Thomas Sweeney Jersey

When Pro Football Hall of Fame Coach Bill Parcells analyzed his roster he used to talk about groceries.

“If they want you to cook the dinner, at least they ought to let you shop for some of the groceries,” he said, looking for more authority over his roster make-up.

The 2019 Buffalo Bills look like they’re finished shopping for groceries, with 81 players on the roster and eight-nine more to be added as undrafted free agents. The job now—unpack the groceries, line them up in the pantry. And then figure out which ingredients go where, in the makeup of the final 53-man roster.

What follows is a position-by-position breakdown of the Bills roster this spring, with some of the new groceries added, some of the returning ingredients, and analysis of which position groups might be the most intriguing to follow through the offseason workouts in the next few months:How long will it take to determine the starters along the offensive line?

New additions: C Mitch Morse, T Ty Nsekhe, T LaAdrian Waddle, G Spencer Long, G Jon Feliciano, T Cody Ford (rookie), G Quinton Spain

Returning from 2018: T Dion Dawkins, G Wyatt Teller, G Vladimir Ducasse, G Ike Boettger, T Jeremiah Sirles, T Conor McDermott, C Russell Bodine

All five starting offensive line spots could change from the 2018 season. Free agent signee Mitch Morse is slated to start at center, and third year vet Dion Dawkins would likely return as the starter at LT, but everything else is in play.

The Bills have already said that second round draft pick Cody Ford will begin his career as a right tackle and he’s probably got that job nailed down. Free agent addition Spencer Long will likely battle for a starting guard spot. He started the final four games at left guard last year after starting the first four at center. But what about veteran tackle Ty Nsekhe, a swing tackle from Washington? Does he move into the lineup at tackle and allow the Bills to try Dawkins inside at guard? Vlad Ducasse made nine starts at left guard last year. Wyatt Teller made the other seven at that spot. Do they figure into the picture as a starter this year? Free agent additions Jon Feliciano and Quinton Spain will also get their opportunities to earn starting spots as well.

New offensive line coach Bobby Johnson has some evaluations to make when the players line up this spring. And head coach Sean McDermott says one of the big challenges is to make those evaluations and get the offensive line in place in time to build cohesion and chemistry.

“You want to give everyone a chance to compete and see what their best football looks like,” McDermott says. “But also, at some point, we need to make a decision and go with it so that we can build the continuity that’s so important and the communication that goes with it and the chemistry that you want one cohesive unit to have. That’s a challenge.”
A variety of different styles to choose from at the wide receiver position

New additions: John Brown, Cole Beasley, Andre Roberts, Duke Williams

Returning from 2018: Zay Jones, Robert Foster, Isaish Mckenzie, Ray-Ray Mccloud, Da’mari Scott, Cam Phiillips, Victor Bolden, Jr.

First-year wide receivers coach Chad Hall has his work in front of him this spring, also. He’s got three veteran NFL free agents added to the group (Brown, Beasley and Roberts) and an interesting CFL veteran in Duke Williams.

The Bills will have to sort through the various skill sets in their receiving group to find the right five-six-man unit by September.

They have speed wide receivers in Foster, Brown, and McKenzie; a size-matchup in Duke Williams (6-3, 225 pounds); an all-around receiver in Zay Jones, and an accomplished slot receiver in Cole Beasley. What flavor do you want?
New faces dominate the tight end group

New additions: Tyler Kroft, Dawson Knox (rookie), Tommy Sweeney (rookie), Jake Fisher

Returning from 2018: Jason Croom

It’s a pretty big upheaval at tight end from a year ago, with Jason Croom the only returning veteran. He played 15 games and caught 22 passes in a back-up role last year and has already impressed coaches with his work in the offseason conditioning program.

Third round pick Dawson Knox and seventh rounder Tommy Sweeney figure to get a lot of attention when the rookies arrive next week. Knox may contribute right away. Longtime NFL scout Jim Nagy, the Executive Director of the Reese’s Senior Bowl, scouted Knox for his game and thought he has first-round talent.

“I really thought talent-wise, there wasn’t much difference between him and T.J. Hockenson who went eighth overall to the Detroit Lions,” Nagy told One Bills Live. “Dawson can block. He’s a really tough kid. He’s got a great body-type for the position. He was really under-used for Ole Miss. He’s going to be a way more productive pro than he was in college. I think they drafted a long-time starter there.”

"I really connected with Coach Boras and got to know him...we just really clicked"Will the Bills find the right mix of youth and experience at running back?

New additions: Frank Gore, T.J. Yeldon, Devin Singletary (rookie), Senorise Perry, Christian Wade

Returning from 2018: LeSean McCoy, Marcus Murphy, Keith Ford, FB Patrick DiMarco

It was not viewed as a position of dire need this offseason, but the Bills signed a likely Hall of Famer and a proven pro running back to add to their backfield mix this offseason. And they used a third-round pick on rookie Devin Singletary from Florida Atlantic.

But with LeSean McCoy back looking to rebound from his disappointing 2018 production, the Bills will have to sort out the carries among their running back options this spring. They could wind up with a “running back by committee” approach by the time they hit the regular season.
No competition this offseason, Josh Allen enters 2019 as the unquestioned starter.

New additions: None

Returning from 2018: Josh Allen, Matt Barkley, Derek Anderson

The Bills set their quarterback room set as soon as the 2018 season ended by re-signing back-up Matt Barkley on December 21st and back-up Derek Anderson 10 days later. With a nod to the cohesion and communication in the quarterback meeting room, they wanted the group that finished last season (with Josh Allen) back for another season.

New quarterbacks coach Ken Dorsey will also get to work with talented prospect Tyree Jackson from the University at Buffalo who is planning to officially sign his contract with the Bills late next week according to GM Brandon Beane. The Bills have signed him as an undrafted free agent and may be ready to invest some development time into him.
Ed Oliver adds a jolt of youthful energy to the defensive line room

New additions: DT Ed Oliver (rookie), DE Darryl Johnson (rookie), DE Eli Harold

Returning From 2018: DT Star Lotulelei, DE Jerry Hughes, DE Shaq Lawson, DE Trent Murphy, DT Harrison Phillips, DT Jordan Phillips, DE Eddie Yarbrough, DE Mike Love, DT Kyle Peko, DT Robert Thomas

The Bills have 13 defensive linemen on the roster and at least half of them are likely to take a regular turn through the defensive line rotation on game day. They need numbers up front and they’ll use them: last year seven Bills defensive linemen played at least 30 percent of the snaps, and none of them played more than 65 percent.

First round draft pick Ed Oliver can expect to get the lion’s share of the work at the three-technique tackle spot. And NFL draft analyst Doug Farrar of USA Today says Oliver is the perfect fit for that job in Buffalo.

“I think when you look at traits and things that are transferable to the NFL, I would argue that there’s no one more able to be a more transcendent player than Ed Oliver,” Farrar told One Bills Live this week.

Backup DE Mike Love, who spent most of last year on Buffalo’s practice squad, has won admirers in the personnel department and from his teammates. He could challenge for significant snaps this spring and summer.

"When you watch Kyle Williams and Ed Oliver, there are a lot of traits that are similar that I think makes this a really excellent fit for Ed in Buffalo"Tremaine Edmunds will lead this returning group of starting linebackers

New additions: LB Vosean Joseph (rookie), LB Maurice Alexander

Returning from 2018: LB Tremaine Edmunds, LB Lorenzo Alexander, LB Matt Milano, LB Corey Thompson, LB Julian Stanford, LB Deon Lacey

The Bills are light in numbers here, at least until the undrafted rookies are officially signed and added to the roster. They’re expecting starter Matt Milano to come back full speed after missing the last three games in 2018. And they’re expecting another strong year from 13-year vet Lorenzo Alexander in his fourth season with the Bills.

The key man for this group is last year’s first round pick Tremaine Edmunds, back for his second year as a starter.

“I still have a long way to go,” he told One Bills Live during a break in the team’s offseason conditioning work. “I’m still trying to improve every day. I show up here, whether it’s conditioning, lifting, or in the meetings-getting mental reps. I still have a long way to go—We still have a long way to go.”

"Stay positive. You're going to face adversity in your rookie year. There's going to be many ups and downs."Who will win the second cornerback spot?

