AFC East: USC


The Buffalo Bills made an unexpected pick in the first round, taking former Florida State quarterback EJ Manuel. He was generally viewed as too raw to be a first-round pick, and now has to beat out veteran Kevin Kolb in training camp to get playing time.

However, Buffalo’s second-round picks are already impressing Buffalo’s coaching staff. Former USC receiver Robert Woods and former Oregon linebacker Kiko Alonso are expected to make an immediate impact in 2013.

Check our Friday's "Blogger Blitz" on the Bills for more.
The Buffalo Bills officially signed rookie wide receiver Robert Woods, the team announced Monday afternoon.

ESPN.com’s AFC East blog first reported on Sunday that both sides agreed to terms of a four-year contract. However, Woods was in Los Angeles this past weekend for the NFLPA's Rookie Premiere event and couldn’t sign until he returned to Buffalo. Woods signed the contract on Monday following the team’s organized team activities.

Woods is considered one of the most NFL-ready receivers from this year's draft. The USC product is the favorite to win a starting job opposite veteran receiver Steve Johnson.

Buffalo now has seven of their eight draft picks signed.
The Buffalo Bills nearly have their entire 2013 rookie NFL draft class under contract.

Buffalo reached a four-year agreement with second-round pick and rookie receiver Robert Woods, a source tells ESPN.com's AFC East blog. Woods was in Los Angeles for the NFLPA's Rookie Premiere this weekend, and is expected to sign the contract with Buffalo in the next few days.

Woods, a USC product, is considered one of the most NFL-ready receivers in this year's draft. He is the favorite to win the No. 2 receiver job in Buffalo opposite veteran Steve Johnson.

The Bills now have contract agreements with seven of their eight draft picks. First-round pick EJ Manuel, who was taken No. 16 overall, remains the only unsigned player from the 2013 class.
New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow continues to work on his quirky throwing motion. Tebow has one of the slowest releases in the NFL, and it continues to be his biggest weakness.

Tebow
The latest chapter in fixing Tebow's poor throwing takes us to Southern California. Tebow has been working with passing guru Tom House at USC this week, reports Pedro Moura of ESPNLosAngeles.com.

Tebow has worked with several throwing coaches, dating to 2010, when he entered the NFL draft. Tebow also had a quarterbacks coach during his two seasons with the Denver Broncos, and has one now that he's with the New York Jets. After plenty of work, Tebow's throwing motion still is not up to par.

I most recently watched Tebow throw during New York's mandatory minicamp last month, and there continued to be stretches of poor accuracy. One play stood out most, during which Tebow pump-faked and tried to reload to throw. The pass seemingly took forever, and the defensive line was all over Tebow by the time the ball left his hands. It's hard to see that changing by New York's Week 1 game against the Buffalo Bills.

Tebow deserves to be applauded for the immense work he's put in this offseason. Physically, he looks to be in the best shape of his career as he competes with Jets starter Mark Sanchez. Tebow's toughness, character and athleticism should make him an immediate contributor.

But you wonder if Tebow's throwing motion will ever change dramatically enough to where it is no longer a question. I haven't seen enough evidence for that to be the case.
Here are the most interesting stories Friday morning in the AFC East:
  • New England Patriots starting safety Patrick Chung (foot) looks ready to return for this weekend’s game against the Miami Dolphins.
Morning take: This is great news for the Patriots, who have played receivers in the secondary at times in Chung’s absence. Chung is the team’s best and most athletic safety, and any improvement on New England’s defense is much needed for its playoff run.
Morning take: The Giants say they will go at Revis, who has heard that in the past. It would be a bold move by the Giants, but I don’t think they will follow through on it. That’s not a sound strategy for a team that needs to win this big game.
  • Were the Buffalo Bills interested in USC quarterback Matt Barkley, who opted to return for his senior season?
Morning take: Barkley would have been a hot commodity for several teams in the top 10. But I don’t think Buffalo was one of them. The Bills’ brass say they are moving forward with quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, and taking a quarterback that high would send the wrong message.
Morning take: It most likely would be as a general overseer. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross seems comfortable having someone above general manager Jeff Ireland. But Peterson probably would be less involved in personnel than Bill Parcells was.

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