With 2 weeks to go, and with no 30-visits to add to his arsenal of information GM Brandon Beane and his sidekick, Joe Schoen, will rely more than ever on what they’ve seen in person. What games did Beane and Schoen attend, and what players might they have been looking at, especially on Day Two? I’ve included those players (not the for-sure RD1s) with their updated average positions this week.
GM Beane and Schoen At Game
Alabama 47 – South Carolina 23 Box Score
ALABAMA—EDGE Terrell Lewis (#49), DL3T Raekwon Davis (#76), OLB Anfernee Jennings (#85), S/CB Shyheim Carter (#93).
SCAR—WR Bryan Edwards (#90), EDGE D.J. Wonnum South Carolina (#188).
Best Guess: WR Bryan Edwards in RD3#86.
Watch Edwards do the McKenzie play. In the game, Edwards notched 14 catches, putting up 139 yards and 1 TD, tying Deebo’s record. I didn’t choose Terrell Lewis in RD2 because he’s likely headed to a team that uses a 3-4 defense, and the Bills’ front office shies away from low games played. Lewis has the second-fewest games played (14, with Betiku playing 12). Three-tech Raekwon Davis isn’t likely, unless we somehow can draft Sophomore Season Raekwon. Davis’s decision to return after a disappointing junior year led him to a more-disappointing senior year. Besides, he takes too long to “set up”. IF RD2 has to be a DT3, I like Justin Madubuike from Texas A&M far better (and Dan Morgan paid a visit there). Keep in mind: Beane/McDermott and his front office have drafted more DTs with their first pick than any other position. Any Alabama player listed would be known by Brian Daboll, especially offense. It was smart for the brain trust to attend a game with 5 great WRs, and second-round WRs have actually fared better in the NFL than RD1s.
GM At Game (new info places Beane there)
Penn State 59, Maryland 0
PENN ST–WR K.J. Hamler (#61), LB Cam Brown (#175), OG Steven Gonzalez (#287), P Blake Gillikin (#419).
MARYLAND— SS Antoine Brooks Jr. (#153), RB Javon Leake (#191), OLB Keandre Jones (#217), RB Anthony McFarland (#278),
Best Guess: SS Antoine Brooks Jr. in RD4#128.
K.J. Hamler is only 5-11, 178 on tip-toes, but he’s another Beasley-Easley, and Beasley is one of the 9 oldest Buffalo Bills. Hamler made 6 receptions for 108 yards and 1 touchdown, so you think, “Yeah!”. However, Hamler didn’t follow the coach’s directions a couple weeks earlier vs App State, when he brought a kickoff out of the end zone. Bad move.Plus, his catch rate is 59.6%, and I’d take the 6-4, 223 Pittman’s 74.3% for that. The Bills re-upped their FS in Jordan Poyer, and drafted future great Jaquan Johnson, but not SS Hyde’s, whose contract is up in a year. Strong Safety Antoine Brooks Jr. led Maryland in tackles with 6. Brooks has the athleticism to man the slot and be in that “big nickel” or “big dime” conversation with Taron and Siran. While RB Anthony McFarland found it real tough sledding vs Penn State with a run average of 2.7 ypc., it was even worse for his stablemate Javon Leake, whose stat line was 6 carries, 10 yards, 1.7 ypc. ILB Cameron Brown had 1 tkl, 2 asst. in Beane’s scouted game, and would go on to have 4 tkl, 2 asst for a Bills scout in November. Brown is one of the hardest hitters in the Big Ten, but was ejected in the 1/1/19 Citrus Bowl for targeting. OLB Keandre Jones had 3 tackles for the Terrapins; he has the speed to play to the sidelines, and he has acceleration to get up the field. He blitzes well off the edge. I would give him a look at the Bills’ RD6B pick.
GM and Asst GM at game
Michigan 10, Iowa 3
MICHIGAN— OLB Josh Uche #67), G Ben Bredeson (#136), WR D. Peoples-Jones (#143), CB Lavert Hill (#174), S Josh Metellus (#178), OTOG Jon Runyan (#203), OLB Khaleke Hudson (#270).
IOWA— QB Nate Stanley (#182), CB Michael Ojemudia (#214), SS Geno Stone (#270).
Best Guess: WR Donovan Peoples-Jones at RD4#128.
