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CAPACCIO: Despite roster holes, Bills still need to be aggressive for quarterback

The team won't be in this position again with draft capital

Sal Capaccio
April 10, 2018 - 10:58 pm

First, it was Eric Wood retiring. Now Richie Incognito. Seven free agents have left for other teams, including starting middle linebacker Preston Brown, with no apparent successor in his place yet on the roster. There are certainly question marks hanging over Zay Jones’ head after his bizarre incident in Los Angeles.

The Bills came into this off-season with several holes to fill. They still have plenty of them, both short-term and long-term.

Yet, no matter who’s retired or left, nor how many positions seem to have a need either at the starting spot or depth behind him; no matter the age or contractual situation of anyone, if their plan was to draft their franchise quarterback of the future later this month - and I believe it has been since last year’s draft - general manager Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott shouldn’t waiver for one second and should stick with that plan.

As nice and comforting as it would be to grab six potential contributors with the half-dozen picks the team has in the first three rounds of this draft, they’ve set themselves up to never be in a better position to fill the most important need they have, at the most important position in the game.

If they stray from the plan now, they’ll be chasing the same thing again later. Next year. The year after. Maybe the year after that. In other words, exactly the same position they’ve been in for almost the last two decades. Regardless of however many good players they select at other positions. 

McDermott (and Doug Whaley at the time) didn’t trade down last year to get an extra first round pick this year to draft a guard.

Beane didn’t trade Sammy Watkins and Ronald Darby for second and third round picks, respectively, to fill depth spots at wide receiver or defensive tackle.

And I don’t believe he traded Cordy Glenn to move up nine spots from No. 21 to 12 to stay there and replace Brown or select the best leftover quarterback on the board.

We hear the word “process” so much from this group that it’s become its own brand. Even McDermott and Beane joke about how often it’s said. But make no mistake, they believe in it. It really is the foundation for how they are trying to build this roster and organization. Methodical. Thoughtful. Calculated. And this process started 11 months ago and stayed true through an entire season that, surprisingly maybe even to them, ended with the team’s first playoff berth in 18 years, which is another indication that it’s working.

It looks like there will be at least five quarterbacks taken in this year’s first round, maybe even six. That means there are more signal-callers than usual who, many believe, have the talent and potential to be franchise quarterbacks.

The Bills hold six of the draft’s first 96 selections. Far more capital than they’ve had since they began their search for a franchise quarterback about two decades ago.

It’s a perfect marriage. 

They just need to trust their own process they’ve laid out and preached for the past year and finally tie that knot once and for all.


Follow me on Twitter @SalSports

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