New additions: CB E.J. Gaines, CB Kevin Johnson, S Jaquan Johnson (rookie)

Returning From 2018: CB Tre’Davious White, CB Levi Wallace, S Micah Hyde, S Jordan Poyer, CB Lafayette Pitts, CB Taron Johnson, CB Ryan Lewis, S Siran Neal, S Dean Marlowe, S Rafael Bush, CB Denzel Rice

The big question to be answered in the secondary is who starts at cornerback opposite Tre’Davious White. Levi Wallace finished 2018 starting the final seven games. Kevin Johnson is a former Texans first round draft pick who made 18 starts in Houston over four seasons. And E.J. Gaines is back with Buffalo after a one-year stint in Cleveland. He made 11 starts at CB with the Bills two years ago.

Dawson Knox Jersey

Orchard Park, N.Y. — When Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane traded up back into the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft to take Ole Miss tight end Dawson Knox, some fans may have scratched their head a bit after a glance at his college stats.

Knox played in a star-studded offense in Ole Miss, which was exciting according to the 22-yard-old former high school quarterback because every play had the potential to go for a touchdown.

Ironically Knox finished his college career with no touchdowns. But his tight ends coach at Ole Miss Maurice Harris, who’s now at Liberty, explained that he was just a victim of how many talented players the Rebels had in their offense.

Now that Knox is in the NFL and set to compete for playing time at tight end for the Bills with former Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Kroft and holdover Jason Croom, Harris thinks Knox’s speed is going to surprise NFL defenders.

“His speed is deceiving,” Harris recently said in an interview with Howard Simon on WGR 550 radio. He gets on you fast. … I think one thing he’ll be able to take advantage of is when he’s matched up against linebackers. Guys that are in the box that are trying to cover him, the majority of these guys can’t run with him. They don’t have the split speed that he has.”

Knox ran an unofficial 4.51 at his Ole Miss pro day, surely sky-rocketing his draft stock. When there started to be a run on tight ends in the third round after Beane took running back Devin Singletary with an earlier pick, he had to jump back up to get Knox.

“He’s a very good athlete. He tested well. (I) was able to see him live this year versus South Carolina. And warming up, you could just see,” Beane said. “I didn’t feel like they used him to accentuate some of the things that he does well. He’s one of those guys, he is a combo guy. Some of the tight ends we think are truly just an F flex or some are just a Y that you really don’t want to include in the passing game a lot. I do think that he is a dual threat. I think he’s got upside. I think that the biggest thing that he’s had is he’s had some durability things that have held him back. We think that we’ve got a good idea of how to handle that. He’ll come in here and he’ll compete.”

Iowa tight end Noah Fant impressed at the NFL Combine with some pretty impressive numbers. He ran a 4.5 40 and his athleticism at the tight end position had experts fawning over his potential as a playmaker.

Knox isn’t that far off from Fant when it comes to athleticism. Getting him in the third round after Fant went in the first is a significant value for Beane and the Bills.

But he still does need to prove that he can produce. He thinks he’ll be able to and he’s going to rely on that athleticism.

“I know that I have the athletic tools to be able to do anything that’s asked of me,” he said after getting drafted. “I’m really confident in the way that I can run around and I can get under people’s pads and move them off the ball. I want to be that three-down tight end that’s asked to do everything and I know I can do that. Whether you split me out running a route against a corner or safety or have me in the box blocking a d-end, I’m pretty confident that I’ll be able to do it.”

How will Knox fit in Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll’s offense? Perfectly if you ask him.

“I’m looking forward to getting under a system that utilizes a lot of motions and a lot of different mismatches that I can help the offense exploit a little bit,” he said.

Darryl Johnson Jersey

The Bills drafted a long-limbed edge rusher from North Carolina A&T Darryl Johnson with the 225th pick in the seventh-round of the 2019 NFL draft.

Here are three things to know about the newest Bill:

Dominated MEAC

Johnson dominated opposing offensive lines and quarterbacks in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference this past season, culminating in being named the Defensive Player of the Year.

In 12 games, Johnson had 55 total tackles, 19 tackles for a loss and 10.5 sacks for a total loss of 69 yards.

Johnson, who stands at 6-6 and 253 pounds, broke out his sophomore year when he made 40 tackles with 15.5 for a loss, 6.5 sacks and four forced fumbles.

History of success

The last three MEAC defensive players of the year have all turned into solid NFL players.

