Paul "Closer" Wanecski
Make what you will about the Bills aggressive nature in the NFL Draft, the fact remains that they knew who the wanted and did everything they could to get him. As the days post-draft unfold, more and more stories are surfacing about just how relentless the Buffalo Bills actually were.
A video on BuffaloBills.com shows Director of Player Personnel Jim Monos discussing just how badly the Bills felt they needed Watkins, going as far to call the Houston Texans, who held the first overall selection, to guarantee that Watkins would have a charging buffalo on his helmet come week one. Houston was not willing to accept the Bills offer, which was the same for the St. Louis Rams whom did confirm that they had been contacted for the second selection by a team that inevitably traded up.
The part of the equation that was unknown to most of the Buffalo-faithful was that the Bills were unable to predict the player the Jacksonville Jaguars coveted. When entering my own mock draft, I had said that Jacksonville would not be able to pass on Khalil Mack, who was still on the board when the third pick was on the clock. Chad Henne really didn’t play too poorly considering that Justin Blackmon, the Jaguar’s most lethal weapon at wide receiver, missed nearly the entire season. Jacksonville selected Quarterback Blake Bortles, passing on the opportunity to bring another dynamic weapon to Jacksonville in either Watkins or Mack. Once Bortles went off the board, Cleveland’s phone blew up. The Browns had actually contacted Houston to see if the Bills had reached out to them, and, who it was they were targeting. The details of that call are mostly speculation at this point; however, it has become apparent that Houston gave Cleveland all the details they needed. By the way, Cleveland called Houston prior to them selecting Jadeveon Clowney.
I think this shows how out of touch the media is to the happenings in those draft rooms. We all knew the Bills were trying to move, as numerous reports abound prior to the draft, however, it was tough to tell if this was posturing for future drafts or if this was all real. When you have ownership changes, the coaching staff and general manager do not always last too long. With all that being said, last year, the Bills selected EJ Manual above where most teams had him graded, because, they knew he was who they wanted. The integrity of this franchise to do whatever it takes to get the player they want is something we all need to become accustomed to. It certainly isn’t the way business has been handled the last 2
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