Examining Potential 2013 QB Options


QB EJ Manuel could be one of 16 different options the Bills look at this coming offseason (Photo: US Presswire)

By BBD Editor Mike Watkins

If you’re a Bills fan then you definitely have an opinion about what’s wrong with the 2012 Buffalo Bills and that answer probably involves the QB at one point or another. As we continue to go through the Bye Week and look towards the 2nd half of the season one thing has become quite apparent. The Bills need to make a change at QB and they need to make a decisive one. The Bills have three options as always they can draft a new QB, they can sign a new QB, or they could go and trade for a new QB. Below are 16 options the Bills could choose to be picking from this coming offseason.

College Option (Seniors Only)

Matt Barkley, USC: Barkley was the odds on favorite heading into the season to be the number 1 QB and possible first player off the board in the 2013 NFL draft. He’s had a steady season but hasn’t had the wow season that most teams look for. Barkley still has a lot to like about him and a sound resume but his biggest knock still remains his arm strength as it’s still only rated as above average.

Current Grade: Top 10

Geno Smith, West Virginia: Started the season out on fire but has had some recent missteps that have brought him back to the field. He has a strong arm and good accuracy. Teams will question the offense he was in and will have questions about two big losses against Kansas State and Texas Tech

Current Grade: Top 10

Tyler Wilson, Arkansas: You would be hard pressed to find someone to say that it hasn’t been a hard year for Arkansas and their QB Tyler Wilson. His play has not been good at all and its been coupled with an early season injury. He seems to have lost some of his accuracy early on, but in recent games regained it. He has a strong arm and a good head on his shoulders. He will make some real questionable throws but the raw ability is there.

Current Grade: 1st round

EJ Manuel, Florida State: Manuel this year has improved his play after it looked like it had leveled off last year. He is displaying more consistent accuracy from game to game then he had in the past. He is also starting to mix in more NFL type throws in the intermediate route range. He still moves through his progressions to fast and needs work on presnap reads as he often fails to identify where the single coverage is

Current Grade: 2nd round

Mike Glennon, NC State: Glennon is a QB that has more talent than his numbers would indicate. He has a strong accurate arm and has the ability to make all the NFL throws. Still he is a bit too streaky. He will have times where he is completely locked in and then on the next drive he will make throws that boggle your mind. He has progressed this year and a big reason for that is notching a win against a ranked team with one of the best defenses in the country. It was a win that was lacking on his resume

Current Grade: 2nd round

Landry Jones, Oklahoma: Jones is the QB in this draft most draft experts have a tough time figuring out. There are games where he looks like a top 10 pick then there are games he looks like a career back up 5th rounder. He’s got the arm, accuracy, and smarts but can’t seem to ever put it all together for a whole season. Jones biggest problem is that the brighter the lights the worse he plays. That is a big red flag for most NFL teams

Current Grade: 2-3 round

Ryan Nassib, Syracuse: Nassib has really improved his stock this year with improved accuracy now over a two year span. He has really taken to the pro style offense that Syracuse has run and that will go a long way in improving his draft stock. He still however forces some throws that are not there and needs to tighten up some mechanics.

Current Grade: 2-3 Round

Zac Dysert, Miami of Ohio: Dysert has put up some good numbers and has shown a strong accurate arm. I’ll admit I’ve only seen him play a handful of times and I haven’t been impressed with him thus far. He seems too hesitant at times and will go through streaks of missing badly on passes

Current Grade: 2-3 round

Overall thoughts: The draft will likely provide Buffalo with numerous options provided they decide to draft one. The problem is the Bills have stated they are in a win now mode and it’s a risky venture to bring in a rookie QB and expect him to play at a level high enough to get you to the playoffs even despite the recent success of some. The Bills front offices key mistake over the past three years is to have not drafted a QB high in the draft. It has left them in a situation to have no other option but Ryan Fitzpatrick and it looks like it’s going to cost them dearly. I expect the Bills to draft a QB regardless this year.

 Free Agency Options

Joe Flacco, Baltimore: The Bills would and should be interested in Flacco along with a litany of other teams. He posses a strong arm that would play well in Buffalo to go along with playing in numerous playoff games so far in his career. He has been inconsistent thus far and that remains an issue that keeps him from being discussed with the top QB’s in the league.

