Last week, Buffalo Bills general manager Buddy Nix said in his weekly radio segment on WGR 550 in Buffalo that he would like to obtain a franchise quarterback before retiring his current post. He also alluded to the fact that Ryan Fitzpatrick was not that guy. This morning, Nix reiterated those comments and took it a step further.
"Let me be as honest as I can," Nix said Friday morning when asked how long he could afford to wait. "I think we really need to address it this year. The thing we can't do is you can't create one. You can't go out thinking I've got to make this guy a player. If you do then you're going to be in a bigger mess. We don't want to do that. We try to guard against that. But we do need another one and we need to do it this time."
"It" would be pulling the trigger on a passer in this April's draft. Trading up was something Nix didn't want to do in years past as the Bills continued to fill holes on their roster. With young players littering the defense and veterans entrenched on the offensive side of the ball, Nix believes the structure is in place to support a young quarterback transition to the NFL.
"Absolutely," said Nix when he was asked if the team was in a better position to give up picks to move up in the draft. "We've got corners in place. We've got a left tackle in place. We're a lot further along. I know it doesn't show up on Sunday every time but I know we are."
Nix also shared what he looked for in a quarterback, noting that "surefire" guys were lacking at the top of the board this year but you can find guys in later rounds.
"There's no doubt in my mind that's the hardest position to evaluate and the hardest to be sure you're right on," commented Nix. "You obviously have the physical qualities but you like heigth, you like a guy that has a strong arm, being mobile enough to get out of trouble. You don't need an option runner but a guy that's athletic enough to slide and step up in the pocket and make guys miss and avoid the sack."
"Accuracy and anticipation are probably the two most important things in evaluating the quarterback," continued Nix, who spoke for more than six minutes on drafting a quarterback.
"Intangibles are what's so hard at the quarterback position. You want leadership you want a smart guy you want a team guy that can step up in there and he's got the respect and know that he's putting the team first. all of those things are most important at that position. That's what makes it so hard. You don't know some of those things until it's too late."
The Bills GM has spoken with current quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick about the situation, saying that all the members of his team need to understand that young guys constantly need to be developing on the depth chart. Still, this is the strongest indication that the Bills could take a quarterback and even use their first pick in the draft on one for the first time in team history.