Astro’s Scouting The Scouts

Photo of Terrance Gray from

The Bills’ scouts have been busy this year. Since late August, they have been attending the games of dozens of teams. What games the scouts went to, how often they scouted each team, and where Brandon Beane and Ass’t. GM Joe Schoen have gone has been very telling.

This year, I decided to go a few steps further, and analyzed video and box scores of each attended game. I’ve tried to guess which players might have caught the scouts’ eyes.

Photo of Wyoming’s SS Andrew Wingard from

8-25-18 Wyoming 29 – New Mexico St 7 Highlight Video | Box Score

My first thought was they’re looking at EDGE Carl Granderson, but he was less impressive (0 tkl, 2 asst) than two of Granderson’s teammates. Redshirt senior RB Nico Evans carried the ball for Wyoming 24 times for 190 yards and two touchdowns, averaging a whopping 7.9 yards per carry. In fact, Evans logged more rushing yards in his first game of his final season than he had in his first three seasons combined. He finds the hole quickly and bursts through it with acceleration. He had some rib injuries this season, but still managed to rush for 1,325 yards this year. Evans is a Day 3 prospect at a position you’d hope the Bills would fill before the end of April. The other standout was SS Andrew Wingard. If you watch the highlights above, you’ll notice that Wingard plays like Bills safeties do. Wingard ended up with 1 tackle and one assist. Those were only two of the 454 tackles he’s made in his 4-year Wyoming career, along with 25 tackles for loss. Expect Wingard to be one of the Bills’ RD5 picks.
Best Guess: SS Andrew Wingard, Wyoming, RD5A
Second Guess: RB Nico Evans, Wyoming, PFA

Last Guess: EDGE Carl Granderson, RD5B

Photo of Oklahoma’s WRS Marquise Brown from

9-8-18 Oklahoma 49 – UCLA 21 Highlight Video | Box Score

WRS Marquise Brown (4 for 88, 22.0 ypc) certainly looked like the star of the show, making some catches look effortless. Don’t write off a selection of UCLA TE Caleb Wilson (4 for 92, 23.0 ypc), an excellent route-runner who can create separation as he did in this game. You know the Cardinals will give him a look, as he was a favorite target of Josh Rosen. OLB Caleb Kelly had 1 tackle and 3 assists. Impressed Less: RB Trey Sermon (7 for 13 yds) was a nonfactor, and is likely returning to school. RB Rodney Anderson (6 for 19 yds, now out for season) wasn’t his old self.

Best Guess: WRS Marquise Brown, RD2  Second Guess: TE Caleb Wilson, RD2/3 

Third Guess: RB Rodney Anderson RD5A Last Guess: OLB Caleb Kelly, RD5

Photo of LSU’s ‘Greedy’ Williams from

9-15-18 Auburn 21 – LSU 22 Highlight Video | Box Score

Early in the season, Levi Wallace’s league-leading QBR-Against rating made cornerback a prime need. CB Greedy Williams (2 tkl, INT) is one of several corners that could serve as the complement to Tre White, the player Greedy idolized in school. LB Devin White (5 tkl, 3 asst) was top tackler in this close contest. DE Rashard Lawrence (3 tkl) is doing the right thing by returning to school. WR Darius Slayton (3 for 33 yds) puts the ball away quickly on Stidham’s deep passes; you could definitely see Slayton as a nice depth option for Josh Allen.

Best Guess: CB Greedy Williams, RD1
Second Guess: LB Devin White, RD1

Last Guess: WR Darius Slayton, RD6

Photo of Buffalo’s WR Anthony Johnson from

9-22-18 Buffalo 42 (Rutgers 13) Highlight Video | Box Score

WR Anthony Johnson (2 for 101 yds) did well against Rutgers, and with a notable Senior Bowl performance he could easily climb from his current RD5 slot. Johnson hasn’t played AP-ranked teams to pull him up to, say, RD3. Top tackler and on my 5-LB “Short List” was the Bulls’ MLB Khalil Hodge (6 tkl, 9 asst) who always seems to be everywhere. Impressed Less: Another Senior Bowl invitee, QB Tyree Jackson (14 for 28, 3 TD, 2 INT), had a “meh” day. The only prospect on Rutgers was CB Blessuan Austin, who suffered a second ACL tear one game after returning from the first. He’d be a UDFA or a Day 3 flier.

