Pfeiffer: Plenty of reasons for Bills to go QB

Rick Pfeiffer

I'm that guy.

Yep. I'm a football geek, a football nerd, I really, really do like watching hours of game tape and scrutinizing how players perform.

Once I came to the sad realization that is was a certainty that I would not succeed George Sauer in wearing 83 for Gang Green and catching passes from Joe Namath, I shifted my love of the game to a relentless pursuit of excellence in understanding everything it takes to play at the highest level and succeed in the NFL.

To some that sounds sad. To me it has been enormous fun, an amazing passion and hobby.

I write this so that you have some idea that I believe that I'm a bit more the Deion Sander's dismissive #FAN and actually have a reasoned basis for looking at the annual NFL draft and making what I believe is the best recommendation for our beloved Bills.

Let's face it, it's been more than a tough almost two decades in the NFL wilderness, in no small part due to the failure of the hometown team to make wise choices in the draft. Since the days of Bill Polian (and too a lesser degree John Butler), the Bills drafts have been a mess.

So Thursday night's festivities offer an awesome opportunity to build on what appears to have been a well above average 2017 draft and begin cementing a successful future for the guys at One Bills Drive.

The greatest need for the Bills is to find a franchise quarterback. Unfortunately, most of the time, drafting for need is a recipe for missing out on a potentially great player in return for what may be the best player at a position group that isn't particularly strong in that given year. (Think E.J. Manuel and the 2013 draft quarterback class, maybe one of the worst in a decade or more) 

But in 2018, the Bills have been blessed with one of the deepest quarterback classes in a decade or more. Based on my grades, there are four legitimate first round quarterbacks, all potential top 10 picks.

There are another four who have second round grades.

None of these quarterbacks are perfect, though some are pretty close. They will all needed NFL caliber coaching and seasoning.

That said, there is, I believe, the opportunity, if they can get up higher than pick 12, for the Bills to finally find their next franchise quarterback.

Ideally, the Bills will need to get to the No. 2 spot occupied by the New York Giants to really be in control. Though if the board breaks right, they could get my top pick at the Denver Bronco's No. 5 pick. 

My pick is UCLA quarterback is Josh Rosen. Full disclosure, I grade him just .01 ahead of Southern Cal quarterback Sam Darnold. 

They are both several points higher than my next two picks, Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield and Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen. I have second round grades on Lamar Jackson, Mason Rudolph, Luke Falk and Kyle Lauletta.

I won't make your eyes glaze over by breaking down, in excruciating detail, why I slotted the quarterbacks where I did. If you want to have that discussion, catch me on the Gazette Facebook page. 

And remember, I'm not predicting who the Bills will take. I'm telling you who I would take if they were available and I was on the draft war room phone tonight.

Rick Pfeiffer covers police and courts for the Niagara Gazette and the Lockport Union-Sun & Journal. In his spare time, he's an aspiring pro football scout. Contact him at rick.pfeiffer@niagara-gazette.com.

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