Official pre-draft visits are the final piece of the evaluation puzzle for scouts and general managers. Buffalo Bills’ general manager Brandon Beane seems to prefer players who bring a lot of “white-board” knowledge to their game, so pre-draft visitors to One Bills Drive are likely subjected to another round of off-the-field testing as well as medical re-checks for players who have been flagged. There are strict regulations that must be followed.
“Each team may transport a maximum of 30 draft-eligible players to the team’s home city or another location for a one-day physical examination. These players cannot be timed and tested. Interviews and written tests may be conducted during the visit.”
Each team is only allowed 30 such visits and while they are important, teams can use them for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, prospects are there to provide insider information about certain college teammates. Other times, prospects are brought in as red herrings; by feigning interest in a certain player, teams conceal who they are truly interested in.
Players who reside in a club’s “metropolitan area” can be timed, tested, and given a physical without counting against the 30-player limit. Fortunately for the Bills, 2019 happens to be a year with multiple pro prospects coming out of University at Buffalo, including wide receiver Anthony Johnson, quarterback Tyree Jackson, and linebacker Khalil Hodge.
Last year, both of the team’s first round picks, Josh Allen and Tremaine Edmunds, came in for visits, along with future undrafted free agent Corey Thompson who ended up seeing starting snaps on defense.