence of Dareus. This is a bonus for the Bills as it will only deepen the rotation in the middle


-The Bills CB depth is good now and it’s only going to get deeper as the season goes on. Darby had a nice start to his NFL career and Mario Butler showed that he belongs on the active roster. Once McKelvin returns the Bills will have a big advantage that most teams do not and would love to have


-McCoy needs to let the Chip Kelly thing go. You said your piece, we get it, but you are a Buffalo Bill now. Everything from here on out just looks pathetic and whiney

 

Rest of the league


-Suh should be suspended, period. I don’t know why this guy continues to do what he does but the league finally needs to send him a message that he will understand


-C’mon Pete Carrol we all know that was not a botched kick off attempt by Seattle. You tried to onside it and it blew up in your face. Just own it and move on. I would also be concerned if I’m Seattle fans. A lot of those players have been paid and a lot of them have rings. I don’t blame them, it’s hard to keep up the intensity for long stretches. It’s why the Bills 4 straight is so impressive


-I really have no clue what the Giants were thinking in the final 90 seconds of that game. You run the ball on third down and then again on 4th down. The worst thing that can happen is Dallas buried on the 1 yard line with appx 30 seconds left, game over


-That’s what Mariota does. The kid was a machine at Oregon and it carried over to his first start with the Titans. Titans fans should be excited


-The opposite can be said for Tampa Bay and it’s not about Winston, it’s about Lovie Smith. Smith was once a contender for the Bills job and I wanted nothing to do with him. The game has passed him and his defense by. His game plans are far too obvious and opposing teams with even above average QB play shred it on a weekly basis. I cannot see him making it into next year


-Why is Pagano on the hot seat and not Grigson? I’d blame Grigson far more for this than Pagano. He should get zero credit for Luck, anyone, and I mean anyone could have made that selection. Nearly everything else he has done is questionable at best. I’m not a Pagano fan but if he goes there is NO WAY I’m keeping Grigson around or allowing him to select the next head coach


-The Broncos may end the season with the best pass rushing duo in the league this year. Ware and Miller were extremely impressive against Baltimore. Miller is in a defense that fits him perfectly now

The 2015 Buffalo Bills Preview: Rex’s Renegades, They talked the talk now it’s time to walk the walk

Mike Watkins

@merk256

9/11/15

 

 

Arguably the most headline catching aggressive offseason for the Bills is over. They added a new coach who has given them a national identity and followed it up with being very aggressive in the offseason acquiring new talented free agents and making sure the blue chippers that they drafted don’t get out the door. There has been a lot of talk from both the Bills and the media, but now it’s time for them to back that talk up with the 2015 season upon us. Here are my thoughts on the 2015 Bills 

 

 

Offense

 

QB: 

 

-This was the biggest question heading into the offseason and still is heading into the season. The Bills added what most thought was an afterthought player in Tyrod Taylor. They also traded for Matt Cassel to join EJ Manuel in a QB competition for the summer.

 

-The result, a bit unexpected, as Tyrod Taylor took the job. He earned it over the course of camp and preseason. He gives the Bills a dynamic they haven't had at the QB position in a long time in that he can really hurt you with his legs. Make no mistake about it though this is a big time risk for the Bills and it has boom or bust written all over it. An interesting facet to watch is how much of a leash the Bills are going to have with Taylor. If he begins to falter will they recognize it soon enough before they let the season slip away or are they all in for the entire year?

 

-I would not be surprised if we see all three QB’s take snaps this year. Taylor slight of size may make it difficult to stay on the field if he doesn't learn to slide. Also keep an eye on the trade deadline and EJ Manuel, I still think he will be shipped out for the right price

 

RB:

 

-This Position heading into the offseason wasn't preceived as a huge need but it got overhauled anyway. They added one of the top 3 RB’s in the league with a shocking out of no where trade for L.McCoy from Philly. They made subsequent moves by drafting K.Williams and cutting Fred Jackson

 

-The Bills clearly plan on leaning on this position all year and they have assembled a talented backfield that has a great mix of youth, veterans, speed, and power. The Bills can come at you in a multitude of ways. McCoy for one is going to be a lot of fun to watch, his explosion and quickness are rare

 

-I like what I saw out of Karlos Williams in the short amount of time I saw him play. I remember seeing enough out of him at Florida State to be happy the Bills drafted him. Williams runs with such power and explosion that he will be a very good counter to McCoy

 

-Overall I think how much the Bills will rely on the run this year has been vastly overstated. Yes I do think they will hand the ball off a lot in the early part of the season and the later part to bring along Taylor and then to adjust to inclement weather. However I think the Bills also realize they have a Ferrari in McCoy and the best way to get the most out of him is to keep the carries down thus getting more consistently from him through the year 

 

WR:

 

-In a word, loaded. The Bills already have a superstar in the making in Sammy Watkins. They have a very good number two in Robert Woods. They then added Percy Harvin to that mix which gives them a very explosive player who has been known to take the top off opposing defenses and can score from anywhere on the field with the ball in his hands. 

 

-They Bills also have good depth behind them in Hogan who is usually very sure handed and a great route runner. Goodwin who I am losing patience with due to injuries but has shown that he must be accounted for when he was on the field or DB’s will be looking at his 88 from behind as he coast into the end zone. The last reserves are special team’s aces Thigpen and Easley. Easley is the more likely to be involved if injuries hit the offense.

 

-The top three are where the Bills will give opposing teams many issues. All three of them can exploit one on ones on a regular basis. The issue is however if the Bills QB can take advantage of that exploitation. These three are the reason why I do not think the Bills will be as run heavy as most suggest. They are going to want to get the ball into the hands of these players on a regular basis

 

TE: 

 

-One of the Key moves if not the key move for the Bills this offseason was being able to pry Charles Clay away from the Miami Dolphins. This was by far and away my favorite move this offseason. First it gives the Bills the most talented TE they have had since the 90’s. Second I have watched him enough in the AFC East to know he is a matchup nightmare and a thorn in the side of opposing defenses. Clay just knows how to get open and that will be extremely valuable to a young QB trying to find his way in the NFL. Add in his in line blocking and his ability to provide spring blocks on the second level and his contract will look like a bargain at the end of the year

 

-Behind him the Bills have an interesting player in M.Gray that I actually expect to be used more than people think. I believe he will take on a H-Back roll in the offense and while his numbers will be limited I think the receptions he does make will be valuable ones and chain movers

 

OL:

 

-This unit was a bit of a disaster last year. The OG play was terrible and Glenn came off a mystery illness and never looked right or comfortable all year long. They also started a rookie at RT all year and even though he looked good he was still a rookie and subject to classic rookie mistakes

 

-A lot of the above has changed though, The Bills upgraded the OG spot with signing Incognito and drafting a very impressive rookie in John miller. Henderson has put his rookie season behind him and had a great camp. Glenn came into camp in great shape and back to his old self. The line as a whole has looked far better through the preseason and that can be attributed to Roman and Kromer installing a far more refined system and harping on techniques that the unit has taken to

 

-I expect almost a night and day look to this OL this year. Last year was a true disaster and I think there is far more talent on this line than it showed last year. It’s one of the reasons why I was on the fence about the Bills being aggressive in the offseason chasing OL free agents. If there is one unit that is going to surprise this year it’s going to be the OL

 

 

Defense 

 

DL:

 

-This unit is the identity of the Bills. It is the most talented DL in the NFL and no I do not think it’s up for debate. No other team can roll out 4 elite DL in the NFL that bring it as consistently as the Bills do. The unit has size, speed, length, and elite talent across the board. They will dictate games for the Bills and how they play will play game in and game out will play the biggest role in the outcomes of games for the Bills

 

-With all the talent on the line the most important player is Dareus. He allows the DL to exploit one on one matchup’s play after play. Even when double teamed he is still a disruptive force that makes the defense tick. When teams decide to double the hot hand and leave Dareus with a one on one it doesn't last long as he will abuse the vast majority of OL in the NFL one on one. Getting him locked up was critical to the Bills this offseason and they got it done

 

-Hughes landed his big deal this offseason and it was important also to the Bills future. Hughes and Dareus are in their primes and with Williams and Williams in their 30’s it was important to get Hughes and Dareus locked in. If they hadn't the Bills DL would look real old real quick. Hughes and Dareus being in their peak athletic primes will allow the Bills to extend out the effectiveness of both Williams 

 

-Barring injury this is the unit I am the least concerned about. The unit should be elite all year and will be the pulse of the team and the defense

 

LB:

 

-I am not as high on the LB crew as most are. I am still suspect of Bradham in this defense. Brown had a nice year last year but again I question his fit and what he will be asked to do. The good part is that with what they have in front of them they should be able to still produce at a relatively good level. I think if there is one part of this defense that could get exposed it will be the LB’s

 

-As far as depth goes there is none. If Brown or Bradham go down the Bills are going to have real issues trying to plug that hole with what they have on the roster. I would look for them to head to the street rather quickly if a major injury does occur 

 

-The LB who will benefit the most of the return to a hybrid defense will be Manny Lawson. He was on the chopping block at the end of the season before the return to this style of defense. With good reason, he was a misfit in Schwartz style but is a pretty good fit for Rex. He will see a lot more snaps this year and is just a solid overall player. R.Johnson behind him is a nicely developing player but is still likely a year away from pushing for real playing time  

 

DB:

 

-When Mckelvin is healthy I like this unit a lot more. Even without him though it’s still a good unit. Gilmore will be the key. He has had some ups and downs but he should take to this style of defense and the scheme will be counting on him to take half the field away especially while McKelvin is out

 

-Darby is going to be a work in progress and will go through the same issues all rookie CB’s go through. It will be a bit painful at times but he has the talent to be a good player in the NFL. The good part of this could be that he will have a lot of snaps under his belt while McKelvin is out and will make the unit stronger when he returns

 

-The Bills locking up Robey was an excellent move. While he has no business covering any WR on the outside. He is a perfect fit to line up against the quicker slot WR’s that have become more and more popular in the NFL over the past decade. Robey gives the Bills an advantage on defense that few teams have in the NFL and is clearly one of the top slot CB’s in the league

 

-I really like A.Williams and he has become the vocal leader of the secondary unit. He is one of the more underrated Safety’s in the league and is key to what the Bills want to do. One aspect of his game he needs to clean up is the reckless abandon he plays with sometimes. It’s starting to take a toll on his body and the small injuries are going to start becoming major injuries

 

-Graham affords the Bills a lot of options in the defensive backfield. I think he will take to the FS spot but can still be used in emergency situations at CB. His coverage skills will be valuable from the FS spot but there will be some growing pains as he learns the angles 

 

-Depth isn't great but it isn't bad either for the Bills. They keep wanting Duke Williams to step up and take one of these spots but I think they are waiting for something that will not happen. Rambo is an interesting player. Even the Green Bay game aside he seems to have taken to Buffalo and become solid depth.

 

 

 

 

Record

 

-In the first 4 games I think it’s important the Bills come out of it at least 2-2 with the ideal wins being against the Patriots and Miami. It’s a tough quarter to call because the Bills could easily go 3-1 or 1-3. Going 1-3 wouldn't be a killer but it would put them in a hole from the get go that will possibly bite them later. 2-2 keeps the playoff pace

 

-In the next 4 the Bills have in my opinion a good shot at 3-1 and even 4-0. It’s a good matchup for them in all 4 games. So if they can get 2-2 in quarter one and 3-1 in the second set of 4 that will be a nice record heading into the second have off the season

 

-In the 3 quarter of 4 games 3-1 is going to be the goal and 2-2 would be ok but not ideal. 1-3 would be a killer heading into the final set.

 

-The last quarter of games will be tough and why the Bills need to bank games they should win in quarters 2 and 3. In the final Quarter of games you will likely have 2 NFC east teams needing wins while they fight for the division in the Eagles and Cowboys. You will also have a very motivated Jets team hoping for a chance to keep Rex Ryan out of the playoffs. 

 

 

Record Prediction: I see a 10 win season. I think the defense will carry the team and the Bills will get enough offense from a very good set of skill players to get them into the playoffs

 

 

Other Thoughts

 

-I really like the coaching staff the Bills have put together. It was only preseason but the team seemed far crisper and had a focused purpose with what they were doing. It may be a little rough in the beginning but all these coaches have won on the NFL level and that counts for a lot when a loss happens

 

-Rex Ryan is such a drastic change from what the Bills have been hiring for the position lately that it has brought a breath of fresh air to the organization. I wasn’t the biggest Rex Ryan fan before he came here, I felt he made a lot of critical mistakes especially in the roster building department. It seemed that he always push the Jets into sinking their assets into the defensive side of the ball and then make the offense get by with what’s left over. This allowed him to have the security blanket of, the defense is fine it must be the offensive staff. Rex seems to have learned from that in Buffalo as the Bills spent free agency loading up the offense. This is key, because it shows that Rex has evolved as a coach which is not always the case.

 

-The Bills have finally got ahead of the ball in terms of signing their own players. For years I complained that they have to get these deals done the summer before players hit free agency. They also had a habit of locking up their B and C level players instead of their elite players. The Bills have finally started to move away from this and with good reason. It’s far easier to find the B and C players in the draft than to be in a position to select an elite player.

 

-One pick up that Whaley made that doesn't get nearly get enough credit is punter Colton Schmidt. This kid impresses me nearly every game. Yea it’s a punter but with this defense it’s valuable having one that can flip the field

 

 

Rest of the Division

 

-I think the Jets are the worst team in the division. I really don’t see all this talent that the NY media and others are talking about. I think they are counting on two CB’s playing on retirement deals in their 30’s to all of a sudden play like they are 25 again. I don’t see that happening at all

 

-Miami will be better but not much. Suh is a great player but does he really elevate that defense that much farther up from where they were last year? I personally think no. Tannehill is basically a young Alex Smith. It won’t take teams long to figure out he cannot hit the deep ball and much like it does to the Chiefs it will begin to stall the offense. The OL is also very much a weak link and they have no RB that any team has to game plan for

 

-The Patriots are the Patriots and until Brady hangs them up everyone is chasing them. I think they do not have the talent level they had last year but Brady always covers up a lot of these holes. It would be a gigantic victory if the Bills can somehow upset them in week two to put them, and the division on notice. It will be a tough task though because Gronk and Brady are extremely tough to stop and the Bills need to have an answer for that. The front seven is still good but the secondary could be a spot that opposing teams could expose

Thoughts on Fred Jackson and Tyrod Taylor

Mike Watkins

@merk256

9-1-15  

 

The Tyrod Taylor era has officially begun in Buffalo. It was a signing in the offseason that was mostly met with a “meh” and a shoulder shrug. Now in August he has officially won the starting job. Given how he played in the games and what was reported during camp he without a doubt earned the starting nod.


                I admit I thought Cassel would get the nod. I thought the staff would ride an elite defense, a power running game, with hopefully mistake free football at the games most important position to the playoffs. I thought it would be the right move and then if things started going south they would have a potential spark off the bench from EJ or Tyrod. They decided instead to go for broke with a player that could cause a lot of issues for opposing teams


                After watching Taylor in preseason games one and two, I admit, I was wrong. Taylor showed a lot and he earned the right to be the starting QB for the Buffalo Bills. At first he ran a little too much for my liking but then clearly corrected that in game three as he hit a number of passes from the pocket. He continues to make progress every time I watch him. He showed a command of the offense and enough in the pocket to where he will not be a run first pass later QB


                What really convinced me however is his ability to be consistent on the short and mid-range throws through the preseason. This is what has been an issue for Bills QB’s in the past. In this offense though that ability is going to be critical because it’s going to allow the Bills playmakers to operate in space. Add in the deep throws that Taylor has been able to hit and the Bills offense could surprise in 2015.


                Taylor still has a ways to go and there will be some bumps in the road along the way. I imagine when the game speeds up during the regular season he will once again rely a little too much on his scrambling ability. If you are the Bills you have to trust that he will eventually learn from it and progress to a point where it’s a weapon for him but not his identity.

               

Fred Jackson

               

          The Bills finally released Fred Jackson and it came as a shock to a lot of Bills fans including myself. Fred in his time in Buffalo embodied what playing and living in the city is all about, never giving up. He was never the fastest or the biggest player on the field but few if anyone could match his desire and will to succeed on and off the field.  


                In the end it came down to a numbers game. With McCoy and rookie Karlos Williams looking to garner most the carries during the season there was not much room for Jackson. Dixon will contribute on special teams and Bryce Brown has worked his way back into the good graces of the coaching and front office staff for the time being. Jackson at age 34 and with no real spot on special teams became expandable


                I personally think Jackson will eventually find a home. While he has lost some speed there is still useful talent left in him. As a third down back he can still excel. So a playoff team looking to protect their franchise QB on obvious passing downs will have at least some level of interest.


                For me I would like to thank Fred Jackson for all he did in Buffalo both on and off the field. He gave the fans of this city highlights and effort that they could cheer about during a dark playoff drought of the past 15 years. I wish him the best wherever he lands and hope he can finally make it to those elusive playoffs.

Rex's Pair of Bold Moves Signify New Era in Buffalo

Freddy Jackson Cut & Tyrod Taylor Named Starter per report

by Anthony D. Macari


With news of two dramatic moves within a few minutes coming out Monday morning, Rex Ryan has definitively placed his stamp on this team. 


First the Bills announced they had made the mandatory cuts necessary to get to 75. Among the 12 released was long time fan favorite Fred Jackson. His release may not truly be that surprising given his age, injury history and the depth of talent acquired by the Bills at the position this year, but the news still hit Bills fans by surprise. The fans can certainly be excused for suspending a degree of common sense to want to keep a player who has poured so much of his heart into this franchise through a mostly dark period for the organization. No matter the quarter or the score, or what higher drafted running back started the season ahead of him on the depth chart, Bills fans came to expect nothing less than everything from FredEx. His time in Buffalo can be summed up in one play against the Bears in Overtime last season where he refused to be stopped and set up the winning FG by stiff arming his way towards the goal line. Fans should feel no hesitation to wear Fred's #22 at the Ralph for years to come in the same way its still ok to wear 12, 34, 83 and 78. He was the heart and soul of this organization for a decade. While it's sad he will not be a part of what could be a very special season, he can take pride in any Bills success that comes this year because his work ethic and passion has found its way into many of the Bills in that locker room because of his leadership.


Shortly after the heart breaking news came out, Jay Glazer from Fox Sports announced the Bills will name Tyrod Taylor as starting QB. This was not the safest choice Rex could have made but it is the right one. Tyrod brings a dynamic element to the offense that Rex and Roman can use to get the most out of a roster filled with playmakers. Tyrod has not only shown the big play ability throughout the summer, but he also demonstrated the kind of efficiency without making critical errors that Rex is looking for at the position. On the same day it was announced RGIII would not be the opening day starter for the Redskins, its interesting to compare the two and the very different paths they took since coming into the league. They both came in as raw talents with exceptional athleticism. However, RGIII was thrust immediately into the spotlight and was asked to grow on the job. Tyrod had the benefit of being able to sit and learn behind a franchise QB in a winning program. We will see this year if the results are better, but the Bills signing of Tyrod this offseason could be the kind of under the radar home-run move that could completely transform a franchise.


So with these two dramatic moves, Rex and the Buffalo Bills have closed the chapter on a proud past and opened the door to a dynamic and exciting new future. These were not the safest or most popular decisions Rex could have made but they may both represent the smart kind of football thinking the organization has lacked. Fred will surely be missed and his name belongs up on the Wall along with the rest of the Bills greats. He will always have a special place in the hearts of Bills fans, but this is a new era, the Rex Ryan, Tyrod Taylor era. We fans can only hope a decade from now we have the kind of fond memories of their time in Buffalo that now have for Fred's, but perhaps with the added reverence given to champions.

Preseason Top 5's: LB

Mike Watkins

@merk256

8/25/15

 

1.J.Smith, Notre Dame: In a word, beast. Smith is my favorite player coming into the 2015 season. You would be hard pressed to find a hole in his game and will often draw comparisons to the highest graded ILB I’ve had coming out of college in P.Willis. I’d go so far as to say that if Smith keeps getting better I’ll have him higher than I had Willis. Mainly because Smith is farther along in pass coverage and blitzing in college than Willis was.


2.M.Jack, UCLA: Jack is very Luke Kuechly’ish. He has excellent coverage skills which is a rising value for NFL teams given how much teams pass now. He is a very instinctive player that can cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time.


3.S.Wright, Arizona: 3-4 teams will be very high on Wright. Of the LB’s on this list he has the best pass rushing skills. He plays like his hair is on fire and can be seen in on nearly all of Arizona’s defensive plays. If he’s not making the play he is nearby. Wright like Jack and Smith are system fluid which will keep his stock high


4.L.Floyd, Georgia: Has very good pass rushing skills and when he is focused is a very good all around LB. It took a benching to wake him up half way into the year. After that though he was often the best defensive player on the field for Georgia. If he keeps his head on straight he could be a late first rounder.


5.R.Ragland, Alabama: Ragland is your more classic ILB with a very much fill and kill mentality for the run game. He will get labeled as a two down run stopper but I have him higher than I had CJ Mosley coming out of college. He will be fighting the growing stigma that Alabama defenders never live up to the hype on Sundays.

 

Overview: Loaded, absolutely loaded with talent. This is easily the deepest position for the 2016 draft. If you are a NFL team in need of a LB then the 2016 draft is for you much like the 2015 draft was for RB. I have 2 with a top 10 grade and 1 with a top 15 grade. It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the season to see who the first one off the boars is in 2016

Preseason Top 5's: DT

Mike Watkins

@merk256

8/22/15

 

1.M.Collins, Nebraska: Every Nebraska game I watched last year I tuned in to watch Randy Gregory but more often than not came away thinking he is the second most talented player on the DL. Collins is the guy that made things go on that Nebraska DL. If Collins keeps up what he did last year he’ll be the first DT off the board in 2016

 

2.J.Augusta, Missouri: Augusta much like Collins was often an after thought in most games to due to players getting more pub. That however should not be the case this years for Augusta. He plays with good leverage and will take on the double when needed for run support

 

3.S.Day, Notre Dame: I’m higher on Day than most, I’ve seen every snap he’s taken at Notre Dame and when he’s on he is one of the best DL in college football. He understands angles and can penetrate on a consistent basis. 3-4 teams will be especially high on him because he has a lot of snaps at the sometimes difficult to find 5 tech

 

4.A.Robinson, Alabama: Robinson is a lot higher on almost every other Pre Season list. While Robinson is talented it doesn’t always show up. I saw far too many plays where he just mailed it in. If he can rid himself of those snaps than he will move up the board fast.

 

5.C.Jones, Mississippi St.: Jones last year ate up a lock of blocks so his teammates could make plays. This year I expect him to be the one making the plays that show up on the stat sheet. He is very good at anchoring in the middle which will keep his value up there. Needs to show more as a pass rusher this year however

 

Overall: Right now the class is average but much like IOL, DT’s tend to not really take big steps in development until their junior and senior year. Still there is talent among the group but I don’t see any elite top 10 talent. I have 2 maybe 3 1st round grades but it would be mid to late at this point.

Random Bills Thoughts 2 Preseason Games In 

Mike Watkins

@merk256

8/21/15

 

 QB’s

-Taylor gives the offense a dynamic that the Bills coaching staff may not be able to resist. At first I thought the Bills would go with the vet in Cassel and then if he falters go to Taylor or EJ for a spark. At this point I think Taylor is the front runner and the Bills will try and ride out his lows to take advantage of his highs. If he falters, then I see them going to Cassel to right the ship

 

-I see all 3 QB’s making the team. There really is no reason to cut any of them. I think you have to hope one catches fire

 

-I really can’t see EJ winning the position but that doesn’t mean he won’t make a start or two this year. With that said I see no point in releasing him. The Bills gain almost nothing cap wise and lose a QB who went through the whole summer with them and knows the system. He also has nearly no trade value. So at this point the Bills might as well ride it out

 

-I think the Bills should not wait to name the starter. There is such a drastic difference in styles that between Taylor and Cassel that I think they do themselves no favor by waiting

 

Offense

-There is just a drastic difference in how this offense looks through two games. There seems to be a clear cut focus and the improvement in coaching can be seen in the Bills starters. The OL is playing as one so far and look already markedly better than they did under Marrone.

 

-The first drive of the night is pretty much exactly how Ryan and Roman want this offense to be. A long sustained drive based on running the football. They obviously would like it to end in points

 

-Some outside of Buffalo think the Bills overpaid for Clay, end of this year, that deal will look like a bargain. That’s how good a season I think Clay will have, he looks excellent in this offense

 

Defense

 

-I still see some rough patches for the defense to start the year but as it goes on I think this defense is in for a special year. It’s got size, it’s got speed, and it’s got depth. If the offense can do what it wants with the long drives, it’s going to be very difficult to move the ball on this team

 

-Darby is coming along nicely. Good to see him bounce back after a rough Panthers game

 

Roster Thoughts

-I see the Bills keeping 4 RB’s and 1 FB. Bryce Brown is the odd guy out, it’s the fumble issues that make you cringe every time he gets the ball

 

-I Don’t think Hogan is secure. Davis and Thompson are making it tough on the staff. Ultimately though it will come down to special teams

 

-I have seen no reason to keep any more than 3 TE’s. If I had to guess the reserves will be Gray and Mulligan. Neither should feel comfortable about the long term

 

-I really hope the Bills don’t keep two kickers

 

-I only see one back up LB in Steward making it. Tarpley will make it through the waivers to the practice squad. No reason to put him on the 53

 

Dareus

 

-The contract talks have hit a road block but I don’t think they are as Dire as its being made out to be. They are in the normal back and forth of the process. They also are not near any hard deadline (and no the start of the season is not a hard deadline). I understand both sides, Dareus is an elite DT and wants to be paid like one. The Bills have a lot of key FA’s coming up and want to remain flexible. Both have valid points and if you are the Bills you are going to take your time to sell him on taking less for the greater good. 90-100 million on a talented team moving up vs 115 million for a team that may pick in the top 8

 

-Dareus seems to want to stay though which is a big plus for the Bills. It’s no secret that the Bills core 4 on the DL are very tight on and off the field. This works in the Bills favor but they cannot count on it to much

 

-Dareus importance to the team is invaluable. He is the DL that team focus the most on. Due to this the other three are allowed to operate in one on ones which gives the Bills a huge advantage. The same can be said for Darues when the opposing teams decides they have had enough of say Mario Williams and decide to double him. Dareus then benefits from that focus. He will not have that near anywhere else in the NFL.

 

-I’ve stated that from the beginning I think this deal gets done at about 105 over 6 with 50 in guarantees. I think that is a fair number for Dareus. I think he should give a little for how the Bills have stood by him with his troubles, plus the effort to get the deal done a year early. The Bills on the other hand need to show Dareus the respect his talent deserves with the deal.

 

-One key thing to remember is both Williams are now in their 30’s. So the future of this DL is with Dareus and Hughes. Lose Dareus and all of a sudden there is a lot of age in the unit and a lot of money tied up into players on the wrong side of 30 that you are counting on. Dareus is in his prime years and by being here helps extend the careers and effectiveness of both Williams. That’s has a tremendous amount of value

 

-If a deal falls apart and the Bills do let him walk. You can expect Rex to be on the phone the first day of Free Agency with M.Wilkerson if for some reason the Jets actually let him free.

