With the NFL draft just two months away, the picture seems to be getting fuzzier as opposed to clearer in terms of what the Bills might do with in the early rounds.
When Buddy Nix first took over as General Manager three years ago, he joked that the NFL should give the Bills extra picks because they had so many holes. As Nix prepares for his fourth and quite likely final draft as Bills G-M, he might want to ask the league for those extra choices.
Clearly the Bills need a quarterback and Nix maintained through the last half of the 2012 season that it was time for the Bills to select the player they hope will be the quarterback of the future. When the Bills actually make that selection remains the big question.
In addition to quarterback, Nix has also talked about targeting linebacker and wide receiver. You can also make a strong case to address the cornerback position, where the Bills are extremely young. Tight end has nothing to offer in terms of pass catching behind Scott Chandler who tore an ACL two days before Christmas. The Bills might also be in the market for a guard if they are unable to re-sign Andy Levitre.
I still say, if the Bills have a quarterback they love and believe he is their "QB of the future", then go ahead and grab him with the eighth pick. I don't care about all the draft experts who will yell and scream that its a reach. If the guy turns out to be a franchise signal caller, who can lead the Bills back into the playoffs on a regular basis and into contention for the Super Bowl, no one will even bring up that "he was a reach."
If you don't take that player at eight, then you have to sweat it out that he'll still be on the board at the 41st pick, the Bills slot in the second round. Buffalo could always try to move back into the first round, as they did for JP Losman and John McCargo, but its still a gamble. Who can you swing a deal with? How far up do you need to go? What if another team moves up before you have the chance and they take the quarterback the Bills coveted?
During an interview on WGR last week, Nix said they try not to "reach" in an effort to fill a need and will maintain the integrity of the board. But during the season, Nix also said he learned something about selecting a quarterback from the last few drafts. He said wherever you have that quarterback slotted on your board, you should probably take him one round higher.
My gut is telling me the Bills won't grab a quarterback with their first choice but instead will go after a wide receiver or a linebacker. Keep in mind Nix once cited the work of the Cincinnati Bengals when talking about what it takes to turn around a team's fortunes. He referenced the 2011 draft where the Bengals grabbed wide receiver AJ Green with the fourth overall selection and then got their quarterback of the future, Andy Dalton, in round two at pick 35. The Bills were intent on fixing their defense at that point and chose defensive tackle Marcell Dareus in the slot before Green. The Bills went with cornerback Aaron Williams just before the Bengals sent in the card for Dalton.
You can make a very strong case for wide receiver with the eighth pick. Nix has said the team needs a big, outside receiver who "can be open when he isn't open", meaning he can make plays even when covered. The receiving corps is considerably thinner after the Bills opted not to tender contracts to restricted free agents Donald Jones and David Nelson. The receivers currently on the roster are:Stevie Johnson, TJ Graham, Brad Smith, Marcus Easley, Kevin Elliott and Chris Hogan.
That's a whole lot of nothing after you get by Johnson. Smith has the most career catches in the group with 101. Graham had just 31 in his rookie season. Elliott had 10 receptions in 13 games with Jacksonville last season. Easley and Hogan are still looking for their first ever catch in a regular season game.
Linebacker was a need even before the Bills decided to release Nick Barnett. Kelvin Sheppard, who was average at best last season, and Nigel Bradham would appear to be starters at this point. The depth includes Arthur Moats and Chris White. Bryan Scott and Kirk Morrison are unrestricted free agents.
Cornerback, which was one of the weakest positions on the team last season, remains a huge question mark. According to Nix, at this point, Leodis McKelvin, who lost the nickel job last September, would be the starter opposite Stephon Gilmore. That is if McKelvin re-signs with the Bills. He is scheduled to hit the free agent market on March 12th.
Here are the corners currently on the roster with their total number of NFL games played and career interceptions: Stephon Gilmore(16/1) Aaron Williams(20/1) Justin Rogers(29/2) Ron Brooks(9/0) Crezdon Butler(13/0) TJ Heath(5/0)
Williams may have played himself out of the cornerback position and over to safety. Rogers eventually lost the nickel job last season after taking over for McKelvin.
As I mentioned, don't forget about tight end. Who knows when Chandler will be healthy coming off the ACL injury. The next guy on the depth chart is Lee Smith who has just eight catches in 26 games with the Bills over the last two seasons. After that, we're talking Mike Caussin, who has five catches in his career and then rookie Derek Buttles.
Keep in mind, the Bills can certainly address some of these holes in free agency which will take place before the draft. Nix said the Bills will be a player in free agency at some point, maybe not the first day or two.
As far as the draft goes, the Bills have one pick in each of the first six rounds. They traded their seventh round selection to Seattle for Tarvaris Jackson.
This may be about as low as I have ever been as a Sabres and Bills fan, again neither franchise has no clue what direction they want to go. The Bills are clueless, this is a poor draft to try to turn around a struggling team, Nix and the boys are conventional drafters, they will take their normal picks and hope for the best. They will reach for somebody at #8, it will be the same old song and dance. You need to do something drastic and roll the dice to have a shot at getting back to a playoff team. This team has no talent at all. We have to replace 4 starters (albeit poor players) and have Fitzy and Tavares Jackson competing for the #1 QB spot. Let me run out and get my season tickets ASAP.
Howard simon is a joke
If you have ever listened to Howard Simon on the radio then you would have to agree with the title of this comment. I have to believe that there is better talent out there. It's very annoying when he is making a point and feels that repeating it several times makes the point more acceptable. I have no interest in hearing what he has to say. The only reason I hear him by mistake is because I left my car radio on WGR after listening to the station the previous day. I still go to your website and station to hear the latest local sports news, but, if I were the station manager, I would send him packing. What a joke!
Ten plus years of ineptitude and high draft picks because of it and we still have sooo many holes to fill and soooo many below average players on this team after all of that! Horrible just absolutely horrible...
It's murky all right......
that's because Buddy is probably lost in a Louisiana swamp trying to find talent.
I could potentially see a scenario where the Bills may trade down in the first round, and take a QB then, while obtaining an extra draft pick or two in the process.
come on howard wake up!!
do you really believe this organization could pick one of these not so hot quarterbacks in the first round and come out with the gem of the draft? if so you have the same mentality as the bills organization...how ridiculous you would make a comment like that and you of all people should know better. i can't believe you are that clueless and i have lost alot of respect for you because obviously you dont watch college football only as a casual fan. this logic really upsets me because you have been doing this to long. dont grab a quarterback just to grab one howard then you let blue chip players go by in the draft. im glad your not at the draft table you would set this organization back yet another 10 years
No WR or QB
Sounds like most of these guys are 3r round prospects that will be elevated to the 2nd (or even bottom of the first)... but not the first. They are like Ryan Mallet and Nick Foles and Kirk Cousins. And one will be there later.... does it even matter which?
Same with the WRs, especially if you want a big one. This Patterson so many have us taking is raw, under 6'2", has only 1 year of just so-so production, and maybe even interviewed poorly. A freak but with Julio Jones pedigree, way behind.
We have way more holes than poor Buddy would like to think, so could be Guard, could even be an OT since the right side is in no great shape and those are where the best prospects will be at 8 it seems.
Hate to say it but it looks like a classic rebuilding scenario for the Bills this year....
New Gm is Needed
No improvement since Nix has been here. 6 wins a year?
Its a continual process of inept talent judgement and poor player development. Its been going on for over a decade and not likely to change any time soon. Losman and McCargo are two prime examples.
The only franchise qb in this crop is Geno SMith
Ground hogs day all day every day.
The more thing change the more things stay the same. As a bills fan it seems like we are in the NFL version of "Ground hogs day" over the last 13 years. So fustrated !! When will football around here be fun anymore?
Look at the 2014 draft
Looks like will be in a good spot next yr to take the number 1 pick in the 2014 nfl draft. New everything at OBD means bad yr. The Sabres are headed that way also it looks. Bad GM`s and poor scouting and drafting have doomed these franchises. We the fans have to take the hit in all this mess. If it wasnt for us supporting them,we wld have no teams in Buffalo. We the fans control what the future of these teams. Look what happened to the Sabres. Do you honestly think if the fans didnt show their disgust and pressure,lindy wld still be here? YES !!!.The Bills need help in every dept. Starting with the ownership. Once that becomes new,changes will follow,hopefully for the better.
To: cmon Howard wake up!!
