Over the past few days, the Buffalo Bills have been linked to a couple of different quarterbacks that will be eligible for the draft. However, the latest link is certainly far more tantalizing than either of the other two bits of news.
This comes from the most recent Scouting Notebook from Matt Miller of BleacherReport.com. When it came to the quarterbacks in this year's draft, an unnamed director of player personnel in the league shed some light on how he thought it would shake out.
According to Miller, this unnamed front office member said, "I don't think that run on quarterbacks is gonna happen early. I think it happens in the 20s."
However, the director of player personnel also threw in a Bills-related caveat -- and this is where it gets juicy. From Miller:
"The wild card, he said, is Buffalo at No. 10 overall if general manager Doug Whaley is 'as in love with [Deshaun] Watson as we hear he is.'"
Watson is the incredibly successful quarterback from Clemson, having just won a national championship with the Tigers in January. Along with Mitchell Trubisky of North Carolina, Texas Tech's Patrick Mahomes, and Notre Dame's DeShone Kizer, is in the discussion to be a potential first-round pick.
Joe B's Take
You certainly have to put this one through the smell test, but, the Bills having an interest in Deshaun Watson would make a lot of sense for several reasons.
First, you have to look at the situation the Bills are in. They have a quarterback for this season in Tyrod Taylor, but without a big financial commitment past 2017, it doesn't necessarily cancel out the notion that the Bills would take a quarterback in the first or second round.
The overwhelming notion is that all of these early round prospects are going to need time to learn, which is something the presence of Tyrod Taylor can provide if they were to take Watson in the 2017 NFL Draft. It's a conducive situation to have him sit, learn, and to what they hope, evolve into the next big thing at quarterback.
Second, there haven't been any mixed messages coming from the front office and the coaching staff about their feelings on the quarterback position in the National Football League. To be a competitive team, you have to have a good player at the position -- and considering the reduced contract Taylor is signed to, odds are, the Bills aren't banking on him being that player for them into the future.
You also have to go back to something Sean McDermott said when they still hadn't made a decision on Taylor. He said that they wanted to address the position both for the short-term and long-term, which was good news for Taylor in the interim but didn't dismiss the notion at all that they want a player to mold at the position. That part of it certainly wouldn't rule out a first-round quarterback.
Third, the fit of Watson into offensive coordinator Rick Dennison's system appears to be a strong one. Possessing the mobility to keep an opposing defense honest, using timing and anticipation to fit the ball into the intermediate areas in tight windows accurately, and an impressive red zone completion percentage (69.23-percent, according to the Optimum Scouting NFL Draft Guide). Watson checks a lot of boxes.
Lastly, there are the intangibles. Watson has proved to be a winner at the college level, and of the first things that came out of Sean McDermott's mouth about Tyrod Taylor and what he liked, was the wins that he helped the Bills get over the last two seasons. McDermott also wants to surround his locker room with leaders, and by the accounts of many, Watson is as strong as you'll find in that area.
Clearly, there are some genuine reasons as to why the Bills might covet someone like Deshaun Watson.
My advice on this most recent report?
File this away in the back of your mind, look for signs over the next few weeks to support it, but just take it with a grain of salt for now. It is draft season, after all, so you can't fully trust anything at this point.
However, the pieces certainly do add up to thinking this could be a realistic option for the Buffalo Bills.