1) Not an expert here
Obviously, I have zero idea how this draft is going to turn out. This is just the preamble I always roll with since predicting drafts is like predicting the weather or predicting who’s going to get whacked next on Game of Thrones. No one knows shit. However, if we view it in terms of possible starters from day 1, the Bills have 3 guys, maybe even 4 if you believe McDermott’s take on Matt Milano. That seems like a nice haul, although starting and being a good player can be two really different things. It will take time for us to figure out if any of these guys are legit pros or if they are all just guys holding down the fort until someone better comes around.
2) Trading down is fun, but cashing in is where it’s at
I was very cool with the Bills trading down from 10th to 27th. It made sense since they have a lot of holes and IMO, the Bills are quietly rebuilding. That 1st rounder next year is especially crucial. If you ask me, I’d rather have higher picks than picks in the later rounds of the draft. It’s easy to be optimistic about a faceless pick so the more picks a team has the better they look sometimes. Of course, you need to nail those extra picks. The Cleveland Browns traded down in the first round in 2009 (Mark Sanchez deal), 2011 (Julio Jones), and 2014 (Sammy Watkins deal), and all those extra picks have resulted in bollocks for them. The Bills need to hit on the extra picks or it will just lead to stupid draft grades we will all laugh at in 3 years.
3) White it is
Tre White seems like a safe pick for a team that obviously needed help at DB. I’m still in the camp that believes the Bills needed to pay Gilmore or at least be more proactive with extending him, especially since they’re now using a 1st round pick to replace him, but what they could have or should have done doesn’t really matter now. I still don’t know how I feel about drafting DBs so high because I feel the rules work against them so much in today’s NFL, but this is a better pick at 27 than say in the top 10. White is a nice-size CB which is what you want in a zone defense and he can play on the outside or in the slot.
4) #2 WR
Zay Jones is going to start from day 1 and judging by our Q&A, it seems like he has really good hands and is an excellent route runner. I think that will help him in this variation of the Shanahan West Coast offense where route running is more important than having tons of speed. Let’s take a look at potential production. Here’s what wide WRs drafted in the 2nd round since 2005 have done during their rookie years:
- 2nd round WRs from 2005-present: 50 WRs were selected
- 2nd round WRs from 2005-present: 10 WRs had 50+ catches
- 2nd round WRs from 2005-present: 5 WRs had 800+ yards and 8 had 600-800 yards.
Since 2000, 72 WRs have been selected in the 2nd round and 17 of them had over 1,000 yards receiving in a season during their career. Would be nice if Zay accomplishes that at some point.
5) The Bills care about the OL
The Bills needed an RT and they got one. He HAS to be better than Jordan Mills, right? You have to give the Bills credit for addressing the OL over the last few years. Since 2012, the Bills have spent three 2nd round picks on the OL (Glenn-Cyrus-Dawkins) and paid Incognito/Eric Wood (1st round pick). From 2002-2011, the Bills only used 3 picks on the OL within the first 4 rounds. Somewhere Rich Fann is smiling at the love the position is getting now.
[Editor’s Note: Yes, Yes I am.]
There is a lot of buzz around Nathan Peterman being drafted. I saw one expert say he’s this year’s Dak Prescott and another one say he’s Kirk Cousins. Whoa. That seems like a lot of praise for someone who hasn’t played a down. If you are a big history guy, the 5th round isn’t exactly a hotbed of successful QBs. Even if we go all the way back to 1980, only Mark Brunell was a baller in the 5th round. Everyone else was kind of dog shit.
On the other hand, if you’re obsessed with the Bills drafting as many QBs as possible, you have to be thrilled. Joe B. tweeted that this was the first time in 30 years that the Bills took a QB in back-to-back drafts. And if you read the tea leaves, they seem to be gung-ho about next year’s QB class. If there’s one thing that the Bill Walsh-Mike Holmgren-Andy Reid coaching tree loves doing, it is drafting QBs EVERYWHERE AT ANYTIME.
7) Jeremy White wants to tank
I listened to Jeremy White and it seemed like he was kind of flabbergasted about the Bills not taking a QB this year and rolling the dice on trying to find the guy they want. I think that’s what he was complaining about as he was talking in circles for the most part. I understand what he said about all the hoopla about trading down and how the extra draft picks have to be hits. However, his stance on how you can ONLY get QBs high in the draft – I think that was what he was saying at least – was a total stretch. When there’s a top QB class, they don’t go 1, 2, 3, 4 in the draft. Some teams may have QBs already in place while others may want to fill other needs. Yes, many teams would rather have a possible All-Pro DT than a pretty good QB. Half the league always seems to need decent QBs and yet a lot of them pass up on guys to pick other positions they value more. The 2014 QB class was touted as being deep and 5 QBs went during the first 2 rounds. The first two picks were Bortles and Manziel (meh), while the next 3 picks (32-62) were Bridgewater, Carr, Garoppolo (better).
