The 2016 NFL Draft is under a month away and the Buffalo Bills -- unlike last year -- have a first round selection to try and find themselves an impact starter. With a pair of selections on Day Two, the Bills could even two more starters to the roster.
General manager Doug Whaley has continued to say the Bills will look for the best player available and won't draft based on need, which makes them fairly unpredictable up until they make a selection on April 28. With so many positions that they could go after, the Bills have a great deal of names to keep an eye on -- as long as you know what you're looking for.
Leading up to the start of the draft, WKBW.com will be going through potential names that the Buffalo Bills could select in the 2016 NFL Draft:
QB Cardale Jones, Ohio State
Why he’s a fit
- At one time thought to be a potential first-round pick, Cardale Jones then was benched halfway through the 2015 season. Even though that happened, the NFL remains interested because of his rare combination of traits. Jones has the size, he can run, he can fling the ball down the air with a simple flick of the wrist… it’s the rest of the prospect that needs molding. For the Bills, it would make a certain degree of sense for a few reasons. First, he would likely be a Day Two or Day Three selection, which is when the Bills will probably strike for a quarterback. Second, he would have time to learn with offensive coordinator Greg Roman and quarterbacks coach David Lee, all while Tyrod Taylor is starting ahead of him. Third, the offense the Bills run isn’t incredibly dissimilar to what he was used to at Ohio State, which would work well with the team’s offensive coordinator.
Why the Bills may shy away
- Cardale Jones has all the potential in the world, but viewing it from a perspective of passer polish, perhaps he doesn’t have enough meat on the bone to justify using a Day Two selection on him. His struggles with accuracy are there and obvious. A team like the Bills has to decide whether or not that is fixable from his time on the field. He’s no sure thing, and certainly not a safe bet, so that might scare some teams away.
Joe B. Verdict
- The Bills are in a unique position because they have a quarterback for the 2016 season, but no concrete plans past that. It’s a year in which they need to win, so that means Taylor will be a big part of their plans for the short-term. So, with that flexibility and having a starter, and maybe even a backup already in EJ Manuel, they could select Jones in the third round, basically redshirt him for the season, and just make it Greg Roman and David Lee’s task to bring him along. It might end up taking a selection higher than a third round pick, so if the Bills feel strongly enough about him, then perhaps they’ll pull the trigger. If a team like the Bills — or any team for that matter — thinks long-range starting potential is within reason for a quarterback prospect, it’s better to take the chance than taking no chances at all.