1 - NFL Draft: Which top QB best fits Buffalo after free-agency action?After nearly two weeks of free-agency action, loads of NFL teams have added quarterbacks to their rosters. With some of those teams hopeful that they found a franchise QB, they'll likely go a different direction in the 2018 NFL Draft.
In wake of the signal-callers putting pen to paper, Bleacher Report published the best fits for top QBs after early free-agency action. Kristopher Knox of B/R believes these are the best fits for the top-six QBs: Josh Allen (Broncos), Sam Darnold (Browns), Lamar Jackson (Bills), Baker Mayfield (Saints), Josh Rosen (Giants), and Mason Rudolph (Steelers).
Here's what Knox had to say about Jackson joining the Bills, with quotes provided by Matthew Fairburn of NewYorkUpstate.com. !(https://goo.gl/qiMD1M)
*Bills head coach Sean McDermott has spent much of his career around dual-threat quarterbacks, and he knows what they're capable of. *
*"I've been around kind of those style of quarterbacks. Donovan McNabb, Cam Newton, Tyrod Taylor," McDermott said, per Fairburn. "I'm familiar with what comes with those style of quarterback, both the positives and some of the drawbacks of that style probably more than most coaches in this case." *
McDermott's vast experience comes from 12 seasons (1999-2010) with the Philadelphia Eagles, six seasons (2011-2016) with the Carolina Panthers, and a season (2017-present) with the Buffalo Bills.
For Jackson, he was dominant in his college years with the Louisville Cardinals. In 38 career games, the 6-3, 211-pound QB posted 9,043 passing yards, 69 touchdowns, and 27 interceptions.
Jackson was just as impressive rushing the ball, racking up 655 carries for 4,132 yards and 50 TDs.
Knox added this on why Buffalo's the best fit for Jackson as he enters the league.
*The Bills should be familiar with the kind of player Jackson can become. Jackson, in turn, is familiar with the Buffalo offense. *
"Jackson ran the Erhardt-Perkins offense at Louisville," Fairburn explains. "That happens to be the same offense Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll is schooled in."
*Jackson should have little trouble running Daboll's offense, and he should be able to become a star in it.
With the 2018 free agency period officially open, here's a look at Buffalo's pickups.
2 - Panthers DT Kawann Short praises Star LotuleleiPrior to signing a five-year deal with the Buffalo Bills, defensive tackle Star Lotulelei spent his first five NFL seasons with the Carolina Panthers. During those years, he and fellow DT Kawann Short built a special bond.
"We were connected. First round, second round. Numbers 98 and 99. It came with the territory. But we never got tired of it," Short shared with Panthers.com. "We embraced it and we tried to be the best defensive tackles to come through here, to be that one-two punch."
The two interior defensive linemen were the Panthers first picks in the 2013 NFL Draft. Lotulelei went 14th overall and Short was Carolina's next choice with the 44th overall pick.
The duo was extremely dependable, as they each started all 32 games over the past two seasons. In total, they combined for 156 games played and 132 starts from 2013 to 2017.
For Short and Lotulelei, the stats do the talking, as they offered some hefty production in their half a decade playing alongside each other. Together, they tallied 390 total tackles, 41 sacks, 15 passes defended, 10 forced fumbles, and eight fumble recoveries.
"He's done a great job for this organization and for this defensive line," said Short. "Through it all, I gained a brother, not just a teammate. We'll forever have a connection."
3 - Mel Kiper re-grades Buffalo's 2017 rookie classThe Bills drafted six rookies in 2017 and they all played a part in the team's playoff run. Buffalo's still reaping the benefits from last year's draft, as they currently own two first-round picks come April.
ESPN draft guru, Mel Kiper Jr., re-graded the rookie classes for all 32 teams. For the Bills, they joined five other teams that got a re-grade of a B , including the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles.
Here's what Kiper had to say about the Bills 2017 rookie class and how it's setting them up for success in 2018.
*This is a great class, and it gets a boost with Buffalo picking up an extra first-round pick in 2018 for trading down from No. 10 with Kansas City. The Bills already have used that extra draft capital to get in contention to move up in April's draft and pick their quarterback of the future, though they still like fifth-round pick Nathan Peterman. *
Buffalo drafted the following players in 2017: Tre'Davious White, Zay Jones, Dion Dawkins, Matt Milano, Nathan Peterman, and Tanner Vallejo. Whether it was offense, defense, or special teams, they each contributed in some capacity.
Kiper added this and applauded a handful of the Bills rookies from a season ago.
As for the picks, first-round cornerback Tre'Davious White started every game and had four interceptions… Dion Dawkins was so good filling in for Cordy Glenn at left tackle that Buffalo traded Glenn and installed Dawkins on the blind side. Linebacker Matt Milano had 43 tackles in limited snaps and looks like a useful day three pick. I liked the pick of wide receiver Zay Jones on day two.
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