Will Dan Morgan Change the War Room?

Photo of Dan Morgan from buffalobills.com and twitter.com.

This is an addendum to last year’s “Drafting Patterns of the Bills’ Front Office”, revealing Brandon Beane’s, Joe Schoen’s, and front office draft tendencies, which lives here. Dan’s an addition to the war room, but not one who differs in philosophy.

Dan Morgan was Pro Scout, Assistant Director of Pro Personnel and then Director of Pro Personnel with Seattle. He’s in the same line of work for the Bills now, working as the team’s new Director of Player Personnel. He fills a void left by Brian Gaine, now GM of the Houston Texans. You may remember Dan’s days with the Miami Hurricanes before The Turnover Chain era. He was drafted by the Panthers when McBeane was there, and they’ve drafted him again.

When Morgan was with Seattle, 5 of the 6 players drafted first were LINEMEN. The sixth was a receiver (speedy, short, just-extended RD3 WR Tyler Lockett, 5-10, 182). Three of the draftees played offense, three defense. Let’s look at each position group.

Morgan’s OG prototype:

Photo of OC/OG Ethan Pocic from king5.com.
  • 2017: RD2 OC/OG Ethan Pocic (6-6, 310), an extremely-versatile, but less-explosive guy from LSU, who played 27 games at Center, nine at Right Guard, even one at Right Tackle). This year, there’s not a perfect comp, although Connor McGovern has it pretty close. The Bills met all three RD2 OC/OGs at the Senior Bowl: Dalton Risner, Chris Lindstrom, and Garrett Bradbury.
  • 2016: RD1#31 G Germain Ifedi (6-6, 324). Drafted as a Guard, Ifedi now plays Tackle, and the Seahawks were thinking of sending him packing, but opted to keep him after checking the D-Lines that they’ll face twice each year. I think Cody Ford (6-3, 338) will start at Guard for whatever team drafts him, and I’m picking him to be gone in mid-RD1.
  • 2015: Two OGs in RD4 of 2015, including Mark Glowinski (6-4, 310, 5.2 forty). The RD4-ish OGs of interest to the Bills are Bobby Evans (6-3, 312), Dru Samia (6-4, 305), and Ben Powers (6-3, 310), all with Oklahoma. They could end up with 2 of them. My money’s on Powers, because he’s a wrestler.

Morgan’s OT prototype:

Photo of LT Rees Odhiambo from seattletimes.com.
  • RD3 LT Rees Odhiambo, 6-4, 314. It’s possible that low-floor, high-ceiling Yodny Cajuste (6-4, 316) lasts until RD3, but with the demand for tackles so high this year, that’s a stretch.

Morgan’s WR prototype:

Photo of WR Amara Darboh from sports.mynorthwest.com.
  • RD3 Amara Darboh, Michigan (6-2, 214, 4.45), had hip and collarbone injuries and was waived by Seattle, Pats picked him up, but he failed the physical. Went back to Seattle and had surgery, and was IR’ed. That body type is either Kelvin Harmon (6-3, 213), who’ll go in RD2, or else it’s Drew Lock’s favorite deep-ball target, Emanuel Hall (6-2, 200), unscouted by the Bills.
  • RD3 speedster Tyler Lockett (5-10, 182, 4.4) – extended Lockett is that WRS “Small-Speedy-Slot” type that we separate out for you on DraftTek here. Our own Cole Beasley (5-8, 177, 4.54) may be the NFL’s best healthy slot player, and may take us completely out of the WRS market for 2019. However, a Day 3 WRS isn’t out of the question. Expect Hunter Renfrow (78.9% catch rate, value at RD4B) or Ryan Davis (5-9, 185, 4.47, 76.6%, RD6-7) to do better vs injuries than Lockett did. We all have fond memories of Kolby Listenbee on the Bills. Good times.

Morgan’s RB prototype:

30 August 2014: Notre Dame Fighting Irish wide receiver C.J. Prosise (20) in action during a game between the Rice Owls and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, at Notre Dame Stadium, in South Bend, IN. Photo from sportsinjurypredictor.com.
  • RD3 C.J. Prosise Notre Dame (6-1, 225, 4.48 ), known as one of the most-injured backs in the league the past three years, has appeared in just 16 games. Actually, Seattle can save $475K by releasing Prosise. When healthy, like in 2016, he was avg 5.7 ypc on the ground and 12.2 ypc through the air. The Bills have Irish RB Dexter Williams (5-11, 215, 4.57) on their radar this year, but a 225/4.48 speed type is a rare commodity in this year’s WR draft class. Those that come closest are Kentucky’s Benny Snell (223, 4.66) in RD3-4, Oklahoma’s Rodney Anderson (218, 4.59) in RD4-5, Niagara Falls native Quadree Ollison (230, 4.58) in RD7, and LSU’s Nick Brossette (220, 4.58) in RD7. Prosise’s YPR receiving was exceeded in this class only by Rodney Anderson, Myles Gaskin, and Tony Pollard.

