1. Peter King’s first round draft advice for the Bills
NBC Sports’ NFL analyst Peter King made his predictions on what each of the 32 teams will do in the first round of this year’s draft in his Football Morning in America column this week. King emphasizes that this is not a mock draft and that these predictions are his best guess at what might happen at this point in the pre-draft process and almost two weeks until the draft begins.
Coaches, general managers and scouts are all beginning to gather and finalize their grades of each player. Players with character issues will be marked as will those with injury risks and they will go over scenarios toward trading down or up. For now, King has only suggestions and will release his official mock in two weeks when he has more of an idea than Kyler Murray number one overall. For the Bills he has them taking Alabama tackle Jonah Williams.
9. Buffalo: Jonah Williams, T, Alabama. Odd. Bills haven’t taken a tackle in the last four drafts, and the last one they took high in a draft with an Alabama guy, the failed Cyrus Kouandjio, five years ago in round two. ... a long-term tackle is still a major need position.
Williams is currently rated as the No. 2 offensive lineman and No. 13 overall prospect in the 2019 NFL Draft, according to CBS Sports. He was a unanimous All-American selection this past season.
2. PFF: How Matt Milano improved in year 2
Matt Milano saw not only an increase in his playing time this season but also his performance. In 2017, Pro Football Focus graded him at a 60.3 which was 58th out of 100 linebackers. This season Milano finished 12th out of 96 qualified linebackers with a 76.2 overall grade. Milano’s snap count also increased from 450 to 741.
Milano’s grades shot up across the board this season. His 77.3 coverage grade is 19 points higher than his rookie season, his run defense went up 5.8 to 68.2 and his overall is 15.9 higher than his rookie season. William Noy from Pro Football Focus wrote the following about Milano’s play in 2018.
This past season, the former BC Eagle allowed 27 catches on 44 targets for 285 yards and two touchdowns to go with three interceptions and an additional four pass breakups; opposing QBs had just a 67.0 passer rating when targeting him in coverage, the third lowest allowed by any of the 98 linebackers who spent at least 100 snaps in coverage last season.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise as Milano was originally a safety before converting to linebacker. He needed a year to adjust to the NFL game.
Milano also showed better production as a pass rusher in year two going from 52nd out of 69 linebackers to 25th out of 65 this season in rankings. In 54 snaps rushing the passer this season Milano had 10 total pressures.
Not every player drafted in the fifth round ends up lasting in the NFL, but as any football fan well knows, there are steals to be found on the third day of each draft, and it looks like the Bills found one in Matt Milano back in 2017.
3. Josh Allen vs. Patrick Mahomes throwing contest?
The on-going debate on “who can throw a ball farther” between Bills quarterback and Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes continued after Mahomes poked the fire at the Rochester Press-Radio Club’s 70th annual Day of Champions Dinner last week.
“Josh is a great dude but no one that I’ve known has been able to throw a ball farther than me," Mahomes said. "I’ve never seen Josh throw in person but maybe next offseason we can set something up (to see who can throw further). Hopefully I can get him to come down to Kansas City, and we can do something for charity. It’s going to take at least 85 yards to win (the throw-off).”