By the time you’re done reading this, there will probably be another draft rumor regarding the Buffalo Bills and their desire for a quarterback — at 10th overall — that pops up.
Perhaps I’m being a bit facetious. It has felt like every waking day, though, that a new rumor has emerged about that topic — for at least the last week or so. There might not be a team with a more prevailing rumor about them than the Bills with a quarterback at 10th overall.
The most recent one came from Albert Breer of The MMQB, who does a fantastic job and is always a must-read national reporter. Appearing on FOX Sports Radio, Breer said the following to ‘The Big Lead’ host Jason McIntyre:
“I think Buffalo is very, very serious about taking a QB at 10. If you’re the Browns, it’s, ‘ok, we have to get in front of Buffalo now.'"
Breer is entering the fray of the overwhelming majority of people in the industry that believe the Bills are all in on adding a quarterback at 10th overall — or even with a trade up in the order.
I guess I’ll stand alone on this one, though. I’m not buying it.
I get it, an incredibly easy case can be made for why the Bills would be interested in using the 10th overall selection on Mitchell Trubisky, Deshaun Watson, or any of the top quarterbacks in this year’s draft.
Tyrod Taylor agreed to a restructured deal that sent out a lukewarm reinforcement of his long-term hold on the starting job in Buffalo. Taylor will be the starter, so it gives one of these players the time to learn the NFL game. There’s a brand new head coach in Buffalo, who brought his own offensive coordinator — and with it, his own principles and theories about the quarterback position.
Plus, well, they’ve lacked a franchise quarterback since Jim Kelly and he retired after the 1996 season. A 17-year playoff drought, and a 20-year drought on having that franchise player at the most important position in the sport.
Heck, even owner Terry Pegula went on the scouting trip with head coach Sean McDermott, general manager Doug Whaley, and others to privately workout every single one of the top four quarterbacks available this year.
They have to be serious, right? It’s an easy sell, right?
A little bit too easy of a sell, if you ask me. Such an easy sell, in fact, that paranoid quarterback-hungry teams hoping for ‘their guy’ to drop can be spooked and convince themselves of the exact sentiment that Breer laid out over the weekend.
Let’s look at the facts about the Buffalo Bills as it stands today:
The roster was scrubbed at a few positions, but there would have been an entire overhaul if they didn’t feel they were ready to compete for a playoff spot in 2017. There is no reason the Bills would be able to convince Kyle Williams to not retire or to bring back Lorenzo Alexander if they weren’t serious about going after a playoff spot this year.
Their top players — with the exception of Sammy Watkins, Cordy Glenn, and John Miller — are mostly at the height of their prime, or, entering the final year of their contract. It’s got the look and feel of a risk-free crack at the playoffs for a new head coach, and if it doesn't work, start the machine over again.
Or, if that doesn’t sway you, how about the plain as day fact that they have only six picks in this year’s NFL Draft — none of which in the fourth round. Six picks, with needs for a starter at right tackle, cornerback, wide receiver, safety, and linebacker. And six picks, with a lack of depth at those positions, along with defensive end, defensive tackle, and tight end.
Lastly, think about the information going out there… and why it’s going out there. Why would McDermott, who is running the show over in Orchard Park, suddenly soften his stance on information getting out there about his team, albeit two weeks before the most important event of their offseason? And when it comes to the most important position in the sport?
The logic just doesn't add up.
Think about the Tyrod Taylor situation. Not even a speck of substantial news came out about their upcoming decision on the quarterback basically until the day it was made. While there were reports of in-house disagreement about what to do, that final call was locked up until they put it out there.
This is a coach that, in his opening press conference, wouldn’t even say what defensive scheme he was running so as to not give their opponents a competitive advantage. That was in January, for crying out loud.
It just doesn’t add up to me. And I haven’t heard anything to convince me that these rumors just might be true.
Now, you will never hear or read me advocating for them to avoid taking a quarterback at any point in the draft. If you feel strongly about one of these players at 10th overall, take him and prove to everyone that you’re right about that player.
I’d much rather see teams keep trying, continuing to draft one every year if they need to, and keep five-to-six quarterbacks on the roster during the season, rather than a random cornerback, wide receiver, or linebacker that wouldn’t dress on game day anyway. I know, I know — that’s considered blasphemy in the NFL.
This is not me saying the Bills shouldn’t take a quarterback at 10, nor will I rip them for doing so.
It is, however, my belief that the ‘hype’ about them taking a quarterback at their original spot — or even trading up in the order — is simply ‘hype.’
Now, there are 10 days until the NFL Draft, and just as easily as other teams can convince themselves that the Bills are taking a quarterback at 10th overall, the Bills can convince themselves in that span of time, ‘Hey, you know what? Maybe we should!’
It’s unwise to talk in absolutes when it comes to the NFL Draft because there is nothing set in stone. Everything is a fluid situation. That’s the beauty of the draft, and why this time of year is coined ‘silly season.’
But that’s not the read on them that I’m getting right now.
I believe they want to help their team with — at worst — their 10th favorite non-quarterback prospect, and if they can get at least one of these other teams to bite on the quarterback rumor, then that’s at least their ninth-favorite non-quarterback prospect getting to them.
I do think they would pull the trigger on a quarterback if they traded down from 10, or if one of their top guys lasted until 44th overall. But that’s really the extent to which I’m buying their interest in a quarterback right now.
With a desire to win this year, a lack of starting-caliber players — or even depth — at key positions on the roster, and with only six picks to do it, I’ll stay on this side of the fence unless I hear otherwise.
A week-and-half out from the draft, I just don’t believe the Bills want a quarterback at 10th overall.