16 quarterbacks to know for Bills, Part 2

16 quarterbacks to know for Bills, Part 2
Posted at 3:29 PM, Feb 05, 2016

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 second of the four-part series this week:

[If you missed Part 1 of the series, click here]

Jacoby Brissett, NC State
6’4”, 236 lbs.
What he’s all about: Originally starting his college career at the University of Florida, Brissett went to NC State for an opportunity to start and found one. It’s hard to ignore Brissett on the field due to his size, possessing a great build to see down the field, and to withstand punishment from NFL defensive players. Brissett has an NFL caliber arm, but his biggest asset is how elusive he is in the pocket. He’s tough to bring down, uses his ability to run and makes some truly unbelievable plays to escape pressure. Despite his big arm, he’s a bit raw as a passer at this point. His downfield accuracy is suspect, and that’s partially due to some flaws in his footwork. He’ll also force his initial read a bit too much at this point. However, with all his physical attributes, it would be tough to see him being on the board past the fourth round as a developmental quarterback that a team brings along slowly.

How he would fit the Bills: Brissett is one of those intriguing mid-round options the Bills have likely referred to. He has fantastic physical skills which will help in the interim as he — as a team would hope — better as a passer. Having Tyrod Taylor affords them enough time to keep Brissett far away from the field this year, and even keeping EJ Manuel on the roster, if Brissett isn’t ready to take over backup duties straight away. If he’s available in the third or fourth round, the Bills might just think long and hard.



Christian Hackenberg, Penn State
6’4”, 236 lbs.
What he’s all about: A three-year starter at Penn State, Hackenberg took the Big 10 by storm and immediately landed on the draft’s radar after his freshman season. Over the course of the last two seasons though, Hackenberg has struggled. While he possesses the ideal size, arm strength, and ability to throw outside the numbers with zip that teams dream of for their quarterbacks, he has quite a bit of flaws. Hackenberg, far too often, gets caught on his initial read and won’t come off it — no matter how grim the situation looks with multiple defenders. His accuracy lacks, he makes bad decisions, struggles with pocket awareness, and has the tendency of staring down his target. With his physical tools, though, some team could justify using a Day Two to early Day Three selection on him.

How he would fit the Bills: Unless Hackenberg’s on-field decision making gets extremely better during the draft process, he’s not worth a Day 2 selection, in my opinion. If the Bills could get him as a late round pick or as a priority free agent on a flyer, that would be ideal. But, since he’s likely to go earlier, there isn’t a ton to like other than his physical attributes. He’s not ready to start, and he’s not ready to backup just yet, either.



Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
6’6”, 236 lbs.
What he’s all about: As tall a quarterback as you’ll find in this year’s quarterback class, Sudfeld has the physical tools teams can work with. He’s got both the size and arm strength like Hackenberg, but without the hubbub around him even though the two are similarly raw. He still has some work to do with correcting his footwork and not throwing off his back foot as much as he does. He’s also a spread quarterback, and will have to acclimate himself with a NFL offense and all the nuances that go along with it. He’s likely a Day Three pick at this point in time.

How he would fit the Bills: Later on in the draft in the fifth, sixth, or seventh round, the Bills could be tempted to view him as a developmental player. But, he doesn’t move all that well, and while Greg Roman isn’t married to having a mobile quarterback, that’s all he’s worked with since getting to the NFL and gives defenses more problems because of that factor. Sudfeld is a solid Day Three, developmental prospect a team can hope turns into a longterm option as a backup quarterback — and if he hits, maybe even one day a starter.



Cody Kessler, USC
6’1”, 224 lbs.
What he’s all about: Coming from the vaunted program at USC, Kessler provided some stability at the quarterback position and, to put it bluntly, played an efficient brand of quarterback. He was poised, has good mechanics, and his best asset — he can maneuver around the pocket quite well. Too often, though, Kessler will opt for the check down, neglecting downfield throws quite a bit. He’s undersized for the position, and only has average arm strength which could cause him to struggle with throws outside the numbers. He’s a late round pick that could go undrafted altogether.

How he would fit the Bills: Kessler would fit the Bills with all the underneath throws that they do, but the throws to the deep areas of the field is something that Kessler just doesn’t have in his game. At best, he would just be a priority free agent, a third-string quarterback, and a camp arm for the Bills.



Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia