Here's the Bills news of note for April 27th
**1 - Thurman to announce Bills 2nd round pick
**It won't be the first time and it probably won't be the last. On day two of the NFL draft, Bills Hall of Famer Thurman Thomas will be announcing Buffalo's second-round selection.
Fellow Hall of Famers Jim Kelly, Bruce Smith and Andre Reed have all announced Bills draft choices in the past. Wall of Famer Phil Hansen has announced a Bills pick too.
Buffalo currently has the 12th pick in round two (44th overall).
Another former Bills player will also be announcing the team's third-round selection. Former safety Bryan Scott will step to the lectern to reveal Buffalo's third-round pick Friday night.
2 - Bills, Vikes face similar 5th year option decisionBased on the progress and playmaking ability of 2014 first-round picks Sammy Watkins and Teddy Bridgewater in their first couple of NFL seasons, the thought of the Bills and Vikings picking up both players' fifth-year options seemed like a no-brainer. Then both players sustained long-term injuries that either compromised or wiped out their 2016 seasons completely. It's made the decision that much more challenging for the Bills and Vikings.
Watkins has had a pair of surgeries on the foot that suffered a Jones fracture in advance of the 2016 season. He's expected to be ready for Bills training camp.
Bridgewater's situation is still very unclear as the club doesn't know for sure if the quarterback will ever be the same player again following his catastrophic knee injury last summer.
The problem likely lies in the language regarding the injury guarantee for fifth-year options. The rules of the fifth-year option state that the fifth-year salary, which for Watkins would be the equivalent of the transition tag next year, would be guaranteed for injury-related termination from the time the club exercises the option.
And that can be for any injury including the one he's currently trying to return from. Even a reoccurrence of his foot injury would be covered under the injury guarantee.
Guaranteeing a top 10 salary at the wide receiver position would be north of $13M. It's understandable as to why that's not an easy call to make knowing Watkins missed eight games last season and wasn't 100 percent in the eight in which he did play.
Coming off his second surgery the hope is that Watkins can return to form and be the dynamic player he is in the passing game. But having to decide whether or not to invest by May 3rd is what makes such a commitment difficult.
We'll know soon enough the direction the Bills elect to take.
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3 - Florida State anyone?NFL.com put together a story recently about the back channels that NFL scouting departments work to get inside information on college prospects. The information they're seeking is type of person these players are knowing they can collect all the information they need about his football playing ability themselves by watching tape.
Scouts establish connections with employees on college campuses, usually connected in some way to the athletic department. Sometimes they have a history with one of the members of the coaching staff and they help each other out.
What this provides is an added measure of confidence to take a player from that particular school if they're getting what they feel is reliable information.
In putting together such preferences NFL.com found that since 2007 the Bills have drafted the most players from any one school with a total of seven from Florida State. What's perhaps even more remarkable is that total has accumulated only over the last five draft classes.
Here are those players in chronological order for the Bills.
2012 - LB Nigel Bradham - 4th round
2012 - OL Zebrie Sanders - 5th round
2013 - QB EJ Manuel - 1st round
2013 - K Dustin Hopkins - 6th round
2015 - CB Ronald Darby - 2nd round
2015 - RB Karlos Williams - 5th round
2015 - TE Nick O'Leary - 6th round