Bills Score In Second, Third Rounds Of Draft
By Stan Chrapowicki
New Buffalo Bills QB EJ Manuel now has some friends who can catch his passes in the NFL.
A day after Buffalo made the former Florida State Seminole the most surprising pick of the NFL Draft at No. 16 in the first round at Radio City Music Hall on Thursday night, the Bills scooped up a couple of wideouts, first grabbing USC’s Robert Woods with the ninth pick of the second round (No. 41 overall) and following that up by snagging Texas’ Marquise Goodwin with the 16th pick of the third round (No. 78 overall).
In between those two wide receivers the Bills went for defense by selecting Oregon inside linebacker Kiko Alonso with the 14th pick of the second round (No. 46 overall). But Buffalo’s draft so far has obviously focused on offense, which is no surprise when you consider that the Bills were 19th in the NFL in total ‘O’ last season and that their new head coach is Doug Marrone, who was the OC for New Orleans during his previous foray into league from 2006-08.
Woods, who had 76 catches for 846 yards and 11 TDs last season was the first Trojan player drafted this year. His quarterback, Matt Barkley – who was projected to be to selected in the first round last year – remained undrafted going into round four. He was eventually selected by the Eagles. The 6-0, 201-pound Woods had better numbers in 2011 (111 receptions, 1,292 yards, 15 TDs) before USC coach Lane Kiffin made Marqise Lee the Trojans’ primary receiver last season.
Goodwin is probably better known for his Olympic career than for his football prowess. After finishing 10th in the long jump at the London Games last summer, Goodwin caught 26 passes for 340 yards and three TDs and rushed 13 times for 140 yards and three more scores for the Longhorns in 2012. He definitely has the speed to succeed in the NFL, but his size (5-9, 183 pounds) might hold him back.
The Defensive Player of the Game when he had five tackles (2.5 for loss), 1.5 sacks and an INT in Oregon’s Rose Bowl victory over Russell Wilson and Wisconsin two seasons ago, Alonso was even better in 2012. The 6-3, 238-pounder finished with 81 tackles (14 loss), four INTs and forced two fumbles.