Linebacker Darius Leonard of the Indianapolis Colts won the award in 2016 and 2017 and was an All-Pro as a rookie. Javon Hargrave who won the award in 2014 and 2015 has started at defensive tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers the past three seasons.

The 2013 winner Joe Thomas has played 52 games with eight starts in the past five seasons with the Packers and Cowboys.

North Carolina A&T has had a player drafted in the last two NFL drafts, running back Tarik Cohen and offensive tackle Brandon Parker. Cohen made the Pro Bowl this past year and Parker won a starting job as a rookie for the Raiders.

NC A&T was his only offer

Johnson committed to A&T without even taking an official recruiting visit. Johnson got injured his senior football season and the recruiting interest cooled leading to North Carolina A&T being his only scholarship offer.

“Man, without A&T, I really don’t know where I’d be right now,” Johnson said. “I’d be in college somewhere, but I probably wouldn’t be playing football. I’d probably be at a junior college somewhere. I thank God for A&T. … I’ll give my all to this university because they believed in me.”

Jaquan Johnson Jersey

The Buffalo Bills drafted an aggressive safety in Jaquan Johnson from Miami. He was the 181st pick in the sixth round.

Here are three things to know about the newest Bill:

Heart and soul

Miami defensive coordinator called Jaquan Johnson “the heart and soul” of the Hurricanes defense as a junior. Johnson was named one of just four defensive players among 15 semifinalists for the 2017 Walter Camp Player of the Year Award.

“The guy is unbelievable,’’ Diaz said “He’s the heart and soul of our secondary. When you need a guy to make a play, that’s the guy. That’s the guy.

“I’ve been jumping up and down on this Jaquan Johnson bandwagon for a while now. It’s neat that he made the plays that sort of the untrained eye can see, the obvious spectacular plays,’’ Diaz said. “Because the plays that he’s been making that have maybe been going unnoticed have been just as important. You just can’t be good in college football anymore without great safety play, because the No. 1 thing we’ve done all year in not giving up points is we don’t give up long touchdowns.”

NFL roots

Johnson was a four-star recruit before committing to Miami from Miami-Killian High but he wasn’t the first member of his family to attend The U as a football player.

Johnson’s cousin is current Houston Texans running back and 2018 Pro Bowler Lamar Miller.

Johnson was a four-time All-Dade First Team selection and competed in the 2015 US Army All-American Bowl and chose Miami over schools like Florida State, Florida, Alabama, LSU and South Carolina.

Rough beginnings

Johnson is the fourth of seven children raised in his house. He remembers days when he would open the refrigerator and would have nothing to eat. The only meals he said were the free breakfasts and lunches at school.

“My mom tried her best,” Jaquan said. “Even if we didn’t have food, she would give up eating. People think, ‘Oh that was tough.’ But we really didn’t think of it like that. I just thought it was normal. I thought it was life. Now looking back, it wasn’t normal, but it was the way we lived.”

Johnson moved to live with his former flag football coach John Phillips and his commitment to Miami was because of an allegiance he had to his hometown and for the Hurricanes making him feel like family.

Vosean Joseph Jersey

The Bills drafted linebacker Vosean Joseph with the 147th pick in the fifth round. Joseph is a native of Miami, FL and played his college football at Florida.

Finished strong

Joseph put together his best collegiate season in 2018. From his outside linebacker position he led the Gators with 93 tackles, including nine for loss with four sacks, and five pass breakups.

His best game last season came against LSU when he posted a career-high 14 tackles including 3.5 for loss. It earned him SEC Defensive Player of the Week honors.

Escaping the loss

Island roots

Joseph’s mother is a Jamaican native who emigrated to the United States before Vosean was born. He still has relatives there. Joseph also has family elsewhere in the Caribbean in both the Bahamas and Haiti.
Part of the reason Joseph chose to attend Florida was to escape the negative influences in his neighborhood in South Florida. He lost four childhood friends during his time in college to violence in his native Miami.

“In the beginning, it hurt me bad,” he told the Miami Herald. “But at the end of the day I know they’re watching over me and I’ve just got to move on from that. It happens so much down there to the point that you just get numb to it. Like you can’t cry no more.”

