To date, the Buffalo Bills have had at least 15 NFL Draft prospects visit their facility, or scheduled to do so, per various media reports.
Each club is allowed a maximum of 30 such sessions with draft-eligible players through April 18. Most teams, including the Bills, use their full allotment.
Here are some other rules the league has for pre-draft visits, but different rules apply for players from out of town and local players (the Bills host their annual pre-draft evaluation for local prospects Friday):
- The 30-player limit does not apply to prospects whose college or hometown is in the same metropolitan area as the team’s facility. If a club provides transportation or lodging to such a player, he would count toward the total.
- A physical examination is the only permissible reason for a team to bring a draft-eligible player to its city and/or training facility before the draft. Players cannot be put through any physicals drills or timed. They are allowed to take written tests. For example, when the Bills visit UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen in California for a workout, Rosen can throw for Bills' personnel. When Rosen comes to One Bills Drive, he can't. However, players who attend college or whose hometown is in the same metropolitan area can be timed and otherwise put through drills.
- Clubs are prohibited from giving or offering to give, directly or indirectly, anything of significant value beyond transportation and lodging expenses to draft-eligible players. Teams are permitted to give players club merchandise, but gifts of any other kind are prohibited.
Whether the visit is by a potential draft pick or free-agent signee, the Bills always strive to put on their best organizational face. General manager Brandon Beane said that is the standard that he and coach Sean McDermott have established for any guest at the team’s facility.
"(All Bills employees) understand what Sean and I expect at all levels around this building, separate from bringing a (a player) in,” Beane said. “We treat people with first class, we treat them with respect. We don't have prior judgments, even if I've heard something about a player. I'm going to give him every chance to prove me wrong.”
Beane said “many different factors” go into determining which players to invite for a pre-draft visit, although he didn’t want to get into specifics.
What, besides giving physical examinations, do the Bills do with prospects on a visit?
“Talk football, talk life,” Beane said, noting that pre-draft visits are “very similar” to the ones involving free agents. The difference, of course, is that a free agent decides which team he wants to play for; a draft pick does not have that choice.
Does a player’s visit necessarily increase the likelihood of your drafting him?
“Not at all,” the GM said.