16 quarterbacks to know for Bills, Part 4

16 quarterbacks to know for Bills, Part 4
Posted at 4:41 PM, Feb 07, 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.

With the first three parts already done, let’s take a look at the final four quarterback prospects you should know for the 2016 NFL Draft:

[If you missed the first three parts, here is Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3]

Jared Goff, Cal
6’4”, 210 lbs.
What he’s all about: In the running to be the first quarterback selected in this year’s draft, Jared Goff’s skill-set is incredibly advanced for a 21-year old prospect. Already possessing the prototypical height, Goff’s combination of arm strength, poise, anticipation, and willingness to throw the ball down the field puts him right in the conversation of a potential “franchise quarterback” for a team in need of one. While he does need to get bigger, and to acclimate himself into an NFL-style of offense as opposed to the spread attack he worked without Cal. Goff will likely be a top 10 selection, and maybe even a top five pick as well.

How he would fit the Bills: If Goff got to 19th overall, the Bills should jump all over the chance to draft him — just as they should do with North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz. The trick is, though, that neither of those players are likely to be there. They are the top two quarterbacks available in the draft, and Tyrod Taylor would give the Bills time to develop those players. Again, though, Goff and Wentz will likely be long gone.



Connor Cook, Michigan State
6’4”, 220 lbs.
What he’s all about: A three-year starter at Michigan State, Connor Cook shows flashes of brilliance that make teams in the NFL wonder what he could be at the next level. He comes from a pro-style system, has the desired size, and has the type of arm that can succeed at the next level. He’ll also take a hit to deliver a throw, and even moves the ball with anticipation of his receiver’s routes. The problem, though, is whether or not Cook can put everything together with an NFL team. He has the tendency to not only make some poor decisions, but, his accuracy in the short areas of the field make him a frustrating prospect. It could be a footwork issue, but will an NFL team have enough patience to work with him before throwing him into the limelight as a starter? Cook is on the cusp of a first-round pick, and at worst, looks like an early Day Two pick at this point.

How he would fit the Bills: If the Bills were to select Cook, they would be able to give him time to sit in his first season with the team. However, would they really be willing to spend a first-round pick on him specifically, with other talented defensive playmakers on the board at 19th overall? If he’s there in the second round, which seems unlikely at this point, then the Bills would likely feel more comfortable pulling the trigger on selecting him.



Cardale Jones, Ohio State
6’5”, 250 lbs.
What he’s all about: Cardale Jones took the world by storm during Ohio State’s championship run after the 2014 season, and he’s certainly hard to ignore on the field from the eye test. He’s big, has one of the biggest arms in the draft, and he can get out in space and run efficiently. The 2015 season was not as kind to him, as his problems with reading defenses and locking on to targets did not improve, leading to poor accuracy and an eventual benching. He’ll likely get drafted higher than most other quarterbacks that get benched in college would, just because of his rare combination of physical attributes. He’s likely to be a Day Two, to early Day Three selection.

How he would fit the Bills: Some team is going to take a long, hard look at Jones just because of the attributes, and with how the Bills run their offense, Jones’ skills would fit in well with what they’re trying to do. If it’s in the fourth round or so, taking a flyer on him might be worth it. However, how close is he to even being a backup at this point? If they take Jones in the second or third round, they might not have a choice. Buyer beware.



Kevin Hogan, Stanford
6’3”, 217 lbs.
What he’s all about: The next quarterback at Stanford after Andrew Luck, Kevin Hogan is an interesting case. He comes from a pro style offense, which helps his immediate placement into the NFL. He’s got good size, velocity on his throws inside the numbers, he can get out and run, and gives his receivers a chance to make a play even in tight windows. With that said, Hogan has merely an average arm on throws outside the numbers, and he needs to clean up his mechanics a bit as well to help his overall accuracy on intermediate-to-deep throws. Just watching how he operates, he is an eerily similar player to former Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. He could develop into a fantastic backup and occasional starter with a Day Three selection.

How he would fit the Bills: If the Bills hold off on drafting a quarterback in the first four rounds, Hogan is a very enticing option for multiple reasons. First, he could be a savvy backup in Greg Roman’s system almost immediately (Roman is a former coach at Stanford), and if he had to play, he would be able to come in and not cost a team dearly. He’s got some work to do with his mechanics, but there is a lot to like from Kevin Hogan, especially where a team would be able to draft him.



Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia