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Buffalo Bills news, 4/28: 2013 NFL Draft picks, analysis

Buffalo added some special teams impact and speed on both sides of the ball on Day 3 of the 2013 NFL Draft.

Matt Warren is Associate Director of NFL coverage for SB Nation and previously covered the Bills for Buffalo Rumblings for more than a decade.

Draft Recaps

2013 Buffalo Bills Draft Class -
"A quick paragraph on each member of the 2013 Buffalo Bills draft."

Buddy Nix, Doug Marrone comment on Bills 2013 Draft -
"Bills GM Buddy Nix and head coach Doug Marrone recap the Bills 2013 draft."

Russ Brandon: "I’m very pleased with what’s been done to date" -
"Bills President/CEO Russ Brandon comments at the conclusion of the 2013 NFL Draft."

Speed and versatility personified in Bills draft class -
"As an offensive lineman, Marrone was anything but fast. The Buffalo Bills however, were quick to add speed to their roster with each of their eight draft picks over the past three days. That along with a priority on player versatility has bolstered Buffalo’s roster with talent that will not only be hard to catch, but difficult to diagnose."

Bills Roundup: Draft Day Three Recap - VIDEO -
"Chris Brown and John Murphy take a closer look at Buffalo's four picks on day three of the draft and examine which quality was found in all 8 of this year's selections."

Evaluating Buffalo Bills' draft - VIDEO -
"Stanford coach David Shaw joins the NFL Total Access panel to evaluate the Buffalo Bills' draft class."

WGR 550 SportsRadio - Bills Go Safety In 4th And 5th Rounds; Kicker In The 6th
Quick hits on each of the draft picks from Day 3.

Bills think safety first at draft’s end - Sports - The Buffalo News
Jay Skurski profiles the Bills' fourth and fifth round picks, safeties Duke Williams and Jonathan Meeks.

Jerry Sullivan: Bills’ draft reflects Marrone’s need for speed - The Buffalo News
"So what did I think of the Bills’ draft? Promising. I promise to revisit it later with a more informed opinion. A more immediate reaction? The new coach, Doug Marrone, wants his team to play fast and score a lot of points."

Video: Day Three of NFL Draft - Press Coverage | The Buffalo News
"News Sports Reporters Tim Graham, Jay Skurski and Mark Gaughan discuss rounds four through seven of the draft:"

Duke Williams

S Williams, Buffalo's first pick on Day 3 -
"There’s a lot of things to like about Duke," said Bills scout Brad Forsyth. "Probably first and foremost how tough and physical he is as a player. You like his aggressiveness on the field. He likes to come down the alley and hit people, but he’s also got instincts and awareness." Video of Forsyth's interview also available.

Duke Williams: "I was really versatile [at Nevada]" -
Duke Williams comments on joining the Bills. Transcript and audio.

Inside The Bills | S Williams has some nasty to him
Here's a video of Williams laying the wood.

Bills drawn to Duke Williams' aggressiveness, versatility - Press Coverage | The Buffalo News
"He is a guy that really has a good feel back there. He really has a quick recognition of things and he gets after the ball well."

Bills draft Duke Williams, another defender with suspensions - Press Coverage | The Buffalo News
Tim Graham found this article on Williams' maturation from Freshman suspensions to senior leader. Worth a look.

Jonathan Meeks

Bills double up at safety with Meeks in round 5 -
"Yes, I think he can be a strong safety or free safety," said Moody. "I think he has got good size and good range. He has got a good 40-time. I think he can be explosive. The thing is his stats are probably not as good as some other people because of the system that they played at Clemson this year. He was more of a free safety than the strong safety because the other safety did not run real well." Video of Moody on Meeks, as well.

Jonathan Meeks: "I just fell in love with the defense" -
Meeks comments on being drafted by the Bills. Audio and transcript of his conference call.

Bills draft safeties in numbers, take Jonathan Meeks in fifth round - Press Coverage | The Buffalo News
Asked to elaborate about how the Bills' defense would suit him, Meeks replied, "It's just a smart, aggressive defense, and as a player that's what you love."

Dustin Hopkins

6th round K Hopkins another FSU alum -
"Hopkins we thought was the best kicker around," said Bills GM Buddy Nix. "Again coach has said that he wants a competition at every position and we think that makes you better and so we brought this guy in. He’s a good kickoff guy and he’s an excellent field goal kicker and we’ll let them compete."

Dustin Hopkins: "I’m confident in what I can do" -
Hopkins talks with the media after being drafted. Audio and transcript.

Inside The Bills | Kicker Hopkins can pump iron
"Most kickers skip the bench press entirely. Hopkins had an impressive 20 reps on the bench. That was more than all but two of the wide receivers at the Combine and more than all but two of the cornerbacks in Indianapolis. He also out benched all but four of the safeties at the NFL Combine."

Selection of sixth-round kicker a bad sign for Rian Lindell - Press Coverage | The Buffalo News
"Hopkins made 22 of his 33 field goals from 40 to 49 yards and nine of his 15 attempts from 50 yards or longer over his college career. He made five of his six tries from at least 50 yards last year, connecting on a career-long of 56 yards."