Where NFL teams really make their money at the NFL draft isn’t in the first or second round. On Day 3 is where teams really make their mark on their roster if they can find diamonds in the rough.The Bills ended up selecting four players in the third and final day of the draft. Of them, one has caught the attention of NFL analyst and former quarterback Chris Simms, Florida linebacker Vosean Joseph.Simms said Joseph wasn’t the best linebacker in the draft, but he ranked him right up there with the likes of Devin Bush and Devin White, who were selected at 10 and fifth, respectively.

“This was, I thought, the third most impressive linebacker I watched,” Simms said of Joseph. “I saw this kid and I just went he’s a lot like Darius Leonard who won rookie of the year last season. In every game I watch, he’s all over the ball. And for not a big guy, he plays really well in the trash and is a true ball-hawking linebacker.”

Joseph, a senior, will come to the Bills and project as a player who can eventually take over for linebacker Lorenzo Alexander, as a pass rusher and special teamer, upon his retirement.

As a junior, Joseph had a team-high 93 tackles with nine for loss and four sacks.

Here’s Simms’ full explanation on what he likes about the Bills linebacker:

Devin Singletary Jersey

The Buffalo Bills running back room will be one of the top-watched position groups during the team’s training camp. There’s vets LeSean McCoy and Frank Gore and third-round rookie Devin Singletary joins TJ Yeldon on the other end of the age spectrum.

We’ll have to wait and see how things shake out.

But as a higher rookie selection, you can bet Singletary will stick around to the 2019 regular season. However, before Singletary even suits up for the Bills or experiences his new home, he’s walking into a place he’s excited about.

You can thank Buffalo general manager Brandon Beane for that.

According to Singletray, during the pre-draft process, the Bills were one of the teams that were most interested in him. That came to fruition when the Bills selected him with the No. 74 overall pick.

After Day 2 of the 2019 NFL draft, Beane explained the selection. First, the GM said Singletary reminds him a lot of McCoy.

“I don’t want to be unfair to LeSean, but he kind of plays like that, he makes a lot of guys miss in space, so we’ll call it a similar play-style to him,” Bean said.

“Because he didn’t get tackled a lot,” Beane further said about Singletary’s selection. “He had 66 touchdowns, I think. Out of all the guys I watched, I still have a note on this little surface where I write that this is the funnest guy I’ve watched all year. Even the guys I watched after him, I didn’t feel like I needed to erase it. The guy’s got some amazing vision, rare vision, lateral quickness, and his instincts, if this is ten [signals up], they’re up here [signals higher], and they’re very rare.”

Singletary won’t get his first look at his new home until May 10, when the Bills open rookie minicamp. Still, Beane’s admiration has Singletary motivated already, the back said.

“That’s big,” Singletary said about the Bills’ praise via Fox News. “I’m going somewhere that I’m wanted. It wasn’t just, ‘oh, we kind of want him.’ They showed that they really wanted me.

“They’ve been watching me from the beginning and like (Beane) said, I was one of the funnest to watch so that’ll be great, playing under a guy like that and I can’t wait to get to work.”

Now it’s just time to wait and see if Singletary really does has a little Shady in his game.

Sixty-six rushing touchdowns in a 38-game collegiate career.

How, Devin Singletary was asked, did he manage that?

“Just growing up in South Florida (Deerfield Beach), playing little league football, it’s big down there,” the former Florida Atlantic star told reporters during a conference call shortly after the Buffalo Bills made him a third-round draft pick last Friday night. “I just feel like, I don’t know, there’s something about South Floridians. And I’ve got God-given talent, so that’s tough.

“You might have to ask God on that one.”

The Bills were satisfied with their earthly consultation of Singletary’s game video to conclude he could perform at the same level in the NFL.

Their conviction was strong enough that they invested the 74th overall choice in him while eschewing the need to address wide receiver, a position widely considered a greater priority.

“We followed the board and he was sticking out,” General Manager Brandon Beane said of Singletary.

So, too, in Beane’s view, was the fact the running back depth chart “has some age” in soon-to-be-36-year-old free-agent signee Frank Gore and LeSean McCoy, who turns 31 in July.

Singletary, 21, fondly remembers following Gore and McCoy while growing up.

“Oh my God, yes!” he said. “It’s going to be great to finally meet them in person and just to be able to learn from them. And being able to compete with them every day, I know it’s going to be fun.”

Each of the Bills’ eight new draft picks expressed enthusiasm over being selected by the team. Singletary’s euphoria was at a level all its own.

