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Chance Warmack has the tools to become an All-Pro guard.
Since we aren't privy to knowing the specific grades the Bills have assigned to the 2013 draft class, let's define what is an acceptable outcome for the Bills in the first round of the draft.
To my way of thinking there is only one of two possible outcomes that are acceptable. The primary goal with the No. 8 overall pick is to draft a player that will become an immediate starter in 2013. He should also have an excellent chance at becoming an All-Pro in the NFL during his career.
The second acceptable outcome is to have a plan B due to the distinct possibility that the players the Bills truly valued and wanted with the No. 8 pick are already gone. In that event, you trade down in the first round with the best deal you can find to acquire more draft picks in the second and/or third round. Currently there are two teams that are actively looking to trade up in the first round, which is Atlanta and Minnesota.
The only thing you can't do is to reach for a player because of need. That is a cardinal sin for a GM.
So, who will be the Bills' best options at the No. 8 pick that meets the criteria we laid out? You have to assume that tackles Luke Joeckel and Eric Fisher will already be off the board. After the pair of talented tackles are gone, things begin to get a little fuzzy due to the combination of teams looking to trade down and the potential for teams to reach for a quarterback. Some players will unexpectedly slide, and the Bills might wind up being surprised with who is still available for them when they are on the clock.
Here are the players I would be delighted with at No. 8:
Oklahoma tackle Lane Johnson, North Carolina guard Jonathan Cooper, Alabama guard Chance Warmack, Alabama corner Dee Milliner, West Virginia wide receiver Tavon Austin, Utah defensive lineman Star Lotulelei, Oregon linebacker Dion Jordan, Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd and LSU linebacker Barkevious Mingo.
These players fit with the best player available type of strategy that allows an NFL team to remain in contention from one year to the next.
Obviously a number of these players will be gone after the first seven selections are announced. But we have no way of knowing for sure which ones will be gone as of today. We do know that at least three of those players, and possibly four will be viable options for Buffalo. That is why the Bills could trade down as low as the No. 11 or 12 overall pick and still get a very good quality player.
The players that scare me to death with the No. 8 pick that would be construed as a reach are West Virginia QB Geno Smith, USC quarterback Matt Barkley, Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib, Tennessee wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson, BYU defensive end Ziggy Ansah and Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones.
The players in this group have potential, but either they doesn't have the preferred track record or has too many question marks to justify a pick at No. 8. In some cases it is a health issue (Jarvis Jones) while with others it is the poor track record (Ansah and Patterson).
As for the quarterbacks, the comfort level increases as the first round starts to hit the No. 20 pick and below. As you get to No. 25 and later, the value of these quarterbacks begins to increase, and you aren't making as big of a reach.