Editor’s note: Say hello to Chelo Felice, aka @ConseuloBurrito on Twitter. Chelo will be handling news updates here on the blog, with the occasional opinion column here and there when inspiration strikes. Be sure to give her a follow!
The 2012 NFL draft finished up with a bang last week. After a record number of trades (none from Buffalo) and a very quick pace on the first day, most teams settled in to “business as usual”. A few exceptions:
The Patriots traded up, not once, but twice
The Jaguars drafted a punter in the 3rd round
The Washington Redskins drafted not only QB Robert Griffin III (as expected), but also QB Kirk Cousins
The Bills themselves did well in the draft, earning a nod for “best draft” from NFL Network’s Michael Lombardi for their picks. Several of the players have already caught #BillsMafia fever, including Tank Carder (@tankcarder), whose fiancee is also tweeting with the #BillsMafia hashtag, and Stephon Gilmore (@BumpNRunGilm0re), who is pretty active on Twitter. Most pundits say that TJ Graham, the WR taken in the 3rd round, has speed but was taken too early. However, since the Bills no longer have a speedy threat with the departure of Roscoe Parrish, Graham could be exactly what the Bills need in tandem with Stevie Johnson and company.
On the sad farewells side of things, Drayton Florence, the veteran cornerback, was released by the Bills on May 4th. This not only frees up space in the suddenly crowded defensive roster (which includes cornerback draftee Ron Brooks), but also frees up Florence’s $4 million salary. On his Twitter account, Florence only said “Business is business” and threw a shout out “thanks” to #BillsMafia.
The next big day for the Bills will come during the rookie mini-camp running from May 11 – 14. Rookies, undrafted free agents, and tryout players will all converge on Ralph Wilson stadium to compete for a spot on the 90-man roster. (For more information, see Joe Buscaglia’s WGR550 article).
Matt Williamson (@WilliamsonNFL) still ranked the Bills in the bottom half in his preliminary power rankings on May 4th, but ranked the Patriots first. James Walker, however, who writes specifically for the AFC East for ESPN, has the Bills at 16 and calls them his sleeper pick. Could this be the year the Bills finally shock and shut up the pundits for good?
Stevie Johnson finally had minor groin surgery to correct the injury he suffered at the end of the season last year. It is believed to be minor and, per his Twitter, he is already at the facility watching tape and missing being out in practice.
Vince Young, former QB of the Tennessee Titans and Philadelphia Eagles was brought in to One Bills Drive for a workout with the Bills’ coaching staff. Afterwards, Young took to Twitter to thank the organization and Buddy Nix specifically for the opportunity. No deal was signed.
Around the rest of the league, the news of Junior Seau’s suicide by a gunshot wound to the chest left the NFL community stunned and in mourning. There was a moment of silence for him on 5/5 at 5:55 pm. Seau suffered numerous concussions in his career and that, combined with a recent divorce, is believed to be part of his reason for suicide. His family is considering donating his brain to science for study.
Terrell Suggs (Ravens linebacker) tore his Achilles tendon and could be out for the entire season, greatly weakening the vaunted Ravens’ defense.
One final “human interest” note. Undrafted QB Alex Tanney has been invited to rookie camp, largely on the strength of an amazing YouTube video showing Tanney putting a football into some pretty unlikely targets. You can see the video yourself. Tanney has a great record, but comes from a tiny Division 3 school. He threw 157 TDs, less than one interception per game, and passed for 14,249 yards. He’ll still have to fight for a spot on the squad at rookie camp with the likes of Aaron Corp. The rest of us will just have to wait and see.
Bills Mafia Blog