“Oh, beyond, beyond, beyond happy. I’m just excited,” he said. “I’m ready to get to work. I’m ready to get to Buffalo right now. … I was glad to see that 716 come across my phone.”

Draft analysts said Singletary’s elusive running style and ability to catch passes (he had 51 receptions for 397 yards and a touchdown in college) reminded them of McCoy. Singletary will tell you that’s hardly a coincidence.

“I definitely grew up watching Shady McCoy,” he said. “So I definitely took things out of his game to put in my game.”

At 5-foot-7 and 203 pounds, Singletary, who gained 4,299 yards on 714 attempts at Florida Atlantic, has been seen by some as a bit small to excel in the NFL. History shows there are exceptions at all positions, including running back.

Singletary thinks he’ll be among them.

“I believe my size doesn’t matter because there’s multiple guys in the past who showed that size doesn’t matter in the league,” he said. “And I feel I’m going to be able to do the same thing. I’m going to be able to play in the league, and my size definitely won’t play a factor.”

Beane acknowledged that if Singletary were more of a home-run-hitting type of runner, looming as a constant threat to go the distance on every carry, he would have been selected higher.

Still, the GM sounds plenty pleased with what he thinks the running back has to offer.

“He didn’t get tackled a lot,” Beane said. “Out of all the guys I watched, I still have a note on this little Surface where I write that, ‘This is the funnest guy I’ve watched all year.’ Even the guys I watched after him, I didn’t feel like I needed to erase it.

“The guy’s got some amazing vision, rare vision, lateral quickness, and his instincts, if this is 10 (singling upward), they’re up here (singling higher). And they’re very rare. Rare instincts, rare vision for the position. He’s a smaller guy. I wouldn’t call him a home run hitter, but he can make guys miss in a phone booth.”

By adding Singletary — along with Gore, T.J. Yeldon and Senorise Perry in free agency — the Bills have seven players in their offensive backfield, including fullback Patrick DiMarco.

What sort of fit does the rookie see for himself?

“You know, I just want to come in … whatever way I can help the team out, if that’s on special teams or being in the backfield as a role player, whatever that may be, I’m ready to be that,” Singletary said. “Whatever they need me to do, I’m ready to do it.”

Cody Ford Jersey

Cody Ford’s first impression of the Buffalo Bills before the NFL Draft was a great one, and the feeling was mutual.

The University of Oklahoma tackle said his meetings with Bills offensive line coach Bobby Johnson made him hope Buffalo would be his NFL destination, a feeling he expressed to a reporter in Norman, Okla., last week.

“I told him I really want to go to Buffalo,” Ford said of the reporter. “He said nobody wants to go to Buffalo. I was like, me and the O-line coach really hit it off.”

“We had multiple meetings between the combine and pro day,” Ford said. “It was just great interaction with him, and I could just see this program was headed in the right direction.”

The Bills liked Ford enough to trade up two spots in the second round to get him at pick No. 38. Ford becomes the favorite to start at right tackle as a rookie.“For Buffalo, allowing me to start off at right tackle, giving me a chance to prove myself and prove my athleticism and everything I can do at the tackle position is a great honor,” Ford said Saturday at One Bills Drive. “And then if need be, if they need me inside, then I’ll move inside because I’m here to win football games.”

Oklahoma offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh had a good feeling about the Bills and Ford, too.

“Cody went to the best place he could go,” Bedenbaugh told The News. “I think coach Johnson does a great job. And he’s going to really develop this kid. He’s going to be a big-time guy for Buffalo. I’m really fired up for him.”

“Coach Johnson came down here for a couple days, came to our pro day and worked those guys out, spent time with him,” Bedenbaugh said. “And I really feel good about him. He’s had success everywhere. You have to go somewhere that a guy really wants you. And coach Johnson wants him. They traded up to get Cody. I think he’ll be the best rookie offensive lineman this year.”

There’s little argument about Ford’s most impressive trait. The 6-foot-3 3-4, 329-pounder plays physical.

I had the opportunity to watch him during one-on-one drills at the Senior Bowl,” said former Jacksonville Pro Bowl tackle Leon Searcy. “He’s mean, nasty with an aggressive temperament.”

“Every single time you turn on the film and watch him, he’s dirt bagging somebody,” said former Giants Pro Bowler Sean O’Hara on the NFL Network. “He is putting them in the dirt.”