 

-I think in the end the deal gets done. I don’t think it gets done now though. I think it will be in season or in the winter. If the team has early success I can see Dareus dropping his demands so the Bills can get up to meet him. Winning usually does this, especially when you have been losing for an extended period of time. It’s a lot of money but it will be money well spent on a player that keeps getting better and better

Preseason Top 5's: DE

Mike Watkins

@merk256

8/17/15

 

1.J.Bosa, Ohio State: Even despite his recent one game suspension Bosa should easily be a top 5 pick in the 2016 draft. Bosa pretty much has it all when it comes to a DL. Size, burst off the snap, High football IQ, and good hand tech. He is also scheme fluid which has grown in value more and more in the NFL every year.


2.S.Calhoun, Michigan State: Calhoun for two years now has been one of the better pass rushers in college football. If he adds a 3rd year of that production to his resume then he will be in line to be a top 20 pick. Calhoun needs to sharpen up his technique but there is a lot to like. Both 3-4 and 4-3 teams will be interested


3.E.Ogbah, Oklahoma St.: Ogbah, outside of Bosa, is the most complete DE heading into the 2015 season. He doesn’t get the national pub that some of the other DE’s in the country do but I expect that to change as the year goes on. Ogbah is good against the run and has an array of power rushing moves


4.D.Nicolas, Virginia Tech: Nicolas is the quintessential speed rusher who lives in the back field. Excellent at locating the ball and is a very natural pass rusher with great bend. He likely will be looked at as a OLB in 3-4’S but I think he can also put his hand in the dirt with his relentless mentality  


5.R.Nkemdiche, Ole Miss: From a physical and athletic ability standpoint Nkemdiche should be number 1 on this list. Problem is however that his motor runs far to cool far too often. Nkemdiche needs to show that he can bring it game in and game out. I’m suspect that will actual happen but none the less his physical skill cannot be ignored

 

Overall: I’d call it a above average class heading into the season. If some of the prospects start living up to their hype the class could be good. Bosa is clearly the jewel of the class and any player would be very hard pressed to topple him off the top

Preseason Top 5's: IOL

Mike Watkins

@merk256

8/11/15

 

1.V.Alexander, LSU: As a run blocker Alexander is a road grader, as a pass blocker he has a long way to go. He anchors fairly well but is often beat by DT’s that are quick. He has said to have made great strides in picking up this part of his game over the spring. If that’s the case he’ll be the first IOL off the board


2.A.Redmond, UCLA: Redmond is the type of OG I prefer in that he moves well in space. This gives an offense multiple facets that they can add to both the running game and passing game. His run blocking is good and like most IOL the pass blocking needs to get shored up.


3.L.Turner, North Carolina: Of the top 3 on here Turner pass blocking skills are the farthest along. That said he is decent in run blocking but really needs to add power to his game because he often gets bull rushed to easy. Id’ like to see Turner become more consistent play in and play out.


4.M.Tuerk, USC: Tuerk played well game in and game out in 2014. He moves well in space and is good in both run and pass blocking. He is has a great football IQ and also very versatile logging at least one start at each offensive line position.


5.N.Martin, Notre Dame: Martin is a very well rounded center who gets to the 2nd level with ease and is very adapt at hitting moving targets. He struggles with bigger NT’s sometimes but started to clean that up by the end of 2014. Getting through the season healthy will be big as there is a little injury concern.

 

Overall: The group is below average in my opinion to start the 2015 season. There is going to be a lot of room for movement during the season. I don’t have a first rounder on any of the prospects right now and really only one or two that have a reasonable shot at getting that grade if they improve

Preseason Top 5's: OT

Mike Watkins

@merk256

8/5/15

 

1.R.Stanley, Notre Dame: At 6’5 315 with good feet and power Stanley pretty much has everything you want in a OT. It was a bit of a surprise he went back to school for 2015 because I thought he could easily push to be the first OT off the board in the draft. He handles speed well, has good length, shows power in the run game, and has great tape against elite defensive lineman


2.L.Tunsil, Ole Miss: While Stanley is the most complete OT in the upcoming class Tunsil is the best overall pass protector. He has great bend and feet which allows him to neutralize speed rushers with little effort. A couple things he could improve on are his run blocking, good but not great, and his technique. He often gets away with sloppy tech because he’s such a good athlete


3.J.Hawkins, LSU: Hawkins played OG last year and was an excellent run blocker. I think his future is at LT and the only thing keeping him from playing that position last year was a very talented L.Collins. He’ll need an adjustment period and this is a bit of a projection but I like what I’ve seen from Hawkins


4.T.Decker, Ohio State: Decker has a lot of starts under his belt at a major program which is always a positive. I view him as a RT on Sundays. I think he is a good run blocker but I think he will have issues with speed in the NFL. He’s a very tough kid and is well rounded with a good chance to start from day 1


5.J.Conklin, Michigan State: I can see Conklin going back to school but if he doesn’t he deserves to be on this list. He is a redshirt Sophmore with a great deal of ability. He struggles with bull rushers but that is to be expected as he continues to add strength.

 

Overall: I think there is 2 premier players here in Stanley and Tunsil and I expect them to go back and forth all year. Outside of them you have a decent amount of good prospects and then it fizzles out. Overall I would say it’s shaping up to be a good class

Preseason Top 5's: TE

Mike Watkins

@merk256

7/31/15

 

1.H.Henry, Arkansas: Overall I think he is the most complete TE in the draft. He can run block well enough to be a 3 down TE. He also has enough receiving ability to be a threat in the passing game. He is not an explosive stretch the seem TE and is in more of the traditional mode of TE in that he can find soft spots in defenses.


2.E.Engram, Ole Miss: Engram lacks in the blocking skills department but more than makes up for it in the receiving department. Engrams biggest issue is to play on Sundays he is going to have to add weight. On a good day he is said to be 220. He’ll need to get to 240 and retain his athletic ability


3.O.Howard, Alabama: He doesn’t have the production numbers you would expect from someone with his skill level. With only 17 receptions he was a bit handicap in an offense that does not reallty featured TE’s. So for NFL teams interested they are going to be doing more of a projection with Howard because I don’t see him being featured any time soon in the offense.


4.D.Griswold, Arkansas St.: Prototypical size for the position which will draw teams to him. He is also a good athlete for his size. So a team interested will want to see an uptick in production this year but he’ll maintain a lot of his value if he stays healthy. He is raw but there is a lot to work with


5.J.Mundt, Oregon: Injuries took away the 2014 season but he showed a lot of ability and promise in 2013. He is said to have improved his blocking in the spring. If he adds that to his receiving ability he should move up the board.


Overall: This is one of the weaker positions heading into the 2015 College season. I do not have a first round grade on any prospects and the 2nd round grades are mid 2nd round at best. Beauty is very much in the eye of the beholder with this group. If you are looking for an in line run blocking thumper you will have options. If you are looking for the next Gronk or Graham you are not going to find him

Kraft and Brady Choose the Hard Road

Mike Watkins

@merk256

7/30/15

 

The deflate gate case has taken an interesting turn when commissioner Goodell decided to uphold Tom Brady’s 4 game suspension. The league then in a preemptive strike filed in the NY court system immediately after, to avoid Minnesota, to have the ruling basically verified. Tom Brady and the NFLPA then countered with a suit of their own filed in Minnesota and a requested injunction of the suspension. I’m not going to play lawyer or judge here. You can turn on ESPN or nearly any sports talk and get all the legal opinion on this that you could possibly want. The real question is, how did we get here? How did this get to this point?

 

                Nearly everyone’s initial reaction is to blame the league for dragging its feet on this. The investigation went on for what seemed like endless months. In my opinion though this all could have been avoided if Tom Brady had initially owned it, not all of it mind you, but some of it. Brady didn’t though he took the course of laughing it off and pleading ignorance, that stance is why we are here today.

 

                In hindsight after the AFC title game during the PC’s and privately with the league if Tom Brady had admitted say something along the lines of “Hey you know something, I like the football to be on the low side of the accepted PSI and I told the equipment guys of this preference. If they went below that, they misunderstood it, it wasn’t to my knowledge, and it will be corrected immediately.”

 

                A statement of that nature would have resulted in a fine, maybe a loss of draft pick, a two week sports discussion and then it’s a wrap. That’s not what happened though. Brady played it off as if he had no idea what they were talking about and as it was a ridiculous notion. The Patriots decided then to go on an all out offensive and basically treat the general public and league as if we are clueless. This is the problem and this is why we are where we are today, because the cover up and the inane excuses are bigger than the actual act of deflating footballs.

 

                This isn’t about deflated footballs anymore, this isn’t about Tom Brady’s cell phone. This is about a franchise and a player shrugging off and basically turning its back on the league with the attitude of they are above the process. That’s why we are at where we are today and the Patriots, their fans, and most of all Tom Brady seem to not understand to this day.

