Now that the Super Bowl is over and the offseason is officially upon us, my weekly Morning Joe series will continue. I'm super excited to be back with you all, as I've taken a bit of a break from writing of late. My day job and my now one-year-old daughter have been taking up most of my free time. But now I've developed a bit of routine and have effectively struck a balance between work, home, and play. Therefore, you'll be seeing a lot more Joes!
There have been a lot of changes at One Bills Drive over the past month. The one thing that hasn't changed is that the Bills still don't have a quarterback. I understand that some of you might not necessarily agree with that statement; that's fine. However, the truth is that both the coaches and the GM, Doug Whaley, feel as if they need to bring in another quarterback to compete for the starting job. This is an indication that they aren't completely sold on EJ Manuel being the answer at quarterback for the 2015 season.
Whaley has been criticized by some fans for trading away the Bills' first-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, believing that the Bills could've used that pick to draft a quarterback in the upcoming draft, and that not having that pick will hinder their ability to draft a franchise quarterback. At first glance, that concern seemed valid - but when you examine it further, you'll realize it might not really matter.
If the Bills were drafting in the first round, they'd have had the No. 19 pick. By the time the Bills would have picked, the two top quarterback prospects in the draft - Jameis Winston of Florida State, and Marcus Mariota of Oregon - would have been long gone. The Bills would have been left to draft someone like Garrett Grayson, Brett Hundley, or Sean Mannion. Depending on who you ask, these three quarterbacks are next in line to be drafted.
The teams that pick between Nos. 20-32 have bigger needs at other positions, and the likelihood of them drafting a quarterback in the first round are slim. Below are the teams that pick between 20-32 and their quarterbacks:
- 20. Eagles - Nick Foles
- 21. Bengals - Andy Dalton
- 22. Steelers - Ben Roethlisberger
- 23. Lions - Matthew Stafford
- 24. Cardinals - Carson Palmer
- 25. Panthers - Cam Newton
- 26. Ravens - Joe Flacco
- 27. Cowboys - Tony Romo
- 28. Broncos - Peyton Manning
- 29. Colts - Andrew Luck
- 30. Packers - Aaron Rodgers
- 31. Seahawks - Russell Wilson
- 32. Patriots - Tom Brady
Yes, the Eagles and the Cardinals could use a quarterback, but the Eagles have more pressing needs in the secondary, and the Cardinals could use help along the defensive line and at linebacker, after the ACL injury of Darnell Dockett and the Daryl Washington suspension. Besides, as of now, none of the aforementioned quarterbacks have first-round grades, and all of the teams from 20-32 will be better served drafting a guy in the later rounds, or developing their young quarterbacks that are already on the roster.
This mean that the quarterback that Bills may have selected at 19, more than likely will be available in the second round - and if there is a guy there that they absolutely want, it wouldn't cost much to move up in the second round to grab him. Alternatively, they can just wait for him to fall to pick No. 50. Not having a first round pick in 2015 will not dramatically disqualify the Bills from drafting a quarterback they want.