1 - Jordan Phillips gunning for starting DT job
The Buffalo Bills took a chance on Phillips when he was signed midseason. A 2015 second-round pick, Phillips admits that his career hasn't panned out the way he thought it would. He spent four years in Miami before they finally waived him on October 2nd. Buffalo claimed him the next day.
"Buffalo gave me an opportunity and I felt that they should reap the benefits of the success that I'm going to have," Phillips said.
Phillips couldn't imagine signing anywhere else other than Buffalo. He wasn't interested in free agency and now has a chance to compete for the starting role next season with the retirement of Kyle Williams.
"If you really want to play football and maximize that, Buffalo is the place to be," Phillips said.
Phillips signed a one-year deal worth a reported $4.5 million.
Phillips won't compete with one-technique players like Star Lotulelei and Harrison Phillips, instead he'll presumably compete to be the replacement for the retired Kyle Williams as the new three-technique defensive tackle. He believes that he is the best person for that.
"(I'm back) just to show the Bills and across the league that I'm a top defensive tackle in this league," Phillips said. "It's been a long time and I've been in the shadows of a lot of great players with [Ndamukong] Suh and this last year with Kyle. I feel like it's really my time and I'm not going to let it go."
Phillips is 26 and turns 27 about a month into the NFL season. Phillips thought he would get an extension with Miami in his third year and when he didn't, he thought it would come during his fourth. Instead he was let go. Now that Phillips sees that a big payday isn't guaranteed he has changed his mind set to focus on more of the day-to-day aspects of being an NFL player and doing what he needs to do.
"Jordan's got the talent to do whatever he wants," Williams said. "He can play three technique, he can play nose. He's a big, powerful, strong man. Honestly, it's just holding down the technique and playing with a lot of effort down in and down out but he's a big talented guy that I think is going to help the Bills. I'm glad that they brought him back."
Phillips is in Buffalo to "flourish." He believes that the Bills are trying to build something great and wants to be a part of it.
"One thing that I know about Sean [McDermott] and Brandon [Beane] is they're going to be very calculated on who they decided to pick and they're going to make sure they fit in not just physically but culturally as well," Williams said.
2 - Which combine standouts best fit the Bills
With the NFL combine wrapped up, NFL.com draft analyst Chad Reuter identified the top standouts from the event at each position and the team they would best fit on. Some players might find that fit in Buffalo.
D.K. Metcalf stole the show at the combine with his low body fat percentage and 4.33 40-yard dash. He topped wide receivers in the bench press, vertical and broad jump and his size made it obvious that he would be a downfield threat. If his neck injury is not as serious, he could be a target for the Bills inside the top 10.
Buffalo also needs to find talent at the tight end position. Luckily, Iowa produced two potential targets. Noah Fant and T.J. Hockenson aren't targets at the ninth pick but could be targets within the first 50. Fant is the prized possession as he looked more like a wide receiver than a tight end at the combine with a 4.5 40, 39 ½ inch vertical and 10-7 broad jump while being 6-4 249 pounds.
How can you go wrong with a player named Michael Jordan? Jordan out of Ohio State was the lone standout on the list for left guard. Jordan played at center this past season but is a guard at heart. That versatility is something both Beane and McDermott like in an offensive lineman such as recent free agent signee Spencer Long.
Photos of some of the top draft prospects from around the country at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine. Click through to see how they performed.
3 - Logical Bills free agent targets according to Yahoo
Some players just make sense for a team. When Buffalo found itself in need of a franchise quarterback they grabbed Josh Allen. When they needed someone to help the linebackers out they signed Lorenzo Alexander and this offseason the Bills can do the same by grabbing this player from the Panthers according to Yahoo Sports.
Offensive tackle Daryl Williams could continue the Carolina pipeline to the Queen City and with limited options on the market the 2017 All-Pro selection could be just what Buffalo needs. The 26-year-old should have a good market but the logical fit is with Buffalo, writes Matt Harmon of Yahoo Sports.
The Panthers seem interested in bringing Williams back, but the sizably cheaper Taylor Moton proved to be a plus asset at right tackle. The Bills could look to expand their Carolina pipeline by adding Williams to anchor one side of their line. Buffalo's 2018 starting right tackle Jordan Mills is a free agent.