Joe Marino of NDT Scouting recently released his full 2018 mock draft for the Buffalo Bills, addressing a number of needs for Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott. The mock draft presents a scenario where the Bills do not trade up in the first round, leaving the team to draft a quarterback with the 12th selection. Joe was willing to take some time to answer a few questions about the Bills, the 2018 Draft, and quarterback Mason Rudolph.
In your recent 7-round mock draft for the Buffalo Bills, you presented a scenario where the team is unable to trade up. The team selects Mason Rudolph at 12, a selection that likely raised a few eyebrows. What led you to select Rudolph with the 12th pick?
Buffalo has been linked to Rudolph throughout the season and it has intensified in the pre-draft process where Buffalo has met with him at the Senior Bowl and Combine, attended his Pro Day, worked him out privately, and brought him in for an official visit. If Buffalo is unable to move up then it wouldn’t be out of the picture for him to be the guy at pick 12. Rudolph is the type of high-character, four-year college player that very much fits what Buffalo prefers.
Knowing the Bills need for a quarterback, is the projected cost to trade up to the 2nd or 4th pick too much in your estimation?
I think Beane should be willing to pay the price tag. It’s been a 20-year search for Jim Kelly’s replacement and that needs to end. Sean McDermott led a team with marginal talent to the playoffs last season and he needs a franchise quarterback to become a contender. The tag will be hefty but its a price Buffalo should pay it. With Tom Brady and the Patriots dynasty nearing an end, the landscape of the AFC is shifting and Buffalo needs its quarterback to get ahead of the competition.
Should the Bills pass on a quarterback in the first round, is there another prospect the team could target as a potential starter in the second round?
If Buffalo is willing to invest a second round pick on a quarterback, then they better take him in the first. Beane and McDermott need to identify their guy and do everything they can to make sure they get him.
The Bills are woefully thin at wide receiver, leading many fans to question what the team’s plan may be at the position. You chose to invest heavily in the position with Calvin Ridley (pick 22) and Rudolph’s college teammate James Washington (pick 56) joining the Bills. In the case of Washington, is he as attractive of a choice if Rudolph is not his quarterback?
Part of the appeal with slotting Washington to Buffalo was the Rudolph connection. With that said, I still believe he is worth the pick at 56, but I may have opted to fill a different need at that spot if a different quarterback for Buffalo is in the mix. Regardless, if Buffalo keeps all of its draft capital multiple receivers should be selected.
What is your take on Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott during their first full off-season as general manager and head coach?
There is a lot to like. Buffalo did a good job of solidifying needs in free agency and not over-paying for anyone. The Bills are loaded with draft capital and are set to make considerable strides with evolving the roster to Beane and McDermott’s preferences. The ultimate test will be looking back in three years and determining if the quarterback situation was a success or not.
Many thanks to Joe Marino from NDT Scouting for taking the time to answer a few questions. You can follow Joe on Twitter @TheJoeMarino, or find his work at NDTScouting.com.