Michigan runs an old-fashioned, opportunistic, physical defense, but keep in mind that it’s a 3-4. They had eight sacks and six hurries vs the Hawkeyes, which included OTs Alaric Jackson (didn’t declare) and Tristan Wirfs. OLB Khaleke Hudson had 4 tkl and 7 asst, and would be my second guess if Beane/Schoen weren’t there just to see the OTs vs Epenesa. Josh Uche also looked to give Wirfs some trouble with nice bend and speed, but logged 0 tkl and 1 asst, no sacks (likely to Wirfs’ and Jackson’s credit).. Josh Metellus is also a real good RD5 pick ; he is the elder statesman Safety who had 4 tkl, 2 asst, and a nice INT. Michigan WR Donovan Peoples-Jones running across the formation with the right side down-blocking looked eerily familiar. IA former basketball player, DP-J had the best broad and vertical jump for receivers, netting him a 99th%ile Burst score –comparable to a higher-jumping Stefon Diggs. Hey –want a rookie with Diggs’ upside in RD4? He can return punts to start.
GM and Asst GM at game
Ohio State 52, Northwestern 3
OHIO ST— CB Damon Arnette (#51), ILB-OLB Malik Harrison (#77), DT3T Davon Hamilton (#94), WR K.J. Hill (#161), G Jonah Jackson (#217), S Jordan Fuller (#237).
NORTHWESTERN–ED Joe Gaziano (#330).
Best Guess: CB Damon Arnette at RD2#54.
This was the Bills’ a second look at Okudah, Harrison, and Dobbins. Beane and Schoen likely marveled at Dobbins, who had just shy of 200 all-purpose yards, 18-121 (6.7 ypc) and 3 catches for 70, and he’ll be gone without a trade-up. However, ILB-OLB Malik Harrison would be an intriguing trade-down in RD2. Malik led all tacklers with 7 tkl, and 2 asst in the game, and can play any linebacker position. However, the Bills increasingly have played a 4-2-5 base defense, leaving the rookie on the sidelines, not where you want your RD2 to be standing. CB Damon Arnette would be an ideal rookie zone corner to take the sting out of Tre White’s new contract-to-come. His best fit is for a zone defense over a press-man, which drops him into the Bills’ wheelhouse at #51-54. One off-the-radar bet is Safety Jordan Fuller, who has earned teammates’ respect and admiration for his grind, maturity, and locker-room presence. He put off declaring for the NFL because he felt he had “unfinished business”. Yowzah, that’s Process talk.
GM at game
USC 35 vs. Colorado 31
USC–WR Michael Pittman (#54), OLB John Houston Jr. (UDFA).
COLORADO –QB Steven Montez (#302)
Best Guess: WR Michael Pittman, Jr. at RD2#54
Brandon Beane visited there, likely watching WRs Laviska Shenault (Colorado) and Pittman (USC) go at it. He wasn’t disappointed, as both balled out. Shenault’s 9-172 (19.1ypc), 1 TD led the Buffs, but Beane likely was additionally impressed with WR Michael Pittman, Jr. who had a great day, with 7-156 (22.3 ypc), 2TD, catching 44-yard and 37-yard TD passes in the Trojans’ comeback from 10 points down. The revelation for me was LB John Houston, Jr., fifth-year senior USC LB with his closing speed, wrap-up tackles, and even his interviews, where I see smarts and reflective self-study. John led USC in tackles for the game, with 9 tackles, 7 of them solo, plus a pass defensed. I’m fine with the Bills drafting him at RD6A or 6B. Buffs’ QB Steven Montez (6-5, 235) was 27/43 (62.8%) vs USC for 324 yds and 3 TD, 0 INT. He was 66.7% accurate against all AP-ranked teams. He’d be worth a flier at RD7#239, as he’s learning-focused, even in a loss: “I would definitely tell myself, ‘Don’t forget to look off the safety when you’re throwing verticals.’ There would just be a lot of little tips about mistakes that I’ve made and just learned from. But for the most part, it would probably just be, ‘Be tough. Work hard.’” That’d fit.
GM at game
Ohio State 38, Wisconsin 7
OHIO ST— CB Damon Arnette (#51), ILB-OLB Malik Harrison (#77), DT3T Davon Hamilton (#94), WR K.J. Hill (#161), S Jordan Fuller (#237).
WISCONSIN— OLB Zack Baun (#39), RB Jonathan Taylor (#41), OCOG Tyler Biadasz (#85),
Best Guess: OLB Zach Baun at RD2#54.
This was another look at Ohio State for Beane, who was likely there to see how RB Jonathan Taylor (20-52-2.6 ypc), would fare against future Pro Bowler EDGE Chase Young and ILB-OLB Malik Harrison of OSU. It didn’t go well for Taylor, but Harrison (4 tackles) directed the defense well. CB Damon Arnette‘s presence was palpable, with 5 tackles and 2 assists, as most of the attention was focused away from CB Jeffrey Okudah (2 tkl). OLB Zach Baun was the most impressive player on the field, as he led the Badgers in an impressive 8-tackle, 2-asst, 1-sack effort. Unsung for the Buckeyes, though, was fifth-year senior DT3T Davon Hamilton, who’d been playing NT throughout training camp, but moved to 3T due to injuries. He had 3 tackles and a sack in this game and 2 tackles in the Northwestern game.
