Bills GM Doug Whaley Comments on Potentially Selecting QB in 2016 NFL Draft

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJanuary 27, 2016

Buffalo Bills general manager Doug Whaley reacts to a question about the future of the team during a press conference at the Ralph Wilson Media Center in Orchard Park, N.Y., Monday, March 9, 2015. (AP Photo/Gary Wiepert)
Gary Wiepert/Associated Press

Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor was one of the NFL's biggest revelations in 2015, but general manager Doug Whaley may still be willing to hedge his bets under center through the 2016 NFL draft.

According to Tyler Dunne of the Buffalo News, Whaley did not rule out the possibility of selecting a signal-caller early in the upcoming draft despite Taylor's rapid development:

"We'll do it because if you look at it, unfortunately we have two quarterbacks on the roster and both of them are entering the last year of their contract," Whaley said. "If it presents itself, it makes sense and it's a guy we like, and we believe in, absolutely."

After serving four years in a backup role for the Baltimore Ravens, the 26-year-old Taylor enjoyed an excellent 2015 campaign that saw him complete 63.7 percent of his passes for 3,035 yards, 20 touchdowns and six interceptions. He also added 568 yards and four scores on the ground in 14 games, making him one of the league's top dual-threat quarterbacks.

Taylor was named as Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton's replacement in the Pro Bowl, which is something few could have expected entering the campaign.

Per Buffalo Bills PR on Twitter, Taylor's Pro Bowl selection ended a lengthy drought for the team when it came to sending a quarterback to Hawaii:

Despite Taylor's great season, the Bills appear content to allow him to play out the final year of his contract, or at least part of it, before committing to an extension.

Drafting a quarterback early could be a strong contingency plan if Taylor turns out to be a one-year wonder, especially since Whaley sees a great deal of promise in the 2016 class at the position, according to Dunne:

I think it's a deep crop and I think it's a crop that's going to need some time. Now, it depends on their situation, who takes them and what they do. But I would say it's not as top-heavy as last year where those top two guys would still be the top two guys. How quickly these guys can matriculate into the league, I think it's going to take a little bit of time. Maybe a year, maybe a half of a year.

Potential first-round quarterbacks include Jared Goff of California, Memphis' Paxton Lynch, Carson Wentz of North Dakota State and Michigan State's Connor Cook.

With the Bills selecting 19th in the first round, the likelihood of Goff and Lynch being off the board seems quite high, although the other two could be available.

The Bills are a team that went 8-8 in 2015, though, and based on the fact that they are mired in the largest playoff drought in major professional sports having not qualified for the postseason since 1999, they need immediate help.

Taylor certainly did enough to warrant another full season as Buffalo's starter, and Whaley would do well to bring in additional help through the draft rather than immediate competition.

Selecting a quarterback at some point in the first few rounds would be an understandable move since backup EJ Manuel could be on his last legs with the organization, but burning a first-rounder on a project after what Taylor accomplished in 2015 would not be a move designed to end Buffalo's playoff futility.


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