2011 Mock Draft: Is Andrew Luck the Answer for the Buffalo Bills?
The Buffalo Bills are sitting at the bottom of the National Football League once again, with an 0-4 record, and no hope in sight.
It is easy to state that the Bills will hold a top five pick in the 2011 draft, if not the No. 1 overall selection. With holes to fill throughout the roster, there are multiple directions that the Bills could go in to work on rebuilding this broken franchise.
Over the next couple of weeks, I will be evaluating the various team needs, and give a little insight on the prospects that the Bills may opt to select in the upcoming draft.
The biggest question for the Bills as of now is the quarterback position, so this slideshow analyzes the various options they could take.
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Ryan Fitzpatrick is currently the starting quarterback for the Buffalo Bills as of now, and his drive as well as his work ethic is unquestionable.
He started nine games for the Bills in 2009, and has played with emotion in his previous two starts following the benching and eventually the release of former starting quarterback Trent Edwards.
Fitzpatrick has thrown for 347 yards, four touchdowns, and two interceptions in those games, while making plays on his feet, as shown by his seven carries for 74 yards against the New York Jets.
But the question still arises whether he can really be a franchise quarterback?
He has had five years in the league, and has solidified himself as a viable backup, but he simply lacks the "it" factor that premier quarterbacks have. He often makes poor decisions, and can be a little reckless in his throws.
My guess is that the Bills look elsewhere.
Round 1: Andrew Luck- Stanford
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Don't worry about the Bills selecting this Standford quarterback in the draft. He's from Texas. Andrew Luck has led the Stanford Cardinal team into the Top 10 of the AP rankings, and is widely regarded as the best prospect in the draft.
He is a redshirt sophomore, but he is the prototypical quarterback. He has a solid frame at 6'4" 235 pounds, and is surprisingly mobile for his size. Luck is extremely smart, and knows Stanford's 350-play playbook inside and out.
Last season he passed for 2,575 yards, 13 touchdowns and four interceptions, while rushing 25 times for 202 yards and two touchdowns.
He has almost matched those numbers in five games this year, passing for 1,253 yards, 13 touchdowns, four interceptions, while rushing 61 times for 354 yards and two touchdowns.
He is coached by a great quarterback teacher in Jim Harbaugh, and is a great leader despite his young age.
His arm is great, and he throws a bullet for a pass, while placing it exactly where it should be.
Personally, I really hope he enters the draft, and the Bills can turn him into their leader.
Round 1: Jake Locker- Washington
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Jake Locker entered the season as most publicized quarterback that would be entering the draft. He has been a beast at Washington, passing for over 6,000 yards and 43 touchdowns, while tossing just 28 interceptions.
He is great on his feet, and has rushed for over 1,700 yards and scored 25 times with his feet.
However, he was exposed in a game against Nebraska this season, a team with a very strong defense, and many believe his draft stock may have plummeted.
He has been continuing to make better decisions and being less careless, but still tries to force plays that simply aren't there.
He does have a rocket for an arm, and he has a perfect delivery. Locker definitely has some of the best footwork in the pocket, but he tends to run around in the pocket a lot, that could mean a lot of sacks in the NFL.
To me, Locker seems to good to be true, and as a senior that has played the majority of time at Washington, his ceiling may be a little low and could end up being another J.P Losman.
Round 1: Ryan Mallett- Arkansas
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Arkansas Razorbacks quarterback Ryan Mallett may be another prospect that the Buffalo Bills take a close look at heading into the draft. He stands tall at 6'7" and has a solid build, while easily seeing everything on the field. His leadership skills are visable when watching them play, and he commands respect and professionalism from his teammates.
He isn't very agile and may be prone to taking some sacks, but his arm strength makes up for that.
He originally started out at Michigan but transferred to Arkansas after some issues with the coaching staff, so that will be a major question mark heading into the draft, and may lead to a Jimmy Clausen-like soar down the draft boards.
He has experience in a pro-style offense, which is definitely attractive to NFL coaches, and knows how to go through each of his progressions.
However, if you saw the Arkansas vs. Alabama game, it is evident that he doesn't make the best decisions and can let balls sail away from him. He does though a beautiful fade though for a college quarterback, and I think that he could be a solid NFL quarterback.
2nd-3rd Round: Blaine Gabbert- Missouri
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With all of the high profile quarterbacks that are expected to enter the draft, Missouri's Blaine Gabbert is highly overlooked. Last season he passed for 3,593 yards, tossing 24 touchdowns and nine interceptions, and this year has 1,039 passing yards with five touchdowns.
He has that prototypical size at 6'5" 240 pounds, and can run when he needs to. He is the consensus leader of his team and is all Academic All-Big 12, so there aren't really any character issues here.
He isn't a top-notch quarterback, as he comes from a spread system and he will definitely need to develop, but he can examine and read defenses quickly, which could help that improvement.
Gabbert throws off his back foot a lot, and can make some errant throws, but there is no question that he has the drive to develop.
2nd Round: Christian Ponder- Florida State
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Christian Ponder is one of the biggest questions as a quarterback prospect, as he is a fifth year senior at Florida State, and hasn't done much to seperate himself from the other top-notch quarterbacks, despite facing weak ACC defenses.
Last season he only passed for 2,700 yards with 14 touchdowns to seven interceptions, and he tends to make bad decisions regularly. While watching Florida State games, you can tell he still doesn't grasp situtational football and takes too many unneeded timeouts.
Ponder has a semi-decent arm, but he often tries to do too much with it and throws too many interceptions.
I'd like the Bills to take a pass on him.