An Interview with Drew Mayes, The Arbiter

Bills rookie TE Derek Schouman

In our final interview with draft-related sources, Buffalo Rumblings today examines seventh-round pick TE Derek Schouman with the help of Drew Mayes. Drew is the Editor-in-Chief of The Arbiter, Boise State's independent student newspaper, and he also has his own Boise State football blog as well. He has covered the Boise State football team for The Arbiter and experienced first-hand the incredible season that the Broncos had last year. Drew was gracious enough to answer my questions about Schouman; his answers appear below.

Buffalo Rumblings: Schouman is a bit undersized for a tight end by NFL standards, but the Bills drafted him to play H-Back. How is Schouman as a run blocker? Will he be a liability in the run game? How gifted is Schouman as a receiver? Do you think he can earn playing time in a Bills offense that lacks receiving explosiveness from the tight end position?

Drew Mayes: Boise State running back and Heisman finalist Ian Johnson ran for over 1,600 yards last year so that should tell you a little bit about Derek Schouman as a run blocker. Granted, Boise State had a tremendous offensive line last year, but Schouman was a big part of that.

I think Schouman showed flashes of what he can do in the Fiesta Bowl against the University of Oklahoma when he led all receivers with 8 receptions for 72 yards and a touchdown that was thrown by a backup running back. I have no doubt Schouman can earn playing time down the line in the Bills' offense and believe a few years from now he'll be looked at as great value pick for Buffalo.

BR: The Bills are a team that prides itself on bringing high-character guys into the organization. How do you rate Schouman's work ethic and his ability to find a "niche" on a team? What were your impressions of him as a teammate at Boise State?

Drew Mayes: I wasn't his teammate, but I did cover several of his games as a reporter and never witnessed or heard of him being a problem guy. Boise State coach Chris Petersen is very much into high-character team first guys so I don't believe Schouman will have any problem fitting that mold.

BR: What concerns you most about Schouman's transition to the NFL level? How do you think playing on a championship college team will help that process?

Drew Mayes:The only red flag with Schouman is after a fantastic freshman season he had some injury issues that slowed him down until probably his senior year. But once again, I think he really showed flashes of what he could do in the Fiesta Bowl. Boise State does not win that game without Schouman's performance.

This guy will be a steal for Buffalo if he can stay healthy.

**********

Couldn't have said that last part better myself. I continue to be excited by Schouman's abilities and the promise of the newly installed H-Back position in Buffalo's offense; I really think guys like Schouman and Brad Cieslak are cut out for this role and can excel as dual threats out of the backfield for J.P. Losman.

A big thanks goes out to Drew for this great first-hand information!

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