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Bills passed over Tavon Austin to secure more draft picks.
As we contemplate the ramifications of the trade from Thursday night, Bills fans ponder all of the what-if scenarios.
One thing that didn't escape me is the predictability of Buddy Nix draft picks. Coming into the 2013 draft, 12 of the top-13 picks over the last two years came out of the SEC or ACC conferences. Is it any wonder that the QB selected by Nix came out of the ACC or SEC? Expect both conferences to be in play on Friday again for Buffalo.
The more things change, the more they stay the same, right?
Like any Monday-morning quarterback, we reflect on how things played out in the first round and ask some tough questions
In retrospect, no other quarterback was drafted in the first round.
Should Buddy Nix have pulled off the same trade that Jerry Jones executed two picks later (with the pick at No. 18) with San Francisco?
That would have obviously been a gamble to drop down to No. 31 and pick up an extra third-round pick (No. 74). As it turned out, the Bills could have still drafted Manuel at 31 and picked up the pick at No. 74 for their troubles, but Nix would have been sweating it out the whole way.
In the press conference held at One Bills Drive after the first round ended, Nix admitted that he received phone calls from teams wanting to trade up to the No. 16 slot. We can only imagine that if the 49ers found a willing partner at No. 18 with Dallas, they also tried to do the same thing with Nix at No. 16.
The Bills passed over some very talented players by deciding to draft Manuel.
The one player who stood out at the time was Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert. I had a sneaky suspicion that the Bills would draft Eifert and then trade back into the first round with their extra picks to draft their quarterback. Obviously that didn't happen, but with the importance of the tight end in the NFL, it made sense to consider selecting the best tight end in the draft class.
If the Bills had taken any player besides a quarterback at No. 16, they still would have had two second-round draft picks to secure a QB. As things unfold on Friday, we will learn firsthand how many quarterbacks go off the big board by the time the Bills pick at No. 41. If Jacksonville follows through and takes Ryan Nassib at No. 33, Nix probably made a wise choice.
Buddy Nix has a less-than-stellar track record when it comes to evaluating quarterbacks.
Did the actions on Thursday night continue to add more ammunition to that assessment, or did Nix finally get one right?
There was plenty of speculation that teams in need of a quarterback were prepared to give up a first-round pick in 2014 in order to trade back into the bottom half of the first round to draft Matt Barkley, Geno Smith or Ryan Nassib.
However, cooler heads prevailed, and all of those teams kept their first-round draft picks intact for next year. We applaud Nix for having the courage to do something he wasn't comfortable with. Nix gambled that Manuel would still be there later and picked up a valuable extra second-round pick, which could turn into another starter for the Bills.
Who will be the better NFL player: Tavon Austin, Geno Smith, Ryan Nassib or E.J. Manuel?
As these players embark on their NFL careers, we can only ponder the what-ifs. Some will turn out to be stars, while others might fall by the wayside. Bills fans can only hope that Manuel will become a star and a true franchise quarterback.