Chances: less than 1%, no way Baltimore lets him walk out the door. Either a deal gets done or they franchise him

Jason Campbell, Chicago: The Bills have flirted before with getting Jason but he is the definition of an average NFL QB. He won’t kill you or wow you with his play.

Chances: Good shot if the Bills offer him a chance to compete for the starting gig

Matt Moore, Miami: Matt has played well in some stretches but then regresses in other. He is a team first guy who is well liked in the locker room. He has above average skills and could be good if put in the right system

Chances: Good shot if the Bills offer him a chance to compete for the starting gig

Overall Thoughts: if your plan as a team is to get a good starting QB through FA’cy you will be waiting a long time. The reality of the situation is good QB’s rarely ever hit the market. This doesn’t present a viable option for the Bills to fill their QB need

 Trade Options

Phillip Rivers, San Diego: I’ve been saying for a while now that all Bills fans should be keeping an eye on the Chargers. The reason being is that if the bottom falls out there they could overhaul the team. When and if that happens Rivers is not likely going to want to be around for the rebuild and will start chirping about wanting out. Why is this important? It’s important because rumor around the bend is that Buddy Nix loves P.Rivers. If he wants out the Bills, if Nix is still in charge, will come a knocking on that door and do so in an aggressive manor. He has what it takes in terms of skill to play very good in Western NY. He was also at his best when he had a strong running game, which the Bills currently have now

Chances: From my understanding if he is available the Bills will be very aggressive in going after him and will be willing to ship there first rounder for him. So I’d label it better than 50/50 if he’s available

Tony Romo, Dallas: It’s no secret that Cowboys fans have soured on Romo and depending on where Dallas ends up in the draft he could be available. He is very mistake prone and seems to be at his worse in big games. I’d rank him ahead of Fitzpatrick but not by much. Rumor is though Gailey has always like him and likely thinks he can get more out of him than Dallas is currently getting

Chances: Bills could be interested in him at the right price but I don’t expect Dallas to be dealing him. Less than 50/50

Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay: There have been some rumors circulating that Freeman and head coach Greg Schiano are not exactly seeing eye to eye with one another. Freeman after a hot start to his career has cooled off and leveled off as of late.

Chances: Not good, despite the rumors Tampa will likely try and stay with him

Blaine Gabbert, Jacksonville: There were rumors before the 2011 draft that the Bills liked Gabbert, they just didn’t like him with a top 5 pick. In all reality Gabbert had no business being selected in the first round of the 2011 draft. His resume did not warrant that type of investment. With Jacksonville in the fast lane to a top 3 pick in the 2013 draft they may be looking to just cut their losses. Problem is he may now be unfixable much in the way D.Carr isn’t after being shelled behind a shoddy OL

Chances: Pretty good and cheap if the Jaguars find themselves with a top 3 pick

Michael Vick, Philadelphia: The Bills tried to convince Vick to come here at one point a couple years back, but lost out to Philly in the long run. He had a good run in Philly but that has since ended. He is plagued with turnovers and errant throws. Still, he is a lot of what Gailey likes in a QB

Chances: If he is released a pretty good shot, a trade with his current contract is highly unlikely at best

Overall Thoughts: Figuring out future NFL trades and who will be available for what price is like playing the lotto. The Bills could find a viable option this way if they are will to part with draft picks and maybe players but the reality is this is a hail Mary at best

Tags: Buffalo Bills, EJ Manuel, Geno Smith, Josh Freeman, Matt Barkley, Phillip Rivers, Tony Romo, Tyler Wilson

2 Responses to “Examining Potential 2013 QB Options”

  1. Big Franky says:

    Not sure what Bills fan would ever want Rivers, or worse yet… Vick! I hope they trade up in the Draft to land GENO!!!

  2. TJN says:

    Based on your analysis trading for a QB doesn’t seem like it would yield what the Buffalo Bills need – a long term answer at QB.

    Available FAs are mostly likely what we have seen every year. Marginally guys that tempt you with a flash now and again (Tyler Thigpen flashed in Kansas City, for example). No thanks.

    So it is the DRAFT. Especially this year. While we still have needs, they don’t number in the double digits like they have in the past. Draft who? The best available QB when we pick in the 1st round. Period. No 3rd round picks and praying they turn out better than Trent Edwards. 1st round. Draft. ‘nuf said.

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