I first want to commend Brian and his staff of writers (Kurupt, MatthewRichWarren, and Sireric, etc) as well as everyone else for their tremendous efforts at informing us on draft propspects, news, scouting reports, etc. I feel that going into this draft I'm the most informed I have ever been going into an NFL Draft. Many of us are draft junkies. If you're like me, probably at some point between January and April, you question yourself, "why do I spend so much time on this? Should I get a life? Am I wasting my life on 19-23 year old kids that'll I never meet? What does any of this matter in the end it's the Bills we're talking about here." The head games I play with myself last all spring. Sometimes I think I need a break, but the draft infatuates all of us because this is a great fantasy for all of us. We all envision us calling the shots, what we would do, etc. The whole way the NFL is run is fascinating to me, and the opportunities we have at this blog to get information that you can't find anywhere else, is really what takes the cake for me.
The way the Bills run their organization, if you've followed this site for a while, you'll realize that Dick Jauron, Tom Modrak, Russ Brandon, etc are not perfect, but they are no slouches either. The Bills have constraints financially, marketability, and ultimately because it's Buffalo it's just not a desirable locale for professional athletes. You have to be realistic about the expectations for an organization like the Bills in the day and age we live in. Once you accept that, and accept the fact that Ralph isn't cheap, that the FO wants and is trying desperately to win, and understand the framework with which the Bills have to work with, you can take it for what it is, and truly enjoy the whole process. It's not that Dick Jauron loves burning timeouts, that they wanted Jason Peters to leave, that they don't regret many mistakes, it's that simply they are human and ultimately this organization has not had that "one special player" come to Buffalo to bring us back to our glory days. We are hoping Trent Edwards is that guy...if he's not, Dick Jauron and co. will be on the first Wagon out of town with Edwards as well.
Now a couple of thoughts on the weekend coming up. Here's what Michael Lombardi, my favorite writer on the NFL, and person in general had to say on what he's hearing from the Bills in his Friday Morning Column.
3. Buffalo wants to pick a pass rusher at No. 11 and will try to find a tight end or offensive lineman with the pick from the Eagles.
Hardly earth shattering. The only question is, is anyone besides Ayers on their mind at #11? Orakpo I think is this year's Vernon Gholston. Maybin doesn't seem to fit our scheme. Everette Brown is just too damn stubby for me. Ayers seems to be the pick unless the Bills see Orakpo as someone that could translate to the NFL in year 1. The most likely scenario sees Buffalo taking Robert Ayers and then trying to trade up to get Brandon Pettigrew in the low to mid 20's. However, if Andre Smith falls to 9-10 range, don't be surprised to see if Buffalo can go up and get him.
The 2009 season will be all set up come Monday morning. Draft picks will report to their first mini camp, OTA's will start in May and go through June. The roster will be mostly set, and the coaching staff will be doing all they can to prepare for the Monday nighter in NE. This weekend is the official commencement of the Off-Season, usually the Super Bowl for the Bills. I urge all of you rumblers to just enjoy the weekend. Enjoy having 3 picks on day 1. Enjoy sporting your Bills gear, talking about how much you love T.O., how Dick Jauron's stoic demeanor drives you nuts, and how TE can become the man. 2009 is primed to be a media circus that could indeed blow up in DJ's face. But it also could be a very, very fun ride. Right now it still is. We are still honeymooning with T.O., and the 3 starters we pluck from this draft will again reignite the fanbase.
So soak up the pre-draft hype. The specualation about your favorite team. Get the grill going, down some brews or bourbon, and soak it all up. This is our weekend Bills fans. It's as good as it gets. When Goodell says "The Bills are on the clock" and those juices start flowing, enjoy it. It's going to be a fun ride. I spend every NFL Draft with 10 of my closest buddies, TV in the garage, grill going, a Keg of a local microbrew, and my newly minted T.O. jersey. How do the rest of you plan to spend your NFL Draft Saturday and how pumped are you for Saturday?