The Bills wrapped up their pre-draft visits with the top linebacker prospect and their second quarterback in as many days in Boston College’s Luke Kuechly and Arizona State’s Brock Osweiler.
Kuechly is the consensus top linebacking talent in this year’s draft pool.
“I think he’s the best inside linebacker in this draft by far,” said NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock. “He’s a natural three-year junior. He’s got more production that you could ever imagine. He’s never been hurt, no significant injuries. He’s clean off the field. He’s intelligent. He’s got great instincts. He’s a better athlete than people think. He can run.”
The ridiculously productive linebacker had almost 300 solo tackles in a three-year career and 532 total tackles over that span. A good indicator for his ability in coverage was his seven career interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns.
Kuechly was the quarterback of the BC defense, and gets high marks for his intelligence and anticipation instincts.
“I think I'm a smart player,” he said. “I think I do a pretty good job preparing myself. That's something I take pride in. Being prepared, and knowing what each individual guy is responsible for. I can point at different guys, and let them know what they're doing if they have questions. I take pride in having the ability to do that. And doing that, and knowing what everyone is doing, you can play faster. It allows you to be more successful.''
Kuechly is forecast to come off the board in the range where Buffalo picks as a mid-first round selection.
Brock Osweiler is not expected to be a first-round selection, but is widely considered a signal caller with a ton of upside.
The Arizona State quarterback only had 15 starts in college, but at 6’7” and 242 pounds and uncommon athleticism thanks to a basketball background, Osweiler has some NFL clubs intrigued.
He ran a spread offense for the Sun Devils, but Osweiler doesn’t see that as a disadvantage as he transitions his game to the NFL.
“One thing about the spread offense is I think it teaches you to manage a football game because the ball is in your hands to make a play, 90 percent of the time,” he said. “Even in the run game, you have to make decisions on the fly.”
Osweiler feels his roots in basketball, which would’ve landed him a scholarship to Gonzaga had he chosen to do so, have helped him with footwork among other quarterback requirements on the football field.
“It’s helped with my vision,” he said. “On the basketball court, you can be pushing the ball up the court, maybe bringing it up on the side and you’ve got to see somebody off in the corner, make a throw down the lane. Same thing as a quarterback. You’re sliding in the pocket, trying to find alleys to get the ball down field.”
Kuechly and Osweiler complete Buffalo’s pre-draft visit schedule. The Bills had 30 pre-draft visitors in all, the maximum allowed by the league.