"We would like to fill the need, but if we can't, we want to make sure we don't compound the problem by putting another one in that position that can't play... If we can't get the guy that we know we can fill that need than we're going to try to develop what we've got or there is still the chance that we can try to fill that need after the draft." - Buddy Nix at the Bills Draft Luncheon two weeks before the draft
There are a lot of reasons I like Buddy Nix. First and foremost is his awesome twang and the previous experience at winning organizations is also nice (ours included). But the biggest one, at least from my perspective as a fan, is the no nonsense approach he takes with the media and the seeming honesty that he employs when talking about his plan for the franchise.
The quote above, taken two weeks before the draft, quite accurately describes how the Bills approached the draft and will likely describe the next 2-3 years (and hopefully many more) of Front Office moves in Buffalo.
The Bills are a young team going through a schematic transition. From a personnel perspective, that presents two challenges. One: a new scheme requires different types of players. Two: young players oftentimes require development, which means you don't always know exactly what they are going to offer.
Given this as a background, I thought the Bills took a very sensible approach to the draft. The Bills knew exactly what they have at RB - Freddy and Marshawn are known quantities - and upgraded that position with Spiller. Some people will rightfully argue that there are more glaring needs on the roster, but I don't think nearly as many people would dispute that Spiller represents a known injection of skills to the position that are currently absent on the roster.
With picks two and three, Buffalo added players that will immediately fill some of the needs created by the transition to a 3-4. In fact, throughout the offseason, the Bills consistently added players that upgraded their defensive unit as a whole. As Buddy said yesterday, "now we won't get blown off the line for five yards on every rushing play".
Despite all of the hyperbole out there, no one really knows how good the players are we have at QB/LT. Bell/Meredith and Brohm/Edwards/Brown/Fitzpatrick might actually be decent players once they fully develop or are given a consistent scheme. Also true is that you could say the same thing about all of the offensive lineman outside of the top 6 picks (eg, Okung and Williams) and just about every QB in the draft (there is a reason they fell that far). If you threw those guys into the mix, yes they might win out in a position battle, but you might have also just blown a spot to upgrade your team and then we have another year of little progress.
So rather than compound the problem by using our top picks on guys who are just going to get lumped into the mess we have at those positions, Nix and Co. picked up guys who improve the team immediately. Then with later rounds, the team added depth/developmental players to OL/QB/WR to increase the likelihood that we have an answer for these positions on our roster if the current guys don't work out.
That's what I love about this draft and our overall approach. There is no doubt in my mind we have a better football team today than we did on Wednesday. Do we still have holes? Yes, we very likely do. Could we have filled those holes in the draft? Maybe... Maybe not.