Buffalo Bills: Buying or Selling Top 2013 Draft-Eligible QB as Fits for Bills
Ryan Fitzpatrick is a nice guy.
He's smart, grows a nice beard and is a good leader in the locker room. But one thing he can not do is challenge an opposing defense with his arm. When you are a starting quarterback in the NFL, that is a quality you need to possess to be successful.
The dink and dunk run by Chan Gailey and his beleaguered quarterback is growing tiresome for a Buffalo franchise looking for its first playoff run since the "Music City Miracle." If any franchise deserves a break in the quarterback department, it's the Bills.
The team will once again be in the market for a franchise quarterback if this downward spiral towards another irrelevant season continues.
Hopefully that search will go better this offseason than it has since Jim Kelly retired in 1996.
Unfortunately for the Bills, the 2013 draft class doesn't have a sure thing at the position. That means that the Bills will be gambling with their future by placing it in the hands of a scouting department that has failed to impress on countless occasions.
Let's take a look at possible fits for the Buffalo Bills.
Geno Smith, University of West Virginia
Geno Smith's Heisman campaign has gone down the tubes because the Mountaineers can't play any defense, something they masked outside of Big 12 competition.
That shouldn't have any impact on Smith's draft stock moving forward.
Smith is a big, strong guy that carries the "live arm" term when talking about his arm strength. Perhaps the most impressive thing about Smith is that he is accurate inside and outside of the pocket. While Smith can still improve in this regard, he has all of the intangibles to be the top quarterback off the board next April.
The Mountaineer quarterback would also fit very well in the scheme that Chan Gailey, assuming he is back next year, has in place.
Smith can get the ball out of his hands quickly and can throw a nice deep ball. You'd have to think that Buffalo will want a quarterback that can throw the ball to freshly drafted track star T.J. Graham. Ryan Fitzpatrick throws one of the worst deep balls in the NFL.
Gailey has always liked quarterbacks that can move the chains with their feet (i.e. Fitzpatrick and Kordell Stewart) but would prefer not to have a run-first quarterback.
Smith might be the best fit for Buffalo, but he likely won't last until their draft slotting.
Matt Barkley, University of Southern California
Matt Barkley is the next in a long line of quarterbacks to come out of USC as a high NFL draft pick. Unfortunately for Barkley, many of the quarterbacks that have come from his alma mater haven't been anything more than serviceable.
Not the kind of players you'd think would be coming out of one of the top programs in the country.
Barkley has a lot of qualities that should make him a good quarterback in the NFL, but there are still a few questions to be answered. He's been very inconsistent at times this year, causing interest in him to cool. He went from being a sure-fire, top-five pick, to a player that might make it past the top half of the first round.
Barkley should be able to re-raise his stock in workouts, but scouts are concerned with his athleticism and arm strength.
Buffalo fans usually shy away from liking California quarterbacks, as the conditions are very different in Buffalo winters compared to sunny Los Angeles. If Barkley struggles with making deep throws in the friendly conditions of Southern California, then Buffalo will likely stay away from the Trojan come April.
Tyler Wilson, University of Arkansas
Tyler Wilson has had an interesting year down in Fayetteville.
The senior lost his head coach to an affair scandal and has had to play behind an offensive line that can best be described as a sieve.
The Razorbacks have had a disgustingly awful 2012 season in a South Eastern Conference that looks to be improved from the bottom up. However, I won't let that deter me from taking a strong look at Wilson in the upcoming draft.
Wilson has fallen to being a consensus second-round pick, which he probably should have been to begin with considering some of the flaws in his game.
He'll have a chance to improve his stock quite a bit once the season is over, but there isn't much he can do over the remaining four games with the team he is apart of.
The tape already out there is the tape that most NFL scouts will use.
The senior has a good head on his shoulders and has all the tools to become a solid starter at the next level. I'm not so sure that he has All-Pro talents at quarterback, but he has top-12 potential.
He could improve his throwing motion a bit, which may help with his accuracy on deep balls. Sometimes his throws down field get caught up in the wind, which could be a huge issue in Buffalo.
Wilson is a hard worker and is a good leader, which would appeal to a Buffalo team that needs more big voices in the locker room. However, I think his athletic limitations and his inability to throw a consistent deep ball may have the Bills looking elsewhere in the second round.
Mike Glennon, North Carolina State University
Mike Glennon is an intriguing prospect in the second round.
He hasn't had a lot of success in the wins and losses category, but he has the tools to be a very good player under center at the next level.
The first thing you notice about Glennon is his size. He is far and away the tallest quarterback eligible to be drafted, standing at a fraction under 6'8". That height would make him one of the five tallest quarterbacks in the NFL.
His biggest tool, other than his size, is his arm strength. Glennon owns elite velocity on his throws and can reach almost anywhere on the field, within reason. However, his accuracy can leave a lot to be desired, especially when he is being pressured.
Glennon doesn't thrown a ton of interceptions, at least not at the rate that the incumbent in Buffalo does, but he does have the tendency to force balls into tight spots. He trust his arm a bit too much in pressure situations, which is something that tends to plague young quarterbacks in NFL competition.
He might be one of the best fits at quarterback for Buffalo because of a mix between his size and physical skills. He has the ability to reach receivers deep and won't have to worry too much about pressure from opposing defenses. The Bills have surrendered very few sacks with an ever-improving offensive line.