Here is the Bills news of note for May 11th.
1.PFF has high draft grade for UDFA Marquavius Lewis
The Bills recently signed Marquavius Lewis, an undrafted free agent, who played on the defensive line for the University of South Carolina. Lewis played there for two seasons and started every single game for the Gamecocks.
In his senior season, he was chosen to be one of only four team captains. While Lewis doesn't stand out on the stat sheet (only 48.0 tackles, 5.0 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks his senior season), Pro Football Focus had some encouraging grades on the young prospect:
- Lewis finished 2016 with a 77.7 overall grade, and he ranked third among draft-eligible edge defenders with an 88.5 run-defense grade.
- Lewis' 7.1 run-stop percentage ranked eighth among 4-3 draft eligible defensive ends; his 22 total run stops ranked 10th.
- Lewis ranked 39th out of 61 qualified draft-eligible 4-3 defensive ends with a 6.9 pass-rush productivity rating in 2016 (PRP measures pressure created on a per-snap basis with weighting toward sacks). Lewis tallied 28 total pressures on 314 pass-rush attempts last season.
Marquavius Lewis projects to play the defensive tackle position in the NFL and is a name to follow, as he tries to earn a spot on the roster for the upcoming season.
2. Bleacher Report: Every NFL Team's best UDFA signing
Bleacher Reports, Brent Sobleski, recently broke down every single teams best-undrafted free agent signing. After the NFL draft finished up, the Bills announced that they had signed 13 undrafted free agents.
Most undrafted free agents come in with a chip on their shoulder after not being selected in the 7-round NFL draft and often have to prove themselves a little more before making an NFL 53-man roster.
Here is whom Sobleski mentions as the best Bills UDFA signee:
*Buffalo Bills: Punter Austin Rehkow
"Punters, field position and hidden yardage aren't given the attention each deserves in regards to a team's overall success. The cliche states, "Special teams are a third of the game." As many times as it's been said, most on the outside think of it as little more than lip service. *
The Buffalo Bills finished 30th in net punting average last year. Colton Schmidt finished 22nd overall in punts within the 20-yard line. Of the 23 punters with 60 or more punts last year, none forced fewer fair catches than Schmidt's eight last season.
*All of this points toward change, even though the Bills extended a restricted free-agent tender to Schmidt in the offseason, which he signed. *
*But the team acquired Idaho punter Austin Rehkow after the draft. Rehkow was the top-rated punter in this year's class. In four seasons, the big-legged specialist averaged 44.4 yards per punt. He also served as Idaho's kicker and kickoff specialist. *
3. NFL.Com: The most impactful offseason moves
NFL.Com's media columnist, Adam Schein, recently wrote the 'NFL’s most impactful offseason moves' There have been a lot of changing parts for the Bills as they parted ways with general manager, Doug Whaley, and have a brand new head coach in Sean McDermott.
The Buffalo Bills chimed in at No. 9 on that list and here is what Schein had to say:
9) Bills gain discipline
Are the Bills going to be good this year? Here's a hot take: I don't know. The roster is still leaky, thanks to the faux pas of former general manager Doug Whaley. But with Rex Ryan out and Sean McDermott in, there will be toughness and accountability. The Bills won't shoot themselves in the foot with mind-numbing penalties. Buffalo will resemble a football team that the long-suffering fans in lovely Western New York will be proud of.
The longest playoff drought in the NFL might not end in 2017 -- but this franchise is in much better hands than it used to be.