16 quarterbacks to know for Bills, Part 1

16 quarterbacks to know for Bills, Part 1
Posted at 2:19 PM, Feb 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-01 14:19:35-05

The NFL Draft is just one piece of the puzzle for the Buffalo Bills, but with such an importance placed on next season, they’ll need to get their first few picks right. The Bills want the postseason, badly, and making the right moves in late April could be the key to the playoffs.

Each week, 7 ABC Buffalo will go through and outline some of the players you should know in this year’s draft process. This week, if Tyrod Taylor is not *the* guy at quarterback, we’re taking a look at some of the quarterbacks the draft has to offer. At the very least, the Bills could use a new backup.

Four quarterbacks to acclimate yourselves with — the first of a four-part series this week:

Carson Wentz, North Dakota State
6’5”, 233 lbs.
What he’s all about: The talk of the NFL Draft over the past two weeks, North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz had the stage basically all to himself during last week’s Senior Bowl. Hailing from a the Division FCS champions, Wentz is a prospect that is worth all the buzz from the past week. As you can see below, Wentz has a cannon for an arm — easily possessing the ability to hit receivers outside the numbers with NFL-level throws. He’s got the size teams covet, has experience in a pro-style offense, and he certainly isn’t afraid of throwing into a tight window. His above average mobility just adds another element to his skill set. While Wentz has a lot going for him, he’ll need to evolve with the NFL game and learn to not lock on to his target at the next level. Another hurdle he’ll have to clear, sometimes he arm throws it a bit too much rather than utilizing his legs in the throw. Due to that, he’ll have some wild throws from time to time that have hurt him. Even with that in mind, Wentz has some fantastic attributes to work with, and will more than likely be a first-round pick. How high will he be selected? His interviews with teams will dictate that.

How he would fit the Bills: If Wentz were to be available at 19th overall, the Bills would have to be quite tempted to pull the trigger. While Tyrod Taylor had a good year in 2015, the quarterback position is far from settled — especially with him going into a contract year. Wentz likely needs to learn from the bench in 2016, which Taylor affords him the opportunity of doing. The trouble, though, is that does nothing for a defense that needs to add an impact player. If he’s there, what’s best for the future, and what’s best for right now, will be put to the test. If Wentz is good enough, he would satisfy both.



Jacob Coker, Alabama
6’6”, 236 lbs.
What he’s all about: From the quarterback of the Division FCS champions to the quarterback of the FBS national champions, Alabama’s Jacob Coker has some NFL aspirations as well. Starting off at Florida State, Coker transferred to Alabama after losing the competition to Jameis Winston. Coker is much bigger than you’d think he would be, at 6-foot-6, especially considering how well he move for his size. He also has a big arm and comes from a pro-style offense that helped him learn how to avoid making costly mistakes as the season progressed. Coker did, however, get benched at one point in the 2015 season. He’ll struggle with escaping the rush in the pocket when things break down, and he’ll also have to learn to throw into a tighter window in the NFL. With his size and arm, it would make sense if Coker somehow sneaks into the conversation of a late Day Two, or an early Day Three selection.

How he would fit the Bills: The Bills have made mention of several quarterback prospects that will be available in the middle rounds that have an intriguing skill-set, and Coker is among that crop of players. Having the type of movement ability that he does for his size, that makes him into an intriguing player to work with. In the short term, Coker has the look of a backup that won’t necessarily cost a team with mistakes — but one that won’t take over a game either. If Coker is around in the fourth or fifth round, he would fit Greg Roman’s style with how careful he is with the football.



Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
6’2”, 226 lbs.
What he’s all about: The name that fans bring up the most when it comes to Dak Prescott is former Heisman Trophy winner, and first-round bust Tim Tebow. Both hail from the same offense, with the same offensive coordinator (Dan Mullen, now the head coach of Mississippi State), and have incredibly similar playing styles. Prescott is thickly built, and a punishing runner for a quarterback that can tough yardage even with a defender draped all over him. He’s also elusive in the pocket and can keep plays alive with his legs. Unlike Tebow, he’s got a quicker throwing motion, and he’s a bit more accurate than Tebow was, displaying some quality zip on his throws this season. The accuracy is not overwhelmingly better, though, because Prescott often sacrifices his footwork when under duress. He’ll throw off one foot and the accuracy drops along with it. He also plays in a system that has predetermined reads, and that will be something to overcome in the NFL as well. Prescott is likely a late Day Two to Day Three selection.

How he would fit the Bills: While Prescott’s athleticism is quite intriguing, he lacks in taking advantage of a lot of opportunities down the field. Prescott and Taylor are similar in how they were asked to quarterback for their teams last season. Each man had roughly a yards per attempt total of 8.0 in 2015 for their respective teams. If they are investing in Taylor as the player of the future, Prescott would be a worthwhile potential backup for where they would be taking him. He is going to need some time on the bench before ever being trusted in a starter’s role at the NFL level, though, and his inaccuracy may prevent him from ever reaching that potential.



Josh Woodrum, Liberty
6’3”, 225 lbs.
What he’s all about: Another small school prospect, Josh Woodrum offers up good size for the position to garner a look from NFL teams. Woodrum has a good sense of the pocket and stays out of trouble, and while he doesn’t have the biggest arm, he can put a good zip on his throws. He does have the tendency to arm throw the ball at times, ending his motion the way a baseball pitcher would. He’ll also stare down his targets, which is something he has to rid himself of. However, with his size, and potential to get better with some technical training, he could be a late round pickup and a practice squad type for a team.

How he would fit the Bills: The Bills are looking for either a backup quarterback or someone that can develop into a longterm starter out of this year’s draft, and Woodrum certainly isn’t ready to be the backup of a team just yet. However, with a late round pick, or even as a priority free agent for training camp, he would be worth a look just to see if there’s anything there. Anything earlier than a late sixth, or a seventh-round pick, though, and they could miss out on someone else that would have a better chance of making the roster outright.



Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia






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