The 2011 NFL Draft has come to a close and Buddy Nix and Chan Gailey have done the unthinkable.
They didn't draft a quarterback.
After months of speculation over whom the Buffalo Bills would draft to groom behind starter Ryan Fitzpatrick, the front office defied the pundits and decided to stick with Fitz for at least another season.
And guess what? It was definitely the right move.
With no can’t-miss quarterback prospects in this year’s class at No. 3, they did not drink the Kool-Aid and passed on Blaine Gabbert’s underwhelming college career.
Instead, they opted for arguably the best and lowest-risk player in the Draft–Marcell Dareus.
Dareus is not only an absolute beast, amassing eleven tackles for losses in just eight games, but also extremely versatile, having played both defensive tackle and defensive end during his three seasons at Alabama.
He will be an instant upgrade on the defensive line, as he excels against both the pass and the run. With four quarterbacks off the board by the time Buffalo selected with the 34th overall pick, they again opted not to reach for a QB, avoiding TCU’s Andy Dalton and Nevada’s Colin Kaepernick who, until recently, were considered to be third to fourth round prospects.
Nix chose to bolster the defense with Aaron Williams, the hard-hitting cornerback from Texas.
Some fans may question the pick, due to the fact that defensive back may not be the most glaring need for Buffalo at this point. However, Williams will be much better in run support than Leodis McKelvin and with the futures of veterans Drayton Florence, Terrence McGee and Donte Whitner in doubt, they needed to at depth at that position.
Finally, from the third round on, the Bills continued showing their support for Fitzpatrick in shying away from sexy names like Ryan Mallett, Tyrod Taylor, Ricky Stanzi,and Greg McElroy, while adding pieces to their defense, offensive line, and running game.
Contrary to how this draft turned out, it was a weak year for quarterbacks and the front office made several enlightened decisions to improve the league’s worst run defense.
And if they’re wrong and Fitz is not the player they thought he was, then there’s always a chance they get Lucky next year.