11th Hour: Hoping Nix Remembers 2001

Posted on April 22, 2010 by Patrick Moran

NFL DRAFT LOGOAfter what seems like an eternity of speculation, the time for the NFL draft has finally arrived.  For football die hards or fans of the movie “Step Brothers”, it’s bigger than the (expletive) Catalina Wine Mixer!

I won’t make this overly long and drawn out; Lord knows you’ll get your fill of draft day stuff from outlets all over the web. Six days ago I compiled my one (and only) NFL mock draft, and with the ninth pick I had the Buffalo Bills selecting defensive end/linebacker Derrick Morgan.

Upon further review, I’m hopeful my premonition was erroneous.

It’s not that I don’t like Morgan because I unquestionably do.  I won’t be jumping from chair, throwing my notebook or kicking the family dog if Morgan’s name gets called.  He’s going to be a good NFL player, maybe a great one. We can certainly do a lot worse and in recent years, we have emphatically

Some of the things I stated in my mock I continue to stand by.  As someone who’s admittedly not watched a lot of college football overall but has feasted his eyes on an abundance of Notre Dame games, I don’t want Jimmy Clausen in Buffalo. I’ve seen nothing from him that screams out franchise quarterback.  No matter how bad your defense plays, if you can’t lead your universally privileged team over the likes of Navy and Syracuse, how are you going to dethrone New York and New England?  I just don’t think much of him— But maybe that’s just me.

I also don’t want an offensive tackle with the ninth pick. It’s not that I don’t think we need one, I just don’t want Buddy Nix spending his first-ever draft pick as GM on the third or fourth rated tackle. If we take one third or fourth of f the board for better or worse I’ll feel our guy is one at least a half dozen teams considered in front of us and passed on.  Anthony Davis may turn out to be an elite tackle, but maturity issues scare me.  Bryan Bulaga may be “safe”, but the best thing I routinely hear about him is how well he was coached in college. Some don’t even think he projects to a left tackle.

Regardless, right now I feel drafting either would be like getting Seattle or Oakland’s leftovers.  Again, maybe that’s just me.

I’ve also said the Bills value Kyle Williams more than you or I do and will find creative ways to use him.  Therefore I don’t think a player like Dan Williams is worth the ninth pick.

You get the theme; I can go on and on.

Instead I want Nix to really swing for the fences Thursday night.  It didn’t happen for me until late tonight, but suddenly I find myself hoping…. Really hoping Nix swings that bat so hard he falls out of his southern shoes and tabs running back C.J. Spiller.

I’ve been so opposed to the idea I confess to barely watching any video or conducting research on him.  My attitude has been with Fred Jackson and budding train wreck Marshawn Lynch in tow, Spiller would be too much of a “luxury” pick.  But at the 11th hour, I began moving my google searches and getting my eyes on every highlight tape I could of the Clemson kid.  I also emailed a few scout contacts I’ve acquired and asked specifically about him.  The consensus was pretty straight-forward.

He’s special.

He can put six points on the board ANYTIME he touches the ball and the Bills don’t currently have that.  I’m still firm that the Bills will move Lynch, whether its draft weekend or sometime afterward.  I like Jackson a lot, but he’s not a home run hitter. You get Spiller on your team and he can score or at the very least flip field position at any time.  He has great hands, he’s a special kick returner and from what I’ve heard and read he’s better at pass protection than given credit for.

When it comes to my newfound desire for Buffalo’s second pick, I even surprised myself.  I have been on the record as against it seemingly forever, but as with Spiller, I’ve changed my mind at the last minute.

I now also want Tim Tebow.

Yep. It took me this long, but he’s won me over. I’m not a football executive and positively not a scout.  I can’t amply dissect all of Tebow’s mechanics and how they will translate at the next level.  I can tell you this; he’s a winner, and any interview you read or see will demonstrate how badly this young man wants to succeed.  Check out the Tebow video from the Jon Gruden camp series.

Maybe the meds I’m on for the flu I’ve contracted has me a touch emotional, but his attitude and ethic literally moved me.

I think he has the intangibles and desire to be a winner in this league.  He’s utterly believable when he says that he’ll be the first person in the building and the last out every day.  He’s a leader, his teammates love him and he’s the kind of guy you want to go to war with.  Could you say the same about Trent Edwards, JP Losman, Kelly Holcomb, Rob Johnson or anyone else (besides maybe Doug Flutie) in the post-Jim Kelly era.

Most importantly, he’s won. He’s won at the highest level in college, in the toughest conference and in the biggest spotlight. Forget every game.. every play he’s run has been scrutinized by critics over the past few years.

Cynics cite former Heisman busts like Charlie Ward, Eric Crouch and Danny Wuerffel as comparisons. I don’t call them cynics… I call them haters.

Gruden said on ESPN Wednesday night that Tebow is the best left handed quarterback to come in the league since Steve Young.

Color me sold.

Sure, he may not even play a down in 2010.  But are the Bills going anywhere this season?  Let Trent Edwards or Ryan Fitzpatrick play out the string and give Tebow time to learn the NFL game.  Tebow isn’t a quick fix but rather a long-term investment.

For the record, I don’t think Tebow will be available with the 41st pick.  Buffalo would have to move up to get him. I’m OK with that. I feel Tebow is a quality pick worth moving up the board. If he turns out to be good, you won’t be complaining three years from now that the Bills gave up a third or fourth rounder to get him.

Maybe the Bills could even kill two birds with one stone.  The Detroit Lions badly want a running back and despite what Nix tells you—and you’ll have to trust me on this… the Bills would love to unload Lynch.  How about a trade with the Lions where they swap second rounders and the Bills give up Lynch and get a late rounder back, perhaps a sixth rounder. Moving up to No. 34 would vault them past second round threats to take Tebow like Cleveland, Oakland or even Philadelphia.

In 2001 the San Diego Chargers drafted LaDainain Tomlinson and came back with Drew Brees early in the second.  Nix was a part of the Chargers draft-team then and both turned out pretty good, albeit Brees with another team.

I‘d be fond of seeing him do the same in running his first in Buffalo.

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5 Comments on 11th Hour: Hoping Nix Remembers 2001

  1. Joe from NYC

    Dude, What the fuck happened to you?!

  2. Bob

    I agree with you. But if Nix swings for the fences then I would love to see him trade down a few spots and grab Hughes a pass rushing OLB.
    Tebow—- I tend to agree with Mel Kiper Jr. In a few years Tebow will be playing HB/FB. Kiper claims Tebow does not have what it takes to be an NFL QB

  3. Big D

    I agree 100 percent. Draft Spiller, he would be the best player on the Board by the time the Bills pick. Then move Marshawn, get a draft pick.

    I love Tebow and I think the Bills do also. I think they will do what they have to do to get him. He has IT, and you cant teach that.

  4. Matt

    Why would they need Morgan? I thought they had the GREAT (in his own little mind) Aaron Maybe!!!! What a wasted mess! Glad Old Buddy and Modrak weren’t on board for last year’s draft…….oops!! I forgot, they were both around for that great pick and neither has come out to say they objected to it, thus they are complicit by their silence!

  5. Patrick Moran

    Bob, good point about Hughes, I love him, especially on a trade down.

    Matt. Good point also. People sound like Nix had NOTHING to do with this team last year. He did.. Having said that, except for Maybin, who I still like going forward, last year was a hell of a draft.

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