Last week, a story by Bleacher Report’s Dan Pompeii erupted with a volcano of speculation in Buffalo. Pompeii’s sources claimed that the Buffalo Bills were in talks with the Houston Texans to trade up for the top pick in the 2014 NFL draft. While Pompeii’s source is probably about as reliable as Jimmy Abbott’s source who leaked that Akili Smith is coming to camp to compete for the quarterback job this July, both the Rams and Raiders have reportedly been shopping their picks as well. The prospect of the Bills trading up opens the door for all manner of fun draft picks. I’ll break them down as follows. Spoiler alert: none of them are linemen.
In his rookie season, EJ Manuel had flashes of brilliance, and stretches where he played like a rookie quarterback would generally be expected to play. If you look at his numbers, they actually stack up pretty well with the rookie seasons of many quarterbacks that went on to have impressive NFL careers. However, there’s no denying that EJ’s knees did not seem up to the task of returning the Buffalo Bills to the playoffs. I think that EJ deserves three years to prove his worth. But I would not be opposed to having the most electrifying quarterback in college football waiting in the wings in case EJ goes down. Johnny Football is brash, cocky and the best football player of the three quarterbacks projected to go in the first round. In my completely amateur opinion, Derek Carr is a lesser quarterback than his older brother David, who was the most sacked quarterback in a single season in the history of the league. Blake Bortles reminds me way too much of Blaine Gabbert and fails my favorite test for a star quarterback: he has a TERRIBLE name. I think Teddy Bridgewater will be a decent quarterback in the NFL, but he doesn’t have Johnny Football’s upside. Manziel plays quarterback like a bigger, faster, and stronger version of Doug Flutie. Manziel is not the safest choice, but he would bring a measure of relevance to Buffalo football that hasn’t been felt in years.
Do the Bills need another linebacker after spending most of their free agency money on the position? Probably not. But it would be great to keep the best defensive player to ever take the field for UB in Buffalo. Mack seems like a great guy and has a great story to boot. What Bills fan doesn’t love rooting for the underdog and Khalil Mack’s trip from a two-star recruit to a top-10 draft prospect makes him the ultimate underdog.
I don’t know about anyone else but I can’t wait any longer for the Scott Chandler era to end. Chandler’s numbers aren’t bad, but he is a complete liability when called on to block, and plays noticeably worse in clutch situations. Ebron fits into that beautiful sweet spot of being too big for defensive backs to cover but too fast and athletic for linebackers to stick with. As Ebron’s blocking has caught up with his phenomenal hands and punishing running ability, he has become one of the most exciting players on the field with or without the ball.
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
The Bills get to replace Jairus Byrd and add the greatest NFL name since Zefross Moss to their roster? I’ll take it. Clinton-Dix is probably the best all around defensive back in the draft, and his SEC pedigree doesn’t hurt one bit.
TWO safeties on the list?! Yessir. The Bills lost their best player in the offseason and that player happened to be a safety, so I’m hoping the Bills look to the draft to find their next Pro Bowl center fielder. Calvin Pryor brings the lumber. He hits hard, and he hits clean. Just watch the first 45 seconds of his reel and tell me you don’t want to see him welcoming Eric Decker to the AFC East when the Jets come to town.