Bills Today: Panthers LB sees success for McDermott

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Here's the Bills news of note for Jan. 27th.

1 - Panthers LB sees success for McDermottAdd Pro Bowl LB Thomas Davis to the list of players who thinks Sean McDermott is going to have success in Buffalo.

The 33-year-old linebacker told NFL.com after Pro Bowl practice on Thursday that the biggest loss for the Panthers in the offseason was Buffalo's biggest gain.

"I expect (the Bills defense) to be phenomenal," Davis said. "His coaching style, his aggressiveness. When you look at the caliber of athlete they have on that defense, they are going to be really good."

Davis has spent his entire 11-year career in Carolina, and has played under McDermott as his defensive coordinator since 2011. McDermott has helped Davis have some of the best seasons of his career, including 2015. Carolina's defense set several franchise records in route to a 15-1 mark and a Super Bowl appearance. Davis himself was an All-Pro selection and has had at least 100 tackles in the last four seasons.

McDermott certainly has a talented group of Bills linebackers to work with, and Davis is eager to see what his former coach can do in his new role.

"I hated to see him go," Davis said. "Knowing how hard he works and knowing what he's meant for our defenses, I couldn't be happier for him."

**2 - 'Bama LB Anderson leaning on Reggie Ragland

**As Reggie Ragland continues to rehab his torn ACL that he suffered in training camp last summer, one of his closest friends is getting ready to follow in his footsteps.

Ryan Anderson, a teammate of Ragland's at Alabama, was showing off for scouts at this week's Senior Bowl. The outside linebacker is projected to go in the second round and is one of many former Crimson Tide players that could again be making an immediate impact in the NFL.

While the Bills certainly have more pressing needs than outside linebacker, Anderson is still looking to amaze everyone in attendance.

"You can judge a guy by the underwear Olympics at the combine or you can put the film on and go look at the player," he said. "When the lights come on I'm coming to play. I don't care how many stars (my opponent) has on. I don't care what his stats are like. He's going to have to beat me."

The senior had his best collegiate season in 2016, with eight sacks, 61 tackles and an interception return for a touchdown against Washington in the College Football Playoff Semifinal.

Unfortunately for Anderson, he suffered a thumb injury earlier in the week at practice, but is still hoping to play in the game on Saturday.

When Ragland was rehabbing his injury in Tuscaloosa, he spent a lot of time with Anderson—even crashing at the linebacker's house.

"Reggie is like a brother to me," Anderson said. "He and I spent a lot of time together this season with him coming back and forth from Buffalo. He stayed with me a lot of times when he'd come into town. We texted back and forth just the other day about this process and what to expect."

Anderson said that Ragland is planning to make an appearance at the Senior Bowl sometime this week, back where he was a year ago.

Anderson also told the media a tidbit that should make Bills fans very optimistic heading into the offseason.

"Nobody wants to go through that," he said of Ragland's rehab. "It was definitely tough for him, but I feel he handled it well. He's just about back. He's been working hard, keeping his weight down and he's about ready to come back and play man."

3 - Mock draft goes Texas Tech QB for BillsWith Senior Bowl practice in full swing this week, the mock drafts are also starting to heat up.

The latest media member to take a crack at Buffalo's selections in the first round is Robert Molnar of Yahoo! Sports, who narrowed it down to three options.

The first is at a position that the Bills may take an even longer look at with Cyrus Kouandijo out until training camp: right tackle.

The weakest link on the line last year is certainly in need of an upgrade, and Molnar thinks the Bills could target Ryan Ramczyk of Wisconsin.

"One of the best left tackles in college football last season, Ramcyzk had a different college career than most," Molnar wrote. "Attending UW-Stevens Point for his first two years, Ramcyzk sat out his junior year when he transferred to the University of Wisconsin. However, that season off did nothing to damper his on field performances."

Ramcyzk was named First Team All-Big 10 last season and was a First Team All-American.

The only knock on him is that he had hip surgery after the season and is expected to be sidelined until early-May.

The next possibility, according to Molnar, is Derek Barnett, a defensive end for Tennessee.

"Going pro after his junior season, Barnett was a starter for the Volunteers since his freshman year on campus," Molnar wrote. "Eventually passing Reggie White for most sacks in school history, Barnett has a major pedigree behind him following these excellent seasons in college. Barnett also possesses the ability to stop ball carriers making him an all-around defensive end."

He had 52 tackles for a loss and 32 sacks in 39 games for the Volunteers.

Molnar said that despite his first two options on each side of the ball, he still expects Buffalo to select a quarterback with their first round pick. Because Molnar thinks Deshaun Watson may be gone before the Bills pick, he focused on a different passer.

"The second quarterback on my radar is Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes," Molnar wrote. "A gunslinger in the true sense of the word, Mahomes knows how to chuck the ball downfield at least 40-50 times a game. Having a strong run game will only help in his development. If the Bills are looking for someone that likes to throw the football, Mahomes is their guy."

Mahomes threw 77 touchdowns over the past two seasons for Texas Tech and led the country in yards per game, passing yards and total touchdowns in 2016. For his performance, he won the Sammy Baugh Trophy, awarded to the nation's top quarterback.

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