Wanting What Is Needed In Buffalo Bills Draft

Photo of QB Baker Mayfield from buffalonews.com and Getty Images.

The draft is only so customizable. Teams can’t choose which types of players they want.  Sure, each new employee has a job category, but general managers have to order from the limited pizza toppings left.  Please save us from pineapple.

The finite supply offers challenging news for the Buffalo Bills, who have draft needs in the same sense they have unsold Marcell Dareus jerseys. It’s easier to determine which positions don’t need fortification.

If Buffalo fans had a magic wand, it’d have worn out years ago.  After we reversed various devastating injuries, useless video reviews, and ridiculous contracts, we’d cast a spell to stock the draft with replacements for the departed.

But Preston Brown’s replacement can’t be ordered through Prime.

Where are the Bills most lacking?  They have to figure that out before looking at the board.  What they want must be weighed against who’s left.

Plans go perfectly right up until something happens.  The selection process has as many permutations as a draft lottery, something the Sabres have learned is useless to try to predict.

The only way to be in control is to go early.  Moving ahead of the Jets would remove every non-Cleveland variable, and the league’s winless goofballs could still draft a jai alai pro.

The defense only seems like it could be a category itself.  Brandon Beane has obtained several free agents who could be starters if they’re not pushed out by promising rookies.  He could still draft at just about anywhere but cornerback, and it’d be fine if he grabbed a bunch of those.  You may have heard this is a throwing league, even if they pretended to fix the catch rule.

Middle linebacker sounds like an important position.  That’s not a guy you hide on the edges.  And defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier seeks a lineman who could play any of four positions, ideally at once.

Photo of LB Roquan Smith from ajc.com.

On the other side, the conventional manner of moving the ball dictates bringing aboard a wide receiver.  It’s astounding that a modern playoff team made a primitive approach work.  Deonte Thompson’s 430 yards were only third on the Bills and tied for 100th in the league. Meanwhile, he led the team by position.  They can try it again.  But like Tom Brady trying to catch a pass, it’s just not going to work.

Oh, and football requires someone to throw the ball.  The Bills might just be thinking of an acquisition at that one invaluable position where they traded away a starter nobody thought was all that terrific.  In fact, I’m going to go ahead and predict they’ll grab a quarterback, a guess I’ll put alongside one that Buffalo and their opponents will combine to go .500 head-to-head.

Announcing that a franchise quarterback helps is like noting Paul McCartney was the most talented one in Wings.  They’ve tried to pass of Ringos as franchise leaders for too long with predictable compositional results.

Investing so much in a quarterback is a better deal than not paying.  The only thing more costly than the purchase is declining to make it.  As tourists leaving Tijuana with empty pockets can attest, some things are worth the price.

Wow – that’s a lot of guys they need.  We’ll have many new players to pretend are our BFFs this year.  Numerous rookies will have a chance to start from day one.  Who doesn’t want to begin a career with lots of responsibility?  Hope some other franchise drafts you if you’re interested in a glorified internship.

The sheer quantity of needed replacements highlights the eternal draft debate about value versus need.  The Bills don’t need someone prized by Mel Kiper Jr.  ESPN is not a contender.

Photo of Mel Kiper, Jr. from eleven warriors.com.

Scheme and vacancy combine to make a player’s worth relative.  An attention-absorbing nose tackle is unappealing to 4-3 schemers seeking an invasively nimble attacker.

The Bills are sure to get a choice of highly-rated players regardless of position thanks to their abundance of needs.  If that was the plan, good job.  This club has so many holes that there’s sure to be someone to draft.  They sure are lucky in that regard.

But they might limit their options by dealing ahead.  There’s a reason that “franchise” is used next to “quarterback” more than other positions combined.  It’s nothing against, say, right guards, but some openings are easier to face by comparison.

A team that made the playoffs has so many needs.  Such a fantastic feat is almost impressive.  The rebuild outpaced supply lines.  But they finally made it to a fort along the Oregon Trail to get supplies.

If they hunt properly, they’ll be able to outrun dysentery.

The draft is about balancing quality and quantity.  Then again, so is everything else.  The Bills have so many gaps that it’s tough to guess their strategy.  That’s one way to outfox other clubs.

Editor’s babble: As always, many thanks to Anthony Bialy for his unique ability to provide us with a good laugh at our team, and sometimes ourselves. You can follow Anthony on Twitter @AnthonyBialy. 

About Anthony Bialy

Anthony Bialy recently moved back to Buffalo from New York City and acts like he never left. He thinks "Buffalo 66" is biographical and considers it a crime against mankind that Steve Tasker is not in the Hall of Fame. He likes getting Tim Hortons on the way to get Labatt Blue. Follow him on Twitter at @AnthonyBialy.

6 Replies to “Wanting What Is Needed In Buffalo Bills Draft”

  1. you make it look like a daunting task- lending weight to the idea of not trading up- or to even go in the other direction and trade down for more picks.
    i would be very surprised if bean and mcd do not have an accurate, comprehensive assessment of the bills positional needs and a working plan how and when to fill each one of them.
    they are also being proactive in advance of the draft- and the lack of pre-draft deals would mean that they are not going to give up more than what they get in return. the relatively harmless deal for aj mccarron also points in that direction.
    the real fun begins once the clock starts ticking and all of a sudden the bills draft board and positional flow chart looks more devastated than a uniiversity of arizona student’s NCAA bracket after the first round.
    or it might look very promising, given that the perennial top pickers in the NFL ain’t that smart. I think they’ll do just fine.

  2. “Bada Bing”

    The million $$$$ question–do they trade up to get the hopefully Franchise QB or hold on to all their picks and replenish the team (assuming all their top 6 picks stick and become valuable contributing players–highly unlikely)…

  3. Do they have a team that is willing to trade with them to get in the top 5?

    If not, what is their confidence level that AJ might be the next Garoppolo?

    I don’t think they will have the draft stock to get a high pick next year, which early reports are that it won’t be a very good draft for QB’s.

  4. “Do they have a team that is willing to trade with them to get in the top 5?”

    Unless they can make a deal to get up to 2 right now, they probably don’t want to move until draft day. Otherwise it just gives other teams time to plan and attempt to jump them. If they strike a deal with the Giants, I sort of suspect it won’t be till they’re on the clock and see what Cleveland does…but that might mean they have to have another deal in waiting in case they have to make 2 moves.

    “If not, what is their confidence level that AJ might be the next Garoppolo?”

    Considering the effort of their pursuit for AJ…aka measly contract and him signing after all the other starting opportunities dried up…I’d say it’s on the low end. That doesn’t mean he can’t be good…but it does suggest nobody really thought all that highly of him.

  5. AJ. McCarron is a QB that will get the job done.. I don’t think he is just a bridge QB. Give him the starting position now, draft Mason Rudolph and let him backup McCarron, keep Peterman as 3rd string and use the remaining picks to fill the holes.My opinion of what should go down and will take place..