The Stars At Bills-Scouted Games

Photo of Syracuse EDGE Alton Robinson from syracuse.com.

My goal here is to compile a list of the college players who really performed for the Bills’ scouts and front office at games in 2019. I’m adding all of these to the BillsMafia War Chart. How did they do?

Jordan Fuller, FS, Ohio State, 4 tackles and 3 assists. (1 scout)

Jeff Okudah, CB, 4 tackles and 2 assists. (1 scout) –Gone By Bills’ pick

Chase Young EDGE, 3 tackles, 2 assists, and 1.5 sacks. (1 scout) –Gone By Bills’ pick

Chase Claypool WR, 5 catches for 94 yards, an 18.8 ypc day. (1 scout)

Alohi Gilman, FS, 6 tkls and 4 assists. (1 scout)

In Beane and Schoen’s first attended game, the star was QB Tua Tagovailoa with 5 TDs. RB Najee Harris led the ground attack with 7 carries, 36 yards (5.1 ypc) and added 5-87 (17.4 ypc), 2 TD receiving. Speedy WR Henry Ruggs (6 for 122, 1 TD, 20.3 ypc) was a beneficiary of double coverage on WR Jerry Jeudy, but his speed makes Robert Foster expendable. Targeting Ruggs in his career has netted a passer rating of 152.7. He’s Excellent at cutting through the defense on slants with separation galore –that’s a nice tool for his former OC, Brian Daboll. OLB Anfernee Jennings helped the defense with 5 tackles, 1 assist, and a sack, while FS Xavier McKinney had 5 tackles, 4 assists, and an INT. (GM and Ass’t. GM)

EDGE Julian Okwara, 3 TFL and 3 sacks. (1 scout)

CB Bryce Hall, 4 tackles (1 scout)

OLB Charles Snowden, 3 tackles –he’s fast and huge –and a poster child for work ethic. (1 scout)

WR Chase Claypool was active underneath, snaring 6 footballs for 30 yards. (1 scout)

FS Alohi Gilman had a sack and 2 solo tackles and an assist. (1 scout)

Two scouts at a Syracuse game seemed most interested in EDGE Alton Robinson. On an NFL-quality strip-sack, the local guy engaged his blocker and still was able to chop the ball free. Robinson finished with six tackles, three solos, 1.5 sacks, three TFL, and five QBH. Whoah. (2 scouts)

WRS K.J. Hamler is a declared redshirt sophomore who’s 5-9, 176, so, he’s this year’s Andy Isabella. Beane was watching the game where Hamler had 6 receptions for 108 yards and 1 touchdown. That put him at 1,107 yards on the season. Hamler returns kicks, but didn’t follow the coach’s directions 3 weeks earlier vs App State, bringing a kickoff out of the end zone. Do we need another Smurf? (GM visit)

CB Nigel Walton, who intercepted a pass and returned it 35 yards for a TD against No. 3 Georgia in September. Nigel (5′ 10″, 171) had also recovered a fumble and made 3 tackles against the Bulldogs. He won Ohio Valley Conf DPOY. He’d be a RD6C or Priority Free Agent. (Scout at practice)

Photo of Michigan LB Khaleke Hudson from 247sports.com.

Beane and Schoen’s second visit of the year was Iowa-Michigan. Michigan runs an old-fashioned, opportunistic, physical defense, but it’s a 3-4. However, Michigan had eight sacks and six hurries vs the Hawkeyes, which included RT Alaric Jackson and LT Tristan Wirfs. For Michigan, MLB Khaleke Hudson had 4 tkl and 7 asst, and would be a fine OLB, as well with his speed. OLB Josh Uche also looked to give Wirfs some trouble. SS Josh Metellus had 4 tkl, 2 asst, and a nice INT. (GM and Ass’t GM)

Two scouts went to Ohio State vs Michigan State a week later, but, alas, I cannot confirm it was Beane-Schoen. RB J.K. Dobbins was again the workhorse back, 24 carries for 172 yards (7.2) and 1 TD in this tilt, but tall, skinny WR Binjimen Victor (3 catches, 79 yards, 26.3 ypc, 1 TD) should be mentioned, too. FS Jordan Fuller (2nd visit) would be a surprise RD1 (even RD2) pick, but he has the McProcess gene. He’s a team captain; and he led OSU with 5 tackles, 2 assists, and an INT in this game. LB Pete Werner and LB Malik Harrison impressed in this game, too. Diminutive CB Josiah Scott has declared, and he led Michigan State in tackles (9). ILB Joe Bachie had an active outing, with 6 tackles, 5 assists, and 2 sacks. (2 scouts)

TE Jake Breeland led all pass-catchers with 5 catches for 85 yards (17.4 ypc). (1 scout)

CB Deommodore Lenoir (“luh-NORE”), 4 tackles and an assist. (1 scout)

SS Ashtyn Davis led the defense with 7 tackles and an INT (1 scout)

LB Evan Weaver had 5 tackles. (1 scout)

TE Jacob Breeland was 3 for 53 (17.7) and 1 TD. Breeland led the Ducks in YPC in both games. (2nd visit, back-to-back weeks)

