Bills Draft: Should Wait on Quarterback - 04/25/13
Ever since we made the trip to cover the NFL combine I have been trying to convince myself that there was a quarterback out there for the Bills in the first round. They've all had their moments in Mike's Mock draft. First it was Geno Smith, the smart, athletic stat machine from West Virginia. Then I listened to EJ Manuel, the Cam Newton sized confident field general of Florida State. I was thoroughly convinced Matt Barkley was a bad fit for Buffalo, but gave the California kid a chance to change my mind by focusing in on his poise and his years of experience at the position. Ryan Nassib? I was on his bandwagon way before the national guys, but still did not think he had the measurables or the college career to make the meteoric rise to the first round. Now, on the day of the draft, I have come to the conclusion that Buddy Nix and the Bills should not take any of them with the 8th pick
There is a theory that if a team loves a quarterback, no matter what the experts think, they should take him whenever he is available.But the question is" Do the Bills love any of these quarterbacks?" So what's your opinion on Ryan Tannehill of Miami or Brandon Weeden of the Browns or Christian Ponder of the Vikings or Jake Locker of the Titans. All 4 of those guys were drafted much higher than the experts thought and the jury is still out on every one of them. I have tried to love every one of these quarterbacks but I just can't get myself to that point. I like them I think you can win with all of them. But I don't see any of them being worthy of the 8th pick in the draft.
If Russ Brandon turned the keys of the draft over to me here is how I would handle it. I would try right up to the moment the bear hugger Roger Goodell called my name to try to trade back in round one and add picks. But that is a bit of a cop out. The likelihood is that you will have to send the card to the podium and make a pick. I think there is only one skill position player worthy of a top 10 pick and that is West Virginia wide receiver Tavon Austin. My problem with Austin is not his size. Its the fact that the Bills have a smaller dynamic player on the roster in CJ Spiller and they are not in need of a return man because they brought back Leodis McKelvin. I would go for the best defensive player on my board with the 8th pick. Give me Dion Jordan (he'll likely be gone) Barkevious Mingo of LSU (second coolest name in the draft. ) Ezikiel Ansah (Coolest name in the draft). Everyone of these guys has a chance to come right in and make this horrible defense a little more dangerous.
After I have picked my new defensive star in round one I would focus on my quarterback. The Bills have the 41st pick overall in round 2. It might be too far to sit and wait for a QB, but I would keep my eyes on an opportunity to trade up into the end of round one and get the guy. I would take the chance that many of the teams are doing just what the Bills are doing in sending out a smokescreen about their love for these quarterbacks. if I am right, many of them will still be on the board as we reach the 20's in round one and I will begin trying to take my shot at getting them late. I think you can get my favorite quarterback, Manuel of Florida State, somewhere in the late first (with a trade) or early 2nd with my own pick.
This, again, is the way I would handle the draft. Now to what I think the Bills will do. I think they have studied these quarterbacks for so long that they have told themselves that they will pick a quarterback in round one. I say Doug Marrone goes with his guy and takes Ryan Nassib in round one and they smile all night and say they got their guy. I say Buddy and Doug and Doug and Russ all say in unison that they pinpointed Nassib all along and they knew for sure he'd be gone by the time they got to round 2. And I believe they will believe every word they say. Then we will all get to sit back and watch the latest "Bills quarterback of the present and future" begin his career with the added burden of being picked "too high" and having to live up to it.
It should be fascinating. I'm just glad the speculation ends tonight