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Buffalo Bills in No Position to Draft Redundantly

Photo from Cleveland.com.

The player you most want to join the Buffalo Bills will likely be wearing a different team’s hat tomorrow.  It’s not to hurt your feelings, probably.  Speculating is almost as fun as the draft.  Growing attached to young men fresh out of college is how we kill time until the selection process.  Unrealistic expectations for those actually here is how we do so afterward.

Allegiance to guys who are statistically unlikely to join our beloved team is why we build up the draft.  We may as well daydream.  I feel bad for non-Buffalo players who only get the cap and never the New Era company tour.  Those fortunate enough to start calling the area home can’t really say no, so they’re hopefully as excited as we are.  Sure, it hasn’t happened this century.  But these could be the rookies who improve our lot.

Relief at hiring a couple new guys must be tempered by mathematical limitation.  It would be great if each draftee could play three or four positions.  The most urgent area of need is as hard to determine as the identity of the best player available.   The debate is a little too vigorous, with multiple sides making valid points.

The discussion wouldn’t be as fascinating the Bills if they only needed minor renovations.  While I wish there were fewer glaring roster holes, arguing about where they’re the worst has helped pass the time.  It’s almost kind of this team to provide a way for us to bicker away the months.

Many teams position defenders between passes and intended receivers, at least in theory.  Cornerbacks are commonly deployed in this pass-happy era, and Buffalo should get with the times.

They at least need to replace who left, as this defense doesn’t possess the quantity to think about quality.  Rebellion fans are well aware the Bills let Stephon Gilmore escape to the Death Star, which is the opposite of how it goes in the movie.  I’m sorry for the spoilers.  Mike Gillislee makes sure he doesn’t have to go through Stormtrooper training camp alone.

Photo from syracuse.com.

Opposition to replacing Buffalo’s former best corner with the first possible chance is systematic.  The primary coverage is now provided by the Sean McDermott’s zone scheme, not the player.  A great cover man who gets safety help will never get out of second gear.  A defense can’t be too good at the position or have too many decent players regardless of the alignment.  But this is a club with other needs and safety help.

Nothing has dissuaded me from yelling at the screen to add a wide receiver first.  It’s not just because, you know, they need one.  More options would at least make games exciting.  Fans have been tired of intermittent touchdowns ever since Drew Bledsoe’s first half-season as a Bill.  A catcher would be nice so they don’t have to win pitchers’ duels.

Rushers want receivers, too.  Relieving the ground burden would be a step toward modernity.  Even if these old-school warriors stick with the contrarian pounding attack, they need at least half another aspect.  If nothing else, management should want to remove any excuses for Tyrod Taylor.  It’s not that he’d make them, but there’s no need to keep the option available.

Anyone entranced with particular prospects gets to see in a few hours if their dreamboat’s coming to town.  Wish the new guys the best even if they’re not your first choice.  Football fans must remember that general managers are supposed to know more than fans, even if it hasn’t always seemed that way with the Bills.  Both McDermott and the guy who technically still holds the title better have watched more film than us.

We can’t be too upset if they go in a different direction, although I reserve the right to pout.  It is their job to know more than us.  Trusting that it’s true is harder in practice.

However, that assumption is invalidated if they go for a quarterback first.  That would be like, say, drafting Willis McGahee or C.J. Spiller when they didn’t need a running back, and mistakes are even more painful without learning from them.  Pretending they’re interested in replacing Tyrod instead of arming him is supposed to be a psyche-out.  The Bills can’t let it work so well that even they fall for it.

Photo from NFL.com.

At least there will be less math by Saturday night.  The permutations that go beyond the capacity to calculate make mock drafts as accurate as lottery forecasting.  Enjoy them as entertainment.  Blame how hard it is to think like football executives.  Trying to figure out what each team finds valuable is like picking one topping for a sheet pizza that feeds 32.  You know Jacksonville wants to ruin it with pineapple.

Predictors mistakenly presume that general managers act rationally.  Many ostensible football executives are as poor at their jobs as the bums they sign.  That’s especially true if they’re picking early, as they’ve suffered through poor seasons for the opportunity.  They have to suddenly do better than they’ve proven they can before.  More options might simply confuse them.

It would be nice if the Bills would prove they’re not part of the outcasts.  They can start by addressing a need with a pick that’s a reward for their latest forgettable season.  Find a valuable former college player who can prove it as a rookie.  A first-year coach can’t wait until 2019 to get contributions.


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Anthony Bialy

About Anthony Bialy

Anthony Bialy lives in New York City and acts like he's still in Buffalo. He thinks "Buffalo 66" is biographical and considers it a crime against mankind that Steve Tasker is not in the Hall of Fame. He knows every bodega in Manhattan which sells Labatt Blue. Follow him on Twitter at @AnthonyBialy.

11 thoughts on “Buffalo Bills in No Position to Draft Redundantly

  1. “However, that assumption is invalidated if they go for a quarterback first. That would be like, say, drafting Willis McGahee or C.J. Spiller when they didn’t need a running back, and mistakes are even more painful without learning from them.”

    The difference there, though, is the Bills had very good players at RB when they drafted those guys. Tyrod is at best mediocre…and the team will more than likely not be worth a jack until they have a legit QB. The only problem with all that is the big question of whether there are any legit QBs available in this class? I am okay with the Bills pretending QBs are RB and repeatedly drafting them, thoguh…at least until they have a really good one in place. I just don’t think Tyrod is a really good one. Unless the Bills have a Ravens or Broncos type D, Tyrod isn’t going to get the job done for them. If your personal goal is for one of these years making a wild card, then Tyrod might be good enough. If you want to actually do something once you get there, though…you will need a significant upgrade.

  2. I’m with you, somewhere, somehow, lucky or whatever we need a top 10 QB in the league.
    On that note I still like Howard or Reddick as our number one pick.

  3. I’m coming around to the idea of Howard. I think it’s mostly a waste of a pick this year because Tyrod ignores wide open guys in the middle of the field…but it could still be a nice move once they move on from Tyrod…likely next year.

  4. I think the Bills should improve their mathematical probabilities and draft a QB in every round.

  5. Final guess on Bills first pick-
    WR Mike Williams
    6′-4″, can get separation, ready to make a first year impact.

  6. Good morning….

    0 days, 12 hours, 30 minutes, and 34 seconds until the 2017 NFL DRAFT

    Well draft day is finally here and the Bills can go in so many directions as they have so many needs. This is a defensive heavy draft and the Bills should be able to address LB ,DB or a lineman early…

    I do like OJ Howard but the Bills have a history of not making a TE a prime receiver in their offensive plans. Plus, Clay is a receiving threat that has been under utilized.

    My choice is WR Mike Williams as the Bills have been searching for years to find the Big WR who they can use in the red zone and who out muscles DB’s…

    The Ultimate thing to do is trade down and pick up another pick or two but you have to have a willing partner… It may happen if there is a run on QB’s early as teams that have a need start to panic and want to get in before the top rated ones are gone… Or if Trubisky starts to drop a team may want to trade up to grab him..

    I’m looking forward to tonight, took tomorrow off so I can try and stay up to watch the whole first round…

  7. “I do like OJ Howard but the Bills have a history of not making a TE a prime receiver in their offensive plans. Plus, Clay is a receiving threat that has been under utilized.

    My choice is WR Mike Williams as the Bills have been searching for years to find the Big WR who they can use in the red zone and who out muscles DB’s…”

    I agree with your assessment on TE, but then again, the same argument is there for a WR. Reason: Tyrod Taylor… But I think Tyrod is probably a one more year ‘solution’ so probably best not to weigh the selection too heavily on Tyrod’s limitations. I think it’s either a defensive player or Howard in round one tonight.

  8. Good morning…

    Well, hats off to the Bills as they pulled off in my opinion an outstanding trade. White is rated as one of the best DB’s in the draft (Ourlad’s had him rated #2 behind Lattimore) a #3 today and the Chiefs #1 next year.. The QB run happened and it benefitted the Bills…

    Can’t wait for tonight !!