Colorado’s WR Laviska Shenault caught 4 passes for a hefty 75 yds (17.5 ypc). (2 scouts)

RB Zack Moss takes 5 carries for 121 yards and 2 TD, an impressive 24.2 YPC. (2 scouts)

CB Jaylon Johnson, 7 tackles and 1 asst. (2 scouts)

WR Isaiah Hodgins had 8 catches for 77 yards, 0 TD. (2 scouts)

Beane and Schoen saw Ohio State yet again, with RB J.K. Dobbins just shy of 200 all-purpose yards, 18-121 (6.7) and 3 catches for 70. LB Malik Harrison led all tacklers with 7 tkl, 2 asst. FS Jordan Fuller again impressed. (GM, Ass’t. GM visit)

Photo of Iowa LT Tristan Wirfs from 247sports.com.

DL5T A.J. Epenesa (#7), LT Tristan Wirfs (#19), and QB Nate Stanley (#125) all were impressive in their own right. (GM, Ass’t. GM visit)

In front of Asst GM Joe Schoen, Cuse’s EDGE Alton Robinson had a nice pass-rush day, WLB Andrew Armstrong should be added as a Day-3 or UDFA locker-room presence; he exudes the type of person to whom McBeane gravitates. WR Maurice Ffrench (6-92-15.3 ypc-1 TD) is a Day-3 slot option in the Pittsburgh passing game, but had little success in this game as a punt returner: 2 returns for 2 yards. (Ass’t. GM visit)

WR Omar Bayless (9-50-16.7 ypc) (1 scout)

RT Robert Hunt #50 here, RT #50 was voted 2nd Team PFF Mid-Season All American Team, but, like all Bills OTs, the RS senior may be a better Guard than a Tackle. (1 scout)

RB/KR Raymond Calais– led rushers with 8 carries for 144 yds (18.0 ypc) and 2 TD, including a 80-yard TD run and a 38-yard score. He’s also fifth in CFB as a KR with a 31.4 YPR avg. (1 scout)

Brandon Beane was back, visiting WR Laviska Shenault‘s game vs USC, and he didn’t disappoint, with 9-172-19.1ypc-1 TD, which led all receivers. Shenault may be gone when the Bills pick at RD1#22. However, the 6-4, 220-pound RD2nd-3rd-rounder, WR Michael Pittman (7-156-22.3ypc, 2TD), also had a great day. The revelation for me, though, was LB John Houston, Jr., fifth-year senior with his closing speed, wrap-up tackles –and even his interviews. (GM visit)

When Rutgers upset Liberty, the Bills had a scout there in a pretty empty stadium. The productive, 6-4 WR Antonio Gandy-Golden (5 catches, 68 yds, 13.6 ypc, 1 TD) was kept on the bench by Rutgers’ 2-headed running game. He isn’t that fast, and he rounds off his routes, so he’s likely a Day-3 prospect –where the Bills have over half their draft picks.(1 scout)

Photo of Ohio State ILB-OLB Malike Harrison from elevenwarriors.com.

Brandon Beane saw ILB-OLB Malik Harrison (4 tackles), CB Damon Arnette (5 tackles and 2 assists) and the relatively-ignored CB Jeffrey Okudah (2 tackles). OLB Zach Baun led the Badgers in an impressive 8-tackle, 2-asst, 1-sack effort. For the third time in front of Bills’ scouts, RB J.K. Dobbins killed it (20-163-16.2 ypc-2 TD, plus 3-58-19.3 ypr receiving). RB Jonathan Taylor (20-52-2.6 ypc) couldn’t get it going vs ED Chase Young (6 tackles, 4 sacks) and Malik. (GM visit)

TE Brycen Hopkins 8 for 97 yards (12.1 ypc) (1 scout)

DL3T Khalil Davis (5 tkl, 2 asst, 1.5 sacks) (1 scout)

CB Lamar Jackson (4 tkl, 1 asst, 1 INT) (1 scout)

DL1T Darrion Daniels, 6-3, 331, INT and 1 tackle. (1 scout)

WR Bryan Edwards tied Deebo Samuel’s school record of 14 catches, putting up 139 yards and 1 TD. (2nd visit)

ILB T.J. Brunson had the most tackles on the day with 6, plus an INT. (2nd visit)

RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn 20 carries for 87 yards (4.3 ypc) (2nd visit)

RB Tavien Feaster 11-53-4.8 ypc (2nd visit)

ED Yetur Gross-Matos was kept in check (2nd visit)

WRS K.J. Hamler (7 catches 119 yds) (2nd visit)

CB/S Garrett Taylor, with 5 tkl and 5 asst (He was ejected for targeting in a games 3 weeks earlier). (2nd visit)

OLB Cam Brown (4 tkl, 2 asst), ejected in the Citrus Bowl (2nd visit)

S Antoine Winfield Jr. (9 tkl, 2 ast, 2 INT) (1 scout)

ED Carter Coughlin (4 tkl, 1 sack). (1 scout)

Photo of Alabama RB Najee Harris from youtube.com.

