It seems to be pretty set in stone that the Bills will take a QB very early in the draft. It's far too soon to try to determine how high certain prospects will rise, at least from the media's perspective, in the next few months. It seems likely that Geno Smith will be gone by the time the Bills pick, leaving a handful of guys being viewed as potential franchise QB's (Wilson, Barkley, Glennon, Nassib, Jones, Dysert). While Wilson and Barkley seem to be receiving 1st round grades from most draft "experts" at the moment, Rumbler favorites Glennon and Nassib seem to be carrying 2nd round grades for the time being. So naturally many rumblers are suggesting that we can wait until the 2nd to draft a QB or trade back up into the 1st round to get the guy we want. Here is why I find this highly unlikely:
- To the argument that their will be no QB worth drafting at #8: At this point in the draft process both Gabbert and Tannehill were viewed as "risers" who worked their way into the 2nd round according to the national media, and as you all know both ended up being top 10 picks. Weeden, Locker, and Ponder were also viewed as 2nd round prospects for an extended period of time leading up to the draft. Even Newton and Bradford were projected as mid-late first round picks in January and ended up being picked 1st overall. So the argument that their is no QB worth drafting at #8 is illegitimate at this point in the season, especially if it is being based solely on media draft grades.
- To the argument that it would be better to draft BPA and attempt the trade up for a QB: I was one of the few rumblers very high on Locker a few years ago. I thought he would be a very solid QB in this league, maybe not elite but a guy who can win games. However, I supported passing on the solid QB for an elite position player like Dareus, Miller, or my personal favorite AJ Green (which I might add received harsh criticism from nearly all rumblers at the time). This year I take the opposite stance that adding a QB is more important than acquiring a more highly graded player at another position. One reason for this is that we have moved from rebuilding to competing and the lack of a solid QB is the biggest thing that will hold this team back these next few seasons. The other is that the talent available at positions of need at #8 this year will not be the same as what was presented at third overall in 2011. Players like Milliner, Allen, and Mingo are solid prospects- but not to the level of Peterson, Green, and Miller where you would ignore the need at QB to get one of them.
- To the argument that we can trade back into the 1st round to draft our guy: Let's say you really love one of those guys I mentioned above and want to make them the pick at #8 and try to get back into the first to grab a QB that we like. How do you plan on doing that? 2nd and 3rd round pick? Puts us around #25. 2nd, 4th, and next years 2nd? Maybe around #20 (admittedly I don't really know exactly how that would be valued, but I can't imagine it being too much higher). 2nd and next years first? Somewhere in the 15-20 range (where we would be picking next year if we go .500, but much lower than were we would be picking with a losing record). So here is the question to ask I suppose- will there really be such a tempting player available at #8 that we will pass up our QB of choice then desperately attempt to package current and future picks to get back into position to take said QB before someone else does? Which brings me to my next point...
- To any argument where Nix passes on a QB he thinks is franchise caliber: If after 3 seasons of building up the rest of the team, in addition to his recent remarks about needing a franchise QB, Nix labels somebody as talented enough to be the future QB of this team, is there really any chance he doesn't pull the trigger first opportunity he has? This is the same guy who, agree with it or not, traded up two spots in the 3rd round to make sure he landed TJ Graham. It's easy to player computer GM and say "let's just draft BPA and then try to trade back into the first and grab either Nassib, Glennon, or Wilson and if none are their we can just draft Dysert in the 2nd"... Do you really think that if Nix was ok with having any one of those 4 QB's, just taking whoever happens to be available when we can trade up to get one, that we wouldn't have pulled the trigger on a guy in a previous draft? Nix has been extremely picky and selective when it comes to QB's, passing up on plenty for different reasons- I highly doubt he risks losing the guy he has finally decided on. Failure to secure a future QB this year would very likely cost Nix his job at seasons end. Don't expect him to take that chance.
- To the argument that Marone/Hacket's top choice Nassib will not grade out as a high 1st round pick: Which is a possibility. I would argue if you don't think the guy is worth drafting in the top 10 then you should think twice about counting on him to be your franchise QB, but then again Andy Dalton wouldn't be a top 10 pick yet he gives the Bengals a chance to win every week. So if that is the case where you truly believe Nassib will be safe until later in the 1st round, then doesn't trading down to #15-20 and picking up an extra 2nd make more sense than picking a player and trying to trade back up for a QB? You get more picks rather than less and can sit comfortably in the middle of the first and take your QB with less risk he will be gone or you can't strike a deal to trade up. So even if you don't think the guy grades out to a top 10 pick, the Bills first selection would still be a QB, it would just be a few slots later than expected... Don't get me wrong, I still don't see Nix passing on a guy he is in love with and trading down. But if he merely gives Nassib the nod because of Marone but grades out Wilson or Glennon similarly, he might decide the extra 2nd is worth the small gamble.