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2022 NFL Draft: Backing up Josh Allen on the Buffalo Bills

Matt Barkley to Mitch Trubisky to…a rookie?

After Matt Barkley’s departure last offseason, the Buffalo Bills were lucky enough to bring in a reclamation project in former Chicago Bears starter Mitch Trubisky to a cheap contract considering his recent starting experience. The former No. 2 overall pick performed well in the preseason and then served as the Bills backup quarterback. Thanks to his service, Trubisky is, by all accounts, expected to move on and find an opportunity to compete for a starting job elsewhere after hitting free agency this offseason.

Meanwhile, with their cap space stretched as far as possible, Buffalo could be on the lookout for a cheaper backup option at quarterback. The team most recently took a swing at former Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm, and the front office may still be on the look out for a long-term backup there for Allen. Below are some second- and third-day players who might fit the bill in either regard.

Tier I

Desmond Ridder (Cincinnati)
Carson Strong (Nevada)

The closest thing to Josh Allen in the draft—and even then, it’s a relative concept—is Ridder. Good size at 6’3”, has plus athleticism, plays in a pro-style offense. He shows flashes of recklessness however, and while his arm is “good enough” it’s not great. Strong has many of the same positive attributes of Ridder, except he’s much less of an athlete and operated from a spread-type offense in college. He also had a knee injury this past season in college, although the rumor has been that there should be no concerns.

Tier II

Bailey Zappe (Western Kentucky)
Brock Purdy (Iowa State)

Being an average athlete and possessing what appears to be below-average arm strength might sink any other prospect, but Zappe has it between the eyes and throws with great touch and anticipation. Purdy has some nice tools and has made a career of making plays off-script and throwing his body around. There is a reason for that, however, and it’s that he struggled with consistency and making routine throws and decisions.

Tier III

D’Eriq King (Miami)

King has some exciting, Russell Wilson-esque tools and athleticism. His arm isn’t great, but he showed proficiency operating Miami’s offense. Unfortunately, he’s short and old, at 5’11” and 24 years old respectively, so his upside is limited.

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