This is the second of a three-part opinion series related to the Buffalo Bills quarterback position. I have changed my opinion so many times on what the team should do at quarterback that I am even annoying myself.
Last week I wrote about my desire for the Buffalo Bills to sign Kirk Cousins to a lucrative contract to become the franchise quarterback for the team. With that being said, it is not the only scenario that I would like to see this offseason. If the Bills do not pursue Cousins, I would love to see the team draft Lamar Jackson with the 21st pick of the first round.
In a recent interview on WGR 550, Mike Mayock of the NFL Network referred to Jackson as “the most electrifying running quarterback I have ever seen in my life”. Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller recently went on a Twitter rant talking about Jackson, and the upside and potential that he has as a quarterback. Jackson was also the focal point of the most recent edition of Intentional Scouting on WGR 550, which also highlighted the prospect and his chance for success in the NFL. While I do not pretend to be any sort of draft scout, I do look to experts like Mayock and Miller for their quarterback analysis.
Taking Jackson at pick 21 would still allow the Bills to address additional needs throughout the draft, and eliminates the “boom-or-bust” possibility of trading up for Josh Rosen, Sam Darnold, or Baker Mayfield. The Bills could then use their additional first and two second round picks to fill holes at linebacker, offensive line, and defensive tackle. Drafting Jackson would also mean that the Bills do not have to shell out a large contract on a quarterback in free agency, allowing Brandon Beane to address these needs prior to the draft.
I do realize this opinion may not be popular, but the Bills could also keep Tyrod Taylor as a bridge quarterback until Jackson is ready to take over as starter. Rather than rush Jackson into the lineup, it would give Sean McDermott and Brian Daboll time to develop the young quarterback – who just turned 21 back in January. Should the team move on from Taylor, I would still recommend signing a veteran quarterback to allow Jackson the time to develop.
As a fan I have always been captivated by Jackson’s athleticism and arm strength, and is the most exciting player in college football. He is admittedly my 2018 “draft crush”, and I would look forward to seeing what he could do with LeSean McCoy in run-pass option situations. Jackson would bring a level of excitement to the Bills offense, and I would be thrilled to see him groomed as the Bills quarterback of the future.