It’s drafty in here

With one week to go until the NFL Draft, Bulldog is getting ready for all of the hype to come

April 19, 2018 - 10:16 am

Photo: Matt Kartozian - USA TODAY Sports

The NFL Draft is almost here and in one sense, I can't wait until we all find out together exactly what the Buffalo Bills do. Yet, at the same time, I'm bracing to miss the endless speculation about what next Thursday night will bring.

Weeks, alright, months have been spent going over scenarios and talking to people who've watched every throw this class of quarterbacks have made. At some point or another, it's likely we've heard reasons why any one of six different quarterbacks could be the ideal fit for the Bills.

Move up, stand pat, fill your holes, it's a crapshoot, A.J. McCarron deserves a chance, don't forget about Nathan Peterman... we've heard it all. Never have we had as interesting a run-up to the NFL Draft.

The Bills have a need, having traded away a pretty good quarterback in Tyrod Taylor. Going back to last April when they passed on picking either Patrick Mahomes or Deshaun Watson and moved down in the order, grabbing an extra first round pick for this year in the process, signs have been pointing towards Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott pulling their own big fish into their boat.

Trying to figure out which guy they like is hard. Determining who they'll even have a chance to draft may be even more difficult. There is a deep class of quarterbacks available. Perhaps as many as six could be picked in the first round.

Which one does Cleveland like? Do the Giants pick a quarterback? Are either of those teams realistic trade targets?  If not, how high can they get and will there be a guy worth going up to get if Denver is willing to move down? Beyond that, Indianapolis at six, Tampa at seven, Chicago at eight, San Francisco at nine and Oakland at 10 represent teams that shouldn't be expected to be in the quarterback market and are ahead of Miami, who could be quarterback shopping, and then it's the Bills at 12.

While obviously not endless, the scenarios are many. Go big and spend multiple picks moving way up, maybe even as high as first overall. Stay at pick 12 and take the guy who falls to you. Sit tight until you see how things start to fall on draft night. If a guy you like gets past Cleveland the second time around at four, then maybe it's time to talk to Denver.

Look, with so much time spent talking about all these scenarios, it's likely sounded like I've either loved or hated every idea, maybe even multiple times. Bottom line, I want the Bills to come home with one of these guys:

  • Lamar Jackson at 12? Fine
  • Baker Mayfield at seven? Sure.
  • Josh Allen at five? I'll buy that.
  • Trade a pile of stuff including your 2019 first rounder to draft Sam Darnold? Ultimately I'm saying yes. That 2019 first round pick is going to hurt, but would I do it? Yes.

What is more certain is what I think will not happen:

  • The Bills are not picking two quarterbacks at 12 and 22 to improve their odds of getting a good one.
  • The Browns are not picking two quarterbacks first and fourth and then trading one of them away after the draft.
  • The Jets are not drafting a running back at three.

Finally, the Bills are not keeping all of their picks because they think McCarron is really great and deserves a chance. Seriously, get out of here with that. The same goes for your uncle who thinks the Bills believe Peterman could be their franchise quarterback.

If the Bills come out of this draft without their quarterback of the future, it will not be because they liked the guys they had. Since last April, they have been making moves that gave them an almost unprecedented, at least for them, haul of draft picks. The draft day trade with the Chiefs, the Sammy Watkins trade, the Ronald Darby trade and even the Tyrod Taylor deal are all moves made by a team looking to burn through draft capital in an effort to move up the board.

I think the Bills are looking to go really big here. If it doesn't happen, it will not be because they like McCarron and Peterman and wanted to fill holes. It will be because they couldn't find a trade partner or got outmaneuvered by another quarterback desperate team that traded up into a spot the Bills coveted.

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