Firstly, I'll go on record as liking the Spiller pick. Then again, I once said "any draft we don't get Tebow is a winning draft" so I might not be the least bias person to speak. Either way, Spiller was certainly not as bad a pick as the Bills could have made. Had Lynch not been a pick for us a few years ago it would have been a lot easier to swallow, I'm sure. But I won't blame Lynch for this entirely.
Spiller indeed fit a need, albeit an invented one (playmaker) and sadly comes in as the best playmaker on the Bills offense; no offense to Freddy Jackson or Lee Evans, but I think it will be true. Unlike McGahee and Lynch, he was also not a reach at the position he was taken. Mike Williams, Marshawn Lynch, Willis McGahee, Donte Whitner, John McCargo - so many of our picks in the first round have been reaches in the past decade based completely on need. And of those, most are considered busts or not with the team anymore.
Spiller was no reach. He was legitimately the best offensive playmaker in the draft, although not a position of as much need as, say, QB. I think Jimmy Clausen wasn't a reach there, but Nix going for the more certain sure thing over the always-iffy 2nd best QB is a good indication on this teams new draft attitude, I think.
Nix wanted to go BPA, and we all have seen that if Nix says something, he follows through on it. The BPA there was indeed Spiller IMO. Just about everyone who was legitimately a top 10 player in the draft was a defender. If I were to make a top 10 prospects by BPA in the draft, it would have looked like this:
1. Ndamukong Suh
2. Eric Berry
3. Gerald McCoy
4. Sam Bradford
5. Russell Okung
6. C.J. Spiller
7. Rolando McClain
8. Joe Haden
9. Jimmy Clausen
10. Trent Williams
You all know that I'm big Clausen fan, he's probably my favorite QB in the draft (although as you can see, I think Bradford has the better tools) but if I'm at the #9 spot doing BPA, I pick the best player available if I'm doing BPA like Nix was. Considering Bulaga, Dez Bryant, Kyle Wilson, Dan Williams and my boy Jimmy Clausen fell so damn far, that should tell you that other teams WEREN'T doing BPA and were instead reaching for needs, what most of us probably would have done had we been at the helm in Buffalo's war room. Instead of reaching for Bulaga or Dan Williams, they took the BPA and we can't fault the leadership for doing what they had said they would do all along.
I talk about reaching because it was the biggest mistake made by most teams in the first round, and the reason all those players I said above fell so far. The Jaguars, the Chargers, and the Eagles (and ESPECIALLY the Broncos) were huge offenders of reaching in the first round. That's really the reason that Clausen fell so far. After he passed by the 9ers and the Seahawks(who were ALSO drafting by need instead of BPA) there were no teams that really needed a QB other than the Broncos - and we know how THAT disaster ended - and the Vikings, who wisely traded down below 3 teams that didn't need a QB (Rams, Saints, Colts) to sit right back in the same place they would have been in the first place if they want Clausen. Jimmy didn't fall because of him not being a great QB, he fell because the teams that were legitimately going by BPA were either not in need of a QB, (Lions, Packers, Cowboys) just going for need over skill, (49ers, Seahawks) or being bat$#&* insane (Broncos, Jaguars).
On a different point, the Spiller pick really makes sense considering what Nix has been telling us since he got here. What we knew about the NFL draft considering the hints he dropped is as follows:
* Nix likes Demetrius Bell more than he probably should (and certainly more than most of us do).
* Nix was probably not going to take Clausen, considering how he seemed to like Tebow more.
* The Bills WERE going to add a Spiller-type back to the organization at some point in this draft.
* Nix is not known for taking Offensive Linemen in the first round.
* Nix did not want to reach for anybody, and was going to pick the man he felt was the BPA when our spot came up.
Considering those five facts, the fact that the pick was Spiller really was not a surprise to me. He fit the need that Nix and Gailey created, he was legitimately the "best player available" on the board at the time, and this was still at the point where the Bills probably assumed that Tebow would still be in play for them late in the round.
Now, in the second round I wouldn't be surprised to see Nix trying to make a play for Clausen since his guy (Teboq) is gone, or going after Colt McCoy. If neither of them are drafted, considering the disinterest the Bills showed with Clausen, I doubt they go QB at all this draft, either waiting for a Mallett or a Locker next year or trying to get Campbell from Washington.
Remember, there's still 6 rounds to go, that's 8 picks if I recall correctly. The draft doesn't end with Spiller.