Drafting a QB with the 8th pick is not such a bad idea. The QBs presently on our team are not going to take us anywhere. Check the last 12 seasons as proof and most recently. Rookie QBs in the last couple of years have taken their teams to the playoffs. With the right coaching staff anything can happen once you make it to the playoffs. So get off of being so critical of the WGR staff. Believe me when I say you don't represent the vast majority of Bills fans. Hit the road and get the He-- out of town ASAP!
First off, the defense is not as bad as people think, yes we are young ,but remember who our DC was last year, our defense was last in the league as far as blitzing ,only 13% of the time the Bills Blitzed, we ran a basic 4-3 defense that put alot of pressure on the D-line and D-backs, this year things will be different with Petitine calling the shots.As far as QB goes , if we can find a Andy dalton, russell wilson type QB out there,i dont think that would be such a bad thing look what they did for their teams,So keep your heads up Bill fans things will be much much better
Grabbing Future Picks
Based on all of the preseason posturing I've seen from the Bills (i.e. releasing Barnett, Wison, Nelson & Jones), this is the year the Bills trade away their first pick and begin accumulating futures. The new coaching staff is OK with cleaning the slate and having a rebuilding year. This year's draft is heavy on the D side of the ball, not so much on O. They will put themselves in position for two 2nd round picks, and possibly an extra 4th round pick and continue to build the D. Some of the QB's will be hanging around into the 2nd/3rd round and that's when they'll take a project guy. A 2013 2-14 record will put them in a position to grab a better QB class in 2014, plus some extra picks that they traded away in this year's draft. Sorry folks, we're stuck with Fitz or Jackson in 2013. As much as I hate to say it, this is the Pat's strategy and it seems to work out pretty well for those guys. The 2-14 record will put the nail in the coffin for Nix and we can move into the future with Whaley.
Bills will messannel this draft up.
We've needed a QB for 3 years. We have been told for 3 years none have been worth taking in the 1st round except Dalton, Kaepernick,Wilson, and Cousins were all drafted by other teams. Now when it's even more of a dire need we get a weak QB draft class. So Buddy can't address his QB of the future need out of this draft. Take a flyer through Free Agency or trade for Smith, McCoy, Wheedon, or Flynn and address the other two needs at WR and LB through the draft. Oh Yeah, If this team and station promote Ryan Nassib for one more second, the rest of the Bill's faithful should move to Toronto and end this charade as a NFL city.
Bottoming out to prepare for 2014?
The release of Nelson and Jones have led me to the conclusion that they might be planning to bottom out and get one of the top QBS coming out in 2014. Neither were superstars, but they just created additional holes on a team that already has a bunch of them. They'll come out hoping for a pleasant surprise, but I think they're looking at Johnny Football or one of the other QB prospects in 2014. They'll still take a QB this year, but I wouldn't be surprised if they waited until the 3rd. And I also wouldn't be surprised if Jackson is the starting QB this year.
My Mock Draft:
1. Dion Jordan
2. Nassib or EJ Manuel
3. Wide Receiver
5. LB / DB
or Trade back pick up 2 in second round.
Questionable drafting gets you.........?
exactly where the Bills are now......because of Nix's horrific drafting record during his tenure as the Bills GM the numerous positional needs that the Bills have falls squarely on him. I can't believe that he is in charge of something so vital when his drafting records is so bad. If the Bills fail to bolster their roster needs in this draft that is so talent rich then it definately will be another year of mediocrity at the Ralph......
re: Rebuilding? .... is bad? WHAT THE... !!!!
New Coaching staff, new quarterback, new defense, cutting useless weak mediocre LOOSER players daily... hmmm... rebuilding?
DUHHHHHH!!!!! Ya think???? WHY IN THE WORLD WOULD YOU HATE THAT!!!??? You just have to be a Walmart fan!!! What an IDIOT...
Re: Howard Simon is a joke
This is what happens when you work with Nerd White for too long. You turn murky writing dumb articles. Howard needs time off by taking a leave of absence to get his head on straight.
Same old Same old
Another year were not going to make the playoffs, too many holes; never repaired as usual. I'll be shocked if they ever turn this boat around. Every year it sinks a little deeper.
Mike and the Bulldog
Now they are a joke!!!!! Mike stick to collecting baseball cards ,,, the afternoon show is a joke ... food draft .really and their comments are so lame --that the only ones laughing is them. We dont care what u guys do over the weekend ... Panther and Joe Clark --so dumb not funny.
