Time for your Fan Friday questions from AskChris@bills.nfl.net. Keep them coming and have a good weekend everybody.
1 - Hi Chris
I have been thinking the Bills should go defensive tackle or linebacker at #3 overall. What do you think about them taking Robert Quinn, potentially, the next Bruce Smith? If they don’t put him at End then put him at Linebacker. The guy has everything the Bills are looking for as far as pass rush, and explosiveness, with one year less of wear and tear on the body.
Go Bills !!!!
CB: The wear and tear argument is a good one with respect to Quinn, but most NFL talent evaluators worry about the one less year of development. Quinn is a great raw talent and will probably go in the top 15 because of his high ceiling, but he’s also a risk and might take longer to adjust after a year away from football. As a result some teams might not feel comfortable investing a top 10 pick in a guy that might not be able to give you instant impact in year one.
2 – Hi Chris,
Everyone seems to be predicting that the Bills will take a QB with their pick at #3, but I’m not buying it. Can you give me your prediction on how many team “need” a QB and would take one in the first round if he was the right guy? I’m thinking there are 4-5 potential first round QBs (Newton, Gabbert, Locker, Mallet) and one of them should fall to Bills in the Second or even third round.
CB: The only way the Bills take a QB at 3 is if they’re convinced that one of the top prospects is a franchise type quarterback, otherwise they pass. But there are a number of teams with a quarterback need in the top half of round one. As I see it you’ve got the following.
Carolina at 1
Buffalo at 3
Cincinnati at 4 (Palmer wants out)
Arizona at 5
San Fran at 7
Tennessee at 8
Washington at 10 (McNabb to be moved)
Minnesota at 12
In reality the only quarterbacks most analysts see going in the top 12 are Gabbert or Newton. Mallett and Locker have character and accuracy issues respectively and might not even come off the board in round one, though QB value tends to get inflated on draft day. We’ll see.
3 - Hey Chris,
My question is in regards to Christian Ponder of FSU. As Gailey has clearly stated that Fitz is his starter going forward at this point, would Ponder be a nice addition to this team. I have seen Ponder play the last 3 years and have seen his skills as well as his flaws. It seems to me that he can play at the NFL level with the right coaching staff and teammates. He has good arm strength and decent accuracy. I know his durability would be a main factor in his NFL career. With Gailey and the rest of the coaching staff, as well as guidance from Fitz, I believe he would be a great asset to our Bills team for little money. Your feedback would be great on the thought of Ponder to the Bills in Rnd 3 or 4. Thank you and as always “GO BILLS” and “GO FITZ”!!!!!!!!!
CB: Unfortunately I don’t see Christian Ponder lasting until round 3. I think he goes in the top half of round 2. After an injury-riddled senior season, he’s had a productive pre-draft period. He performed well at the Senior Bowl on Chan Gailey’s South team taking MVP honors. In the games I’ve seen him play the leadership comes naturally to him. He’s not afraid to take chances and he’s really smart. He’s also played in a pro-style offense at Florida State so the transition for him figures to be shorter than other QBs in this class. Personally I like him as a talent. Some so called experts say he’s best suited to play in west coast system, but I think his ability can take him beyond that.
4 - Chris,
Like you, I think Ryan Fitzpatrick did a great job at QB this past year and don’t believe Buddy will draft a QB at 3. Last year Buddy said the Bills need playmakers and then drafted one. I believe he will duplicate exactly what he did last year, he will first draft a playmaker with pick #3 ( Peterson think Revis, Von Miller think Mathews or Green think Fitzgerald), then focus on the defensive front seven in rounds 2-4 along with a developmental QB and maybe a TE.
So, could you please name some of the 3-4 DEs and ISLBs that would be available in rounds 2-4, along with the names of QBs better suited to the what the Bills do. I’m thinking a smart guy who can process information like RF but with a stronger arm. Also, a few TEs as well. I truly believe that Buddy and Chan are turning this team around.
Thank you for your great work and keep it coming! Go Bills!!
CB: Here you go.
ILBs in round 2 – Martez Wilson – Illinois; round 3 – Kelvin Sheppard – LSU, Quan Sturdivant – UNC, Colin McCarthy – Miami; round 4 – Greg Jones – Michigan St., Nate Irving – N.C. State
DEs in round 2 – Cameron Heyward – Ohio St., Christian Ballard – Iowa, Jabaal Sheard – Pitt; round 3 – Allen Bailey – Miami, Pernell McPhee – Miss. St.; round 4 – Pierre Allen – Nebraska, Rickey Elmore – Arizona, Greg Romeus – Pitt
QBs that could fit in the Bills scheme really doesn’t apply because Chan Gailey always adjusts his scheme to fit the players as evidenced by what he did in going from Neil O’Donnell to Kordell Stewart in Pittsburgh. The good thing about that is it could open the Bills up to more possibilities if they choose to take a QB.
TEs – round 2 – Kyle Rudolph – Notre Dame, Luke Stocker – Tennessee; Round 3 – D.J. Williams – Arkansas, Lance Kendricks – Wisconsin; round 4 – Jordan Cameron – USC, Rob Housler – Florida Atlantic, Virgil Green – Nevada
5 – Chris,
Can you break down what the scouts think about the three best mobile QBs in the draft, that being Newton, Locker, and Kaepernick. Judging on Chan’s desire for a guy that can move out of the pocket and what round they can be had (NEWTON 1) (LOCKER/Kaepernick 2-3), who makes the most sense for the Bills just on talent and ability to drop back to be a full time passer. I think Kaepernick seems like a great talent and has put up better numbers than most QB’s. Locker could also develop better. He’s got major arm and legs. How interested are the Bills in Locker and Kaepernick compared to the rumors of Cam?
CB: Most scouts in the league that I’ve seen quoted anonymously are concerned with Locker’s inconsistencies in terms of accuracy and decision making. Great athlete, but accuracy in the NFL where the windows are smaller is key. With Newton it’s the offense he comes from and concerns about his character and work ethic. Again a great athlete with loads of potential, but playing QB in the NFL is a lot more than being athletic are the issues for scouts. Finally Kaepernick, again fantastic athlete, but comes from a pistol offense where they spread things out. But he was a four-year starter and has consistent numbers. His mechanics have been knocked (long wind up), but he’s clean as far as the intangibles and as a leader. Pretty sharp too. All these NFL teams have to determine if these QBs are franchise type material. That’s the question that must be answered.
As far as how interested the Bills are, that’s tough to say. Locker, Newton and Kaepernick haven’t been in for pre-draft visits to this point. That obviously could change in the coming weeks. Chan believes mobility is important, but doesn’t rule out QBs that are as mobile necessarily. Here’s what he said at the combine about mobility in a QB.
“I think you have to be able to adjust. Mobilty helps, yes, but if you don’t have a mobile quarterback and he’s your best quarterback then you better find a way to be successful without having mobility involved in it. We did it with Troy (Aikman) in Dallas. Troy wasn’t a bootleg type guy, but we did it a little bit just to keep them honest. You have to adjust. Whoever your best player is you adjust around what they do.”
Tags: 2011 NFL draft, Cam Newton, Christian Ponder, Colin Kaepernick, Fan Friday, Jake Locker, Robert Quinn
Posted in Inside the Bills