1- How does Kyler Murray compare to Josh Allen?
NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah recently came out with his top 50 prospects for the 2019 NFL Draft. Heisman winner and former Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray has been the hottest talk of the draft with concerns based on his size, to abandoning a baseball career and for being potentially the best quarterback available in this year’s draft class. The Bills obviously aren’t in the market for a quarterback, especially a rookie, but Jeremiah gave an interesting answer when comparing this year’s class to last year's.
Jeremiah was asked if Dwayne Haskins and Murray were in the draft last year with the five first round quarterbacks taken, where do they shape up compared to them?
“In terms of grades, now this is the grade I had on them coming out, not what they've done. I have Darnold with the highest grade,” Jeremiah said. “Then it was Rosen, then it was Mayfield, and then I gave the same grade to Josh Allen as my fourth quarterback last year as I gave to Kyler Murray this year. So they would be tied for my fourth, and then I would have Haskins would be behind them and then Lamar Jackson would be behind him. So that would be the order I have stacking those guys in with last year's class based purely off the grade.”
Murray moved up from 29th in Jeremiah’s rankings to 14th and describes him as an “extremely explosive quarterback prospect” but he lacks the ideal size to be an NFL QB, unlike Allen. Murray is currently his top QB prospect for this season and Nick Bosa from Ohio State is his number one overall.
2- Praise for Bills offensive line and special teams coaches
The Bills coaching staff has gone through some changes this offseason with a new hiring at the offensive line and special teams positions. Bobby Johnson and Heath Farwell have been added to McDermott’s staff and have received high praise from their former employers.
Johnson was with the Colts last season as an assistant offensive line coach under Frank Reich. This past season the Colts offensive line allowed a league-low 18 sacks and were widely considered one of the most improved units in the NFL.
“He was great for us. He helped us a good deal up front,” Reich said. “Please tell him to get some sleep. The guy never slept. A real grinder. But he was very good for us in many ways. I didn’t want to lose him, but he deserved that opportunity with Buffalo.”
Farwell got his first coaching job with the Seahawks when his playing days were over from general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll. Farwell spent 2011-14 playing in Seattle and 2016-17 as an assistant special teams coach with them.
“I can’t call him an overachiever because he’d probably be upset with me if I did,” Schneider said of Farwell. “He was a really, really good special teams player. Really knowledgeable. He was one of those guys when even on punt team had that spatial feel and a great awareness of what was going on. So obviously he studied a ton. So he was a real instinctive player and he was a leader. He was a captain of our special teams. Once he made that transition to coaching it was just seamless. He also has that natural respect of the players because of the way he played.”
3- The Bills’ most improved player
With free agency set to begin soon and all the focus currently shifted onto the combine, it’s important to address what you need and don’t need to improve upon for next season. Buffalo has been linked to looking for help with the receiving corps and offensive line but one position they might not have to look into is an edge rusher.
Jerry Hughes was named the most improved player this past season for Buffalo by Pro Football Focus.
Hughes somewhat quietly put together one of the most dominant seasons of any edge defender in the NFL this season. He racked up 74 pressures – 13 more than his previous career-high – and finished with a 90.4 pass-rushing grade. Not bad for the 30-year-old.
Hughes finished his season starting all 16 games for just the fourth time in his career and racked up three forced fumbles, 37 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and 18 quarterback hits. Not bad for a 30-year-old is right.