1 – Bills hold stockpile of 2019 draft picks
After the additions of cornerback Ryan Lewis and punter Corey Bojorquez and the announcement that the Bills have named eight players to the practice squad for the 2018 season, the Bills roster appears to be set for now. However, Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott have made it a point in their first year and a half to acquire and stockpile draft picks as a means to acquire young and affordable NFL talent.
With most of the team’s roster moves now made ahead of the Bills opener in Baltimore, Beane and company sit comfortably prepared for the 2019 NFL draft, and they continue to explore options that could land them even more picks moving forward.
The Bills have 10 draft picks slated for the 2019 draft, and the team kept all but one of their 2018 draft picks on the final roster following cut day on Saturday. The only member of the 2018 class who did not make the cut was seventh-round wide receiver Austin Proehl. For the 2019 NFL draft, the Bills still own the rights to their own picks in rounds one through seven, and they currently hold three additional picks.
Of the three additional picks, the first is a fourth-round selection that the Bills acquired when they dealt former second-round pick Reggie Ragland to the Kansas City Chiefs last year. The second is the most recently acquired pick, a fifth-rounder that the team received from the Oakland Raiders in exchange for quarterback A.J. McCarron on Saturday. The third and final additional pick is a seventh-round pick that came over in a trade that sent former Bills cornerback Kevon Seymour to the Carolina Panthers.
With 10 picks total in the 2019 draft, the second highest projected cap space for the 2019 offseason, and a young quarterback in place; it appears that Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott have set themselves up for long-term success.
2 – Bills have favorable travel plans for 2018 season
Travel is an essential part of the NFL landscape. With teams located in almost every major city across the country, the travel burden can certainly affect the way teams feel and the way they perform on game day. In 2017, the Bills traveled the 23rd most miles to road games in the NFL with 13,236 miles. The Oakland Raiders led the league in air miles logged with 32,876. Of course, the Raiders mileage is a bit inflated due to their location on the west coast; and in 2018 they are slated to lead the league in mileage again.
Fortunately for Buffalo in 2018, their travel schedule is a bit more favorable. This year the Bills will travel the fifth-fewest air miles with 10,224, which is 3,012 miles less than they traveled last season. Travel effects are subject to debate, but many teams have implemented recent strategies to counteract the strain of traveling so many miles.
For example, if a team plays two teams on the road that are in the same vicinity, such as the Chargers and the Rams, the traveling team might choose to set up shop in Los Angeles for a week instead of flying back and forth. Some teams have even changed their dress codes on flights to opposing cities to maximize the comfort and relaxation of their players and their personnel on long trips.
The only team in the AFC East division that will travel less miles than the Bills in 2018 is the New York Jets, who will log 9,690 miles over the course of the season. Astoundingly, three teams will travel more miles than it would take to take a trip around the globe in 2018; the Oakland Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers and Seattle Seahawks.
3 – McCoy still doing what most cannot at age 30
Entering his 10th NFL season at a position in which longevity is not common whatsoever, LeSean McCoy is on a mission to prove his critics wrong. McCoy has been voted to six Pro Bowls over the course of his nine seasons in the NFL, and he is a two-time first-team all-pro. Despite his accomplishments, many still believe that McCoy is bound to slow down in his first season since turning 30-years-old. However, his ability to avoid big hits and to run with an intelligent mindset on the field has allowed him to stay healthy for most of his career. That combined with the fact that he did not show any signs of slowing down in 2017, should give Bills fans hope that the man affectionately known as “Shady” will perform at a high level in 2018.
In 2017, McCoy was one of only six running backs to rush for at least 1,000 yards and compile at least 50 receptions over the course of the season; with the others being Kareem Hunt, Todd Gurley, Le’Veon Bell, Mark Ingram and Melvin Gordon. In fact, McCoy rushed for 1,138 yards and caught 59 passes for 448 yards through the air.
As McCoy embarks on his 10th NFL season, he is also chasing a personal and historic milestone; rushing for 12,000 yards over the course of his career. He currently sits at 10,092 yards and would need a very impressive 1,908 yards in 2018 to reach his goal. It’s more likely to happen over the next two seasons.
If he does indeed reach 12,000, McCoy would be one of 17 running backs to do so, 13 of whom are now in the Hall of Fame, two of whom are still active (Adrian Peterson, Frank Gore), and Edgerrin James.
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