SEEK MENTAL HELP? US BILLS AND SABRE FANS ARE TIRED OF YOUR NEGATIVE BULL----! REPEAT, SEEK MENTAL COUNSELING YOUR A REAL HEADCASE.
too many needs
Is there a position on this team where the Bills don't have a need ? I guess maybe not the punter. We will compete for last place in the AFC East with the Jets.
So Howard, you're the one
Howard: "I still say, if the Bills have a quarterback they love and believe he is their "QB of the future"," ...... Key words here are BELIEVE and "QB of the future". Howard, you and Nix are the only believers in this year's crop. Why didn't you believe in Russel Wilson in the third round last year instead of reaching way down to get TJ Graham? A hint, you're poor at choosing beliefs that are close to truths. ...... Howard: "I don't care about all the draft experts who will yell and scream that its a reach." ...... THAT is why we didn't get Russel Wilson last year. The experts were saying he was franchise material. None of them said Graham was particularly a good pick. ...... Howard: "If the guy turns out to be a franchise signal caller" ........ Key words are "IF" and "FRANCHISE" - BIG BELIEF WORDS disconnected from evidence. ..... Howard: "who can lead the Bills back into the playoffs on a regular basis and into contention for the Super Bowl, no one will even bring up that "he was a reach." ...... WOW!!!, THIS ONE IS A WHOPPER! Only Jack Kemp and Jim Kelly fit that description. Even Joe Ferguson couldn't deliver that and he was the QB for 12 of the Bills 42 years and you're psyching up fans that this sub-mediocre group of QB draft projects and Nix's wisdom (sarcasm there) can deliver this FANTASY? ...... The Bills seem to be incapable of learning from their mistakes and taking advice from the experts whose advice would have worked out better than their beliefs. Saying "you don't care what the experts say" when you're choices have been at the bottom of the league is proof of it.
I say throw in the towel for the 2013 season, get the #1 pick and grab Johnny Football. Beef up the O-line, WR corpse and LB this year. This is the formula to follow.
The Bills defense is 31st in the league in rushing yards allowed. They weren't that bad in passing defense at 10th in the league. The offense has much better stats than the defense including scoring vs. scoring allowed. The defense had better passing defense allowed than rushing defense but I have to believe that is just because, if you give me a running game, I'll take it every time over passing a passing game, for a lot of reasons.
I don't know where Buddy Nix's statement that "the defense was better than a lot of people think" comes from. Being second worse in rushing defense in the league pretty much hands most games over to your opponents before they're ever played. The Bills were, by the way, also 26th in allowing opponents to score.
A four man front in a four / three is supposed to free up the three line backers to make tackles, hence all of Barnett's tackles I assume. But after Barnett, the LB's are weak and Kyle Moore has a lot of difficulty setting an edge also. You don't have to look at stats to see that. Fix that with good LB's and another quality DE that can set an end the defense could get the ball back to the offense a lot faster and more often. Maybe there will be a genuine franchise QB prospect next year.
For WGR HATER
you are the one that prob calls into whiner line... complaining and also you need mental help for being a bills and sabres fan
Cant wait for this years Bills!!!!!
I couldn't be more optimistic about the upcoming season. Marrone and company have started things off by making all the right moves and Kelsay retiring was an added bonus. I would've liked to see Fitzpatrick released but I don't think they wanted to be in a position where we HAD to bring in a QB.
The draft should be one that we will remember for years. at #8 we should be able to add either
with our second pick we can try to trade up and get Tavon Austin, Manti Teo could fall to us, we could draft a QB with our second pick, or trade up to get one we want.
Our 3rd pick should be spent on a WR or QB if we haven't gotten either yet but I would also like to look at these guys from this point on
Margus Hunt (the guy from estonia)
My favorite quarterbacks in the draft are Ryan Nassib and the Florida State Quarterback E.J. Manuel.
Don't draft QB
I hate to say it, but next year is a loss. Draft talent this year, fill in the holes with a good receiver, TE, DE Corner, etc. Keep the crappy qbs to insure a high draft pick next year. Pick #1 next year, get the best qb, and then we have a good team in 2014 and a playoff team in 2015. Sometimes you need to be really bad to become really good. Also, get rid of Nix, clearly, he sucks as a GM and wouldn't know talent if it hit him in the face.