 

                Look no farther than Robert Kraft’s statement the day after the ruling. Where he was angry that his “Wink Wink” deal with the commissioner did not play out as expected. Make no mistake about it, THAT is what drew his ire that day. If I am one of the other 31 owners I’m not happy about it. Once again it seems like the Patriots feel they can circumvent their way around issues in this league. Kraft tried to use his relationship with Goodell to lessen the punishment of his star player. If you are an owner that does not have that same type of relationship you cannot be happy with the attempt nor the public outcry from Kraft about his failed attempt.

 

                I firmly stand behind the NFL and what they are doing with this. They are making it clear across the board to all 32 teams, I don’t care how important the player is, who your owner is, nobody is above the whole. This is something that seems to have been lost on Robert Kraft and Tom Brady. They are going to learn it though, and by their own choices they have chosen to learn it the hard way.

Couple Thoughts on Possible Roster Moves

Mike Watkins

@merk256

6/3/2015

 

-M.Dareus Contract Extension: I’m not stating anything shocking here, Dareus is arguably the most talented player on the team and the key player on defense. The Bills hit big with this pick and they would be wise, and all accounts say they are, to lock him up long term. The couple off the field issues aside Dareus is the type of talent you want to keep on your team. Its doesn’t matter the system the guy produces. That is a very valuable trait for a defensive player.


Now it won’t be cheap. Dareus and his agent wisely waited until Suh got his deal before any talks started to happen. I personally recommended that once the G.McCoy deal got inked that the Bills offered him the exact same deal to try and lure him in before Suh hit the market. It’s going to cost somewhere between those two deals but it is well worth it as he is a cornerstone player and one of the elite defensive lineman in the game. I’ve seen the 77 million dollar figure and I don’t think that is realistic or close at all. If that’s what it would take the deal would be done already, the Bills couldn’t get that contract signed fast enough

 

-Extend C.Glenn: If I’m the Bills I look to do this sooner rather than later. He had a down year last year which can be used in negotiations. However it is also reported that Glenn showed up in the best shape of his career over the offseason. Glenn will likely be looking to get at least good LT money. If he hits the open market he will find it. To me keeping Glenn was more important than signing Iupati this past offseason. Glenn can be good to very good at 4 out of 5 positions on the OL.


From a contract perspective if I am the Bills, and he returns to form, I am thinking along the lines of the Veldheer deal with Arizona. This one could get a little messy especially if they move Glenn into OG over the course of Training Camp. Another outlining factor on this will be the progress of S.Henderson and especially C.Kouandjio. If both show they can be starters the Bills may be less inclined to shell out big money for Glenn. A this point I’m thinking its 50/50 Glenn is retained

 

-Do not Extend N.Bradham: I like Bradham, but to me he falls under the category of “you can’t keep them all”. Bradham really took a step forward last year and progressed in Jim Schwartz scheme. It was nearly night and day compared to how he looked in the Pettine scheme. Therein lies part of the problem. I would be real hesitant if I’m the Bills to give Bradham any type of extension until I see how he looks with Rex and Company, because as all Bills fans know that is where Pettine was schooled.


Another reason why I wouldn’t extend out Bradham is that I believe it to be the easiest position to replace via the draft. That and this Bills front office seem to have an eye for LB talent, especially in day 2 of the draft. They found both Kiko Alonso and Preston Brown in consecutive years. I’m willing to bet if the Bills let Bradham walk they can find a just as good if not better replacement via the draft

 

-Maintain Flexibility for Gilmore: It was important to get through this offseason without restructuring Mario’s deal. They did that and I bet it was harder than they made it look. The longer they can delay that the better it will be. The way they structured the Clay deal will also be helpful in a restructure situation. If Gilmore keeps on his current trajectory he is going to be expensive to keep. He will be a must sign though because as it has been stated numerous times before the CB position is critical to running this defense the way Rex wants to

 

-Keep McKelvin: I will never understand this logic that if Rookie player A wins the starting job than Veteran player B must be cut. In this case its Darby and McKelvin. So let’s say Darby wins the job, why on earth would the Bills cut McKelvin? Especially with no immediate need for the cap room. The Bills would have a distinct advantage over a lot of teams in that they can go 5 CB’s deep and have an eclectic group where they can match every type of WR out there. Opposing offenses are built on exposing mismatches. If McKelvin gets bumped down to 3rd or 4th CB I would gladly match him up against any teams 3rd or 4th WR. That’s an advantage for the Bills, one that they should keep. That’s not even taking into account that CB is one of the most oft injured positions in the league.

 

-Just cut Chris Williams: I have blasted this signing since the moment it happened. How anyone anywhere could give this guy 13 million dollars over 4 years is astonishing. We’ve heard about the blame being tossed around for the EJ selection, but who is eating this mistake? He is not a good player, He’s not a valuable back up, and he’s already missed some OTA’s which isn’t a ringing endorsement for a player that needs to fight for his job

The NFL Sends a Clear Message to the Patriots and League

Mike Watkins

@merk256

5/12/15



The NFL laid the hammer down on New England on Monday afternoon to the tune of a 4 game suspension of Tom Brady, 1 million dollar fine, and they will have a 2016 1st rounder and a 2017 4th rounder taken away from them. Every bit of that punishment will have an impact on both patriots now and in the future. If the NFL was looking to make a statement, Mission accomplished


               


Patriot fans will argue that is a pretty hefty blow for pulling some air out of some footballs in a blowout win. The point however hold no validity in the overall argument. The fact that the game that they were caught in was a blowout is irrelevant. They broke a rule, and by all accounts knowingly and purposely broke that rule. How much it helped them win does not matter. If anything the size of that win really makes you questioned why they would need to do it at all. Furthermore, if you truly believe this is the only game that they did this is, well you my friend will believe anything


               


The issue at hand here is the integrity of the game was tarnished and it’s not the first time the Patriots have been caught doing so. They often stretch the limits of the rules as far as they can and on a couple of occasions have gone over the limits with the other being spygate. They also do minor things, an example of which is their injury report. Which if you have ever taken a look at it has nearly every started listed week in and week out. Brady has been on it nearly every game for years and never missed a game.


               


I don’t feel bad for the Patriots nor do I think the punishment is too harsh for a repeat offender. The Patriots clearly did not get the last message the NFL sent when they handed out punishment for spygate. The Patriots often thumb their nose at the league and the league finally laid down a punishment to get their attention.


 


This was and is an example that needed to be set. By hammering Brady and the Patriots it send a clear signal across the league that no one is above the whole. It will also plant a seed of doubt in every players head before he makes even a minor move to break the rules. That goal was accomplished and rightfully so. You cannot have the games being questioned if you are the NFL. You cannot have fans wondering if one side is cheating or not. That is what would ultimately destroy the league.


 


The reality is the punishment will likely be cut in half across the board. Brady will likely get reduced down to 2 games, the money will be cut in half, and the only conceivable reason the 2017 4th rounder was included in the punishment is so it could be negotiated out. We all know that’s coming, but the harshest part of this punishment may never be reduced. The Tom Brady Patriots will now forever been stained as a team that cheated. That alone will be what eats away at the team and the coach for a very long time. To me, the punishment fits the crime.



Final 2015 Mock Draft... Full First Round, Bills selection, and Thoughts


Mike Watkins

@merk256

4/29/15

 

 

 




1.Tampa Bay: J.Winston, QB, FSU

2.Tennessee: M.Mariota, QB, Oregon

3.Jacksonville: D.Fowler, OLB/DE, Florida

4.Oakland: L.Williams, DE/DT, USC

5.Washington: A.Cooper, WR, Alabama

6.NY Jets: V.Beasley, DE/OLB, Clemson

7.Chicago: A.Dupree, DE/OLB, Kentucky

8.Atlanta: T.Gurley, RB, Georgia

9.NY Giants: K.White, WR, West Virginia 

10.St.Louis: A.Peat, OT, Stanford

11.Minnesota: T.Waynes, CB, Michigan St

12.Cleveland: M.Gordon, RB, Wisconsin

13.New Orleans: D.Shelton, DT, Washington

14.Miami: B.Schreff, OG/OT, Iowa

15.S.F.: K.Johnson, CB, Wake Forest 

16.Houston: L.Collins, OG/OT, LSU

17.San Diego: D.Parker, WR, Louisville

18.Kansas City: E.Flowers, OT, Miami

19.Cleveland: A.Armstead, DE/DT, Oregon

20.Philadelphia: B.Jones, CB, UConn

21.Cincinnati: S.Ray, DE, Missouri 

22.Pittsburgh: R.Gregory, OLB/DE, Nebraska

23.Detroit: DJ Humphries, OT, Florida

24.Arizona: M.Brown, DT/DE, Texas

25.Carolina: J.Fisher, OT, Oregon

26.Baltimore: J.Strong, WR, Arizona St

27.Dallas: J.Collins, CB, LSU

28.Denver: D.Smith, OT, Penn State

29.Indianapolis: L.Collins, S, Alabama

30.Green Bay: E.Goldman, DT, FSU

31.New Orleans: M.Williams, TE, Minnesota

32.New England: B.Perriman, WR, UCF

 

 

Buffalo Bills Selection: PJ Williams, CB, FSU

 

Projecting out a first round selection is difficult, trying to project out the Bills selection in the 2nd round in a thin draft is extremely difficult. In any case I think the Bills are going defense and I think they are selecting a player to reinforce the secondary.

 

The reasoning is two fold

 

1.The Bills spent the offseason shoring up the offense. Rex Ryan learned his lesson in New York and decided to be extremely aggressive in the offseason looking to upgrade the offense so the defense can carry a little less of the load. That time has passed though and in my opinion Rex and the Bills will be looking to add to the other side of the ball to reinforce it to keep it strong now and for the long hall

 

2. It’s not necessarily a big need now but it will be next year so they would be wise to get a jump on it and get a talented young kid in the system. Gilmore will be a free agent and by all accounts they will want him back but nothing is guaranteed. McKelvin will be 31 by next season and the bottom will fall out quick for a CB who relies far more on athletic ability than his instincts. The Bills would be smart to get ahead of the ball on this issue. We all saw what can happen if Rex does not have talent at the CB spot, see last year in New York. The position is critical to Rex’s defense and I imagine he will do his best to not allow what happened last year with the Jets to ever happen with the Bills. I imagine the front office is on board with that

 

 The Fit: Williams to me would fit right into what Rex likes in his CB’s. He is aggressive at the line of scrimmage and prefers man to zone coverage. He can be a gambler at times but has the swagger and short memory that you need at the position. In run support he is above average and makes the effort. Which for a CB coming out of college already puts him ahead of the game. The Bills could start him off in the slot to groom him for 2016 when either McKelvin or Gilmore depart.

 

Other thoughts on Bills Draft:

 

-I think it’s incorrect to assume the Bills will just pick whatever the best OL is on the board on Day 2. I believe, and I think they think the same, is that it’s not a realistic expectation to think that any OL selected in the 2nd or 3rd will come in right away and start. Most of the lineman selected in these rounds need a year or two in an NFL weight training program. I think 4 of the 5 OL spots are locked in and I believe they think Kromer can coach up a player already on the roster to fill in the last spot

 

-I’m all for taking a QB in any round in this draft for the Bills. I am firmly in the camp that, as Seattle did, you need to attack the problem with numbers. The more competition the better

 

-The Bills need to keep adding to the DL. They have spent a lot of time, money, and assets building up that unit and making it the identity of the team. They would be very wise to keep it deep and flush with talent

 

-I’d like them to pick an ILB at some point because depth there is a concern and next year may be an issue. I’m not in the bring Bradham back camp. I don’t think he is a critical part of the defense and much like RB can be filled relatively quickly in any draft. An injury to Bradham or Brown this year though could have a big impact with how little they have behind the two

 

-Personally I’m fine with the Bills WR’s right now but I get why they would want to add another one. Give whomever the QB is as much fire power as possible. It forces the defense to play more straight up which in turn creates more space for players like Watkins, Harvin, and McCoy

 

-I mocked PJ Williams to the Bills but I would love it if M.Peters made it to the Bills. In my opinion he’s the best man CB in the draft

 

-I would like it if the Bills could somehow find a ball hawking FS in this draft. Rex’s defense has always operated at its peak when he has a great center fielder of a Safety roaming around. The pressure he creates with the front 7 allows a player of that skill set to really go to town

 

1st Round Draft Thoughts

 

-I still have Mariota over Winston. I just like the way Mariota carries himself and I think he has a real shot to be the first QB to really make it on Sundays after spending his career on Saturdays in an option spread offense. The reality is I don’t trust Winston off the field

 

-Jaguars are a tough pick but I went with Fowler who I believe to be the best defensive player in the draft. I think the Jags have no shot of finding any player near Fowler’s skill set at the top of round two, while there is a decent shot of finding a good WR at the top of round 2

 

-A WR for Carr would be tempting but I think pairing Williams and Mack together is far more tempting for Oakland

 

-I went with Gurley to Atlanta because I think there is value to keeping the kid in Georgia and more importantly I think there will be an early run on pass rushers leaving the Falcons empty handed on that side of the ball.

 

-The Giants are a BPA drafting team that values skill position so I have a hard time believing that they will spend a top 10 pick on the OL. I think the player they want is Gurley but I think they will fall a pick short of him. That leaves them with White which when paired with OBJ and Cruz makes for a very deep and talented WR position for Eli to take advantage of

 

-I have T.Waynes as the first CB off the board. I overall do not like this CB class. I think there are a good number of #2 CB’s in the draft but none with shutdown ability

 

-A lot may think 12 is too high for M.Gordon but I think Cleveland will grab him there. They lack speed on offense and Gordon could provide help in both the running and passing game. He has J.Charles like ability

 

-The Eagles are a tough one to gage. Most think WR but I think Chip Kelly believes he can make it work with less talent on offense. Due to that he is going to load up his defense as much as possible. Jones can play CB or Safety and that makes him a good fit for the Eagles

 

-Ray and Gregory will be interesting to follow in the draft. The NFL grabs more and more negative off the field headlines every year. Teams may be wary of adding players with these issues. Dion Jordan getting his entire 2015 season taken away I’m sure had a lot of teams take stock if the reward is worth the risk

 

-Overall it’s a weak draft. I think you will see more teams lean towards BPA than depth this year. Problem with trying to forecast that is that the rankings for the players are all over the place.

 

-Look for teams to value 2016 picks more than 2015 picks in trades

Final 2015 PFWR Big Board 

1. DT: Leonard Williams, USC

2. QB: Jameis Winston, Florida State

3. E: Donte Fowler, Florida

4. WR: Amari Cooper, Alabama

5. WR: Kevin White, West Virginia

6. IOL: Brandon Scherff, Iowa

7: RB: Todd Gurley, Georgia

8. QB: Marcus Mariota, Oregon

9: WR: Devante Parker, Louisville

10: E: Vic Beasley, Clemson

11: DT: Malcom Brown, Texas

12: OT: Ereck Flowers, Miami

13: DT: Eddie Goldman, Florida State

14: RB: Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin

15: IOL: Cameron Erving, Florida State

16: ER: Randy Gregory, Nebraska

17: CB: Trae Waynes, Michigan State

18: OT: Andrus Peat, Stanford

19: E: Arik Armstead, Oregon

20: E: Bud Dupree, Kentucky

21: CB: Marcus Peters, Washington

22: S: Landon Collins, Alabama

23: OT: DJ Humprhies, Florida

24: E: Shane Ray, Missouri

25: E: Eli Harold, Virginia

26: CB: Kevin Johnson, Wake Forest

27: CB: Jalen Collins, LSU

28: WR: Jaelen Strong, Arizona State

29: DT: Danny Shelton, Washington

30: ILB: Eric Kendricks, UCLA

31: DT: Jordan Phillips, Oklahoma

32: WR: Nelson Agholor, USC

33: IOL: Laken Tomlinson, Duke

34: QB: Garrett Grayson, Colorado State

35: QB: Bryce Petty, Baylor

36: IOL: AJ Cann, South Carolina

37: OT: TJ Clemmings, Pittsburgh

38: CB: Eric Rowe, Utah

39: IOL: La'el Collins, LSU

40: S: Damarious Randall, Arizona State

41: CB: Byron Jones, UConn

42: ILB: Benardrick McKinney, Mississippi State

43: E: Mario Edwards Jr, Florida State

44: TE: Maxx Williams, Minnesota

45: RB: Tevin Coleman, Indiana

46: WR: Devin Smith, Ohio State

47: IOL: Tre' Jackson, Florida State

48: E: Shaq Thompson, Washington

49: E: Owa Odighizuwa, UCLA

50: IOL: Jeremiah Poutasi, Utah

51: CB: Ronald Darby, Florida State

52: IOL: Mitch Morse, Missouri

53: OT: Jake Fisher, Oregon

54: IOL: Donovan Smith, Penn State

55: WR: Dorial Green- Beckham, Oklahoma

56: TE: Clive Walford, Miami

57: IOL: Ali Marpet, Hobart

58: WR: Phillip Dorsett, Miami

59: TE: Tyler Kroft, Rutgers

60: E: Jake Ryan, Michigan

61: ILB: Stephone Anthony, Clemson

62: WR: Sammie Coates, Auburn

63: RB: Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska

64: DT: Michael Bennett, Ohio State

65: E: Danielle Hunter, LSU

66: WR: Breshard Perriman, UCF

67: CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Oregon

68: E: Preston Smith, Mississippi State

69: OT Cedric Ogbuehi, Texas A&M

70: CB: Doran Grant, Ohio State

71: CB: Senquez Golson, Mississippi

72: CB: Quinten Rollins, Miami Ohio

73: ILB: P.J. Dawson, TCU

74: ILB: Denzel Perryman, Miami

75: WR: Tyler Lockett, Kansas State

76: WR: Devin Funchess, Michigan

77: E: Nate Orchard, Utah

78: S: Jaquiski Tartt, Samford

79: RB: Duke Johnson, Miami

80: OT: Tyrus Thompson, Oklahoma

81: OT: Ty Sambrailo, Colorada State

82: RB: Jay Ajayi, Boise State

83: DT: Carl Davis, Iowa

84: DT: Grady Jarrett, Clemson

85: RB: David Johnson, Northern Iowa

86: CB: Josh Shaw, USC

87: S: Anthony Harris, Virginia

88: DT: Xavier Cooper, Washington

89: CB: P.J. Williams, Florida State

90: FS: Adrian Amos, Penn State

91: RB: T.J. Yeldon, Alabama

92: E: Trey Flowers, Arkansas

93: E: Za'Darius Smith, Kentucky

94: WR: Rashad Greene, Florida State

95: WR: Tre McBride, William & Mary

96: IOL: Hroniss Grasu, Oregon

97: IOL: Arie Koundjio, Alabama

98: QB: Sean Mannion, Oregon State

99: QB: Brett Hundley, UCLA

100: WR: Stefon Diggs, Maryland

10 Players I like Outside of the First Round

Mike Watkins

@merk256

4/27/15

 

 

S.Diggs, WR, Maryland: Diggs is one of those players that has had some injury issues in his career and it's the reason his stock has dropped. Diggs is an explosive playmaker with the ball in his hands on offense and on Special Teams. I think he will make his living out of the slot on Sundays, which is fine as the importance of that position grows every year He reminds me a lot of the Broncos E.Sanders

 

J.Ryan, LB, Michigan: Ryan had a bit of a down year in 2014 but he still made plays in every game I watched him. I think he can play inside and out in both a 3-4 and 4-3 as well as fill in at DE in a pinch. That versatility will lead to a long NFL career. I expect him to be a solid back up and good special teamed to start his career. He is the type of player coaches and GMs love to have on their roster

 

J.Fisher, OT, Oregon: So Fisher has a good shot at going in the first but I threw him on the list anyway. Reason being is because of how different the Oregon offense looked with and then without him. Outside of Mariota Fisher was Oregon most important player. I think he can make an impact from day one at LT

 

S.Coates, WR, Auburn: Coates is a very raw WR out of Auburn, but he has a very good set of  measurable’s. Coates needs to land on a team where he can play as a 3rd or 4th WR while he develops. Immediately he should draw attention on go and post routes. He lands with the right coach and QB and the sky is the limit for Coates. 

 

D.Smith, OT/OG, Penn State: D.Smith played OT at PSU, he can play there in the NFL and likely be average at it. I however like Smith much more as an OG and I think he could be an all pro on the inside. Smith is a devastating run blocker and is better on the second level than gets reported. He reminds me a lot of current New Orleans Saints player J.Evans. It also wouldn't surprise me if he slips into the first round. 

 

 B.Koyack, TE, Notre Dame: I think he declared a year too early but all the skills and physical traits teams look for in a good starting TE are there. He would benefit greatly from not being thrust into a starters roll early. Two years in an NFL system though I think he will pay big dividends. His rookie year he will have value as a big red zone target with a very good set of hands

 

P.Dawson, LB, TCU: I don't care what his 40 time says, the guy flys around the football field like a one man wrecking crew. If it were not for the off the field issues Dawson would be a first rounder. He is always attacking downhill and plays the pass well. The problem however are can you trust him off the field? He is basically O.Thurman, and we know how stupidly ended his career early. He needs to find a way on to a veteran laden team that will have a better shot at keeping him in check off the field and focused on it

 

T.Hill, CB, Oregon: Known as "The Other Oregon CB". I really liked what I saw out of Hill when I watched Oregon play last year. Hill has very underrated instincts and is aggressive getting his hands on passes. That seems to be a lost art with CB's in today's game so it's refreshing to see a CB actually focus on it and excel at it. He will be a day 3 steal for some team

 

A.Amos, S, Penn State: Amos is not a chance taker but he rarely gets beat either. From a FS standpoint it's something you can live with. I think he actually has better instincts than he displayed in college but did what the scheme dictated him to do. I think he will be more than willing to take more risk if asked to by the staff. He's excellent in coverage with some CB play in his background. One issue he does have though that will drop him on boards is some pretty bad misses in run support

 

M.Davis, RB, South Carolina: In a loaded RB class Davis could end up being the steal of the class. He has very good balance which is the number one thing I look for in any RB. He is also quick in traffic as he is always looking to go down hill. He has had some injury issues in the past but if a team is looking for a one cut and go RB Davis is a very good option. He reminds me a lot of Travis Henry

5 One year Flier Free Agents for The Bills


Mike Watkins

@merk256

3/25/15

 

We have officially hit the third tier of free agency in the NFL. At this point more teams are focused on the draft than free agents. The type of players left have numerous issues that kept them from signing in the first couple weeks. Some are injuries, some received bad advice and overvalued themselves, or they are just looking for the 1 year deal to up their value for 2016. Here are 5 I like for the Bills. I think bringing in 1 or 2 of these players could help the Bills in depth or possibly even a surprise starter

 

1.S.Brown, FS: Unfortunately for me I have been subject to a lot of Giants games over the years being that I live in NYC, Stevie Brown is always a player that I thought was underrated. Injury concerns are keeping him available right now. When he is healthy though Brown makes a lot of plays. He is a ball hawing CF’er type of safety that would fit nice into Rex’s scheme. The Injuries are without a doubt a concern. If he is healthy though he could be a steal

 

2.B.Spikes, LB: Obviously he wanted to find a team that would lock him into a starters role. At this point that looks bleak at best. Spikes embraced Buffalo as much as Buffalo embraced him. I think he is worth bringing back as he is still very useful if injury occurs and on short yardage early down situations

 

3.B.J. Raji, DT/DE: Was once considered a key cog in the Green Bay defense, a bicep injury took away the 2014 season for him. He must be kicking himself not taking the 8 per average deal he was offered before the season began. I think he could be a fit here and at the absolute worst is worth bringing to camp. Motivation is a problem from him but I think he would for playing under Rex Ryan and rebuilding value

 

4.J.Barksdale, OT: The Bills have a pretty big issue with OT depth right now, in that it’s terrible. Barksdale is by no means a starter but he could get you through a stretch if an injury pops up. He’s a far better run blocker than pass blocker which would feed right into what the Bills are trying to do on offense

 

5.S.Wisniewski, OC/OG: This is the only player on this list I’d consider going more than one year on. He’s likely still available due to recent shoulder surgery and initial asking price. He is at the very least a solid IOL. He could start at two position on the OL and would give the Bills some flexibility

Vikings Need to Reposition Themselves on Peterson

Mike Watkins

@merk256

3/25/15

 

Adrian Peterson and his agent seem to be a little confused. I actually can’t blame them because the Vikings brass has led to the confusion. Peterson and his agent seem to think they are the ones that need to be sold on coming back to the Vikings and it’s their choice. I’m sorry, what? For some reason they seem to think they are in the driver’s seat of this decision.

 

I cannot completely hold them responsible for landing on this delusion. The Vikings decided to go visit Peterson in Texas and allow him to almost hold court with them. They felt the need to sell him on coming back. The Vikings did a terrible job by making this move. They allowed Peterson and his agent to be in the driver’s seat from a public perspective. Now they are fighting to regain the position that has clearly spun out of control

 

The reality is this, and what should be clearly explained to Peterson and his agent, Peterson is under contract to the Vikings. They alone will decide where he plays next year and every year after until they no longer have that contract. At 30 years old and a big contract in tow moving Peterson will not be easy if there were no public displays by his agent. Now with his agent stating that the Vikings and Peterson are no longer a fit the possible return on a value in a trade gets diminished further.

 

The Vikings need to go on the offensive in this. Whether they do it publically or not is up to them. They need to state to Peterson that they alone will decide if they trade him or not. If he doesn’t want to be here then he should be prepared to sit or honor his deal. They could also force his hand by telling him they want his entire 2014 salary and bonuses repaid to them as part of any trade. If Peterson and his agent want to make demands make them back. It’s not an outlandish demand by any means. The Vikings paid Peterson millions of dollars to figure out his personal issues. How many companies out there would even consider this? Answer, not many

 

Everyone should keep in mind here that Peterson is the one who screwed up, not the Vikings. Yet somehow the Vikings have been put in the defensive position of trying to convince Peterson to come back. He has no choice but to come back if that’s what the Vikings want. They need to regain control of the narrative so they can regain trade value if that is the route they want to take. From my point of view they should want to move him. At 30 years old and at his salary it would be wise for the Vikings to move on. To move on though they must get value back. Peterson and his agent are costing him value in a possible trade. The Vikings are allowing this to happen and need to regain control of the situation before it hits rock bottom and the Vikings get only five cents on the dollar. 

Latest Test Case in the Dual Role of Coach/GM, Chip Kelly

Mike Watkins

@merk256

3/24/20015

 

Chip Kelly has been a headline maker since the moment he entered the league. He came from Oregon where he had one of the most explosive and entertaining offenses in the country. So naturally the media gravitated towards him. He gives them an abundance of angles to take when looking for a story. How fast he rocketed up the coaching ranks, his reliance and insistence on controlling the nutrition of his players, his fast paced offense, and now the fact that he wears the GM hat with the Eagles.

 

You can bet there are a lot of NFL owners out there keeping an eye on how this Chip Kelly structured Eagles team works out. The coach wearing the GM hat is nothing new to the NFL. There is a decent history of it. Its most popular time was in the late 90’s and early 2000’s where it almost became mandatory that if you wanted a big name coach you had to give him full control. The issue back then, as it remains today, is that the work load is just too much for one person to handle. Thus you have seen in the last decade the vast majority of teams move away from this model. Now nearly every owner is looking for the dynamic combo.