White, who is the king of zero nuances, was doing what he does best and that’s make everyone panic. He kept talking about the 2004 draft and how the QB we want won’t be there no matter where the Bills pick because ALL GREAT QBs GO IN THE TOP 5 AND WE ARE ALWAYS IN THE MIDDLE!!! OH MY GOD!! HELP US!! Even after Whaley and the entire staff got canned, there was a story out how Whaley was the only person on the scouting/coaching staff who didn’t like Tyrod. Of course, this gave #jamm an aneurysm because in his mind it means if Tyrod is average, the Bills are going to keep him. Um, that would maybe make sense if the Bills DIDN’T JUST FIRE THE ENTIRE SCOUTING DEPARTMENT!!! Are we really going to play this game? Tyrod has to be better next year by a lot. He needs to be much better than average. The Bills kept Tyrod because they didn’t like the draft class. Period. That’s why they had him rework his deal and made it yet again another 1-year deal.
Jeremy, just get it out and say you want to tank. Stop dancing around it. Tanking is your gimmick and it resulted in WGR having monster ratings during the race for McEichel. You know if the Bills are off to a slow start, he’s going to be pumping the Bills tank narrative just like he did for the Sabres or at least he’ll ask Russ Brandon for permission like when Ted Black/Tim Murray told him to go balls to the wall on tank hype.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you can be a championship caliber team WITHOUT picking in the top 5 if you have a GM who is decent at his job. See: Seahawks, Pats, Steelers, Ravens, and Packers. And in terms of top 5 QBs, just look up where QBs have gone in the draft over the years and you’ll find a paper trail of decent first round QBs who didn’t go in the top 10. White will say in one breath that the NFL draft is a crap shoot, but then he’ll get on his soapbox and say you can only find QBs at the top of the draft. I guess it just depends on whatever the narrative is that day.
8) Give Jerry Sullivan off during the draft
Speaking of media, why in the world does Jerry Sullivan cover the draft? Judging by Twitter, the dude obviously hates the whole drafting event. In fact, one of TBN videos had him going on a rant about how much he hates college football and the draft. Hates the draft and college football? This doesn’t sound like a good combo for an objective assignment. Plus, he double-dipped by tweeting first how rounds 4-7 are meaningless because players selected don’t do much of anything but then tweeting that the Bills are awful at picking in the later rounds by comparison to other teams. Well, which is it? All he did the last 3 days was crack terrible jokes during a time most Bills fans/readers take very seriously.
Look, I understand where he’s coming from on a few things. The draft coverage is stupid at times and the hype/lingo can get out of hand. Draft experts are constantly wrong, every pick is overanalyzed, and grades are based on nothing because no one has played yet. However, there’s an audience for all of that and that makes it one of the biggest football days of the year. It is a big day for fans and when the public demands coverage, you need to deliver and at least pretend to care about it. You are a paid columnist who makes almost 6 figures. Would it kill him to watch a few college football games? Do some research? Call a few scouting sources? I just read a Chad Kelly story where Tim Graham called half the league to see how they viewed him. Couldn’t he have given Sully some of the scouts’ numbers to call and ask about ANYONE the Bills may have liked leading up to the draft?
Sully must have time on his hands because it’s not like he’s going to Sabres games and covering the hockey team. Hell, I don’t know what he’s been doing since January aside from trolling fans on Twitter with his straw man insults and dressing like a homeless bum at the nearest Sabres press conference.
I’m not a college football guy as I’ve said many times, but if Sports Daily (Buffalo Wins’ parent company) paid me a couple hundred bucks a month, I would watch as much college football as a compulsive gambler. People at BN are always RTing how they want a new contract because they haven’t gotten raises in years. I do feel for them because corporations suck and the print model is what it is. But if I’m trying to make/ask for more money, maybe work a little harder than just throwing out the same old bullshit draft stand-up jokes you make every year. Yes, he wrote a nice story about Tre White, but when you are a complete ass on Twitter 90% of the time and you basically make fun of every draft pick the Bills make, it tarnishes the decent takes.