1. The biggest reason Bryan Cox Jr. is excited to play in Buffalo
He missed head coach Sean McDermott in Carolina by a year. Bryan Cox Jr. signed with the Panthers as an undrafted rookie defensive end in 2017, just a few months after McDermott took the Bills head coaching job. But the level of familiarity in Buffalo has their newest defensive lineman excited about signing with the Bills.
"I'm 100 percent excited for this opportunity to play with the Buffalo Bills," Cox said. "I feel really great about this opportunity. I like the direction this team is going in. I feel like they got a really good roster."
Cox is the third free agent defensive lineman who has spent a good portion of his career in Carolina to sign with the Bills this offseason, joining DE Mario Addison and DT Vernon Butler. Cox spent his first two seasons with the Panthers before he was waived last November and finished the 2019 campaign with Cleveland.
But he's happy to be reunited with his former Carolina line mates in Buffalo.
"Those are two hard-working guys. They come from the same system that we were using in Carolina," Cox said of Addison and Butler. "We had a really tough coach who instilled in us the fundamentals of pass rush and the fundamentals of D-line play so I feel like we all come from the same tree. We all bring that same juice and energy together."
And that defensive line coach will now be coaching Buffalo's defensive line as Eric Washington was hired this offseason. Washington is a guy who Cox believes brings out the best in him as a player.
"He took me in as an undrafted free agent coming out of college so I have the utmost respect for coach Washington," said Cox. "He believed in me when nobody else did. Just the type of coach he is. He's a very thorough, on-point type of coach and he takes a really different approach to the game than a lot of different coaches. I feel it really was beneficial to me in my first couple of years. So that was something that I want to get back with and you know finish the process."
Teammates he knows walking in the door, the defensive line coach with whom he began his professional career and the same defensive scheme. Cox is just looking forward to catching up with his old crew.
"I haven't got a chance to really talk with them," he said. "I just let both of them know I'll be joining them. That was cool to do."
2. Gabe Davis ready to work with this veteran and his fellow rookies
The report on Bills fourth-round pick Gabe Davis is that he's dedicated to his craft as a wide receiver. In fact, right after getting drafted last Saturday, he had to go run routes to "clear his head and get some work in." So it was no surprise to learn that in an effort to master Buffalo's offensive playbook he called Bills veteran receiver John Brown.
"I reached out to him and he replied with nothing but open arms," said Davis in an appearance on ‘One Bills Live.’ "He's been around a lot of great receivers and he probably feels it's his turn to return the favor and look out for a younger guy. I feel like he's going to do just that and I already know we're going to have a great relationship moving forward."
Brown, who was tutored as a rookie in Arizona by Larry Fitzgerald, was a valuable mentor for young receivers Robert Foster and Duke Williams in 2019.
But in what is shaping up to be a very different offseason, Brown will be working with Davis, at an appropriate social distance, as the rookie receiver will be making the four-and-a-half-hour drive from his home in Sanford, Florida, to Brown's hometown of Homestead.
"I've been working out, but I plan on moving down south to be around John Brown for a few weeks and getting the system down and learning some things from him," said Davis. "He's a great receiver who has been a part of this offense. He knows a lot about the game. A great mentor to have so I'll be working with him the next couple of weeks."
Davis has also set up an online playbook study group with fellow draft classmates, Isaiah Hodgins and Jake Fromm knowing their positions are interconnected.
"We were talking on the phone about getting a schedule for all these installs," said Davis. "Me and Isaiah being receivers and obviously Fromm being a quarterback has to know the whole system and all the ins and outs. His knowledge of the system is more complex and to have his point of view around is something that will definitely help us out."
3. ESPN's Mel Kiper picks Zack Moss as one of 15 instant impact rookies
ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper put together his post-draft list of instant impact rookies. Making the list of 15 players was Bills third-round pick Zack Moss. Here was Kiper’s reasoning on Moss' likelihood of playing a significant role in Buffalo's offense.
I was surprised to see Moss still on the board in the third round, and the Bills picked up my fifth-ranked running back to play the Frank Gore role next to Devin Singletary who was picked in the third round a year ago. Moss had eight games with 100 rushing yards last season but also showed some receiving skills, catching 28 passes and averaging 13.9 yards per reception. For as good as Singletary was as a rookie, he had only two rushing touchdowns, so it could be Moss who gets the carries inside the 10-yard line. This is a really strong tandem to help Josh Allen, who enters a critical Year 3.
Moss was one of just three running backs on the list along with the Chiefs' Clyde Edwards-Helaire and the Cardinals' Eno Benjamin.