By Tim Graham
Since the NFL scouting combine two months ago, the Buffalo News has delivered a steady current of draft coverage.
We hoped it would be enough to whet your appetite in the early days of the offseason. Bills reporters Jay Skurski and Mark Gaughan anchored our position-by-position draft preview series and wrote capsules on dozens of the top prospects over the past several weeks.
With the first round finally happening at 8 tonight, let's funnel all of those preview stories and player profiles into one pool of go-to Buffalo News links.
There's no better way to follow the draft than by picking up this morning's actual NFL draft preview section, with sweet cover art (quarterback draft picks as lottery scratch-off tickets) designed by News illustrator Daniel Zakroczemski.
But you also can dive in and soak up our online coverage to prepare for the next three days. The first round is tonight. The second and third rounds are Friday night. The fourth through seventh rounds take place Saturday afternoon.
From today's draft preview section:
- Gaughan's feature story examines the inherent problems to scouting and drafting potential franchise quarterbacks.
- In his final mock draft, Skurski projects Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib to the Bills with the eighth pick.
- Senior sports columnist Jerry Sullivan marvels at the fact Buffalo never has taken a quarterback with its first draft pick and proclaims that trend must end tonight.
- Skurski further explores the organizational blind spot: One team has drafted fewer quarterbacks than the Bills since 1997.
- Gaughan and Skurski assign draft grades on every positional grouping, broken down by offense and defense.
- A critical component of the annual draft process begins when after Mr. Irrelevant has been chosen. I take a look at why undrafted rookies are important -- and sometimes more interesting than the bonus babies.
- A pick-by-pick rundown of every Bills draft choice since 1967.
On the Press Coverage blog:
- Sort through 48 prospect capsules, complete with all the vital statistics, written by Skurski and Gaughan.
The News' eight-part positional series:
- Skurski takes a look at this year's quarterback class.
- Gaughan examines a deep group of wide receivers.
- Gaughan focuses on tight end as a position of need for Buffalo.
- Skurski spotlights linebackers who might fit new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine's system.
- Safeties also are considered a deep position this year, Gaughan writes.
- Offensive linemen will be popular picks tonight, Skurski explains.
- Skurski contends defensive linemen might be the strength of this year's draft.
- There aren't a lot of first-round-caliber running backs.
The News won't stop there. Follow our intensive NFL draft coverage, beginning with a live video show co-hosted by Skurski and me at 7:30 tonight on BuffaloNews.com. We will have reports from Mark Gaughan and Jerry Sullivan at One Bills Drive, as well as an ongoing live chat.
The chat will resume during the second and third rounds Friday along with video highlights and analysis from Orchard Park.