1 - Harrison Phillips delivers signatures to Pancho Billa
Following the event of Bills superfan Ezra Castro, known by many as Pancho Billa, Harrison Phillips held an event on Thursday at New Era Field to allow fans to pay their respects.
Fans were able to go to the team store in Orchard Park on Thursday and sign a banner for Castro’s family that Phillips would deliver to Irving, Texas where a service was held for Castro.
“This event tonight brings a lot of light to me. Obviously I see the social media impact that the Bills Mafia and Bills fans have. They’re always retweeting, liking, commenting and showing their support that way. I guess this is just the first time that I really see it like this,” Phillips said.
Castro announced Phillips as the Bills’ third-round selection in the 2018 NFL draft and since the two have formed a special bond. Phillips facetimed with Castro during this year’s draft as Castro was stuck in hospice care.
“It’s just really, really, really, really impressive what Ezra’s power was in this city and to this organization,” Phillips said. “I cannot wait to bring this to his girlfriend, Veronica, his kids, his brothers, his Mom & Dad and all his family and just let them know how much the city of Buffalo actually does care, to come out here and be here physically and write their names for him.”
And on Saturday, Phillips delivered on his promise.
2 - Ed Oliver top contender for Rookie of the Year
NFL minicamps have concluded and players have gotten their first taste of the NFL. NFL.com’s Dan Parr analyzed which rookies are in the best position to succeed in Year 1 and a familiar face tops his list.
1) Ed Oliver, DT, Buffalo Bills: The ninth overall pick -- he should not have fallen that far -- is going to help the underrated Bills defense get the respect it deserves. He will wreck shop from the three-technique position, and defensive guru Sean McDermott is the right guy to get the most out of him. He isn't exactly Aaron Donald 2.0, but he might not be too far off.
Rounding out the top five are Pittsburgh’s Devin Bush, San Francisco’s Nick Bosa, Arizona’s Kyler Murray and Chicago’s David Montgomery.
The only other rookies from the AFC East listed are New York’s Quinnen Williams at six and New England’s N’Keal Harry at 21.
3 - Bills’ most exciting UDFA
With rookie minicamp over and OTA practices beginning this week there is plenty to watch for on the newest group of Bills. Bleacher Report looked at each team’s UDFAs and who could make the roster and provide a “little sizzle” as a rookie like 2018 UDFA and Pro Bowler Phillip Lindsay.
For Buffalo, it’s linebacker Tyrel Dodson from Texas A&M.
The Bills only allowed 294.1 yards per game last season, second-fewest in the NFL, and any prospect who can potentially make the defense better should excite the teams and fanbase, writes Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox.
This is exactly the kind of prospect Tyrel Dodson is. Despite regressing across most defensive categories in 2018, no one would have questioned the pick if the former Texas A&M standout had been drafted. Instead, the Bills were lucky to land him as a free agent after the draft.
Dodson possesses adequate size (6'0", 237 lbs) and explosiveness for the position, plus an aggressive mentality. He should immediately contribute as a special teams player, but he has enough upside to crack the linebacker rotation as well.
At A&M this past season, Dodson had 70 tackles, seven tackles for a loss and one interception that was returned for a touchdown. The numbers won’t be matched during his rookie season but they show he can be a “tremendous depth player” says Knox.