Who will the Buffalo Bills select in the upcoming 2022 NFL Draft? that is the million dollar question that will be answered next week. Of course, nothing stops us from trying to jump to conclusions until our walls are covered with strings and hastily scribbled notes ending in question marks.
One of the few glimpses into Buffalo’s priorities and interests in the draft can be seen through his meetings with rookie prospects. The job interview is a time-honored tradition, and that goes for the NFL, too. Players are asked about their personal background, school, medical history, and of course they are quizzed on their understanding of the playbook. sometimes these meetings are public knowledge and other times they are discovered through the players or their agents. when we see a connection, that’s a “something” signal for the bills and their priority projects.
Reading: Bills pre draft visits 2022
There are several categories of prospect meetings you’ll see in reports before the draft. we weigh some more critically than others. below, you’ll see our explanation of these different meetings, as well as (embedded in a table) our updated tracker (to the best of our knowledge) of the crucial meetings between the players and the bills.
star game meetings
Teams that attend all-star games like the senior bowl and east-west sanctuary game have time between practices to hold short interviews with the players. these are frequently informal ten-minute affairs taking place in the hotel lobby, but sometimes a scout and player will dig deeper. There are no limitations on the number of meetings, and in fact, the Philadelphia Eagles interviewed literally every senior bowl prospect last year.
So, while the contact between the team and the player is noteworthy, we don’t attach any special importance to these meetings, since they can be nothing more than a network of contacts.
combined nfl meetings
teams can talk to any player in an informal setting at the nfl combine, much like the system at the senior bowl. they are also assigned a set of 45 “formal” meetings with players. these are held in a specific room at the indianapolis convention center for each team and have limited hours, but are set up so that teams can bring the whole team and have any kind of conversation they’d like to have. /p>
The problem with projecting team interest based on blended meetings, of course, is that we don’t have an easy way to distinguish between formal and informal meetings. and the best thing for an agent is to sell any type of interaction between a player and a team. then again, the contact is noticeable, but not a focus.
once the combine is over, the nfl schedule advances to the next phase. we see teams traveling to meet players and players traveling to meet teams. One flavor of these meetings is what we’ll call a “private meeting.” Some examples of this might be a team’s national scout having dinner with a prospect, or a coach pulling a player aside the night after his pro day to watch a movie together. in recent years, teams have begun using virtual calls to give them another lower-cost avenue to dig deeper with certain players before the draft.
when we see these private meetings, we will mention them as important events. teams need to communicate and schedule a prospect’s time (and your staff’s time) to organize them, so the interest here absolutely makes a connection.
“one of 30” visits
You may hear the phrase “top 30” used to describe a visit between a team and a player. To set the record straight, NFL rules allow a team to host up to 30 prospects for a pre-draft visit to their facility. they are also allowed to have unlimited visits from local players; For Buffalo, your home territory includes Syracuse, Buffalo, and Penn State. these visits are often billed (sold more) as “top 30” visits, because surely a team that spends one of its limited 30 visits on one player would only do so if they really cared about that player.
Actually, teams use these visits for a wide variety of reasons. there are definitely great prospects who want to see in great detail among the visiting list. there are also players that they didn’t get to meet at previous events and need to talk to before the draft. players with medical flags that they want their coaching staff to examine. potential ufas that the team wants to explore. teammates of players they like, who might have a good perspective on those players.
therefore, these visits are absolutely significant and we will mention them as important events in our list below. but note that these visits are not the only thing they are sometimes said to be.
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