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 Christian Hackenberg, Penn State
Penn State QB Christian Hackenberg has the type of arm teams covet, and it could get him drafted early (Day 2) pic.twitter.com/SbYVNo1A5I
— Joe Buscaglia (@JoeBuscaglia) February 5, 2016
Why he’s a fit
- When you’re looking for a prototypical talent to try and mold at the quarterback position, Christian Hackenberg is exactly what you’d look for. He has the size, he’s got both velocity and distance with his arm strength to conceivably make all the throws you’d want, he’s mobile enough to get out of trouble, and he just turned 21 years old. If you add in the fact that he excelled in a pro-style offense in his first year at Penn State, and that’s the makings of a quarterback a team would like to build around. He isn’t ready by any means to play in 2016, and the Bills having a starter in Tyrod Taylor wouldn’t put any additional pressure on his progress.
Why the Bills may shy away
- To quote Lance Zierlein of NFL.com, Hackenberg “turns receivers into goalies.” In other words, his accuracy is awful, and has been that way all three years he started at Penn State. Even in his solid freshman season, Hackenberg completed under 60-percent of his passes — and that number only went down over the past two seasons. Some team is going to fall in love with Hackenberg, and for a player with his type of skill-set to work with as a base, he could even go as early as the second round, and that is just too high of a price when they could be adding another impact defensive player to the roster.
Joe B. Verdict
- When it comes to Hackenberg, the ties to him are natural. Bills owner Terry Pegula is a proud supporter of Penn State, and the team spent time with Hackenberg following the quarterback’s pro day. However, for how early he’s likely to get drafted, and all the concerns over his accuracy, the Bills are likely to be more inclined to select a quarterback later in the process, or at the very least, a different one than Christian Hackenberg. The way Greg Roman runs his scheme, he values an accurate quarterback that only takes smart chances, and that just isn’t Hackenberg at this point, despite all the potential. Perhaps the Bills could fall in love with his potential which could trump it all, but everything we know about the coaching staff would indicate that they likely go in a different direction if they'd have to use a second round selection on him.