Morgan’s TE prototype:

Photo of TE Nick Vannett from seattletimes.com.
  • RD3 Nick Vannett, Ohio St (6-6, 261, 4.89), who was rated the #1 TE at the time by ESPN NFL Draft Analyst Todd McShay. The Seahawks drafted Vannett to be a traditional ‘Y’ tight end that would be more focused on blocking. He started 15 games over the last 3 years. Effective blocking TEs who are faster than Vannett include The Draft Network’s #1 TE TJ Hockenson (RD1), Irv Smith Jr. (RD1-2, Bills contacted), Drew Sample (RD4B-5B), and Caleb Wilson (RD3-4B). Unscouted Josh Oliver (RD3-4A), plus scouted TEs Foster Moreau and Zach Gentry, who might still be available in RD4-5A, fit the same mold. Noah Fant and Isaac Nauta (another Bills-scouted guy) are not considered blocking TEs, although Nauta’s catch rate leads the draft class at 87%. Trevon Wesco is a perfect Y-type, but he can’t catch (25% of targets caught this year).

Morgan’s DT prototype: Morgan’s war room took 5 DTs in his last 3 years: RD2 and RD5 in 2016, RD1 and RD3 in 2017.

Photo of DT Malik McDowell from 247sports.com.
  • Malik McDowell (6-6, 295) – injured in an ATV accident, is still UDFA
  • Jarran Reed (6-3, 307) – He’s an elite run-stuffer who had to improve his toolbox of pass-rush moves, just had a breakout 10-sack season. Reed was RD2#49 in 2016. Ed Oliver already has a nice pass-rush skillset, so I’ll choose Dre’Mont Jones (RD2) as a comp. Jones came off the field on most pass-rush downs, but has the same high ceiling for pass-rushing.

Morgan’s EDGE prototype:

Photo of EDGE Frank Clark from ESPN.com.
  • RD1 EDGE Frank Clark, (6-3, 271), was recently franchised by the Seahawks. Current Bills’ EDGE Trent Murphy (6-6, 260) is still rounding into form, and free-agent prospect Ziggy Ansah (6-6, 270) is still taking visits with Buffalo and New Orleans as of this writing. Nick Bosa (6-4, 266) comes closer to Clark than anyone else. The Bills would have to trade up to make that happen.

Morgan’s LB Prototype:

Zero LBs were drafted when Morgan was with the Seahawks, curiously. We can only assume his LB prototype would be himself. A RD1#11 selection in 2001, Morgan at WLB was the first freshman linebacker to start for the Hurricanes since Ray Lewis in 1993. He captured the Butkus Award (Devin White), the Nagurski Trophy (Josh Allen), and Bednarik Award (Josh Allen), becoming the first player in NCAA history to win all three in a career. It would not surprise me to see Devin White or “The Other Josh Allen” wearing red, white, and blue this April.

Morgan’s DB prototype:
Morgan’s Seahawks took 4 DBs in 2017, striking twice on Day 2, and twice on Day 3.

Photo of CB Shaquill Griffin from seattlepi.com.
  • CB Shaquill Griffin (6-1, 198), brother of Shaquem. He’s played RCB (2017) and LCB (2018), notching 23 PD and 3 INT over 2 seasons.
  • SS Delano Hill (6-0, 185), now on IR. Delano is the brother of CB Lavert Hill of Michigan (in my top 4 CBs for 2020 Draft); this year’s Delano might be Nasir Adderley, who played S/CB at Michigan.
  • FS Tedric Thompson (6’0” 204) I mentioned Tedric as a Day-3 possibility for the Bills back in 2016. He’s started 10 games in his two years with 3 PD.
  • FS Ryan Murphy (6′0″ 214) didn’t play in 2018, and is a FA as of this writing. He was involved in a prostitution sting in Super Bowl Week in 2016, and sent home. Maybe Robert Kraft will pick him up.

My guess is that the Bills will take a Safety for depth in RD4A or 4B, with five receiving interest from the Bills this season: SS Amani Hooker, SS Jaquan Johnson at RD4A and SS/FS/KR Mike Edwards, FS Marquise Blair, and FS Sheldrick Redwine at RD4B. I like them all, and RD4 seems like the right time to add quality depth.

Editor’s babble: This is a very interesting collection of data by the incredible Dean Kindig. Thanks to Dean, as always, for his contributions to our blog. You can find Dean on Twitter @TCBILLS_Astro.