With the 2013 NFL Draft in the books, Buffalo Rumblings went to our resident draft expert here at SB Nation to see what he thought about the Buffalo Bills draft picks and rookie free agents. Dan Kadar's work for this draft has been outstanding (you can also see his 2014 NFL mock draft here), and we appreciate his willingness to share his thoughts on Buffalo's draft class today.
Let's cut straight to the chase. Was No. 16 too high for E.J. Manuel?
Sixteen was too high for Manuel, but it's a different thing than the Cowboys taking center Travis Frederick. Although there weren't any indications another team was going to take Manuel in the first round, teams have to go and get the quarterback they want. Before the draft, we noted a couple times that Manuel is a good fit for Buffalo. He's the most physically gifted quarterback this year, he just needs time to learn and grow. Whether or not he can learn to read a defense better, who knows at this point. At least they didn't use the eighth pick on him.
Was it a bad pick for Buffalo?
Bad probably isn't the best term for it. Curious is a good one. The issue for the Bills is that they painted themselves into a corner. Everyone knew they were going to take a quarterback in the first round; just where and who were the issues. All indications last Wednesday were that it would be Matt Barkley or Ryan Nassib. But if they're forcing themselves to take a quarterback, Manuel's potential is worth the risk.
Can Manuel be the Bills long-term answer at quarterback?
Manuel can only be the long-term quarterback if he can figure out how to read the whole field and execute. The knock on him is that he can only play one side. When Manuel has to read the middle, that's where he has issues.
Can Robert Woods step in and start from Day 1 at wideout? How does he profile?
Woods profiles as a very good No. 2 wide receiver. As long as he's healthy, he should be able to step in straight away and be a good receiver. That's what Woods is. He's not going to be Calvin Johnson or Larry Fitzgerald. He's just a good, solid player. There's nothing wrong with that either. He's the kind of player who should always have somewhere around 1,000 yards receiving and four to nine touchdowns. He was the best route runner in the draft this year and has good hands. His speed is deceptive, but Woods isn't overly physical before or after the catch.
What should we know about Kiko Alonso and Duke Williams' questionable suspension histories?
What you should know about them is they're character guys. For better or worse, they're always going to be character guys. I don't really have much to add other than what you can find reading about them. I thought Alonso was more of a reach than Manuel, though.
Marquise Goodwin: good football player who ran track or good track athlete who played football?
Good track athlete who can play football. When that pick happened, the thought was that Goodwin was a poor man's Tavon Austin for the Bills. Much like Austin in St. Louis, it's going to depend on how creatively the Bills use Goodwin. He shouldn't just be put out at wide receiver and that's it. Get him in the back field. Line him in the slot and out wide. Get him screen passes or reverse runs. But at this point, Goodwin is a vertical receiver who has to rely on his speed. There will always be issues with his size, so I don't know if he'll be an over the middle receiver.
Buffalo spent a sixth round pick on a kicker. Tell us why it's a good thing.
It's a good thing because Dustin Hopkins was widely considered the best kicker in the draft. He's got a big leg. And he's not Rian Lindell. If you have a need at kicker, I don't have a problem using a sixth- or seventh-round pick on one. Which is better, a kicker with a leg you know is good, or a practice squad offensive lineman?
Where would Chris Gragg have projected without his injuries?
Before injuries, Gragg was probably at best a fourth-round player. He's a solid athlete with decent hands and size. Nothing in his game is particularly special. He's more of a big H-back than anything else.
Jeff Tuel and Da'Rick Rogers lead the UDFAs. Freestyle:
A few years ago, Tuel looked like a solid player. He's probably just a camp body at this point. He doesn't have a strong arm, but he's known as a fast learner. There's a lot of intrigue with Rogers. But he didn't get drafted for a reason. With a player like him, you always wait for the other off-field shoe to drop. You hope it turns out good, but I wouldn't get too excited.
Thanks to Dan for answering those questions. Check out the rest of his great work at the mothership on SB Nation.