Beane and Schoen attended the game with the most draftables in it, LSU-Alabama. For LSU, QB Joe Burrow went 31 for 39 for 383 yards and 3 TD, no picks. RB 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 a TD, plus a 19-yard kick return adding up to 199 all-purpose yards. WR Justin Jefferson caught 7 for 79 yards as LSU’s #2 receiver to Ja’Marr Chase, and had 1 kick return for 1 yard. OLB K’Lavon Chaisson led in tackles with 5 tkl and 5 asst. Phillips and Delpit had 2 tackles each, while versatile iDL Rashard Lawrence had 1 tkl, 3 asst and 1/2 a sack. Fulton was avoided, but had 1 tackle. For Alabama, QB Tua Tagovailoa went 21 of 40 for 418 yards, 4 TD and 1 INT by LB Patrick Queen. RB Najee Harris churned out a 14 for 146, 1-TD stat line on the ground, 3 for 44, 1 TD through the air for 190 all-purpose yards. Watch three plays here and think “Thunder Back”. It was a WR Devonta Smith possession receiver game, with his 7 catches for 213 yards and 2 TDs. This isn’t separation, but it’s a catch. Again, WR Jerry Jeudy had #1-CB coverage and was still successful (5 for 71) as was WR Henry Ruggs, (3 for 68). The surprise draft target is S Xavier McKinney, who boosted his stock with 9 tackles, 4 asst, 1 blocked XP, 1 forced fumble, and 2 sacks, with tackling CB Trevon Diggs (5 tkl, 5 asst) the runner-up. EDGE Anfernee Jennings (4 tkl, 4 asst, 2 sacks) had his best game for Bills’ scouts. S/CB Shyheim Carter had 0 tkl, 5 asst. Raekwon Davis was schemed out (1 tkl, 2 asst, 1/2 sack) (GM, Ass’t. GM visit)

ED/3T McTelvin Agim is all about the ‘team over me’ mentality. The Hogs mis-utilized Agim in the 3-4 (sound familiar?), playing him extensively at DE. Well, the 4-3 is back, and Agim is flourishing. Agim’s work ethic is unquestioned. (Scout visited practice)

WR CeeDee Lamb underwhelmed, hauling in 2 catches out of 5 targets for only 16 yards but also recording a 21-yard rush. ( 1 scout)

QB Jalen Hurts has an impressive keeper , but he’s not going to be a Bill. Daboll wanted Tua to replace Jalen at Alabama. ( 1 scout)

OLB Kenneth Murray (7 tkl, 2 ast, .5 sack) continues to impress me. (1 scout)

OT Lucas Niang dominated his opponents. (1 scout)

Photo of Texas WR Devin Duvernay from 247sports.com.

The fact that Director of Player Personnel Dan Morgan was at the Texas-Tech game means you pay real close attention to the defense. For Texas, S Brandon Jones led all tacklers with 11, and I’m sure he caught Morgan’s eye. Longhorn CB Chris Brown was second with 9, but we already have a Chris Brown –too confusing. On offense, QB Sam Ehlinger had a great game, with 348 passing yds and 2 TD, while adding 10 rushes for 83 yards and another TD. If the Bills see him there in WR Devin Duvernay went 6 for 199 yds and a TD –a 33+ average! He’s been doing that all year. For Texas Tech, ILB Jordyn Brooks did not play. CB DeMarcus Fields, who had been suspended in mid-March 2019, led Tech with 11 tackles and 2 asst. I don’t think he will pass the Bills’ Instagram test. (Dan Morgan visit)

The next day, Morgan was at Oklahoma 34, Oklahoma St. 16, and again they saw the almost-human version of WR CeeDee Lamb: 4 catches for 36 yards. He’ll be long gone by the time the Bills pick, anyway. Morgan saw OLB Kenneth Murray rank 2nd in tackles with 6. Wiry, unranked senior CB Parnell Motley had 5 FFs in his last 6 games, and had 2 in this game, along with 6 tackles and this fumble recovery. Last I checked, Motley was 10th in FBS in PDs and had a sub-9% completion rate. The game was won because of control at the LOS. This was because OC Creed Humphrey and DL1T Neville Gallimore did work on their side of the ball for the Sooners. Watch the Center #56 Humphrey instantly switch man here and move his man for the TD here. He even hikes the ball on XPs. Hailing from St. Catherines, Ontario, 45 minutes from Buffalo, iDL Neville Gallimore #90 here, shows his relentlessness here, pressuring an INT . (Dan Morgan visit)

The same day, Morgan paid a visit to Texas A&M’s campus, where they were preparing to be shellacked by LSU. Three players are likely on the Bills’ radar: iDL Justin Madubuike, OLB Anthony Hines (who took over for our own Tyrel Dodson, and still has college eligibility left), and P Braden Mann (#247), the 2018 Ray Guy Award winner, who began his career as a linebacker. He saved a couple TDs because of that tackling ability. (Dan Morgan visit)

Editor’s babble: This is pure gold for those of us who are ready to start sharpening our pencils and making a wish list for the 2020 NFL Draft. Thanks, as always, to the incredible Dean Kindig for his contributions to our blog. You can find “The Draft Dean” on Twitter @TCBILLS_Astro.

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