Bills Today: Chris Ivory's impressive games against the AFC East

Posted Mar 8, 2018

Here's the Bills news of note for March 8th.

1 - Chris Ivory’s impressive games against the AFC East
On Tuesday, the Buffalo Bills agreed to terms with veteran running back Chris Ivory. Considering Ivory was a 1,000-yard rusher for another AFC East team, he’s had some solid performances within the division.

First, let’s look at how he’s done against the Miami Dolphins. On Oct. 4, 2015, Ivory chalked up 29 carries for 166 yards and one touchdown against the Dolphins as a member of the New York Jets. A little over a month later, Ivory had another respectable performance against Miami. He recorded 21 rushes for 87 yards and one TD.

Next, we’ll see some of Ivory’s big games against the New England Patriots. On Oct. 20, 2013, he had a whopping 34 touches for 104 yards and one TD. The following year, he put up 21 carries for 87 yards and one TD against the Pats.

Ivory, a member of the Jets for three seasons (2013-2015), has only played against his former team once. That matchup was in Week Four of 2017 between the Jaguars and Jets. Ivory notched nine carries for 42 yards in that game.

Lastly, Ivory’s had some impressive games against his new team. On Nov. 17, 2013, he had 15 rushes for 98 yards and one TD against Buffalo. Then on Nov. 12, 2015, he had 18 carries for 99 yards and a TD.

Thankfully, Ivory will now be busting the ball into the end zone for the Bills.

2 - Bills take plug-and-play players in Miller’s latest mock
In Matt Miller’s post-combine 2018 NFL Mock Draft, he has the Bills taking two players who could start in Week One of this year’s regular season. Miller projects that Buffalo achieves this by holding onto picks No. 21 and 22.

With the 21st overall pick, he has the Bills taking one of the best wide receivers in this year’s draft. That WR is Courtland Sutton out of SMU. In Sutton’s four years (2014-2017) with the Mustangs, he recorded 195 receptions for 3,220 yards and 31 touchdowns.

Here’s what Miller had on Sutton and his standout size.

Courtland Sutton is a big (6’3 ⅜”, 218 Lbs.) receiver with enough speed to separate vertically and the jump-ball ability to dominate in the red zone… Sutton could slide right into the lineup opposite Kelvin Benjamin and give whomever is playing quarterback two large targets to push the ball to.

Then with the 22nd pick, Miller has Buffalo selecting a center to succeed Eric Wood. He believes the man worthy of holding down the middle of the line is James Daniels from Iowa, who’s arguably the best center in this year’s draft.

In three years (2015-2017) at Iowa, Daniels started over 20 games at center. The 6-3, 295-pound stud was an honorable mention for all-conference player in 2017.

This is Miller’s take on the type of prospect that Daniels is.

James Daniels is a special center prospect with excellent movement skills and NFL-ready technique. The Iowa product is as ready as offensive linemen come to play in the NFL and can immediately take over the open center spot in Buffalo. Daniels’ ability to get to the second level in the run game and his smooth pass protection will be a great fit in the Buffalo offense.

He’s one of the more athletic center prospects to come out of college in quite some time, which shows in his game tape. This isn’t a workout-warrior type who can’t play tough and with technique. Daniels appears Pro Bowl-ready right out of the gate.

3 - Dane Brugler agrees with Beane about CB depth in draft
At the NFL Scouting Combine, Bills General Manager Brandon Beane was asked which position group is the cream of the crop in this year’s draft. Without much hesitation, he noted that the secondary provides pretty good depth.

Senior NFL Draft Analyst, Dane Brugler, agrees with Beane’s evaluation. Specifically, Brugler believes that cornerback is the deepest position in this year’s draft.

“Oh, by far,” said Brugler on the John Murphy Show. “You look at corner specifically, it’s just a loaded group from top to bottom.”

The consensus is that Minkah Fitzpatrick and Denzel Ward are the top two defensive backs in the draft. Although Fitzpatrick isn’t officially listed as a CB, he’s more than capable of playing the position.

“Minkah Fitzpatrick, whether you believe he’s a safety or corner, I play him at corner myself. He’s included in that group,” said Brugler. “Denzel Ward from Ohio State, did a blazing 4.32 on Monday in the 40-yard dash. So, Denzel Ward I think he’s cemented himself in the top-10, top-12 prospect in this draft.”

Teams may be banging the table for Fitzpatrick or Ward, but there’s some talented corners who should come off the board shortly after. Jaire Alexander, Carlton Davis, Josh Jackson, and Isaiah Oliver are all viable options.

“Several of the other first-round caliber corners performed well,” said Brugler. “Jaire Alexander from Louisville. I get a lot of Joe Haden vibe from him. I think he’s squarely in the first round, as long as the medicals are okay.

“Some of the bigger corners stood out. Guys like Carlton Davis from Auburn. Isaiah Oliver from Colorado. So, plenty of talent this year at the corner position.”