I tried to keep it short
GM - I'm cleaning house (probably). Tough to have strong opinions about other teams' head of scouting or personnel. WNY raised David Caldwell is intruiging and would highlight a decent sized list of interviews along with Doug Whaley.
HC - Pat Fitzgerald. Credit to NordicBillsfan for bringing it up before anybody else here on Rumblings. The new Fitz is a perfect combination of intellectual and fiery sideline leader. He's beyond passionate, an ethical family man and just a truly inspiring human being. I like that he's a former defender, that he could have prolonged a playing career, but chose to go into coaching and that he's a former LB that just so happens to have a high powered and complex offense.
Coordinators - Fitzgerald's choice. Ideally his current OC, Mick McCall is brought on board in some capacity. McCall has produced all-Big10 QB one after the other despite being at Northwestern and he coached Josh Harris and Omar Jacobs at Bowling Green as well.
Re-sign: Byrd and Levitre at basically any cost. I'm not going to bother diving into cap numbers. Kyle Moore is retained as well and getting him under contract before FA starts is a priority.
ERFA: Dorin Dickerson is well worth bringing back to training camp. It'd be an odd decision to not tender him. I'm assuming there are a handful of other ERFAs or practice squad types worth giving futures contracts to (or whatever the terminology is).
I'm interested in bringing Leodis McKelvin back, but I've got the feeling that somebody else is going to really pay him. I'll assume that the contract he ends up with surprises a lot of Bills fans and rationalizes letting him walk.
Any FA not mentioned hits the open market.
Cuts: Ryan Fitzpatrick is the headliner. Not that he wouldn't be a good fit to compete with a rookie or gel well with the new coach. I just want to dump the contract and move towards a new era.
Chris Kelsay for financial reasons and because he's not particularly needed for depth.
Brad Smith because Gailey is gone and he doesn't do enough to justify the financial investment.
I bring Terrence McGee and George Wilson (two not unpopular cuts) back. Rian Lindell as well. Though they are far from locks to make the final roster and I have every intention of acquiring challengers to their roster spots. George Wilson should probably be re-structrured.
Free Agency: No splashes for me. Not because I think it's a bad idea (still a supporter of the Mario Williams contract). I'm just not sure that Buffalo has the money (especially long term flexibility) that I'd desire to make that big move. A big name next year or the year after would likely be part of a longer term plan. I've never liked the "we've got X dollars in cap space, who is the best player available that we can sign for that" approach. I want my finances run with a long term approach. I never, ever want to have to cut a player who I need on the roster because we're in cap trouble.
Matt Moore: I'm paying him more than backup money to compete with a rookie.
FB: I need a solution here and I'm looking to transition towards more of an H-Back. I need a player versatile enough to run block, pass block in multi-back sets and either be useful catching the ball or as an emergency runner.
James Casey is number one on the list, but I've got to assume that Houston retains him. Delanie Walker is option two, but supposedly Harbaugh loves him. Brian Leonard is the most likely FA solution, but this might have to be a late daft pick and hope for the best.
After that, my focus is less on certain players or positions and more on types of players. I'm looking for young, athletic players who have had limited opportunities to show what they're capable of on Sundays. I'm selling a new staff and opportunity. Think players like Kyle Moore, or Chad Rhinehart that hit the market, just from other teams.
Mock drafts always leave me scratching my head. I always wind up wondering if people think the guy they took in the 4th round doesn't provide great value there and that's why they think they're available in the 4th? Or they think that some player should be taken sooner, but for some reason NFL GMs won't? I just don't like deciding who will and won't be available. So I take it out of my hands and mock off other drafts. To not take advantage of bad early mocks, I drafted my first three rounds off the Walterfootball mock and then used Matt Miller's 7 round mock at bleacher report to finish. It added a nice, small challenge because any player taken in the first three rounds of either draft was off my board. I love drafting like this and not looking ahead because of the way it simulates a real draft experience where you can't look at multiple rounds at the same time and see some 4th round CB you like and then go back and decide you don't want to take a CB in round 2 anymore, you'll take a different position that you didn't think was available later.
R1 - Trade Down - I'm officially not buying the QBs of this year. I trade with Dallas who I feel like will trade up because Jerry Jones is crazy town. We swap firsts and swap 3rds and I get their 2nd this year and next year.
On the QBs of the draft, I think Geno Smith is legit. I like Mike Glennon and if Buffalo picks him, I won't complain. But I see a whole lot of average in everything other than arm strength. Ryan Nassib has a severe lack of touch. He doesn't only need to learn to not always throw fastballs, I believe he actually isn't capable of throwing with touch without losing all accuracy. Well below average deep ball when he has to put air under it, IMO.
R1 - Ziggy Ansah, DE, BYU - I traded down, not for a QB, but for Ansah, a different DE, Jonathon Banks or Alec Ogltree. Athletic freak, can be eased in, probably good for Mario to be on the field less. Maybe fewer reps and more time on the sidelines with the DL coach in his ear leads to more consistent play from Williams too.
R2 - Jordan Poyer, CB, Oregon St - Buddy is gone and we can keep working the west. Super Productive, good athlete, good size. I think he can start day one. He'll come in taller than 5'11'' at the combine and I actually read somewhere that he "doesn't have great size". I think average sized guys are maybe starting to become underrated. It's not like he's small. He might end up listed at 6'0'' in the NFL.
R2 - Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas St - Productive and athletic again. I think he can play MLB or he could play weakside.
R3 - Markus Wheaton, WR, Oregon St - Productive (set career marks at OSU), excels on all levels and all areas of the field. Could play outside, inside, return kicks, pretty sharp route runner underneath, good with the ball in his hands, fast enough to play down the field in the NFL.
R4 - Brad Sorenson, QB, Utah Southern - Hey, a QB! Think of this as the Redskins 2 QB plan, just over two years and in reverse. And honestly, Sorenson will be given every chance to go from DII to NFL starter. Not my ideal plan, I just see too many flaws in the early round QBs outside of Geno Smith. #TeddyBridgewater2014. It's part of the reason I wanted to trade down, I want that 2nd round pick next year because I'm betting next year I won't be apprehensive about taking a quarterback. I did like Jake Locker and Ryan Tannehill enough to take in the top 10, so it's not like I'm just too harsh on all QB prospects.
R5 - Zach Line, RB/FB/H-Back, SMU - I'm guessing Line is going to gain popularity as the draft approaches, but I like him because he's not a FB. Not your typical H-Back either, but he can block, carry and catch. Outlandish production.
R6 - Will Davis, Utah St, CB - Completing my apparently all west of the Mississippi Riv draft, I'm surprised to see Davis still on the board. Not the plan to draft two CBs, but you gotta be fluid, especially as the draft moves along.
UND - I'm going hard after a kicker and punter after the draft to compete with Powell and Lindell. This will be a diehard, draft loving, serious Rumbler, type of dream training camp (sadly) with tons of battles for playing time and roster spots.
QB - Matt Moore, Brad Sorenson, ? (maybe a FA like Brian Hoyer, maybe an undrafted like Alex Carder)
RB - Spiller, Jackson, Line
TE - Chandler, ?(hopefully a FA H-Back), Lee Smith
WR - Stevie Johnson, David Nelson, Donald Jones, TJ Graham, Markus Wheaton
DE - Mario Williams, Zig Ansah, Kyle Moore, Mark Anderson
S - Byrd, Searcy, Wilson, FA like David Bruton
It's Powell and Moorman back with the very best undrafted players that I can find to compete with them. I've got to think this looks like a good situation to be in a real competition for any STer who goes undrafted.
A (2 votes)
B (12 votes)
C (8 votes)
D (7 votes)
F (4 votes)
33 total votes