The 2016 NFL Draft is less than two weeks away, and speculation is heating up that the Bills will draft a quarterback in round one. Well, it is not happening. There are too many needs for instant starters on the Bills that taking a first round quarterback, which would ultimately be Paxton Lynch, would be a wasted pick. Yes, the Bills do need to add a quarterback in the draft. They should draft a quarterback every year, even if their starting signal caller was Aaron Rodgers. However, the quarterback they draft needs to be an EJ Manuel replacement and not one for Tyrod Taylor.
Taylor is a better quarterback than many are willing to admit. His biggest criticism seems to be that he does not throw the football over the middle of the field enough, but why would he? Rex Ryan and Greg Roman run a “ball control” offense designed around a heavy running attack and low risk throws. Taylor was one of the best deep throwers in the NFL in 2015, giving the Bills big play ability with low risk. A bad throw deep down the sideline is usually just an overthrown incompletion, or at worst: an interception that basically equals a punt. A bad throw over the middle is much more likely to be a turnover that leads to poor field position for the defense. Taylor was making big plays with low risk.
Some complain that Taylor’s fourteen games in Buffalo are not a large enough sample size to extend him long term. The question then begs, how many games is enough? Yes, he only played fourteen games, but he played well. Even if it was a small sample size, it was still a strong performance against NFL defenses. His sample size was also larger than any unproven rookie they would draft first round. Carson Wentz and Jared Goff, the consensus best quarterbacks in the draft, will not be available for the Bills at pick nineteen. Therefore, the “best” quarterback available, and one being speculated as having interest from the Bills, is Paxton Lynch. If someone is not convinced that Taylor is the long term solution for Buffalo, fine, but do not use his sample size as a reason and then suggest they draft a player who is considered an unproven project that needs a heap of development like Lynch. How is his sample size better than Taylor’s?
In addition to there not being a better player for the position than Taylor at nineteen, the Bills simply have too many needs to address on defense to blow the pick on a quarterback. With holes on the defensive line, edge rusher, linebacker, and safety, the Bills would be foolish to spend their first round pick on anything but a defensive player. Even if you do not like drafting for need, drafting Lynch would not be a “best player available” pick. The best player available for Buffalo will likely be someone that can contribute in their front seven.
You do not have to like Tyrod Taylor or believe he is the long term solution for Buffalo, but ignoring his ability and suggesting they take a quarterback worse than him in the first round is absurd. The Bills should certainly draft a quarterback as early as round three. Is round two possible? Yes, if they truly are as “enamored” with Cardale Jones as reports say they are. Round one, on the other hand, is not the time to draft a quarterback. The speculation of them doing so does not make sense. The Bills will not, and should not, draft a quarterback in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft.