Buddy Nix decided to wait until 2013 to find his franchise QB in the draft, but the reality is that there are no obvious franchise QB's in this draft. As Clark Judge points out in a story currently running on CBSSports.com, there seems to be a consensus that Geno Smith is the #1 choice this year, but many scouts have big questions about him, and most of the other QB's are probably no better than good back-ups. Yet the Bills seem determined to pick a signal-caller to replace Fitz. What to do?
My strategy would be to use their #8 overall pick on a WR or CB (Xavier Rhodes would be a perfect fit for Mike Pettine), or perhaps trade down if that is possible and gain an extra second-rounder. Then they should take a QB with their second-round pick, selecting their favorite of the ones still available among Ryan Nassib, Tyler Wilson, and Mike Glennon. Will one of those turn into a star? It's possible, in which case the Bills will be set. But in the more likely situation that the guy they take this year turns out to be no more than their future back-up, they can look to next year's draft to find their real #1.
They should be drafting in the Top Ten again given the fact that they have a new coaching staff, new offensive and defensive systems to learn, and either Fitz or TJ or a rookie QB at the helm. It's going to be one of those seasons where the payoff for Bills' fans will be looking for little signs of improvement (yes, I know, we have been through a lot of those). Again, if they pick Nassib, for example, play him, and discover he can get the job done, then we can all bow down before an idol of Buddy Nix. But if not, then the central mission in April, 2014, will be to find the real replacement for Jim Kelly.
One other possibility to keep an eye on is Matt Scott from Arizona, who may be the real sleeper at QB this year -- i.e., the Russell Wilson of 2013 (although Scott is 6' 2"). To my eye he appears to have more potential than anyone available, including Geno Smith. Drafting him would be a risk, since he has had relatively little college experience and is still raw in some areas, but if one is assuming that what the Bills are doing is most likely choosing their future back-up, not their future starter, it is a sensible risk. And Scott could almost certainly wait until round three, if not four.