Cam Newton was in town Tuesday to visit with the Buffalo Bills, mainly Chan Gailey, and the long look at quarterbacks won’t end there. During a teleconference with season ticket holders Tuesday afternoon, Buddy Nix confirmed both Blaine Gabbert and Christian Ponder will also visit One Bills Drive this week.
Though Nix didn’t provide further details, we learned that much like Newton, both will spend time almost exclusively with Gailey talking football and more specifically, Buffalo’s playbook and philosophies. The organization already knows what all three can do physically.
Nix meanwhile, will be hitting the road for the next 48 hours. Wednesday he’ll be in North Carolina to watch defensive prospect Robert Quinn’s pro day. The following day he’ll be an engrossed observer at Clemson as Da’Quan Bower tries to show staffs his knee is fully healed and worthy of being a top pick.
Like Newton and Gabbert, both defensive linemen are very much in the mix for the Bills’ third overall draft pick when they’re on the clock April 28.
As expected, Bills brass remains tight lipped regarding specifics as they continue to prepare for the draft. Coming off a 4-12 season with many needs smeared on the roster, not to mention the probability of no free agency before the draft, the organization can go in a multitude of ways in the draft. Defensive line and quarterback may be the two most discussed positions, but don’t exclude a top end talent like linebacker Von Miller or cornerback Patrick Peterson landing in Buffalo either.
While Gailey won’t divulge specific names heavily on the Bills radar for obvious reasons, he did strongly indicate during the teleconference which direction the team is strongly leaning towards.
“If I had to say today.. . We’re going to use most of our picks defensively,” Gailey said. ” I think we have to try and shore up our defensive football team. We have to try and get stronger there, get quicker there, get nastier there. I won’t say all of them, but I’d say the majority of them will work towards that defensive side this year.”
Gailey has a plethora of reasons to make that assertion. The Bills run defense was beyond pathetic last year, surrendering 200 or more yards on the ground per game in exactly half their contests. Overall the unit ranked just 24th in the league and their 27 team sacks were tied for the fourth fewest.
While the interest in a quarterback early could definitely be genuine, particularly with Gabbert and Newton, it’s also possible and perhaps even wise the Bills are demonstrating a willingness grab one in hopes of enticing a team to want to move into their third spot.
Cincinnati, Arizona, San Francisco, Tennessee and Washington are all among teams picking after the Bills in the top ten considered quarterback needy. With the possibility of acquiring extra picks by moving down but staying in the top ten, it has to be something intriguing to Nix.
Nix said himself Tuesday that trading down could be an option if it’s the right opportunity.
“We are open to a trade down,” Nix said. ”I’m not sure that’s always the answer. If there’s a guy you really want at your pick–you better take him. If you think you can trade down and still get the guy you want, a lot of times you’re disappointed. And also remember that also because you want to trade down and pick up extra picks… it takes two to do that.”
With so few players as the clear-cut best at their respective positions, Buffalo could be well served by trading down. If they can catch a team hungry for Newton or Gabbert and willing to pay the price, they can move down and still grab a guy like Quinn or Cameron Jordan They’d also pick up at least one, if not multiple extra picks of value.
For a team unmistakably in dire need of more talent, moving down would probably be the best thing that could happen. Typically I don’t buy into this theory, but I’m absolutely certain the Bills are very interested in Jordan, but three may be a bit too high for him. Regardless, As Nix said, it takes two tango.
Hopefully Newton and Gabbert have a great April leading into the draft. One of them being available to ambitious suitors could do the trick.
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