Kicking competitions coming to AFC East - AFC East Blog - ESPN
"Meanwhile, veteran kicker Rian Lindell has been a staple in Buffalo for nine seasons. His accuracy remains solid. But at 36, Lindell's leg strength is diminishing. Hopkins comes to Buffalo as the NCAA's all-time leading scorer. Most importantly, Hopkins has a strong leg, which is needed in Buffalo's inclement weather for field goals and kickoffs. Similar to Carpenter, Lindell also could become a salary-cap casualty."

Bills, Dolphins going young at kicker? | ProFootballTalk
"Both teams have financial and football reasons to consider going with a rookie kicker in 2013. The Bills’ incumbent kicker, Rian Lindell, is slated to make $2.1 million in 2013 and 2014 and $2.2 million in 2015, according to Rotoworld figures."

2013 NFL Draft: Breaking down winning and worrisome picks -
Elliot Harrison calls Dustin Hopkins his favorite late-rounder.

Chris Gragg

Chris Gragg: "I knew I was the most explosive tight end" -
Gragg comments on being drafted by the Bills. Transcript and audio.

Bills cap draft with TE-H-back Gragg -
"Man it was a long wait," said Gragg of being taken in the seventh round. "They were telling me my talent was second or third round (caliber), but the wait came to Buffalo and I couldn’t be more excited."

Inside The Bills | Gragg recovered from knee injury
"Bills seventh round pick Chris Gragg is a TE-H-back type out of Arkansas who had a knee injury, but showed he recovered from it in pre-draft testing at the NFL Combine."

Bills snag Arkansas TE Chris Gragg in the seventh round - Press Coverage | The Buffalo News
"Gragg caught 72 passes for 1,003 yards and seven touchdowns in 43 games. He sat out the 2009 season as a medical redshirt because of a knee injury and was hampered by a leg injury last year."

Undrafted free agency bits

Inside The Bills | FB Gaskins says he’s a Bill
"University of Richmond FB Kendall Gaskins is the latest undrafted rookie free agent to announce that he’s agreed to sign with the Bills."

Inside The Bills | C Ryan Turnley indicates he’s a Bill
"Turnley (6’6″ 320) was a two-year starter at center for the Panthers and spent a year at left guard as a sophomore. He’s a Hopewell, Pennslyvania native."

Inside The Bills | ‘Cuse G Chibane says now with Buffalo
"Chibane (6’6″ 298) is a three-year starter at guard for the Orange as he made 38 straight starts."

Inside The Bills | WR Da’Rick Rogers says he’s a Bill
"He’s the most polished of those three Tennessee receivers in my opinion in terms of route running and all that," said Bills scout Tom Roth in reference to Cordarrelle Patterson and Justin Hunter, who Rogers played with at Tennessee before finishing up at Tech. "He reminds me physically of Eric Moulds, that body type. That’s what I thought when I saw him. A big, physical, muscular guy. Explosive. He had a 39-inch vertical. He ran a 4.48 at the Combine. He’s got all the physical stuff."

Inside The Bills | WR Norell: I’m a Bill
"Norell is coming off a monster season for the Sea Wolves as he posted 63 catches for 1,388 yards and 15 touchdowns last year. Perhaps his 63-yard touchdown against Syracuse last season had an influence on Bills head coach Doug Marrone. Norell actually began his college career at Washington State."

Inside The Bills | QB Jeff Tuel says he’s a Bill
"When the 2013 NFL draft ended there were three quarterbacks that made pre-draft visits to One Bills Drive that went undrafted. One of them has reportedly agreed to join the team as an undrafted rookie free agent."

Bills sign undrafted QB Jeff Tuel and WR Brandon Kaufman - Press Coverage | The Buffalo News
"They should've been drafted," Foster said. "They're a little disappointed. I felt Jeff should have been a fifth- or sixth-round pick, but unfortunately it shook out the way it did."

Report: Bills to sign notable UFA in ex-Tennessee WR Da'Rick Rogers - Press Coverage | The Buffalo News
"Rogers has ideal size (6-foot-2, 217 pounds) and speed (4.44 40 time), but comes with significant baggage. He was kicked out of Tennesseee after failing multiple drug tests. He played last season at Tennessee Tech, where he had 78 receptions for 1,207 yards and 11 touchdowns."

Bills sign troubled WR Da’Rick Rogers | ProFootballTalk
"If the problems are behind him, they might have found a steal. If not, he’ll be discarded with most of the rest of the slappies who are signed after the draft, wasting a promising talent."

More clicks

AFC East draft analysis - AFC East Blog - ESPN
James Walker calls E.J. Manuel the riskiest pick from the AFC East teams in the 2013 draft.

Buffalo Bills QB EJ Manuel 2013 NFL Draft interview - NFL Videos
"EJ Manuel, the Buffalo Bills' 16th overall draft pick, stops by the "NFL Draft Xtra" set to discuss his emotional reaction to draft night."

Robert Woods to Buffalo - Conquest Chronicles
"I really couldn't be happier for Woods. Given his ankle injury and given how he was used this past season I think it is great that he was picked as high as he was."