1. Draft history at 54 and 86 includes two Bills Wall of Famers
The Bills draft history is short in terms of holding the 54th and 86th overall selections as they do in the 2020 NFL draft. Those picks will be made by Buffalo on Friday night provided they hang onto both of them.
Buffalo GM Brandon Beane has a short history of dealing with five trades in his two drafts with the Bills.
But the organization's history, though limited with respect to the 54th and 86th picks, did make a couple of big scores with those choices.
In 1991, the Bills took DE Phil Hansen out of North Dakota State with the 54th pick. Hansen would play 11 seasons for Buffalo and was part of three of the team's four AFC title teams and their number one ranked defense in 1999. He was named to the Bills Wall of Fame in 2011.
The biggest hit at pick 86 was Hall of Fame WR Andre Reed in 1985. The team's all-time leader in career receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns, Reed went to seven Pro Bowls and was a three-time 2nd Team All-Pro. A member of the Bills Wall of Fame (2009), Reed was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2014.
Among the most well-known NFL players besides Reed and Hansen taken at pick 54 or 86 since the AFL-NFL merger are Hall of Famers Morten Andersen (#86, 1982) and Jackie Slater (#86, 1976), LB Tedy Bruschi (#86, 1996), WR Anquan Boldin (#54, 2003), G Marshal Yanda (#86, 2007), RB David Johnson (#86, 2015) and RB Kareem Hunt (#86, 2017).
2. This draft analyst thinks Bills have adjusted well to remote restrictions
The Bills along with the 31 other NFL clubs have had to adjust to a very different kind of run-up to the NFL draft this spring. Canceled pro days, no testing times, no on-site interviews and no draft rooms at team facilities. It's all made for an unprecedented draft operation that begins in earnest tonight at 8 pm.
However, Kevin Clark, NFL reporter for 'The Ringer' doesn't believe the Bills won't be as adversely affected by the restrictions of the spring or new logistics as much as other clubs.
"Essentially what the last month of the draft process is there for is in-person meetings and getting to know guys. It's usually guys you're not sure on either medically or character-wise. You'd think without that it'd be hard to get a read on players," said Clark in an appearance on 'One Bills Live.' "But what Brandon told me is that you still get to see the personality of these guys, whether they're prompt and punctual even with the Zoom and Skype."
Beane told Clark in an interview that some prospects did reveal a bit of who they were in those forums.
"(Beane) told me there were a couple of instances where the prospect didn't call in for their scheduled Zoom or Skype call," Clark said. "There were also instances where he would text a player asking, 'What would be a good time for you to do a call?' And they didn't even respond. There weren't a ton of those he said, but there were enough where he got a read on some people.
"Smart teams, and I very much consider the Bills one of the smart teams, are learning how to adapt."
Clark also said in his conversations with NFL sources that most believe in this shortened offseason that veteran coaching staffs will thrive and new coaching staffs are going to struggle.
3. Bills players adjusting to virtual offseason conditioning program
Buffalo's players began their offseason conditioning program this week on a remote basis in light of the COVID-19 restrictions, which include 'Stay at Home' orders in New York State through May 15th.
Players are meeting with coaches for classroom time and with the strength and conditioning staff for their daily workouts.
One of the newest Bills, DE Mario Addison, in an appearance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio with driver Kevin Harvick and Matt Yocum laid out how he's managing in an online world.
"We just started our offseason zoom exercising," Addison said. "We've got meetings as if we were there and I log in with my Ipad. We can either work out in the morning or the afternoon. I choose to work out in the morning. So I check in with my strength coach and he has a video that describes all the things we have to do. Then I have a position meeting around 12 pm. After that I have a team meeting and I do that Monday through Thursday."
Addison said it has been really different from what he's used to, but he's getting used to the schedule. He admits there have been a couple of teammates who've had issues connecting, like his former Carolina teammate and current Bills teammate Vernon Butler.
"The first day he couldn't get in so I facetimed him and turned my phone toward the screen, so I was legit holding the phone for two hours so he could see and hear everything," said Addison. "My arm was tired after that."
For Addison he'd prefer to be on site at One Bills Drive and meet his new teammates in Buffalo. Knowing that's not possible he's looking to make some phone calls to get to know some guys.
"The guys in Buffalo, it's weird trying to meet people through virtual meetings. For me I'm trying to distinguish which guy was already in Buffalo and who is coming in now like me," he said. "It's different when you're not face to face talking to them. So I have to do a better job of using the numbers in my phone and meet the guys and have more one-on-one conversations."