Photo Courtesy of TheBigLead.com
By Paul Wanecski
Let’s be honest for a moment. The signing of AJ McCarron is not the long-term answer at quarterback that Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott have been pining for. While personally I am thrilled with the signing for a variety of reasons, we are going to leave that aside. Most analysts see the Bills as trading into the top 5 selections to get Josh Rosen. Now the trade with the Cincinnati Bengals has been finalized, the Bills stand with more ammunition to move up the draft board. That is why all this Josh Allen talk doesn’t fit.
Allen is a smoke screen. The Bills interest in him is starting to take flight because at the 12th spot, he makes a very nice contingency plan. The goal is to trade up on draft day and don’t let any of these other rumblings tell you different. Why would the team support the notion that Rosen, Mayfield or Darnold are the players they really want when they are simply too far down in the draft order to take any of them? Allen, if a trade falls through for a top spot, makes sense…if they have to. Since 1983, would you like to know who the best QB taken in the 12th spot was? Cade McNown in 1999, he was the 5th QB off the board. The 12th pick was actually traded twice during that draft, not before. The QBs taken prior to McNown were Tim Couch, Donovan McNabb, Akili Smith and Dante Culpepper. If the Bills were really serious about getting Allen, you make the trade to get him when you know he is on the board.
Every year we hear about these strong armed quarterbacks who aren’t “pro-ready”. Allen is no exception to that group. He could throw a football through a mountain. Realistically, at the 12th spot in the draft, Buffalo stands a very good chance of landing him and I suppose that is what is sitting with me wrong. If a team decides to move up in the draft, it does so when they are confident their player is on the board. St. Louis did it with Jared Goff, Philadelphia with Carson Wentz, and those players were a sure-thing at that draft position; Allen isn’t. Teams do not trade up the order outside of the top 2 selections a month before the draft because they cannot be confident the player they want will be there.
Truth be told, I would love to tell you I have inside information on who Buffalo loves. This team has done a great job of keeping their view on players close to the vest and that is exciting since we really only have our opinions to guide what we think the teams next moves are. With that being said, Allen isn’t the Bills target but if they fail to move up in the draft, he makes for the most realistic option.