Best Guess: MLB Khalil Hodge RD3
Second Guess: WRF Anthony Johnson RD5B or higher… stay tuned

Last Guess: QB Tyree Jackson RD3 or higher… stay tuned

Photo of Georgia’s WR Riley Ridley from and USATODAY.

9-22-18 Georgia 43 – Missouri 29 Highlight Video | Box Score

Lots for the scout to see here: WR/KR Mecole Hardman (PR 1 for 23, KR 3 for 91), WR Riley Ridley (5 for 87, 17.4, 1 TD), RB Elijah Holyfield (14 for 90, 6.4 ), OLB D’Andre Walker (4 tkl, 2 sacks) , SS JR Reed (6 tkl, 2 asst). CB Deandre Baker (6 tkl, 1 asst). For Missouri, I think TE Albert Okwuegbunam (9 for 81, 9 ypr) was already the top TE not named Irv Smith, and returning to school will cement him atop the leaderboard next year. I’m not a fan of RB Damarea Crockett (13 for 67, 5.2ypc). He’s not the receiver the Bills would be looking for, he’s top-heavy with spindly legs, and fumbles too frequently. DL3T Terry Beckner (3 tkl, 1 asst) acquitted himself well, making plays and showing grit in defeat. Impressed Less: QB Drew Lock threw for 0 TD. WR Terry Godwin and TE Isaac Nauta were nonfactors in this tilt.

Best Guess: WR Riley Ridley RD3
Second Guess: SS JR Reed RD6

Third Guess: RB Elijah Holyfield RD2

Last Guess: OLB D’Andre Walker RD4B

Photo of Michigan’s RB Karan Higdon from

9-22-18 Michigan 56 – Nebraska 10 Highlight Video | Box Score

There was a lot to look at for scouts in this contest, and it wouldn’t surprise me if the Bills got a Wolverine on Draft Weekend. RB Karan Higdon just decimated the Husker D (12 for 136, 11.3, 1 TD), and while everyone’s talking about slot WR Marquise Brown, WRS Stanley Morgan Jr.(3 for 61, 20.3 avg) is closer to Marquise than folks think, For the second game the scouts saw, ILB Devin Bush (6 tkl, 1 sack) didn’t disappoint. It’s easy to envision an Edmunds-Bush-Milano linebacker corps for the next 10 years. EDGE Chase Winovich (2 tkl, 1 sack) is a RD5A pick that makes sense. I like the draft’s tallest TE Zach Gentry for the Bills (3 for 32, 1 TD). On defense, iDL Rashan Gary (2 tkl, 1 sack) is a 3-tech menace who’d need to be part of a trade-down package for me to be happy in RD1.

Best Guess: RB Karan Higdon RD5A
Second Guess: ILB Devin Bush RD5B

Third Guess: iDL Rashan Gary RD1

Fourth Guess: TE Zach Gentry RD6-7A

Last Guess: WR Stanley Morgan Jr. RD3

North Carolina’s Anthony Ratliff-Williams (17) jumps over California’s Marloshawn Franklin Jr. (18) during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Chapel Hill, N.C., Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome).

9-27-18 Miami 47 – North Carolina 10 Highlight Video | Box Score

North Carolina WR Anthony Ratliff-Williams (2-33-16.5) has added value on special teams. Danny Crossman’s replacement will appreciate AR-W’s experience on kickoff returns (28 of them for 598 yards –21.4 yards per return). Don’t be surprised if the Bills pick up AR-W in RD3 to get the return game back on track. RB Travis Homer (14 for 88, 6.3 ypc) is a tacklebreaker who isn’t a bad pass blocker, although I expect the Bills to do something in the run game earlier than he’s slated to be picked. The Bills’ front office likes ACC players, and CB Michael Jackson (4 tkl 1 asst) did nothing to dissuade them in this game. He’d be the confluence of need and round if he’s on the board in RD3. iDL Gerald Willis (6-4, 284) looked stout in the middle; I just hope the Bills are drafting offense in RD2. If the Bills have filled their starters through Free Agency, they wouldn’t be wasting a pick on EDGE Joe Jackson (6-5, 258). He was a disruptive S.O.B. in this game, with 3 tkl, 2 asst, 1 sack, and even an interception. FS Sheldrick Redwine would be a sweet Day 3 option if he falls (3 tkl, 4 asst).

Best Guess: WR Anthony Ratliff-Williams RD3 EDGE Joe Jackson RD3
Second Guess: RB Travis Homer RD6

Last Guess: FS Sheldrick Redwine RD4A

Photo of Northern Alabama’s FS Chris Johnson from

Late September U of N Alabama Highlight Video

FS Chris Johnson’s coaches received a visit from the Bills in late September. He’s a late Day-3 pick or even a Priority Free Agent, but they like what they see there, he’s an interesting interview, and they seem to know good DBs when they see them. Chris’s idol is Ed Reed.

Best Guess: FS Chris Johnson RD7A

10-4-18 Houston 41 – Tulsa 26 Highlight Video | Box Score

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The Bills scouts visited Houston twice, but this was the only time DT Ed Oliver strutted his stuff, and strut it he did (4 tkl, 9 asst). It begs the question, “Why did the scouts return to watch Houston again when Oliver wasn’t playing?” The answer may lie in the performances of players who haven’t yet become household names. TE Romello Brooker (4-44, 11.0) has virtually doubled his output every year for the Cougars, but no word yet if he’s declaring. Another possibility is senior ILB Roman Brown, 6-2, 230, a late bloomer who played only one year of football in high school. He had his career high of 13 tackles in this game (3 tkl, 10 asst), which may have opened some eyes. Bills fans would like his passion, love of the game, and football smarts. If the Bills want a SLB in the mix, then SLB Austin Robinson (6-3, 220) would be a fit. He’s a savvy playmaker who’s athletic and versatile. He was UTSA’s QB, changed to SS, and is now SLB for Houston. In this game he had 4 tkl, 4 asst, and 2 sacks, but watch the Navy game, as well. While watching linebackers, maybe the scouts saw Tulsa LB Cooper Edmiston (6-3, 237), who led Tulsa in tackles and is 6th in the FBS in fumble recoveries this year with 3. No word on if he’s declaring this year, or if he’s waiting until 2020. Keep RB Patrick Carr in mind for next year, as well. He’s going to be a 1,000-plus rusher.

Best Guess: DT Ed Oliver RD1
Second Guess: SLB/ATH Austin Robinson RD6

Third Guess: SLB Cooper Edmiston (PFA)

Last Guess: ILB Roman Brown RD7A

Photo of Utah’s Chase Hansen from

10-12-18 Arizona 10 – Utah 42 Highlight Video | Box Score

OLB Chase Hansen (6 tkl, 1 sack), was the star of the show for Utah, and I’m confident that he’ll be a hot topic in the 2019 war room if he’s there at RD4A. A strong safety and former QB turned OLB, Hansen was asked to play down in the box at LB depth so much that he waas switched to OLB and was #2 in FBS in Tackles For Loss this year. Hansen has the most TFLs per game of all the draftable linebackers. That SS/OLB combo is attractive to McBeane. Besides being valuable on special teams, Hansen could find his way onto the 53 behind Hyde and Poyer. The other noticeable player in the game is MLB Cody Barton (5 tkl, 1 sack), File away RB Zack Moss (15-68-4.5ypc) in your “Next Year” file; he’s impressive, but not declaring, Throw RB J.J. Taylor in that same drawer. He’s a RS Sophomore and offers kick-return flexibility (14-63 4.5 and 22.3 KR). Other special teamers in the game were P Mitch Wishnowsky (6’2″ 220, 4 punts for 193, 48.3 ypk), and PK Matt Gay (6/6 XP). There were no Top 400 prospects for Arizona as of this writing, so I bet the Bills were likely “all in” on Chase Hansen and Cody Barton.

Best Guess: OLB Chase Hansen RD3-4A
Second Guess: MLB Cody Barton RD4B

Last Guess: PK Matt Gay or P Mitch Wishnowsky UDFA

Photo of Notre Dame’s CB Julian Love from

10-13-18 Notre Dame 19 – Pitt 14 Highlight Video | Box Score

The Bills love CB Julian Love. They’ve scouted Notre Dame three times, once by Brandon Beane. Love showed his tackling chops in this game with 3 tackles. Glue-handed WR Miles Boykin (4-84-21.0 ypc) for the Irish and Pitt RB Darrin Hall (9-62-6.9 ypc) likely got extended looks, as well. Impressed Less: If the Bills scout came to see RB Dexter Williams (13-31-2.4 ypc) or RB Quadree Ollison (16-50-3.1), they were likely disappointed. Williams missed four games this year and was suspended once, but he impressed enough so that he’ll be a Day-3 selection. TE Alize Mack (6 for 31, 5.2 ypc) was present but usually accounted for. S Jalen Elliott (1 tkl, 3 asst) is likely returning for 2019, and OG Alex Bars had been injured since September, and DNP. He should still be on your Day 3 list.

Best Guess: CB Julian Love RD2
Second Guess: WRF Miles Boykin RD4-5A

Third Guess: RB Dexter Williams RD5B-6

Last Guess: RB Quadree Ollison RD7B

Photo of Washington’s CB Byron Murphy from

10-13-18 Washington 27 – Oregon 30 Highlight Video | Box Score

This is required viewing for any Bills fan. You may want to watch the entire game and draw your own impressions. CB Byron Murphy‘s 5 tackles and 1 asst was good enough for 3rd in stats, and cements his spot in the RD1 conversation, if you had any doubt. SS Taylor Rapp (6-0, 200, 4 tkl, 5 asst) likely climbed too. His 58 tackles (5.0 for loss), four sacks, two INTs, and four passes defended in 13 games will make him a hot commodity on Day 2. Watch how 6-4, 238 OLB Justin Hollins (4 tkl, 4 asst) demonstrates his fit as the next LorAx. An elite run-stuffer, Hollins has been showing pass-rush chops all season –he’s 3rd in the PAC in pressures. Leading the stats chart almost weekly is OLB Ben Burr-Kirven (6-0, 220, scholar athlete, 7 tkl, 12 asst), Troy Dye (7 tkl), and ILB Tevis Bartlett (6-3, 234, 7 tkl, 5 asst, 1 sack) have been relentless all year. On the offensive side of the ball, scouts likely watched TE Drew Sample (6-5, 251, 4 for 79, 19.8 ypc), WR Dillon Mitchell (8 for 119, 14.9 ypc, 1 TD), and RB Myles Gaskin (15 for 69, 4.6 ypc). Sample’s strength, footwork, blocking, leadership, and hands (71% catch rate) would help Josh Allen immeasurably. Impressed Less: QB Jake Browning (15 for 25, 243, 1 TD 1 INT), CB Ugo Amadi (5-9, 176, 3 tkl), TE Jacob Breeland (2 for 12, 6.0 ypc), LB/DE Jalen Jelks (2 tkl), and Kano Dillon (1 for 8 yds).

Best Guess: CB Byron Murphy RD1
Second Guess: OLB Ben Burr-Kirven RD2-3; OLB Justin Hollins RD2-3

Third Guess: RB Myles Gaskin RD4A

Fourth Guess: TE Drew Sample RD6-7

Last Guess: SS Taylor Rapp RD2-3

Photo of N’Keal Harry from

10-18-18 Arizona St 13 – Stanford 20 Highlight Video | Box Score

Scouts were on hand first and foremost to watch the offense. They weren’t disappointed, as they saw WR N’Keal Harry (8 for 91, 11.4) and WR J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (7 for 91, 13.0, 1 TD) match yardage. Don’t sleep on Irwin, though: WR Trenton Irwin (7 for 79, 11.3) has a 77% catch rate, and his coaches say he “works harder than anybody on that field. He will never take a play off, and he’s going to be a pain to cover”. Besides, Irwin is one of best blockers downfield in this draft class. Besides watching receivers, the Bills scouts likely watched C Jesse Burkett, one of the centers I like. …. Impressed Less: RB Bryce Love (11 for 21, 1.9 ypc).

Best Guess: WR N’Keal Harry RD1
Second Guess: ILB Devin Bush RD4-5

Last Guess: WR J.J. Arcega-Whiteside RD1, RB Bryce Love RD4

Photo of Michigan’s ILB Devin Bush from

10-20-18 Michigan 21 – Michigan St 7 Highlight Video | Box Score

In a Bills’ scout’s second visit to see Michigan, QB Shea Patterson (14 of 25 for 212 yds, 2 TD 0 INT) performed better than QB Brian Lewerke (5 of 25 for 66), and he’ll be in the 2019 Draft, but Patterson will end up being a baseball player. RB Karan Higdon (33 for 144, 4.4 ypc) outperformed RB LJ Scott (10 for 25, 2.5 ypc), but I think Higdon’s size 5-9, 190) isn’t what the Bills are looking for. Higdon also was ineffective vs AP-ranked teams (7 carries, 8 yards in 2016). Finally, I didn’t like Higdon’s guarantee of victory vs Ohio State. That never ends well. On defense, FS Tyree Kinnel (3 tkl, 2 asst) and ILB Devin Bush (2 tkl, 2 asst, 1 sack), were stout. Impressed Less: I was a bit disappointed in OLB/DE Chase Winovich (0 tkl, 4 asst) as a possible successor to LorAx.

Best Guess: ILB Devin Bush RD2-3

Second Guess: FS Tyree Kinnel RD6-7

Last Guess: OLB/DE Chase Winovich RD5A

Photo of Alabama’s RB Josh Jacobs from and USATODAY.

10-20-18 Alabama 58 – Tennessee 21 Highlight Video | Box Score

I’ll go on record as saying that one of the Bills’ draft picks will be from the Alabama offense. It makes too much sense. RB Josh Jacobs (12 for 68, 5.7 ypc, 2 TD) is my #1 RB. His fellow playmaker, TE Irv Smith Jr. (5 for 50, 1 TD) is a blocking/receiving dynamo who offers the most versatility to an offensive coordinator who already knows him. Daboll might also like RB Damien Harris, who didn’t have his best game for the Bills’ scouts (3 for 12). His carries have been limited by a crowded backfield. WR Riley Ridley is most definitely on the Bills’ radar, but he did not play in this game.

Best Guess: RB Josh Jacobs RD1
Second Guess: TE Irv Smith Jr. RD1-2

Last Guess: RB Damien Harris RD2-3

Photo of Iowa’s T.J. Hockenson from

10-27-18 Penn State 30 – Iowa 24 Highlight Video | Box Score

Iowa’s T.J. Hockenson (3-63-21.0), and Noah Fant (5-56-11.2) are two flavors at TE the Bills scouts were sent to sample. Hockenson is an every-down TE who who is one of three Mackey Award finalists. He’s your Charles Clay. Noah Fant, Mel Kiper’s top TE until recently, has freakish athleticism. He’ll likely win the position’s Combine vertical jump and 3-cone drill. Physical attributes certainly played a role in the Bills’ two RD1 draft selections last year. I think that Penn St WRS DeAndre Thompkins (5-59-11.8) is a player type that the Bills likely already have on their roster. Thompkins has been inconsistent at catching the football, game to game and year to year. Some impressive defenders played for Iowa and Penn State in this game. Declared redshirt junior Iowa DE Anthony Nelson (4 tkl, 1 asst, 1.5 sk) has improved every year he’s played at Iowa. Iowa SS Amani Hooker (6 solo tkl), Iowa DE Parker Hesse (1 tkl, 3 asst, 1 sk) is athletic, fits the character the Bills are building, and is versatile (was QB, RB, Rusher in HS). Penn St CB Amani Oruwariye (3 tkl, 3 asst) isn’t fast, but he’s big and more athletic than most of the CBs. He can change directions at a blink, and would be a nice fit in the Bills’ system. Iowa iDL Matt Nelson (2 tkl, 4 asst) is a 5-technique who’d be a complementary piece to the front-line platoon.

Best Guess: TE T.J. Hockenson RD1-2 Second Guess: CB Amani Oruwariye RD1-2

Third Guess: iDE Anthony Nelson RD2

Last Guess: SS Amani Hooker RD6-7

Photo of Clemson’s ED Clelin Ferrell from

10-27-18 Clemson 59 – Florida St 10 Highlight Video | Box Score

ED Clelin Ferrell (2 tkl, 1 asst, 1 sack) didn’t disappoint the Bills scouts in this game. Neither did iDL Dexter Lawrence, whose ability to push the pocket is being compared to Linval Joseph and Ndamukong Suh. Big CB Trayvon Mullen led the Clemson defense with 5 tackles in this game. If he’s there in RD2, he has the size McBeane likes and the winning pedigree. LB Kendall Joseph (2 tackles) is a consideration; he has played both MLB and WLB, surprised me with his athleticism, and was a better cover LB than expected. Some Bills fans don’t like WR Hunter Renfrow, but this game shows just how clutch he is on third down (4 catches, 28 yards). WR Nyqwan “Noonie” Murray impresses more on tape than many of the “pet cat” receivers touted in scouting reports. Impressed Less: Christian Wilkins made one tackle. Brian Burns didn’t play.

Best Guess: ED Clelin Ferrell RD1; DT Dexter Lawrence (RD1 trade-down target)
Second Guess: CB Trayvon Mullen RD2

Third Guess:LB Kendall Joseph

Last Guess: WR Hunter Renfrow (#134)

Photo of Alabama’s OT Jonah Williams from

11-3-18 Alabama (2x) 29 – LSU (2x) 0 Highlight Video | Box Score

In the first game of the season officially attended by Brandon Beane and Asst. GM Joe Schoen, Alabama DT Quinnen Williams (7 tkl, 3 asst, 2.5 sacks) and OT Jonah Williams (six knockdown blocks for the second straight game and third time this season) hogged the stage. For LSU, CB Greedy Williams (4 tkl, 1 PD) fared well in removing half the field, but it didn’t matter: ‘Bama RBs averaged 7.6 ypc in the contest, with RB Damien Harris (19-107-5.6 ypc), Najee Harris (returning to school, but 6-83-13.8 ypc) and RB Josh Jacobs (4-17-4.2 ypc). OCOG Pierschbacher and OG Cotton helped Williams pave the way for the backs, freeing TE Irv Smith Jr. (4-64 16.0) to work underneath. Impressed Less: It looks like OLB Anfernee Jennings (2 tkl, 1 asst, 1 sack) will return to “Bama. Good choice. DT3t/5t Isaiah Buggs is not the explosive, consistent, high-motor lineman you’re used to seeing play for Saban, although he does have power and hand usage. I wouldn’t take him until late Day Two.

Best Guess: OT Jonah Williams RD1; DT Quinnen Williams RD1 (tie)
Second Guess: TE Irv Smith Jr. RD1-2

Third Guess: CB Greedy Williams RD1

Last Guess: RB Damien Harris RD2

Photo of Kentucky’s OLB Josh Allen from

11-3-18 Kentucky 17 – Georgia 34 Highlight Video | Box Score

In a scout’s second visit to see Georgia, OLB Josh Allen (3 tkl, 2 recovered fumbles) and DL5T Jonathan Ledbetter (6 tot, 3 solo, 1 sack, 2 TFL) were impressive on defense, although SS/FS/KR Mike Edwards (11 tkl, 8 solo, 1 PD) and SS J.R. Reed (4 tkl, 1 asst) stood out as well. RB Elijah Holyfield (18-115-(6.4) 1 TD) had a great day, while WR Riley Ridley only had an average day (3-37-12.3, 0TD). Impressed Less: Benny Snell Jr.was also average (20-73-3.7, 1TD). TE Isaac Nauta was again underused. He had only 1 catch for 4 yds.

Best Guess: OLB Josh Allen RD1
Second Guess: RB Elijah Holyfield RD2-3

Third Guess: S J.R. Reed

Last Guess: DL5T Jonathan Ledbetter RD4

Photo of NC State’s Kelvin Harmon from

11-9-18 Wake Forest 27 – NC State 23 Highlight Video | Box Score

WR Kelvin Harmon (15-134-8.9) was the feature wide receiver that most likely caught the Bills’ scouts’ eyes. While he is not declared as of this writing, CB Amari Henderson returned from injury for Wake in this game, and led everybody in tackles. He’s a pet cat, I’ll say that. CB Nick McCloud (6-1 185 jr, 6 tkls), Redshirt junior OLB-DE James Smith-Williams (2 tkl 3asst, 1.5 sacks) and FS Cameron Glenn (7 tkl, 4 asst, 1 sack) are all names that could be called later on Day 3. OLB Germaine Pratt (2 tkl, 10 asst) is going to hear it sooner. QB Ryan Finley (35-52-374-1 TD 1 INT) for NC State. Didn’t impress: speedy WRS Greg Dortch muffed a PR, DL5T Darian Roseboro had only 1 tackle.

Best Guess: WRF Kelvin Harmon RD1
Second Guess: OLB-DE James Smith-Williams (PFA)

Third Guess: ILB Germaine Pratt, RD2

Fourth Guess: FS Cameron Glenn (PFA)

Last Guess: CB Amari Henderson* (PFA)

Photo of Alabama’s TE Irv Smith from

11-10-18 Alabama (3x) 24 – Mississippi St 0 Highlight Video | Box Score

TE Irv Smith Jr. (5-70-14.0) and RB Josh Jacobs (20-97-4.8-1) had good, not great, days in front of a scout’s third visit. C-OG Pierschbacher is worth a look if he gets to Day 3. Mississippi State EDGE Montez Sweat is a RD1 consideration if holes at OL and WR/TE are filled in Free Agency. Their Center, Elgton Jenkins, and iDL Jeffrey Simmons as a potential RD1 tradedown also likely got looks. ILB Leo Lewis didn’t play. I’m not a fan of G Darryl Williams. Didn’t impress: RB Damien Harris again was inconsistent (14-53-3.8-1).

Best Guess: TE Irv Smith Jr. RD1-2
Second Guess: RB Josh Jacobs RD1-2

Last Guess: C-OG Pierschbacher RD5-6

Photo of Oregon’s OLB/DE Jalen Jelks from

11-10-18 Oregon (2x) 32 – Utah 35 Highlight Video | Box Score

Utah OLB Chase Hansen (8 tkl, 5 asst, sack) is on my short list of five OLBs that could wear the red, white, and blue. He did everything except make the popcorn in this great game, another game I’d watch in its entirety. I expect him to be a Day 3 pick. RB Travis Dye (9-66-7.3) would be a solid Priority Free Agent. OLB/DE Jalen Jelks (4 tkl, 1 asst), would become a value in RD4-5.

Best Guess: OLB/DE Jalen Jelks RD4-5
Second Guess: OLB Chase Hansen RD5

Last Guess: RB Travis Dye (PFA)

Photo of Houston’s SLB/ATH Austin Robinson from

11-15-18 Tulane 17 – Houston 48 Highlight Video | Box Score

This is the game that iDL Ed Oliver didn’t play in; he was already training for the NFL. A credentialed Bills scout still attended the game, though, and likely loved what he saw –again– in TE Romello Brooker (5-57-11.4-1TD). He’s got decent size and moves (6’5″, 253,4.62). ILB Austin Robinson (9 tkl, 6 solo, 1 sack, 1.5 TFL). OLB Zachery Harris (13 tkl, 6 solo, .5 sack, 2 TFL) was a lone light on the Tulane defense, while RB Patrick Carr (5-8, 195, 4.49; 18-139-7.7 ypc-2 TD) impressed again on offense.

Best Guess: SLB/ATH Austin Robinson (PFA)
Second Guess: RB Patrick Carr (PFA)

Third Guess: TE Romello Brooker (PFA)

Last Guess: OLB Zachery Harris (PFA)

Photo of Wisconsin’s OT David Edwards from

11-21-18 4 Beane visits: Audio

On a John Murphy Show audio segment above, beginning at 1:33:33, Brandon Beane mentions visits he’d made to four schools: South Carolina, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Ole Miss. Prior to this interview, no Bills scouts had been credentialed for any games involving either Ohio State or South Carolina. It’s possible that Beane is releasing a “red herring” to throw GMs and media off his track. Ole Miss was scouted once (9-22-18) and Notre Dame once (10-13-18) prior to Beane’s visits. Beane returns to Notre Dame a week later (11-24-18).

The Day 1-2 players at each school are, in order:

South Carolina: WR Deebo Samuel

Notre Dame: OT David Edwards, DT3t Jerry Tillery, OLB Te’von Coney, CB Julian Love

Ohio State: EDGE Nick Bosa, QB Dwayne Haskins, DT3t Dre’Mont Jones, OT Isaiah Prince

Ole Miss: OT Greg Little, WR D.K. Metcalf, WR DaMarkus Lodge

Best Guess: OT David Edwards RD1 tradedown
Second Guess: WR D.K. Metcalf RD1

Third Guess: LB Te’Von Coney RD2

Last Guess: iDL Jerry Tillery RD2

Photo of Oklahoma’s WRS Marquise Brown from

11-23-18 Oklahoma 59 – WVU 56 Highlight Video | Box Score

GM Brandon Beane, Asst GM Joe Schoen, and Pete Harris, the Bills’ Northeast-Area Scout, headed for an offensive showdown between Oklahoma and West Virginia. It was a second visit to Oklahoma. I’ll bet dollars to donuts they were there to watch WR Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, and he didn’t disappoint, putting up a stat line of 11 receptions for 243 yards and 2 TD. Other players had good games, including OLB Caleb Kelly (9 tkl, 5 asst, 1 sack), OG Bobby Evans, QB Will Grier (32/49, 539, 4 TD), WR Gary Jennings (7 for 225, 32.1, 2 TD), and WR David Sills (8 for 131, 16.4, 2 TD). Rodney Anderson didn’t play, and Kyler Murray (20 of 27, 364, 3TD 1 INT) is a baseball player, don’t you think?

Best Guess: WRS Marquise Brown, RD1-2
Second Guess: OLB Caleb Kelly (PFA)

Last Guess: WR Gary Jennings RD5B-6

Photo of Notre Dame’s CB Julian Love from

11-24-18 USC 17 – Notre Dame 24 (3x) Highlight Video | Box Score

A credentialed scout went to Notre Dame after Beane’s interview with the John Murphy Show. It was the Bills’ third look at Notre Dame. Five players from the Irish are likely in focus in this scout’s binoculars: CB Julian Love (8 tkl 4 asst), LB Te’Von Coney (2 tkl 6 asst), RB Dexter Williams playing his best game while scouted (16/97, 6.1 ypc, 2 TD); OTOG Alex Bars, and OC Sam Mustipher, a captain of the FBS’s seventh-ranked rushing offense (269.3 rush yards/game). Underwhelming this time, but not completely off the radar, was DL3T/5T Jerry Tillery (1 tackle). I’m sure the Bills scout watched USC, too. I think they’d like CB Iman Marshall (5 tkl, 1 asst),as they’re set at ILB, although Cameron Smith made 9 tkl and 3 asst. WR Michael Pittman (7 for 91, 13 ypc) had the best day for the Trojans.

Best Guess: CB Julian Love, RD3
Second Guess: RB Dexter Williams, RD6-7

Last Guess: CB Iman Marshall , RD6-7

Editor’s babble: Whew, now that’s what I call a comprehensive look at what the Bills scouts have been up to over the college football season. Many thanks to Dean Kindig for his incredible contributions to our blog. You can find Dean on Twitter @TCBILLS_Astro.

3 Replies to “Astro’s Scouting The Scouts”

  1. Dean as always a very good read. Some quality guesses in there too. We will see in April how in tune they were. Thank you for all you do.

    • You are most welcome. We’ll have to take in a practice or two at Fisher. I’m easy to spot; I’m the only guy with a clipboard in the far upper-right corner of the bleachers.

  2. Nice job. But I hope you’re wrong as you only have 3 or 4 OL prospects being looked at. They better be looking almost exclusively at OL. Any game where Shady doesn’t have 125+ yards running the ball is an OL problem.

    We need 4 new massive talented OL with Kyle’s work ethic.