GM and Asst GM at game
LSU 46, Alabama 41
LSU— RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire (#63), C Lloyd Cushenberry (#69), G Damien Lewis (#111), DL3T Rashard Lawrence (#200), ILB Jacob Phillips (#209).
ALABAMA—EDGE Terrell Lewis (#49 – DNP), DL3T Raekwon Davis (#76), OLB/DE Anfernee Jennings (#85), S/CB Shyheim Carter (#93).
Best Guess: RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire at RD2#54.
Edwards-Helaire had 20 carries for 103 yards and 3 TD to lead the run attack, but also had 9 receptions for 77 more yards and this TD, plus a 19-yard kick return for 199 all-purpose yards.His blitz pickup is advanced, too, and he’s more sure-handed than Jonathan Taylor. ILB Jacob Phillips and Grant Delpit had 2 tackles each, while DL3T/1T Rashard Lawrence had 1 tkl, 3 asst and 1/2 a sack. An INT of Tua and a half-sack by Patrick Queen. Wrapup tackling by stefon’s brother, CB Trevon Diggs (5 tkl, 5 asst), would be the runner-up, although I don’t think he’s there at #54. EDGE Anfernee Jennings (4 tkl, 4 asst, 2 sacks) also impressed, and is a consideration at RD3#86. S/CB Shyheim Carter had 0 tkl, 5 asst. Raekwon Davis was schemed out (1 tkl, 2 asst, .5 sack)
In addition, both Beane and Schoen went to the SEC Championship and the Natty, putting the Clemson crew in the conversation, although they were not scouted at regular-season games during the last two years.
Asst GM at Game
Pitt 27, Syracuse 20
PITT—CB Dane Jackson (#161), WR Maurice Ffrench (#239 my rank). SYRACUSE— EDGE Alton Robinson (#80), S Evan Foster (#167 my rank), EDGE Kendall Coleman (#240), OLB Andrew Armstrong (#290 my rank).
Best Guess: CB Dane Jackson at RD5#167
All by himself, Joe Schoen went to Pitt vs Syracuse. CB Dane Jackson at RD5#167 would be theft. He’s had 26 PBU over the last two years.He’s an excellent tackler. Cuse’s EDGE Alton Robinson is a nice RD3 pass-rush option should he reach RD3#86, WLB Andrew Armstrong (5 tackles, 4 assists) is my add from Syracuse. He was a core special teams player during his first three seasons … In 37 games, has 74 tackles (34 solo), three fumble recoveries, one interception and two passes defended. Athletic: strong safety (83 tackles) and TE (448 yards and four TD) in HS along with 20-ppg basketball star, and baseball pitcher (ERA (0.81). Armstrong was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in HS, so he actively supports the Central NY chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). WR Maurice Ffrench is the top target in the Pittsburgh passing game and could be a RD6 flier as he’s also a good return specialist.
Dan Morgan at Game
Texas Tech 24 at Texas 49
TEXAS–WR Devin Duvernay (#93), S Brandon Jones (#122)
TEXAS TECH— ILB Jordyn Brooks (#165), OT Terence Steele (#161), DL3T Broderick Washington Jr. (#277).
Best Guess: S Brandon Jones or WR Devin Duvernay.
Since Dan Morgan was at the game, I paid real close attention to the back 7 on D. For Texas, S Brandon Jones led all tacklers with 11. QB Sam Ehlinger had a great game with 348 passing yds and 2 TD. WR Devin Duvernay went 6 for 199 yds and a TD, a 33+ average! For Tech, ILB Jordyn Brooks did not play.
Dan Morgan at Game
Oklahoma 34, Oklahoma St. 16
Oklahoma—QB Jaeln Hurts (#88), DL3T Neville Gallimore (#67).
Oklahoma St.—CB A.J. Green (#96).
Best Guess: CB A.J. Green in RD3#86
ILB Kenneth Murray had 6 tackles, but likely is drafted before the Bills’ first pick. He’s a wonderful story, and is patient, determined, polite, and compassionate, with an amazing work ethic. Hurts played with Daboll, but he wanted Tua, so there’s that. CB A.J. Green had 3 tackles an an assist. He had this unreal INT vs Texas Tech in the end zone, and he’s one of a trio of CBs the Bills might see at RD3#86 if they take a playmaker in RD2. The 3-tech Neville Gallimore had 1 tackle and an assist. Late-round CB Parnell Motley had 5 tkl 1 ast, plus 1 INT, and he’s on my War Chart for RD 7#239.
Editor’s babble: Another gem to keep an eye on as we lead up to the draft. Thanks, as always, to Dean Kindig for his invaluable contributions to our blog. You can find Dean on Twitter @TCBILLS_Astro.