The Bills college scouting staff is close to the finish line on a year's worth of work. They've traveled the miles, watched the tape and measured and timed any prospect worth his salt in this year's draft class. They've done the heavy lifting, but there's a role that's played by Bills head coach Doug Marrone and his assistants.
Bills GM Buddy Nix makes it a practice of his to have coaches put together reports on draft prospects and provide any input as it relates to their offensive or defensive schemes.
"Working closely with Buddy and just seeing how he handles everything we've all had great communication and been on the same page on a lot of things," said Bills head coach Doug Marrone. "Just trying to see what he's looking for as far as the roster and the personnel moves. Fortunately, Buddy has asked us in the coaching staff to do some write-ups. That's great. It's an honor because at the end of the day, we're coaches and whoever's on the roster, our job is to coach them and win football games. To be able to write a report and have it be part of the process is something that I have a lot of respect for, because our scouts do a great job."
Being a new staff with a good portion of them coming from the college ranks, the Bills have the added advantage of a group of coaches with intimate knowledge of certain college prospects at Syracuse, in the Big East conference and elsewhere.
"I think the players that were with me at Syracuse, obviously we have a great deal of information on them," said Marrone. "I think the players that were in our conference or the players that we played, having studied them, we know them. If you have an advantage, you want to keep it."
What's been refreshing for Buffalo's scouting department is the Bills coaches have not put a specific description on the type of players they need at any position.
"The good thing about this offense and this defense that these guys are going to use is they can adapt to what the player can do," said Nix. "So we're not going to draft a player to fit a mold that we think with this offense. They're going to adjust the offense to what the quarterback can do or what an offensive tackle can do. I think it has that much flexibility. I was impressed with that on both sides of the ball, and that makes the job a little easier for us."
"As far as how we've been getting along and communicating, it's been outstanding," said Marrone. "To be able to work with the personnel departments where you can give an opinion, that's something as a coach I've always appreciated that. Buddy (Nix) and Doug Whaley have done a great job in providing that opportunity."