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[BN] Blitz newsletter: After whirlwind draft, no urgency to 'win now'

A whirlwind of three days has come and gone, and for Bills fans, the most highly anticipated NFL Draft in years is over.

The biggest news of the draft, obviously, was Buffalo’s move to No. 7 overall to select Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen. The team followed the Allen pick by choosing four defensive players in a row, and then the Bills plugged a few other holes on offense, as well.

Buffalo News columnist Jerry Sullivan’s takeaway: There’s no urgency to “win now” for the Bills. “[Brandon] Beane's first draft as GM reflected [a] lack of desperation,” Sullivan wrote. “It screams patience to a fan base that exulted in last year's playoff but should be content to wait for a young, rebuilding team to mature into a genuine contender down the road.”

All in one: Everything you need to know about the newest Bills can be conveniently found here, from QB Josh Allen of Wyoming to WR Austin Proehl of  North Carolina.

Who the Bills picked Saturday: Buffalo chose Weber State cornerback Taron Johnson in the fourth round; Jacksonville State safety Siran Neal and Virginia Tech guard Wyatt Teller in the fifth round; Clemson wide receiver Ray-Ray McCloud in the sixth round; and North Carolina wide receiver Austin Proehl in the seventh round.

Get to know them: The News has assembled lists of “five things to know” about each Bills draft pick. Among the entries: Taron Johnson’s sister was a track star; Siran Neal has twin daughters; Wyatt Teller’s first name is actually William; Ray-Ray McCloud was once in a serious car accident; and Austin Proehl is the son of former NFL wide receiver Ricky Proehl.

Social media reacts: See what Twitter users had to say about Johnson, Neal, Teller and McCloud.

What they said: See what the Bills’ newest additions said in interviews. General manager Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott spoke with the media as well.


Small school guys: The News’ Jay Skurski noted that the Bills on Saturday went with players from smaller schools in Johnson (Weber State) and Neal (Jacksonville State).

They weren’t done: The Bills began signing undrafted free agents after the draft came to a close. Among them: two players from Alabama.

Not who you might think: “It almost broke me,” Josh Allen said 21 hours after being selected by the Bills, reflecting on the frenzy resulting from old tweets of Allen’s that surfaced right before the draft. But old teammates and coaches vouched for the quarterback.

“Incredible!” That was the reaction of defensive end Trent Murphy, who signed with the Bills last month after playing in Washington, upon learning he’ll be playing with a fellow Stanford product, defensive tackle Harrison Phillips. Phillips was chosen by the Bills Friday in the third round.

A big boost: The News’ Mark Gaughan writes that the Bills’ defensive overachieved in 2017 and will be helped by the crop of defensive prospects the team picked up this week.

More analysis: Vic Carucci writes that the draft for the Bills “was all about addressing the many areas requiring attention” and the “continued reshaping of the roster.”

A rookie starter? Beane didn’t rule out the idea of starting Allen at quarterback right away. “We’re not going to rush him, but if he somehow wins the job, he wins it,” Beane said.


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