I wouldn't have the slightest clue - but Buddy Nix probably knows how to find a Franchise QB better than any of us do.
During the past 2 drafts in which Buddy Nix was at the helm the Bills have passed on such talented Quarterbacks as Jimmy Clausen, Tim Tebow, Colt McCoy, Blaine Gabbert, Christian Ponder and Jack Locker. Many fans saw these QB's pass us by and threw Buddy in the dirt - "We need a Franchise QB" - "Buddy is stupid" - "We are already 1 year further from a rebuild" echoed throughout the community and the media.
Was Buddy right? Are the fans and the media right? Only time will tell - but Buddy does have one thing on his side - history.
Buddy Nix History
I'm sure you know that Buddy Nix was promoted to Assistant General Manager to A.J. Smith in 2002 after John Butlers passing. Prior to that he was Director of Pro Player Personnel for the Chargers and a Scout for the Bills.
During his time with the Chargers Buddy has been a part of picking these QB's: Drew Brees (2nd), Eli Manning (1st), Phillip Rivers (trade - which yielded Merriman and Keading FWIW) and Charlie Whitehurst (3rd round). Not a bad pull of QB's is it?
Think about even Charlie Whitehurst: while i'm not one to question the sanity of Pete Carroll - the Chargers swapped 2nd round picks (40th from the 60th) and got a 3rd round pick in the process. I'm not sure what the Seahawks saw in him because, well frankly he hasn't played much, but they obviously saw tape and had inside knowledge of his play. Time will tell if Whitehurts pans out - but as far as the Chargers are concerned they received their 3rd round investment back and moved up 20 slots in the 2nd. Remember, the Chargers have a pretty good QB in front of him - so his opportunities have clearly been limited.
Between the QBs that were selected during Buddy's stint as Assistant GM they have accumulated 9 pro bowl births, 2 SB championships and 1 SB MVP. Think about that - in the 8 years that Buddy was Assistant GM he's been a major reason why those guys were drafted. During that span the Bills have (sorry guys) played with Rob Johnson, Drew Bledsoe, Kelly Holcomb, JP Losman, Trent Edwards and now Ryan Fitzpatrick. Jury isn't 100% out on Ryan but who wins that battle?
Now time will tell whether Buddy was right on the QB's in the past 2 drafts (and I do know that Buddy liked Christian Ponder better than any QB this past draft - FWIW) - but he does have a really good track record at the moment. I have no idea if Ryan will be that guy or if he will draft a guy that will pan out in the future - but from what I can tell - Buddy looks for certain things in a QB and if he doesn't see what he likes then he just moves along until that guy comes along.
I feel confident in saying that if Buddy likes a QB then he will draft him - but if he doesn't then he's not going to just to placate the fan base - because ultimately - that's not how you build a successful franchise.