1. NFL Combine kicks off today for the Bills and these WNY prospects
The NFL combine begins today where general managers, coaches put the spotlight on more than 300 draft-eligible players.
Western New York will be represented, not only by the Bills in attendance, but also by local talent. From the University at Buffalo, quarterback Tyree Jackson and wide receiver Anthony Johnson will take part in the process as well as former Canisius high school running back, Pittsburgh’s Qadree Ollison.
Jackson and Johnson can be seen performing their on-field workouts on Saturday, March 2 while Ollison will perform his on Friday, March 1.
BuffaloBills.com will give you a behind-the-scenes look including streaming Sean McDermott’s press conference at 12:15 p.m. today and Brandon Beane’s press conference at 10:45 a.m. on Thursday. It will also be available to view on Twitter (@buffalobills) and on the Buffalo Bills Facebook page in addition to Buffalobills.com.
One Bills Live returns to the airwaves live from Indianapolis today through Friday from 12-3 p.m. Guests scheduled to appear throughout the week include national analysts like Charles Davis, Bucky Brooks ad Daniel Jeremiah from the NFL Network. McDermott will be on with John Murphy and Steve Tasker on Wednesday and Beane on Thursday. Check the One Bills Live Twitter feed for exact interview times and guest schedules.
2. Remember these notable players drafted No. 9 overall
What will the Bills do with the No. 9 overall pick? This is a question fans hope to get a little more clarity on after the team finishes this next phase of evaluations after this week’s combine. Will the Bills keep the pick or orchestrate a deal to move up or down the draft board? GM Brandon Beane has hinted about the possibility of trading down in the draft but Buffalo currently has an opportunity to obtain a top-10 talent in the upcoming draft.
If you look at the recent history of No. 9 picks, there’s been a mix of All-Pros, starters and some presumed misses at the spot.
The ninth overall picks from the past decade include: OT Mike McGlinchey, WR John Ross, LB Leonard Floyd, OT Ereck Flowers, LB Anthony Barr, DB Dee Millner, LB Luke Kuechly, OT Tyron Smith, RB C.J. Spiller and DT B.J. Raji.
The Bills last used the No. 9 overall pick on RB CJ Spiller in 2010. Most of these players drafted have found success in the NFL. Kuechly has produced the most polished NFL resume in recent history for a No. 9 pick – making six straight trips to the Pro Bowl and being named an All-Pro linebacker five times.
Smith has led the way for a great Dallas Cowboy offensive line and Barr has been one of the NFL’s best linebackers in the league the past few seasons with the Minnesota Vikings … but he is known by most Bills fans as the hurdle victim in this highlight reel play from Josh Allen.
Hall of famers Brian Urlacher and Bruce Matthews were also drafted at the ninth spot.
3. Former NFL MVP quarterback praises Josh Allen
Former MVP and two-time NFL All-Pro quarterback Rich Gannon appeared on One Bills Live recently and praised Josh Allen.
“I think he has a lot of the intangibles that you really like at that position,” Gannon said. “I think he’s got some toughness, I think he’s got some aggressiveness to him. I think he’s a smart player, he can make plays outside of the pocket with his legs. Clearly, I think he gained a lot of experience in year one. He gained the trust and the respect and the confidence, really, of every one of his teammates and the coaching staff.”
Gannon believes that the upcoming year will be important for him and in his second season as a starter will be where Bills fans see him push forward in a positive direction. He was also encouraged by the fact that Allen will have Brian Daboll as his offensive coordinator again.
“I think we usually we see a lot of progress from year one to year two with quarterbacks. I think it’s a positive that the Bills aren’t changing offensive coordinators,” Gannon said. “I think the opportunity to be with Brian Daboll (again) is going to help him this offseason.”