1 - Why Hyde pulled out of the Pro Bowl
Bills safety, Micah Hyde, had to withdraw from playing in the 2018 Pro Bowl. It was the safety's first selection of his career, but he'll have to wait another year to take the field with the NFL's top talents.
Hyde's replacement will be Kevin Byard of the Tennessee Titans. Byard reeled in eight interceptions this season, tying for the most in the league.
Here's part of the Titans statement on their safety being added to the Pro Bowl.
Titans safety Kevin Byard is headed to the Pro Bowl after all. Byard, named All-Pro after tying for the NFL lead with eight interceptions in 2017, was named to the team on Sunday night… Byard and [Brynden] Trawick were initially named Pro Bowl alternates. Byard replaces Bills safety Micah Hyde on the roster.
Though Hyde won't be in action this Sunday at the Pro Bowl, he can reflect on the best campaign of his five-year career. He started all 16 games in the regular season for the first time in his career. In those games, he tallied 82 tackles, 13 passes defended, and five interceptions. Only four players notched more INTs than Hyde this season.
It's unfortunate that he can't participate in his first Pro Bowl, but Hyde can hold his head high just for receiving the recognition.
2 - Bills go QB and DE in CBS Sports' mock draft
CBS Sports just came out with their 2018 NFL mock draft. They're projecting the Bills to take college football's leader in passing yards from 2017 and one of the most sought after edge defenders in the draft.
Here's who CBS Sports has Buffalo selecting with their back-to-back first-round picks.
At 21st overall, they're projecting quarterback Mason Rudolph goes to the Bills. In his senior season at Oklahoma State, he posted 4,904 passing yards, 37 touchdowns, and nine interceptions.
Rudolph was a three-year starter for the Cowboys and had an exceptional career. In 42 games, he recorded 13,618 passing yards, 92 TDs, and 26 INTs.
Here's why CBS has the Bills selecting Rudolph.
Can't move away from this pick. While I do believe the Bills will consider all move-up options, they decide to stay put and land Rudolph without spending any extra selections. He's an experienced pocket passer who possessed all the nuances needed to succeed at the quarterback position.
The Bills switch over to the defensive side of the ball for their 22nd overall pick. They take defensive end, Marcus Davenport, from the University of Texas at San Antonio. This has been Buffalo's selection at 22 in a few different mock drafts.
In four seasons at UTSA, Davenport had 185 tackles, over 37 tackles for a loss, over 21 sacks, eight passes defended, six forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries.
This is CBS' take on their second DE taken in the first-round.
Buffalo's defense overachieved in 2017, and Sean McDermott will likely look to bolster spots up front. Davenport is a freaky outside rusher who, despite playing at a small school, is ready to be a 10-sack player, and he's strong enough to set a strong edge against the run.
These picks make sense for the Bills. Rudolph's big arm could benefit a team that finished 31st in average passing yards per game in 2017. With Davenport, his potential as an elite pass rusher could suit Buffalo, as the team finished 29th in sacks this season.
3 - Benjamin tabbed a top-30 WR
Bills wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin battled injuries throughout the 2017 season. Though Benjamin was rarely 100-percent on game days, he was still labeled a top-30 WR from this season.
Bleacher Report ranked Benjamin the 28th-best outside WR in 2017. Some of the receivers he topped were: Michael Crabtree, Jordy Nelson, and Paul Richardson.
Here's Bleacher Report's analysis of Benjamin.
The 6-5, 245-pound Benjamin has a big body and a large catch radius. He'll never be the quickest receiver, which limits his routes and separation, but the 26-year-old will have the size advantage over every corner that covers him. You'd like crisper, more accurate routes, but he does his job. He's a top No. 2 receiver and red-zone weapon.
In 14 regular season games, Benjamin recorded 48 receptions, 692 yards, and three touchdowns. Eight of those games came in Carolina and six in Buffalo.
Aside from a torn ACL in 2015 that ruined his season, 2017 was the first year Benjamin didn't play in all 16 games. He'll have a full offseason to regain health and return to old form.
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