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Some thoughts about the draft

Arm of Harm

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Arm of Harm
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0) Sometimes a draft transforms a franchise. The Bills drafting Josh Allen, the Chargers drafting Justin Herbert. I don't see this draft having the same impact as a draft like that. What I do see is real potential for this to be a good, solid, sensible draft.


1) Brandon Beane said that Elam was the last available player with a first round grade. Assuming Beane's board is accurate, he got a guy who was the best available player and at the position of biggest need. And yes, it's definitely worth it to trade up a little to get a guy like that. Elam looks to be a very significant upgrade over Levi Wallace. Once Tre White is fully healthy, this could easily be the best secondary the Bills have had in a very long time.


2) Even though I'm not normally a guy who wants a RB in the first or second round, I'm happy with the James Cook pick. Normally the biggest disadvantage to a RB is the short career. The norm is the RB not producing at a high level for more than a year or two after his rookie contract. The second objection to an early pick on a RB is that your passing game is significantly more important than your running game. Also, unless your RB's name is Barry Sanders or Jim Brown, your running game's success is going to have more to do with the quality of run blocking than the quality of your running back.


To my mind, both those objections have been credibly addressed with this pick. The Bills are a pass-oriented team. Also it's likely carries will be split between Singletary and Cook. Together, those two factors mean that Cook hopefully won't receive too much punishment, thus prolonging his career. As for the second objection--Cook is more than just a contributor to the running game. He also has serious potential to contribute to the passing game, and is a mismatch if a LB is lined up in coverage against him. You could almost think of Cook as a guy who's 2/3 RB, 1/3 WR.


3) There are differing theories about what Terrel Bernard's ultimate role will be. Eventual replacement to Edmunds. Eventual replacement to Milano. LB #3, for when we actually put three linebackers on the field. A LB/SS hybrid player. A career backup. I don't know which of these theories is correct. What I do know is that Bernard is about the same size as Milano, with a somewhat faster 40 time. So, he has the potential to contribute to this team in some way, shape, or form.


5) Beane and McDermott have found late round gems, such as Gabe Davis and Matt Milano. Khalil Shakir has the potential to be another such gem. Crowder is a one year rental at slot receiver. Depending on how well Shakir does as a rookie, Crowder might find himself crowded out after this year.


6) For the last year, we as Bills fans have been hearing about how important it is for a punter to hold well. If a punter is mediocre at punting, we've been told, you periodically lose out on some of the field position an elite punter could have gotten you. Not ideal, but not terrible. If however your punter is bad at holding, that could easily cost you field goals and extra points. A direct, immediate effect on the scoreboard. That's why Haack was a good fit for the Bills, even though his punting doesn't exactly draw comparisons to Ray Guy. After a year of hearing stuff like that, Beane uses a sixth round pick on a player who's a much better punter than Haack, but who did not hold in college. The conclusion is inescapable: the sole reason Beane drafted Matt Araiza was to mess with our heads.


6) and 7) Christian Benford (DB), Luke Tenuta (OL), Baylon Spector (LB). If any of those guys make the roster as special teams players, that's a win. If any become quality backups, that's a bigger win. It's worth remembering that Brandon Beane's second-best draft pick for the Bills was Wyatt Teller, a 5th round OL. While it's unlikely any of these players is the next Teller, you never know.



Edited by Arm of Harm
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1. Let’s hope he lives up to your forecast.


5. The general consensus is he’s a steal. 

6. Mess with your head maybe …

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Crap Throwing Clavin
12 hours ago, Ann said:

6. Mess with your head maybe …


Really, not a whole hell of a lot to mess with.  

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