The Bills currently have AJ McCarron and Nathan Peterman. We may already have our franchise quarterback. I’m throwing out the Chargers game when evaluating Peterman. The first 3 interceptions were not his fault and with some teammate support that game may have gone a lot differently. After evaluating all the QB’s in the 2017 draft, Coach Jon Gruden (then a TV talking head) chose Peterman as a the QB from that draft that he would start a team with. Also, Coach McDermott must have seen something in practice to give him that start against San Diego. The jury is still out in my book on Peterman.
AJ McCarron was outstanding at Alabama and QB’ed them to two national titles. His brief action in Cincinnati was good. He has all the tools. I like the change from Tyrod Taylor to McCarron. Plus, McCarron at 5 million a year is cheap. Brandon Beane doing a good job getting the salary cap under control.
I think there are 6 first round quarterbacks in the 2018 NFL Draft. I want the Bills to get one of these 6:
1) Sam Darnold- 6’3″, 225lbs. I almost fell out of my chair watching Darnold in the 2016 Rose Bowl against Pa. St. He was smokin’ hot. He is big, strong, athletic and loves football. He appears to want to really improve. He played linebacker and tight end until switching to QB his junior year in high school and broke his leg that year in the 2nd game. With one year in high school and two years starting at USC, he has basically 3 years of QB experience. His upside is huge. He has good touch on the ball and a strong arm. He can run with the ball also. He is linebacker tough. 20 interceptions and 14 fumbles in 2 years at USC gives one pause, but he is still learning the position. I believe he will clean the turnovers up. I believe he has the character that McDermott/Beane are looking for and would be an ideal face of a franchise.
2) Josh Rosen-6’4″, 226lbs. He is really smooth and polished as a quarterback. He reminds me a lot of Brady but with a bit of Jay Cutler thrown in. Sometimes he tries to squeeze the ball into too tight of a window and gets burned. In fairness, this usually happened when UCLA was behind and he had to make it happen. He is very accurate throwing the ball, probably second only to Mayfield in this years draft. He is not as natural an athletes as the others and is more of a pocket type guy like Peyton Manning. All the hype about him being a rich kid, lack of commitment, too smart is all BS in my mind. He had shoulder surgery in 2016 but this now appears fine. My only real off the field concern is the two concussions he had in 2017. If he steers clear of head injury he will be a franchise QB IMO!
3) Mason Rudolph- 6″41/2″, 230lbs. Watch more of Okla States games and the more you like Mason Rudolph. He is the third best in this class of QB’s IMO. Like Rosen he is not as athletic as some of the others but he has pocket mobility and can run. I like the way he throws the ball. He can drop it in with touch and he can sling a fastball Ala Brett Farve. Those that criticize Okla St. for an “air raid” style simple offense have not watched them play much. They ran all sorts of different spreads and offenses. For those that say his stats were stuffed from playing weak Big 12 opponents watch this years Camping World Bowl. He carved the Bud Foster coached Va. Tech defense with multiple draftable players to pieces. He does not have a “weak arm” as some who obviously have not watched him play much have labeled him.
4) Baker Mayfield-6’1″, 214. This kid can throw the ball. He has uncanny touch on the ball. If he were 2-3 inches taller he would be everyones first choice in this draft. Watching Tyrod Taylor struggle due to inability to see the whole field makes me wary of his size, but can he throw the ball. He can move well in the pocket and will scramble and has had success with RPO type plays at Oklahoma. He is no Johnny Manziel. He loves football and is dedicated like Tyrod. He has a huge chip as he has been told he can’t do it at every level but he has succeeded. Yeah, he’s flamboyant but I think that is him. He is really into football and has that deep love of the game. The crotch grab/F.U. at Kansas was in response to the Kansas Captain’s refusing to shake his hand at the coin toss. Ohio St. planted their flag at the 50 yd. line in Oklahoma in 2016 after winning, why the controversy when Mayfield planted the Oklahoma flag in Columbus the following year. I like his flair, love of the game and he takes no shit. He had a drunk and disorderly at age 21. We all need to learn our drinking limit. I give him a bye on that.
5) Lamar Jackson-6’2″, 211lbs. I live near Syracuse and watch the SU games. When Louisville played SU in 2016 at the Carrier Dome I was blown away by Lamar Jackson. He could play running back or wide receiver in the league but he is a QUARTERBACK. He is as quick and probably faster than Shady. His arm is underrated. He can flick the ball with his wrist 30-40 yards down the field effortlessly. You could build a franchise around him. He is similar to Tyrod but better in almost every respect other than work ethic as no-one outworked Tyrod. Running QB’s always run that risk of injury (think RG 3 and DeShaun Watson) but if he can stay healthy Lamar Jackson will win a lot of games in the NFL.
6) Josh Allen-6’5″, 235lbs. A lot of people have him ranked much higher but every time I watch him throw or play he reminds me of EJ Manuel. I was on board with drafting EJ and hoped he was going to make it. Allen seems to have the same poor accuracy with his throws that EJ did. I bought into it with EJ when we were going to “fix his mechanics and footwork and his accuracy will improve”. I’m not so sure I buy into it with Allen. I think touch or that neuromuscular ability to throw a football at the right time/speed/angle & arch to put it into that receiver window at exactly the right moment is probably a natural ability and practice and repetition can improve this but only to the limits of your neuromuscular skill. In other words, some have it and some don’t. I’m not convinced Josh Allen has it. Pro football focus had him listed as the 55th most accurate QB this year (Mayfield is #1 incidentally). His inaccuracy is quantifiable. He is big, strong, and the most athletic prospect. He has the strongest arm. He is hard to tackle and a very good runner. He is a more athletic version of Ben Rothlisberger. If Josh Allen becomes an accurate thrower he may well be the best in this QB class. He is the biggest boom/bust player in this draft.
Day 2 Quarterbacks:
7) Mike White 6’5″. Big with a nice arm and nice touch. Not very athletic.
8) Luke Falk 6’4″ 210. All time PAC 12 passing leader. Watched several games and was not overly impressed this year. Looked better last year. May have suffered a wrist injury and threw this year off. He was my disappointing QB this year as I thought last year he was first round talent. Got benched and pulled more than once-may have been due to wrist injury.
9) Riley Ferguson 6’3″ 212. Nice arm and nice touch. He surely knew how to get the ball to Anthony Miller. I like him as a developmental type like Peterman.
Day 3 Quarterbacks:
10) Kyle Lauletta 6’3″ 217 lbs. Had a nice career at Richmond. Looked really good in the Senior Bowl and was MVP I think.
11) Kurt Benkert 6’3″ 215. Another developmental type with a nice arm and good college career.
12) Logan Woodside 6’1″. I liked the way he played and looks to have a good enough arm. Someone for the late rounds.
I have notes on 25 other QB’s from this past season but these are the only ones I would draft for the Bills.
My 2018 NFL Draft Strategy:
I want one of my first 6 prospects on the Bills next year to supplement McCarron and Peterman. The only one that I think is head and shoulders above the other five is Sam Darnold. I would be willing to give up Pick 12 and 22 plus next years #1 to move up to #1or #2 if we could get Darnold. I am against moving up for any other QB. One of these 6 will fall to us at 12 or 22. I believe the potential of Rosen, Rudolph, Mayfield, Jackson and Allen is all about the same. I’m not giving up any of our valuable picks to move up except for Darnold!