McDermott ‘values’ create intriguing draft board

Photo of Sean McDermott from

We all know how much Sean McDermott appreciates certain intangible personality traits in players he wants on his roster. Part of the reason he works in a harmonious relationship with Brandon Beane is because they seem to value similar traits.

What is this mysterious thing, value?

In the context of creating a draft board, how does one define the word value? If you go down the list of definitions from, the word value in this context is related to No. 17…

“to consider with respect to worth, excellence, usefulness, or importance.”

Worth. Hmmm. Now that just leads us down that slippery slope of defining the term worth… and then your brain freezes from the frustrating limits of language.

However, the term value is one worth [yes I did that] exploring with respect to ‘McBeane’ because of their divergence from mainstream thought among front offices in the NFL with regard to how they put together a draft board. And don’t think for a minute other teams aren’t watching what the Bills are doing by reinventing team culture.

Photo of Brian Flores from

Just a hunch, but I think Brian Flores in Miami has been eyeballing what McDermott has done and plans to clear out the guys who just want to hang out on South Beach. Good for him. Flores picked a terrific offensive coordinator in Chan Gailey. We also now know why Ryan Fitzpatrick isn’t going anywhere. What a great staff they are putting together. Fear the Dolphins much more than the Jets at this point, BillsMafia.

The Dolphins have a haul coming in this year’s draft, so you know Flores is clearing out for a big culture change. This draft is loaded with talent as well, so the Dolphins are setting themselves up for success, that’s for sure.

But we have our own trail-blazing forward-thinking head coach, so all is well at Orchard Park. Never was it made more clear to me that Sean McDermott is a psychologist at heart than when he recently commented on a One Bills Live broadcast that he comes to the NFL Combine to rule OUT players, rather than finding players because of their 40-time or how much they can bench press.

And by “ruling out” players, it seems McDermott is doing more behavioral reconnaissance than anything else. Very, very interesting. This is where ‘in the box’ thinkers get lost. They don’t accept or understand the skill set of being able to quietly observe people in their natural environment and identify traits as reliably as the inferences one can get from a 40-time.

But I get it because it’s what I did for a living. So exactly what behavioral traits is McDermott looking to rule out in players he’s studying? Take a look at the type of players he got rid of when he took the head coaching position and one might be able to cobble together a solid guesstimate.

Favorite photo of Marcell Dareus from

The most notable shown the door were Marcell Dareus and Sammy Watkins. But I would argue Stephon Gilmore was also firmly entrenched on the ‘not my guy’ list. Here’s another tidbit I’ve noticed about McDermott; once you get on the ‘not my guy’ list, you’re done in his eyes.

So what sort of traits make players radioactive from Sean McDermott’s view?

The most obvious are the narcissists, who reveal themselves by the language they choose to use while being interviewed. If a player talks about being a ‘star’ for a team, red flag. If they focus on their own stats rather than what they can do to help their team win, another red flag.

Party boys who want to spend all their time in strip clubs and the night life also need not apply. McDermott once said he wasn’t looking for choir boys, but you can clearly see from the players he covets, he strongly prefers players who lead a quieter lifestyle.

So it appears Beane and McDermott have a solid set of criteria regarding personal traits they are looking for in their vision of a player for the Buffalo Bills. It obviously makes their draft boards unlike teams who place a lower value on personality traits. If you’re into doing mock drafts, it’s best to keep this in mind as you make selections for the Bills.

We are blessed to have a head coach and general manager with similar vision and who are forward thinking. The Bills are in good hands. This year’s draft board, once revealed will give us even more information about the type of players they value.

Editor’s babble: Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane are smart cookies. Let’s hope the Pegulas lock THEM up for the for the future with contract extensions… like yesterday. You can yell at me on Twitter @RobynMundyWYO.

About Robyn Mundy

Robyn Mundy is Editor-in-Chief of the BillsMafia blog at She's a retired oncology nurse & psychotherapist who loves to write about her life-long passion for the Buffalo Bills, and occasionally something of clinical or social relevance. Robyn lives with her husband Gary and their dogs in the foothills of the Big Horn Mountains in Wyoming. Robyn is also a proud founding sponsor. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynMundyWYO.

7 Replies to “McDermott ‘values’ create intriguing draft board”

  1. As I read your article, I ruled out a few receivers that have been pegged for the Bills because I think you are right. Those “I” guys just don’t fit here. There are some humble hard working receivers out there that would work here. That is also why in my heart I know Logan would be such a good fit. Here’s hoping.

  2. Excellent and valuable insight that any Bills fan interested in what the Bills may do this off-season (and not just in the draft) should take into consideration. Sometimes fans see that a good player whose name they recognize is available and can’t understand why McBeane aren’t interested in signing him, they don’t know how McBeane feel that the player fits what they are looking for in the areas highlighted in this article. Great job!

    • Thanks for the feedback! It seems purposeless for Bills fans to consider players who don’t meet the ‘profile’ McBeane looks for in players.

  3. Yes, there haven’t been any Bills on the Erie County Police Blotter since the Beane/McDermott era began. There were way too many under previous regimes. You are 100% correct that the Dolphins are in better shape going forward than the Jets. Quinnen Williams is a prime example.
    It sure is a lot more satisfying as a fan to root for high character players.