1 - Picking the Bills dream draft target
The days are quickly counting down until Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott have to make their decision on the future of the franchise. The ninth overall pick in the upcoming NFL draft has Bills fans and front office members on the edge of their seats on who could potentially fall to them. Bleacher Report identified the dream draft pick for every team.
Buffalo needs to build an offense around Josh Allen. Allen showed himself as a dynamic playmaker throughout his first season, running possibly better than passing. The Bills won’t succeed if Allen has to scramble for his life every play and that’s why the dream pick for them will be offensive tackle Jonah Williams from Alabama.
Chris Trapasso of CBSSports.com believes that Williams is the best offensive lineman and only one prospect who is better than him entirely.
"Williams (currently my No. 2 overall prospect) has started on the edge for the Crimson Tide since his freshman season. He's the opposite of a project, a fundamentally sound technician with plus athleticism and developed strength to deal with every type of pass-rusher. While Nick Saban's club is known for its running prowess, its offense utilizes a plethora of spread concepts."
2 - Bills rookie poised for big sophomore year
The 2018 season ended, and the first season of their career is now in the book for rookies. Josh Allen immediately made an impact to turn the trajectory of the Bills around while Baker Mayfield and Saquon Barkley did the same for the Browns and Giants, respectively. Some rookie performances weren’t as prominent due to playing time, injury or slow starts. As the next season rolls around, Pro Football Focus identified 10 players who are primed for big sophomore seasons, including one Bill.
Robert Foster went from undrafted free agent to no. 2 wide receiver in his first season. Although not eligible, Foster would have led the league with a mark of 20 yards per reception. Over his last seven games, Foster recorded 510 yards receiving on 25 receptions and three touchdowns. All of this was surprising for the receiver who failed to amass that amount as a whole in college.
Allen looked Foster’s way often deep downfield. In Weeks 10-17 – when Foster began to see consistent snaps – he recorded 304 receiving yards on passes 20 or more yards downfield, which ranked fourth in the NFL over those eight weeks, trailing only T.Y. Hilton, Tyreek Hill and Antonio Brown. With one year under the belts of both Allen and Foster, and an offseason to further develop their chemistry, Foster could be primed for a big year as part of the Bills’ passing attack.
3 - Who forced the most incompletions?
It figures that the team that had one of the best pass defenses this past year would also have some of the highest percentages of forcing incompletions in the NFL. Thanks to Pro Football Focus we have the statistics to back it up.
With a minimum of 130 snaps in coverage, five Bills forced incompletions on over 10 percent of their targets. Levi Wallace, Tre’Davious White, Lorenzo Alexander, Matthew Milano and Micah Hyde were some of the best in coverage this year.
Levi Wallace in his first NFL season forced incompletions on 15.8 percent of his snaps while White was just behind him at 15.4 percent. Both percentages point towards the making of a truly dangerous duo at the cornerback position.
The linebacking core stepped up as well with Alexander and Milano both causing incompletions on 13.3 and 11.4 percent, respectively. Hyde had another strong season at safety with 10 percent of snaps forcing incompletions.
Perhaps most encouraging is all five of those players are expected to be back in Buffalo’s starting lineup in 2019.