1 - Mel Kiper chooses Ed Oliver as “instant impact rookie”
ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper picked 15 rookies who will make an “instant-impact” on their teams. Many first-round picks will be guaranteed starters when the season begins but only one top-10 pick will make an immediate impact.
My pal Louis Riddick said on TV several times over the past few months that Oliver was used incorrectly in college. Why is an athlete like Oliver -- he has one of the fastest first steps off the ball of any defensive tackle I've ever scouted -- playing nose tackle? Buffalo will play him as a 3-technique tackle in its 4-3 defense, in place of the retired Kyle Williams, and he's going to be a disruptive presence. No, he's not Aaron Donald like some were calling him last summer -- he is still developing consistent pass-rush moves -- but Oliver will destroy double-teams and cause wreckage in the backfield.
Because of the Bills' offensive struggles in 2018, the defense went under the radar; it was the top-ranked pass defense, allowing only 179.2 yards per game, and gave up only 294.1 total yards per game. This is a young, talented and physical group. Oliver fills an immediate need.
Oliver will be able to slide right into Kyle Williams’ spot on the defensive line and will improve a pass rush that recorded 36 sacks last season which ranked 26th in the NFL. Oliver will immediately help Jerry Hughes and Lorenzo Alexander as the main pass rushers.
2 - Predicting the 2019 NFL All-Rookie team
With the draft behind us, NFL.com analyst Chad Reuter looked ahead to project how this year’s rookies will fit in with their teams.
Most of the players chosen were drafted in the first two rounds because they will get the most playing time. But there may be other draftees who fell and will be needed to play sooner rather than later. Buffalo’s one all-rookie member is not a surprise.
Oliver was the only rookie chosen by Chad Reuter for the All-Rookie team. The Bills don’t have any immediate needs to fill with the rookies they drafted and with starting lineups not set it is unknown where or if Cody Ford will start on the O-line.
Reuter chose Dalton Risner, Chris Garrett Bradbury, Chris Lindstrom, Kaleb McGary and Greg Little as his offensive line. All five will be able to start immediately for their respective teams.
The only other rookie chosen from the AFC East was Jets’ third-round pick Jachai Polite as an edge rusher.
3 - Bills players celebrate local caregivers during National Nurses Week
It’s National Nurses Week and Buffalo Bills players were eager to show their support to the selfless men and women whose contributions at Kaleida Health make a lasting impact on residents in Western New York. Teaming up with Bills Legends Thurman Thomas and Jon Corto, Bills such as linebacker Lorenzo Alexander and safety Micah Hyde paid a surprise visit to John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital, where they participated in a special ceremony, honoring 30 nurses for their outstanding service and care.
Providing a warm reception for the nurses and staff members, the Bills took photos with the honorees, handed out custom apparel and spent time thanking them for all they do to serve the community.
The festivities continued as Conor McDermott, Jeremiah Sirles, Spencer Long, Harrison Phillips, Ike Boettger, Matt Barkley, Tyler Kroft, John Brown, Dion Dawkins, Reid Ferguson and Mitch Morse, visited patients at both John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital and Buffalo General Medical Center. Going from room to room, the Bills provided smiles, encouragement and Bills-themed gifts.