Peter King of Sports Illustrated is the latest NFL insider to posit that the Buffalo Bills could take a guard with the No. 8 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. Writes King in his latest edition of Monday Morning Quarterback:
8. Buffalo. Heard guard a lot over the weekend, with coach Doug Marrone figuring he can get his quarterback either at 41 overall or by moving up 10 to 15 spots to get Ryan Nassib or the QB of his dreams.
The idea of the Bills taking either Alabama's Chance Warmack or North Carolina's Jonathan Cooper has gained a lot of steam in recent weeks, chiefly brought on by those two players appearing in mock drafts written by ESPN's Mel Kiper and Todd McShay. King's tidbit from this morning lends a shred of credibility to the notion.
Then again, unless Doug Marrone has completely altered the way GM Buddy Nix values the offensive line - and that does not seem likely, considering the team just let Andy Levitre walk in free agency - history is on the side of the guard rhetoric being way off-base.
Consider: the Bills have drafted six offensive linemen under Nix. Two were guards, and they were drafted in the sixth and seventh rounds. Just two of the picks came earlier than the fifth round, and Nix waited until the second round to draft his franchise left tackle.
|2010||5||140||Ed Wang||OT||Virginia Tech|
|2012||5||144||Zebrie Sanders||OT||Florida State|
Buffalo's best guard at the moment, Kraig Urbik, was a waiver claim in 2010 that has since grown into a player worthy of a four-year, $11 million contract extension. This strikes us as more representative of how Nix approaches the guard position: use a middle or late-round pick on one, or find a former middle or late-round pick somewhere else and let them compete. Add in the fact that Marrone has bigger fish to fry (ahem, quarterback), and we're still betting that the people in the building at One Bills Drive are laughing when they hear that their guard smokescreen is gaining a foothold.