The Buffalo Bills are about to undergo a major makeover. The team has released quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who promptly signed on with the Tennessee Titans. There are rumors they could be interested in Kevin Kolb, formerly of the Cardinals, but nothing to this point has materialized.
As of this point in time, the Bills are looking at starting the season with Tarvaris Jackson at quarterback, so obviously they are in the market to draft somebody at that position. They like a variety of players, including Geno Smith, Matt Barkley, Ryan Nassib, and E.J. Manuel.
The Bills’ whole season hinges on their ability to find and properly develop a young quarterback. This is a tough draft to have this big a need at quarterback in, but the Bills should be big players. In fact, I fully expect them to be among the teams looking to trade back into the first round, as Geno Smith will probably be off the board when they are on the clock.
Key additions: LB Manny Lawson (Bengals)
1. First Round, 8th overall: Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina
With Geno Smith likely off the board, the Bills are going to need to move forward with another plan at #8 overall. They lost Andy Levitre to the Tennessee Titans this offseason, and have a huge void at the guard position. Cooper is a versatile player who can play in space, has great athletic ability for a big man, and can fit what the Bills want to do offensively with speedy players like C.J. Spiller and T.J. Graham. This would be a really good pick to set up the rest of the Bills’ draft.
2. Second Round, 41st overall: Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse
I think the Bills will come away with a quarterback with one of their first two picks, and I think they may have to trade up to get him. I love the idea of Nassib reuniting with former college coach Doug Marrone in Buffalo, and I think he’d be a solid building block for the Bills’ offense. Nassib has been receiving a lot of attention as a potential first round talent who has reminded some of Drew Brees. He can make all the throws and already knowing Marrone’s system could give him a leg up for the starting job.
3. Third Round, 71st overall: Travis Kelce, TE, Cincinnati
The Bills have already made it clear this offseason they intend to upgrade the TE position, and they just recently missed out on former Redskins TE Fred Davis. Kelce is a big TE with good hands who could be a serious upgrade to the Bills’ offense. He has really good speed but the Bills will need to make sure his character checks out. He’s been known to be a bit of a wild child.
4. Fourth Round, 105th overall: Kiko Alonso, LB, Oregon
The Bills let go of Nick Barnett this offseason, and I think Alonso would be a nice young player to bring along as a replacement. They need some depth at the LB positions, and this guy is athletic enough to play a variety of spots as well as contribute on special teams. He only has one year of starting experience, but he’s got a very high ceiling. This would be a solid value pickup.