The first round of the 2013 NFL Draft is officially in the books, and the Buffalo Bills made arguably the biggest wave of Thursday evening by first trading down eight spots, then drafting their preferred quarterback anyway in E.J. Manuel of Florida State. This will go down as a historic evening in Bills franchise history, for better or worse. Let's quickly recap the night that was...
The trade: Bills swap with Rams
Bills GM Buddy Nix made it very clear in the week-plus leading up to tonight that he was very interested in recovering the seventh-round pick he traded to Seattle last August for quarterback Tarvaris Jackson. He did a heck of a lot more than that: in swapping first-round picks with St. Louis, Nix picked up a second-round pick (No. 46 overall) and that seventh-rounder (No. 222 overall). Buffalo now has three picks to make in tomorrow night's second and third rounds - they swapped third-rounders, and will now pick at No. 78 instead of No. 71 - and have a legitimate chance to add (more?) starters to a roster that needs as many as it can get.
The pick: Manuel over bigger names
In the week leading up to the first round, most of the discussion centered around Ryan Nassib (for obvious reasons) and Matt Barkley (for sound reasons). Only within the past 24 hours - sparked by a Tony Pauline report, and then perpetuated by Chris Brown, John Murphy and Joe Buscaglia - did it become apparent that Manuel was very much in play, and that the Bills were considering swinging for the fences in taking a quarterback. And make no mistake, that's exactly what the Bills are doing by picking Manuel: they're gambling that they can turn a great athlete into a championship-caliber quarterback.
The take-away: couch scouting season is over
The time for second-guessing a Bills draft pick is infinite, and complaints will continue to pour in throughout the weekend on this pick (as well as occasional bursts of praise, as well). It's all white noise, because it flat-out does not matter what we think about the pick today. The only thing that matters is this: the Bills took the top-rated quarterback on their board - we know that for certain - and they need to be right about it. They got "their guy"; they took a quarterback in which they had some conviction about his skills and potential. It is a critical moment in franchise history, and one that should be judged on performance, and performance alone. Words like "reach" no longer apply. All that matters is that the Bills hit on the pick. That work starts soon.
Below are the full results from Round 1. We'll be back in a few short hours, bright and early Friday morning, for more on Manuel and to proceed full force into day two.
|1||Kansas City Chiefs||Eric Fisher||OT||Central Michigan|
|2||Jacksonville Jaguars||Luke Joeckel||OT||Texas A&M|
|3||Miami Dolphins (f/OAK)||Dion Jordan||DE||Oregon|
|4||Philadelphia Eagles||Lane Johnson||OT||Oklahoma|
|5||Detroit Lions||Ezekiel Ansah||DE||BYU|
|6||Cleveland Browns||Barkevious Mingo||DE||LSU|
|7||Arizona Cardinals||Jonathan Cooper||OG||North Carolina|
|8||St. Louis Rams (f/BUF)||Tavon Austin||WR||West Virginia|
|9||New York Jets||Dee Milliner||CB||Alabama|
|10||Tennessee Titans||Chance Warmack||OG||Alabama|
|11||San Diego Chargers||D.J. Fluker||OT||Alabama|
|12||Oakland Raiders (f/MIA)||D.J. Hayden||CB||Houston|
|13||New York Jets (f/TB)||Sheldon Richardson||DT||Missouri|
|14||Carolina Panthers||Star Lotulelei||DT||Utah|
|15||New Orleans Saints||Kenny Vaccaro||S||Texas|
|16||Buffalo Bills (f/STL)||E.J. Manuel||QB||Florida State|
|17||Pittsburgh Steelers||Jarvis Jones||OLB||Georgia|
|18||San Francisco 49ers (f/DAL)||Eric Reid||S||LSU|
|19||New York Giants||Justin Pugh||OT||Syracuse|
|20||Chicago Bears||Kyle Long||OG||Oregon|
|21||Cincinnati Bengals||Tyler Eifert||TE||Notre Dame|
|22||Atlanta Falcons (f/WAS via STL)||Desmond Trufant||CB||Washington|
|23||Minnesota Vikings||Sharrif Floyd||DT||Florida|
|24||Indianapolis Colts||Bjoern Werner||DE||Florida State|
|25||Minnesota Vikings (f/SEA)||Xavier Rhodes||CB||Florida State|
|26||Green Bay Packers||Datone Jones||DE||UCLA|
|27||Houston Texans||DeAndre Hopkins||WR||Clemson|
|28||Denver Broncos||Sylvester Williams||DT||North Carolina|
|29||Minnesota Vikings (f/NE)||Cordarrelle Patterson||WR||Tennessee|
|30||St. Louis Rams (f/ATL)||Alec Ogletree||LB||Georgia|
|31||Dallas Cowboys (f/SF)||Travis Frederick||C||Wisconsin|
|32||Baltimore Ravens||Matt Elam||S||Florida|