It's just year two for Kelvin Fisher as the Bills Director of College Scouting. And it's the first year he and his staff of college scouts have worked with new Head Coach Rex Ryan and his staff.
Less than six weeks after Ryan was hired by the Bills, the college scouts have simple instructions from Ryan and the coaches.
Find players. The best players.
Kelvin Fisher, hired by the Bills right after the 2013 draft, when Doug Whaley was elevated to General Manager, says instructions like that from the coaches are exactly what the scouts want to hear.
"What's fun about this coaching staff is that all they want are good players," Fisher said in an appearance on The John Murphy Show at the NFL Combine this week.
"Just bring us good players and it's our job to coach them." Fisher says that was the direction he and his scouting staff got from Ryan. "That approach makes everything easier for you because now you get to evaluate the players. If you like them, you like them. If you don't, you don't," Fisher said.
Fisher says the new Bills coaching staff is confident enough in their own ability that they'll take the best players the scouts can find, and fit them into their scheme.
"They believe if a player is good, they can find a way to play him," according to Fisher. "They're going to find that player's strengths and they're going to play to that player's strength,"
The Bills have needs to fill in the 2015 draft, but like most scouts, Fisher believes the scouting staff has to avoid letting their team's needs influence their player evaluations. The draft board is set up according to grades, he says, not according to what position the team is looking to fill.
"You evaluate them and you place them where you want to place them," Fisher said. "And that's where you have them. If you have a need and that guy's not there, say, in the third round, you got to move on to the next best player on your board. "
Saturday, the NFL Combine on-field focus will be on quarterbacks, wide receivers, and running backs. And the Bills chief college scout was asked what he'll be looking for when he watches the quarterbacks.
"I guess their football, their release," he answered. "As far as receivers, route running. I think that's one of the hardest positions to watch, because the game is so different for those guys."
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