The NFL Scouting Combine is underway in Indianapolis, and the Bills have their boots on the ground hard at work. Part of this process involves interviews with future employees. The teams are allotted 45 interviews with prospects, so those must be used wisely, especially considering the reduction in interviews this year.
Swift could be near the top of their draft board based on his grade when they pick. They should be interviewing and putting together a thorough eval on him regardless of if they draft him or not. A well-rounded eval is needed for guys who may be available around their picks. https://t.co/Pl6fi549ZQ
— Cover 1 (@Cover_1_) February 27, 2020
“Probably the thing I was most disappointed in was going from 60 to 45 interviews,” Beane said from Indianapolis. “So, I’ve got to figure out how we can make up for losing these 15 guys.”
One method that may have been overlooked by fans but has been highly-valued by organizations is having their scouts assist at the Scouting Combine. With so many moving parts a the Combine, teams generally send an allotted number of personnel to help things run smoothly. This duty typically involves being a mentor to a specific position group throughout the entire Combine process. According to Kevin McCabe, a Vikings scout, running a group at the Combine “has evolved and become a pretty sought-out position. People have started viewing it differently. You realize it is not a punishment where you have to babysit these kids. You are actually trying to figure out, O.K., how do they respond to pressure? Are they self-motivated enough to show up on time?”
As expected, placing a scout in a particular position group could be a strategic way for teams to “get to know” a prospect at a position of need. This has happened in the past and maybe a recent as this year, according to Kahlyn Kahler of Sports Illustrated. In her latest article, Kahler highlighted how teams could request to switch position groups, and one such change this year was the Dolphins adding a scout to the QB group. Kahler wrote, “clubs have to submit their volunteer worker requests online to National Football Scouting each year, and they can make a note to request a switch to a different position group.” It is unknown if the Dolphins requested to be added to the group, a group that includes the Bills, but it isn’t far fetched considering they are reportedly interested in quarterbacks this year.
The Bills have their North East Area Scout Pete Harris assisting with Group 6 of the running backs, and his role may play an essential part in this year’s draft.
On the Stick to Football Podcast, General Manager Brandon Beane made it known that the Bills are highly interested in adding a running mate with Devin Singletary this offseason.
“Devin Singletary came on this year,” Beane stated. “But you’re always needing multiple backs — so another player there.”
Accordingly, they have met with at least three highly-rated running backs in this class, including D’Andre Swift (Georgia), Clyde Edwards-Helaire (LSU) and Cam Akers (FSU). Players who will be among a cluster of talented running backs that could go from rounds 1-3.
At this moment, we are unsure if any of these backs will be in Group 6, but we are working on finding that out and will update this article once we find that information. But what we do know is that Harris has been the NE Area scout for a couple of years and is a trusted voice in the organization. It’ll be interesting to see if his hands-on experience with the running backs plays a part in drafting one early, and if so, which back?