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Cowboys unlikely awed by Bills' 2013 draft class

By Tim Graham

The Dallas Cowboys' draft plans apparently weren't foiled by anything the Buffalo Bills did. has reconstructed Dallas' 2013 draft board, which was used as a backdrop for interviews owner Jerry Jones gave to the team's official site. A similar revelation was made in 2010, and the board was confirmed to be the real deal.

With that in mind, we can see what the Cowboys would think of the Bills' draft haul. The Cowboys likely were unimpressed.

Continue reading "Cowboys unlikely awed by Bills' 2013 draft class" »

Woods deal leaves Bills with just one unsigned draft pick

By Mark Gaughan

The Buffalo Bills announced the signing of second-round draft pick Robert Woods, leaving quarterback EJ Manuel as the only unsigned draft pick for the team.

Woods was the first of Buffalo's two second-round picks, taken at No. 41 overall. His four-year deal is believed to be worth about $4.8 million.

Linebacker Kiko Alonso was the Bills' second second-round draft pick, taken at No. 46 overall. Manuel was the 16th overall selection.

Continue reading "Woods deal leaves Bills with just one unsigned draft pick" »

Kiko Alonso becomes sixth draft pick to sign with Bills

By Mark Gaughan

The Buffalo Bills announced the signing of second-round draft pick Kiko Alonso, the linebacker from the University of Oregon.

Terms were not disclosed, but it's expected Alonso's deal will be worth about $1.1 million a year over four years. The total value should be worth about $4.4 million. Alonso becomes the sixth of the Bills' eighth draft picks to sign.

The remaining unsigned picks are first-rounder EJ Manuel and Robert Woods, who was taken in the second round five picks ahead of Alonso.

Alonso, 6-foot-3 and 238 pounds, has a chance to start right away in the Bills' defense. In the 3-4 front, Nigel Bradham is one starting inside linebacker. The other spot is open with this month's trade of Kelvin Sheppard to Indianapolis. Alonso started 17 of 36 games for Oregon. As a senior, he had 81 tackles in 12 starts.

Bills sign four more draft picks

By Mark Gaughan

The Buffalo Bills announced the signing of four more draft picks in advance of the start today of a three-day rookie minicamp.

Reaching deals with the team were third-round pick Marquise Goodwin, fourth-rounder Duke Williams, fifth-rounder Jonathan Meeks and sixth-rounder Dustin Hopkins. Goodwin is a receiver from the University of Texas, Williams a safety from the University of Nevada, Meeks a safety from Clemson University and Hopkins a kicker from Florida State. The Bills signed tight end Chris Gragg of Arkansas on Thursday.

Terms of the deals were not disclosed. However, it's expected Goodwin's deal, the largest of the group, will be worth about $2.7 million over four years.

Goodwin is a 5-foot-9, 183-pounder who participated in the long jump at the 2012 Olympic Games and ran a 40-yard dash time of 4.27 seconds, fastest of any player at the NFL Scouting Combine this season. Williams is 5-11, 203 pounds.

Meeks is 6-1, 209. Hopkins, 6-2, 193, was a four-year performer for the Seminoles who set the NCAA career scoring record.

Bills sign seventh-round pick Chris Gragg

By Mark Gaughan

The Buffalo Bills have signed seventh-round draft pick Chris Gragg, the tight end from the University of Arkansas, the team announced.

Gragg, 6-foot-3 and 244 pounds, is the first of the Bills' eight draft picks to reach a contract agreement. Gragg caught 22 passes for 289 yards and three touchdowns as a senior in 2012. As a junior in 2011, he had 41 catches for 518 yards.

Gragg showed his athleticism in pre-draft testing, running the 40-yard dash in 4.50 seconds, fastest among tight ends at the NFL Scouting Combine. He also had the best broad jump (10 feet, 5 inches) and the best vertical jump (37.5 inches) among tight ends in the draft.

Michael Husted breaks down new Bills kicker Dustin Hopkins

Dustin Hopkins

By Tim Graham

The Buffalo Bills shouldn't have to worry about their place-kicking duties for the next several years, former NFL kicker Michael Husted said.

The Bills used a sixth-round draft choice on Florida State kicker Dustin Hopkins. Husted, a coach and consultant who specializes in grooming young kickers, shared his thoughts on the move with the Press Coverage blog.

Husted liked the Hopkins pick even though it clearly puts veteran Rian Lindell in the Turk's crosshairs.

Continue reading "Michael Husted breaks down new Bills kicker Dustin Hopkins" »

When first QB not drafted in top 10, success usually doesn't follow

By Tim Graham

If history is an indicator, then EJ Manuel will have a tough go in the NFL.

Top-notch quarterback metrician Scott Kacsmar has examined what happens after the first one off the draft board is taken outside the top 10 picks -- in other words, the best quarterback of a weak class.

The Buffalo Bills traded back and, with every quarterback available, selected Manuel 16th overall.

Kacsmar's research for shows that nine times since 1967 the first quarterback was drafted outside the top 10 but still in the first round.

Continue reading "When first QB not drafted in top 10, success usually doesn't follow" »

All hands on deck for Bills' fullback duties; McIntyre gone

By Tim Graham

What a novelty it was to see defensive tackle Kyle Williams play fullback in a few of the Buffalo Bills' goal-line situations last year.

New head coach Doug Marrone intends to use his grunts down there on the regular.

"You'll see it when you get down probably to the goal line, short yardage or maybe bringing in a defensive tackle or an offensive lineman or things like that going on," Marrone said at the Bills' post-draft news conference Saturday.

"I look at it as you can only dress so many for that game, how much are you going to get to use at this position or this player and that. So you have to look for the versatility I believe."

Continue reading "All hands on deck for Bills' fullback duties; McIntyre gone" »

Proposed analytics department not part of Bills' equation yet

By Tim Graham

The year 2014 takes place deeper into the future than 2013.

And that includes the extent of my analytics for today.

When the Buffalo Bills announced on Jan. 1 that Russ Brandon was taking over as president, one of the highlights of his news conference was his declaration the club would "create and establish a very robust football analytics operation" to guide football operations.

Nearly four months later, Brandon revealed their analytics department doesn't exist yet.

Continue reading "Proposed analytics department not part of Bills' equation yet" »

J.C. Tretter, Luke Tasker were almost roommates again

By Jay Skurski

For the past four seasons, Luke Tasker and J.C. Tretter have been roommates on the road with the Cornell football team.

They almost got a chance to do the same at the next level.

Tretter was drafted in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft on Saturday by the Green Bay Packers. Tasker went undrafted, but was close to signing as a free agent with the Packers before ultimately deciding to join the San Diego Chargers.

Continue reading "J.C. Tretter, Luke Tasker were almost roommates again" »

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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |