Bills Today: Remembering Fred Jackson's top career achievements

Posted Apr 18, 2018

Here's the Bills news of note for April 18th.

1 - Remembering Fred Jackson's top career achievements
Today, Fred Jackson will officially retire from the NFL, and he does it as a part of the Buffalo Bills. The former four-time team captain and Bills running back played over 100 games in the red, white and blue, before playing his final season in 2015 with the Seattle Seahawks.

Jackson retires with accolades in the NFL, and even more within the Bills franchise.

He was first player in NFL history with 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 kickoff return yards in one season (2009). Other than Thurman Thomas, Jackson is the only Bill to have over 5,000 rushing yards and 2,000 receiving yards. In 2010 and 2014, Jackson was the Buffalo Bills Walter Payton Man of the Year award recipient.

He ends his NFL career third on the all-time rushing list for the Bills franchise only behind Thurman Thomas and OJ Simpson.

2 - Ranking the best linebackers in the draft
With 256 picks less than two weeks away from being made, teams will be ready to improve their roster’s through many different positions. The Bills may draft a linebacker during one of their stints on the clock, but who are the best linebackers to take?

Bleacher Report ranked the top 35 linebackers, but the best three were as follows.

3. Leighton Vander Esch, Boise State

At 6-4, 256 lbs. Vander Esch is a big body that can cause havoc for any offense. Whether he is blitzing a QB, or covering tight ends Vander is a force.

A former basketball standout in high school, Leighton Vander Esch is one of the best all-around defenders in the class. He's also still developing physically on an already dominant frame. Whether he's playing in a 4-3 or 3-4 scheme, Vander Esch looks like a Day 1 starter.

2. Roquan Smith, Georgia

Speedy and strong, Smith has what it takes to be the future leader of a defense. The leader of Georgia’s defense, is a consistently strong tackler that can take over the middle of the field, or use his speed outside the hashes.

Roquan Smith is the ideal 4-3 Mike linebacker with speed and instincts but could also end up as a weak-side linebacker where he's free to make plays in space. He's been compared by some scouts to Ray Lewis or NaVorro Bowman, which speaks to his excellent overall ability.

1. Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech

Not often do you hear of a player with the versatility that Edmunds has. Big enough to rush a QB or stuff a run game, but speedy enough to cover a team’s best slot receiver, Edmunds may just be a defensive coordinator’s dream. At 6-5, and over 250 lbs., the big man has the skill to make an impact on day one in the NFL.

The sky's the limit for Tremaine Edmunds, and the only thing holding him back might be the creativity of his defensive coordinator. Players with this size, speed, strength and natural ability don't come around often. One scout we spoke to even compared him to a young Brian Urlacher.

3 - CBS Mock draft has Bills drafting Darnold
Yes, another mock draft. No, your eyes do not deceive you.

Almost every analyst believes that if a QB is selected first overall, the Browns will take Darnold. And if Darnold is taken at one or two, he will be drafted at three. Now, not only does Chris Trapasso of CBS believe the Bills will draft Darnold, but he believes they will only trade up to the four-spot to do it.

In the deal that gets Buffalo the fourth overall selection, Brandon Beane would have to part ways with picks 12, 22 and 96 (the Bills second third-rounder).

The Bills look at the board with the eyes-wide-open emoji, as Darnold and Josh Rosen remain on the board at No. 4. With the cost slightly reduced at this juncture, the Bills make a trade with the man they did business with -- John Dorsey -- in last year's draft to get the immensely talented but somewhat raw Darnold.