1. Brandon Beane talks Luke Kuechly, Tremaine Edmunds with MMQB's Albert Breer
Now-retired linebacker Luke Kuechly was one of general manager Brandon Beane's favorite players when he was in Carolina. Beane was the director of football operations and the assistant general manager in Carolina during Kuechly's first six years.
Beane has fond memories of the player that Kuechly was, as he quarterbacked the defense to a Super Bowl appearance in 2015. The way that he conducted himself on and off the field is what led the Bills to trade up and draft Tremaine Edmunds in 2018, per Albert Breer.
And maybe the highest compliment Beane could give Kuechly — in 2018, as badly as he and Sean McDermott wanted find a quarterback for the offense, they just as much wanted one for their defense, because they saw the difference a good one could make. Which is part of why they traded up for Tremaine Edmunds.
Kuechly retired as seven-time pro bowler and a one-time defensive player of the year winner. The qualities that Beane saw in him are being displayed now by Edmunds.
"He's the rare guy who had it all," Beane said. "He's super smart, his instincts are a 12 on a scale of 1–10 and his work ethic's at the same level. And it's very rare that someone with the instincts, smarts and athleticism he had still has a drive like he did. On Thursday nights during the week, I'd walk down there and he's got every linebacker still there with them, teaching them how to watch film, what to look for. The coaches would be gone, and I'd see them grabbing food that was set out for the coaches and going back to work. I don't know many like him. Usually people that have the talent might not have the same drive. So he had the whole thing andhe wanted to help others."
2. NFL.com named this Bill the team's unsung hero in 2019
NFL.com Adam Rank named the unsung heroes for each NFL team this season. On Tuesday, he released his picks for each AFC team.
BUFFALO BILLS: Jordan Phillips, defensive tackle.Somewhere in some bar in Buffalo right now, there is a patron trying to tell the person he's with that Phillips might be a better player than Aaron Donald. And that would be wrong. But Phillips was easily one of the AFC's top defensive tackles in 2019. The Bills were great against the run all season, but Phillips made life miserable for quarterbacks as he finished with 9.5 sacks. That is the second-highest total for a defensive tackle -- behind only, wait for it, Donald.
Phillips is scheduled to become a free agent in March.
3. NFL grants special eligibility to these draft prospects
While the top seniors in college football are busy in Mobile, Alabama at the Senior Bowl, the NFL has granted special eligibility to 99 players for the 2020 NFL Draft.
Each of the 99 players have met the league's three-year eligibility rule and have renounced their college football eligibility by submitting written notification to the league offices before the deadline.
These 99 players include Clemson wide receiver Tee Higgins, Alabama WR Jerry Jeudy, and WR Laviska Shenault. All players who NFL draft analysts believe will be selected in the first round of this year's draft.
NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah released his first mock draft on Tuesday and picked Higgins for the Bills at the No. 22 spot.