“That’s how we want them to play here,” Bedenbaugh said. “It’s not just that. He plays hard. Watch his tape. That’s all you have to do. Watch how he gets downfield and blocks, watch how he keeps people away from the quarterback and moves people at the line of scrimmage. It’s easy to see.”

“I just want to play the game the way it’s supposed to be played, which is physical and nasty,” Ford said. “You go to Oklahoma and there’s a standard you have to uphold. All I was trying to do was uphold that standard. You can’t play for coach Bedenbaugh if you don’t play like that.”

Bedenbaugh is one of the most respected offensive line coaches in college football. Ford said he got the same kind of feeling from Johnson as he had from his college coach.

“His coaching style kind of resembles the coaching style I’ve been used to,” Ford said of Johnson. “What he expects from his players is kind of what I bring to the table … Back home coach Bedenbaugh expects every player to bring their best effort, always fight for everything and make sure everything you get is earned and not given. That was the biggest thing I saw in coach Johnson.”

Ford switched from guard to tackle for his junior year. There is debate in the scouting community about where Ford fits best. Not surprisingly, Bedenbaugh thinks he can handle tackle. Ford allowed just seven pressures in 2018, according to Pro Football Focus.

“The guy moved to tackle and played 14 games at tackle, not many people can do that at his size,” Bedenbaugh said. “We had to move him to tackle, and he was unbelievable. He gave up how many pressures this year? And one sack … Now I’ve never coached in the NFL. But I would start him at tackle. I think he’s an all-pro guard, and he can play tackle.”

Oklahoma won the Joe Moore Award, given to the team with the No. 1 offensive line in the nation. The Sooners’ line blocked for the last two Heisman Trophy winners (quarterbacks Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray). Ford was one of four Sooners linemen taken this weekend, joining tackle Bobby Evans (taken in the third round) and guards Ben Powers and Dru Samia (both fourth rounders).

“We definitely did something special,” Ford said. “The group we had last season was so amazing … Coach Bedenbaugh, he invested so much time in us and so much belief in us, we owe it to him. We had to do the work, but we had to follow the guide, and he gave us that guide.”

Ed Oliver Jersey

It wasn’t a running joke, but it became a running, — thing — during free agency.

When the Buffalo Bills signed someone, quarterback Josh Allen called them to welcome them to the team.When the Bills made defensive tackle Ed Oliver the ninth-overall pick at the 2019 NFL Draft, he heard from someone else. Recently retired Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams, Oliver revealed on Friday.

Oliver also revealed he very much is aware of Williams.

“Kyle Williams is in a league of his own that I haven’t even come close to touching,” Williams said. “I think Kyle Williams is a great player. I think Kyle Williams will wear a gold jacket one day.”

But when they Williams placed that call, what did he say? And frankly, why did he feel compelled to do so?

“Buffalo, what it is, what it means to me, that organization, those colors,” Williams told the Buffalo News. “I just wanted him to know what a special place he was walking into. The kind of city he represents, the kind of organization he represents, and the people he’s going to work with. I just said, ‘Man, if I can help you in any way along the way, don’t hesitate to call me. I’m here for you.’”

Williams could be a great source of Oliver, too. Williams’ played over a 13-year career that speaks for itself, but it speaks loudly to Oliver. Both were tabbed as “undersized” defensive tackles entering the NFL.

Williams will tell you, he was a first-overall pick. But in 2006, the NFL world was different. He was the first pick of the fifth-round. Thanks to guys like Rams’ DT Aaron Donald, and even Williams, undersized tackles are being given a chance to shine in the NFL in 2019. And evidently, they can be drafted much higher in the drat nowadays.

Oliver, a 6-foot-1, 281-pound defender, will certainly have his chance to shine, too.

It remains to be seen what Oliver exactly does with that opportunity, but you can count Williams in as one of those guys that believe in the talent Buffalo picked.

“A lot of time you see these uber-talented guys, but they take plays off. This kid plays hard,” Williams told The Athletic. “He’s one of the rare ones that’s really talented, but he’s got a hot motor, can run plays down from behind and can play sideline to sideline.

“That gives me the thought that it’s important to him. He wants to play hard. When he comes into a culture built around team, I think he’s going to flourish.”