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Bills brass keeping busy pre-draft schedule

Posted Mar 28, 2011

Cam Newton’s scheduled pre-draft visit is what has grabbed the headlines the past couple of days, but Bills GM Buddy Nix went a lot further than confirming Newton’s scheduled Tuesday visit to One Bills Drive. He laid out a good portion of Buffalo’s pre-draft visit and travel plans for the next couple of weeks.

After confirming to the premium season ticket holders and special guests in attendance at the club’s State of the Bills event in downtown Buffalo Monday night, Nix expanded on their pre-draft visit schedule to accentuate how their preparations are not just about gathering all they need to know about Newton.

“Blaine Gabbert is coming in, Christian Ponder is coming in. We’re also going to bring in some other guys, defensive linemen, linebackers,” said Nix. “There are 25 (pre-draft visits) scheduled right now and there may be some added, but all positions I think are covered.”

NFL clubs are allowed to have a maximum of 30 pre-draft visits and their visit schedule must be completed by April 20th. Nix also emphasized that it’s not just the so called top prospects that come in for one last look see.

“We bring in guys that weren’t at the combine,” he said. “We bring them in to physical them, or there may be a question about a guy where we want to know how much football he knows. It doesn’t mean he’s not smart, but we want to know his level of football intellect. All spectrums of the draft.”

In addressing those in attendance Monday night during a question and answer session, Nix said after Newton takes his physical Tuesday he’ll be meeting with Chan Gailey for the rest of his time at One Bills Drive.

“I know the guy,” said Nix. “Chan’s going to get to know him.”

“We talk the game,” said Gailey of his meetings with prospects. “How much does he understand the game? How much do they know and can (they) comprehend? You’re trying to figure out if a guy can handle everything that’s required of his position.”

Nix, who has spent the better part of the last month attending pro days at dozens of college campuses with his college personnel staff will continue to do so the next week or so.

“I’m going Thursday to North Carolina and see Robert Quinn and the two inside backers,” said Nix presumably in reference to fellow Tar Heels Quan Sturdivant and Bruce Carter. “Friday morning (Da’Quan) Bowers works out at nine o’clock and we’ll be there. It’s due diligence. We’ve put too much stock in it and it’s our job to do what we’re doing. We haven’t done anymore work on Cam Newton than we have Blaine Gabbert, than we have Christian Ponder, (Marcell) Dareus. All those guys.”

Buffalo’s general manager also confirmed that Dareus will be making a pre-draft visit to One Bills Drive, though he did not say when that visit would take place.

And though Buffalo’s front office called these pre-draft visits part of the process, they did not deny the weight they carry when it comes time to make a call on draft day.

“These visits have a big impact on what we think and what we do and what we believe about the guys that we plan to draft,” said Gailey. “It’s a big part of the evaluation process.”