 

The biggest issue is that the league has become a 365 day a year venture. This rings completely true with the draft. It’s no longer looked at as just some crap shoot teams have to show up for in late April (Obviously there are still some fans and media that still haven’t grasp this yet). To wear both hats of the GM and Coach is a tremendous burden for anyone. You not only have to watch your own team you have to keep an eye on other teams around the league as well as in the college ranks.

 

That brings us to Kelly, make no mistake about it you are either with him or against him and he has complete and utter control. He jettison his best offensive player in L.McCoy for a talented former Oregon LB coming of a major knee injury in Kiko Alonso. Replaced him with not one but two starting caliber RB’s in D.Murray and R.Matthews, one of whom was a very good player for a division rival. He traded a QB in Nick Foles that looked good in his offense for the oft injured but very talented Sam Bradford. He also gave a boat load of money to Seattle’s number 2 CB to be his number 1 CB. Like him or hate him you cannot say the guy does not have a vision for what he wants his team to look like in the NFL. He missed the memo about how rare trades are in this league along with bold moves.

 

The issue here is there is no counterbalance for Kelly, he’s it, he’s the guy. So when he is making these moves there is no one with enough authority to tell him otherwise. This can be both good and bad. The good is there is only one guy to put the blame or the praise on. Chip Kelly owns every move the Eagles make. The bad is, he could set the Eagles back a decade before ownership figures out he is way over his head. At this point you could argue it either way

 

Chip Kelly made his power play and he won. Now the rest of the league watches as it becomes the test case for every future coach that as Bill Parcells once said "They want you to cook the dinner; at least they ought to let you shop for some of the groceries. Okay?". Chip Kelly is currently treating this offseason like an episode of Super Market Sweep. Eagles fans are hoping for a fine dining experience while the rest of the league waits to see if it’s a more microwavable dinner.

Chris Borland Should Have The NFL Concerned

Mike Watkins

@merk256

3/17/15

 

Jake Locker at 26

 

Jason Worilds at 27

 

And now Chris Borland in his sophomore year at age 24

 

All three have abruptly ended their NFL careers with concerns over future injuries impacting each one to varying degrees, and this should have the NFL extremely concerned. It’s a disturbing trend that has been bubbling in the NFL for a while.

 

The most disturbing of the group is Borland. After a fantastic rookie year he was staring down the future of a 10 plus year career and millions of dollars. He has decided to give that up citing head injuries as a major concern. Surprising is the first word that comes to mind

 

Can you really blame him? An increasing number of NFL veterans are not even making it to 60. If you go to any NFL event with former players you will see a lot of them are having a very hard time with multiple physical ailments. Seeing this over and over can have a very big impact on a young player. They are sure to start asking themselves if playing the game they love is worth the lifetime of pain they may have afterword’s. Borland decided it was not for him.

 

This also comes at a time when the NFL is making a lot of medical and safety advancements aimed at player safety and extending careers into players late 30’s and sometimes 40’s. Despite that though football is clearly being impacted by the rash of concussions around the league and its changing the game. It’s a very impactful change that will eventually start working its way down through the channels into college, the high school level, all the way to a parent deciding whether or not they sign the release to allow their child to play the game.  

 

The overreaction to this Borland retirement will be that most will start drafting the eulogy for the demise of the NFL. Don’t be fooled, the NFL is not going anywhere anytime soon. The NFL isn’t the NBA, it’s not a star driven league. It can take a few players deciding to end their careers early. For every Borland that retires there will be another 20 players racing at the chance to replace him.

 

With that said, the NFL still should be concerned. A retirement like Borland’s sends waves through the league and may influence other players to leave whom have been considering it. The NFL has been proactive in advancing player safety but they should be even more active in the prevention and especially in the post career. Not every player walks away from the game with millions of dollars set for life. A good amount of them move on to other careers.

 

The NFL has a problem and it’s shown by the comments I’ve read this morning from 49er fans. I expect to see their blind loyalty outweigh the health of Borland. It’s been the opposite however. Most are applauding Borland and his decision to walk away from the game and millions of dollars. Its shows that fans have now accepted that this game is very harmful to the individuals who decided to play it. So much so that they have started to put their own deep rooted loyalties to the side. At some point this will begin to affect the entry levels of this game with morality of the decisions placed on the parents to decide if they want them to be a part of this game. That’s the problem the NFL faces and the problem they must feverishly addressed to maintain the health of the game, question is, is it too late?


2016 PFWR Big Board

PFWR Rankings  
by Anthony Macari

# Top 55
1 Laremy Tunsil OT
2  Myles Jack LB
3  Jalen Ramsey S 
4 Joey Bosa E
5  Ezekiel Elliott RB
6 Carson Wentz QB
7 Jared Goff QB
8 DeForest Buckner DT 
9 Leonard Floyd LB 
10 Ronnie Stanley OT
11 William Jackson III CB 12 Shaq Lawson E  
13 Mackensie Alexander CB 
14 Vernon Hargreaves III CB 
15 Noah Spence E  
16 Andrew Billings  DT 
17 Jarran Reed  DT  
18 Emmanuel Ogbah E
19 Jack Conklin OT
20  Darron Lee LB
21 Karl Joseph S 
22 Reggie Ragland LB  
23 Sheldon Rankins  DT 
24 Taylor Decker OT 
25 Laquon Treadwell WR 
26 Corey Coleman WR 
27 Cody Whitehair G 
28  A'Shawn Robinson DT 
29 Josh Doctson WR 
30 Nick Martin C 
31 Vernon Butler DT  32 Paxton Lynch QB   
33 Kevin Dodd E
34 Kalan Reed CB 
35 Christian Hackenberg QB
36  Connor Cook QB
37 Darian Thompson S 
38 Eli   Apple CB  
39 Germain Ifedi OT 
40 Sterling   Shepard WR 
41 Ryan Kelly C  
42 Sean Davis S    
43 Bronson Kaufusi E 
44 Carl Nassib E
45 Shilique Calhoun  E
46 Michael Thomas WR 
47 Will Fuller WR   
48 Austin   Hooper TE  
49 Derrick Henry RB
50 Tyler Ervin RB 
51 Javon Hargrave  DT 
52 Chris Jones  DT  
53 Hassan Ridgeway  DT
54 Kendall Fuller CB   
55 Cyrus Jones  CB 
56 Kevin Hogan QB


2016 Mock Draft 
by Mike Watkins

1.Titans: L.Tunsil, Ole Miss, OT

2.Browns: J.Goff, Cal, QB

3.Chargers: D.Buckner, Oregon, DE/DT

4.Cowboys: J.Ramsey, Florida State, S/CB

5.Jaguars: J.Bosa, Ohio State, DE

6.Ravens: M.Jack, UCLA, LB

7.49ers: C.Wentz, SDST, QB

8.Eagles: V.Hargreaves, Florida, CB

9.Buccaneers: R.Stanley, Notre Dame, OT

10.Giants: E.Elliot, Ohio State, RB

11.Bears: S.Lawson, Clemson, DE/LB

12.Saints: S.Rankins, Louisville, DT

13.Dolphins: M.Alexander, Clemson, CB

14.Raiders: J.Reed, Alabama, DT

15.Rams: P.Lynch, Memphis, QB

16.Lions: J.Conklin, Michigan St, OT

17.Falcons: E.Ogbah, Oklahoma St, DE/OLB

18.Colts: K.Dodd, Clemson, DE

19.Bills: N.Spence, E.Kentucky, DE/OLB

20.Jets: L.Floyd, Georgia, LB

21.Redskins: A.Robinson, Alabama, DT

22.Texans: C.Coleman, Baylor, WR

23.Vikings: L.Treadwell, Ole Miss, WR

24.Bengals: A.Billings, Baylor, DT

25.Steelers: W.Jackson, Houston, CB

26.Seahawks: R.Nkemdiche, Ole miss, DT

27.Packers: D.Lee, Ohio State, LB

28.Chiefs: R.Ragland, Alabama, LB

29.Cardinals: T.Decker, Ohio State, OT

30.Panthers: V.Bell, Ohio St., S

31.Broncos: C.Cook, Michigan State, QB


2016 Mock Draft
by Anthony Macari

Rams Jared Goff QB Eagles Carson Wentz QB  Chargers Laremy Tunsil  OT Cowboys Jalen Ramsey  S
Jaguars Joey Bosa E 
Ravens  Leonard Floyd LB
49ers   DeForest Buckner DT
Browns Ronnie Stanley OT
Bucs Vernon Hargreaves III CB Giants Myles Jack LB
Bears  Shaq Lawson  E
Saints  Noah Spence E
Dolphins Ezekiel Elliott RB
Raiders Sheld Rankins DT 
Titans Jack Conklin OT
Lions Jarran Reed DT
Falcons Darron Lee LB 
Colts  Taylor Decker OT 
Bills Andrew Billings  DT
Jets Paxton Lynch QB
Redskins Reggie Ragland LB Texans  Corey Coleman WR Vikings  Laquon Treadwell WR
Bengals  Josh Doctson WR 
Steelers William Jackson III  CB 
Seahawks Germain Ifedi OT
Packers  Vernon Butler DT
Chiefs  Eli Apple CB 
Cardinals Ryan Kelly  C
Panthers Cyrus Jones
Broncos Connor Cook  QB