Bills draft board rounding into form

They've flown in from all different corners of the country. Buffalo's college scouting department, led by Director Kelvin Fisher, will set up shop in town for the next 10 days to collaborate with GM Doug Whaley, Director of Player Personnel Jim Monos and other personnel assistants to assemble the team's draft board in advance of the NFL Scouting Combine, which begins two weeks from today.

"For me and Doug and Kelvin Fisher it's a chance for us to hear the scouts, their take on things, especially when it comes to player background," Monos told "We sit in our office and evaluate tape, but we don't know what the college scouts know about the makeup of the player."

Though Whaley with assistance from Monos and Fisher direct the proceedings and construct the board, this is the time in the pre-draft process where the personnel executives do more listening than presenting.

"We really want to make it their time," Monos said of the area scouts. "We really want to hear as much as we can from them while they're in town. That's why you have college scouts and pro scouts. It's a team effort."

Putting the draft board together is a grinding process that covers nine to 10 hours a day with just a break for lunch. Players are stacked on the board vertically by position and horizontally by round.   

The influx of the largest underclassmen contingent in league history has put a lot more on the collective plate of the scouts over the past few weeks, but Buffalo's scouting department anticipated the spike in additional talent and prepared accordingly.

"Our guys have done a great job. Our college scouts this past month as far as evaluating once the juniors have declared have been fantastic," Monos said. "We're ahead of the game so it's not going to hurt us at all. We've got everybody evaluated. We're ready to go."

As prepared as the Bills are with respect to reports on each draft eligible player, it's the character and personality of each of the underclassmen where Buffalo's personnel department will delve the deepest when they arrive at the Combine in Indianapolis.

"You like to see the guys compete at the Combine and then you also like to spend time with them in the interview process," said Monos. "For us that's really big and really important to get a quick understanding of how smart they are football-wise and who they are personality-wise.

"That really has become important with the number of juniors coming out. The Combine is key in taking the time to get our eyes on them and then get a sense as to who they are."

The week at the Combine will be quickly followed by college pro days as the clock winds down to the draft, which this year will be in May.

"It's another chance to see guys and be around them," said Monos. "We really do this thing all year round. We're prepared for this time of year." 

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