If I'm choosing one word to describe the Buffalo Bills' selection of running back C.J. Spiller with the No. 9 pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, it's "ambivalent." Seriously conflicting ideals are competing for dominance in my mind this evening, and I honestly just don't know how to feel about this pick at the moment.
I absolutely love C.J. Spiller as a pro prospect. Holy crap, this guy can play. He came in eighth in my pre-draft Top 50 prospect rankings; I've felt strongly that he'll be a great player for months, and clearly the Bills got solid value out of the selection. Ultimately, when it comes right down to it, I have a hard time getting riled up about the Bills taking a great player with unique talents, outstanding college production, and high character. Spiller will be a star in Buffalo, for a whole bunch of reasons that we talked about a little over a week ago.
I'd have taken Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen where Buffalo sat, which shows how much I know, because Clausen will still be available when tomorrow night's second round kicks off. He is the best player remaining in the draft at the moment, and it's not close.
I don't have a problem with Buffalo passing on the tackles available for Spiller. The same goes with the nose tackles and the pass rushers; with the possible exception of Rutgers tackle, a fairly serious character risk, none of the players available at those positions are elite prospects. None have the ceiling to add as much long-term impact to this team as Spiller does. And if Buffalo can swing a way to get Clausen in the second round - if they feel the value is better there - then what little I disagreed with tonight will be forgiven.
Here's my only problem with what happened this evening: no matter who we bring in, this franchise will continue to spin its wheels until they have a franchise quarterback in place. That's the bottom line. Clausen isn't the only QB available that fits that bill, and I'm hopeful that the team comes away with one tomorrow - the earlier the better. Open competitions, Chan Gailey working with the current crop - these are not appealing options to me. Get a guy to build around and go from there. I think Clausen's that guy; I won't complain if the Bills prefer a guy like Colt McCoy, but something needs to happen at quarterback. I just don't want to exit this weekend knowing that no matter the talent added, we're still burning rubber in neutral.
Hence, ambivalence. I love Spiller, and I'm excited that he's a Bill. But Buffalo's biggest fish remains firmly out of the frier, and I can only be hopeful that Nix, Gailey and the folks at One Bills Drive understand that, and have a sense of urgency about it.