The Buffalo Bills have been surrounded by NFL draft speculation and the possibility of Cam Newton stepping in as the new face of the franchise in 2011. This speculation is coming after the team finally found a dependable quarterback option in Ryan Fitzpatrick. With all of the needs that Buffalo should fill during this offseason, drafting a quarterback may not be the best selection with the third overall pick.
Fitzpatrick ended the 2010 season with exactly 3,000 yards passing and 23 touchdowns. Even though he threw 15 interceptions, the chemistry between him and the Bills' younger receivers seemed present, and his decision-making process improved as the season went on. Fitzpatrick actually threw at least one touchdown pass in every game he played with the exception of Week 16 against the New England Patriots.
From basic football standards, Fitzpatrick did not have a bad year in 2010. His interceptions were visibly higher than the team or the fans would have liked, but he did show progress by staying on his feet under pressure and delivering the football.
The Bills also improved their overall passing offense from 30th in 2009 to 24th last season.
Cam Newton is without a doubt a very talented quarterback. In just his first season as a collegiate player, he led the Auburn Tigers to a BCS National Championship and took the football world by storm as he leaped to the top of NFL draft big boards.
However, Buffalo may have more pressing issues than just the quarterback situation. The team ranked last in the league in 2010 in rushing defense and did not fare much better in overall points allowed, coming in 28th.
For many teams that are looking to build a winning franchise, defense is where the drafting process begins. There are many talented defensive linemen in this draft, and the Bills are in a great position to pick up a player who can become a building block on the line.
The Bills struggled with keeping defensive players healthy, especially at the nose tackle position, where Auburn's Nick Fairley will likely be available.
Fairley was one of the most dominant players in the NCAA last season, as he collected 56 tackles and 12 sacks in 13 games played.