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Buffalo Bills 2015 NFL Draft needs: a long-term quarterback solution

Quarterback is the biggest wild card for the Bills entering the 2015 NFL Draft: they have a crying need for a long-term solution at the position, but don't necessarily need to add someone to the team this spring.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

In the lead-up to the 2015 NFL Draft, we're going to be taking a position-by-position look at the Buffalo Bills to ascertain how, if at all, the team might choose to address said positions with rookie help this year.

Unlike previous entries in the State of the Bills Roster series, these discussions are not meant to be fully comprehensive, discussing each player in-depth; rather, they're meant to ask and answer three questions related to that position. Those three questions are:

  • Can a rookie contribute here instantly?
  • Where does a project player fit in?
  • Is this a positional need in 2015? How about in 2016?

As we like to do here, this draft-focused mini-series starts at the game's most important position: quarterback.

Is there an instant contributor?

No, there isn't. Any quarterback in this draft class that is ready to walk into Buffalo's starting lineup will be long gone by the time the Bills pick at No. 50 overall, and the team does not have nearly enough ammo to make a move up for those rookies. Buffalo's 2015 starting quarterback, whoever he may be, is almost certainly already on the roster.

Where does a project fit in?

Beyond 2015. It's entirely possible that the Bills will like a second-tier prospect enough this year to take a chance on one early and slide them into the development plan. If that occurs, there will likely be displacement for a current Bills quarterback, as the Bills already have two young, unproven players here - EJ Manuel and Tyrod Taylor - that fit the criteria to be labeled "developmental," and who also carry dead money figures if released (Manuel's is $2.83 million, but Taylor's is only $267,000).

Any project quarterback brought in should not be competing for a starting spot this year. The Bills are clearly not in great shape at quarterback, but their options are not so dire that they have to take a guy that isn't ready to play and force him into the lineup.

Is it a need in 2015? In 2016?

The Bills need a long-term solution at quarterback. There is no denying that. But they don't need to force the issue in 2015 if they're not satisfied with the options; they can get by with their current depth chart if they stick to their run-first plans on offense and play good defense.

That situation - that quarterback is a long-term need, but adding one for the 2015 roster isn't an absolute necessity - makes the quarterback position the biggest wild card for the Bills entering the draft.

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