Inside The Bills

Nix on the term ‘safe picks’

Posted by Chris Brown on March 29, 2011 – 9:16 am

Bills GM Buddy Nix was asked about weighing what’s deemed by outside observers to be a risky pick versus a safe pick at third overall. Buffalo’s personnel boss isn’t a big fan of the term “safe pick.”

“Those people don’t have a clue what’s safe,” Nix said. “What we try to do is look at the big picture and I keep saying that and that’s what you’ve got to do. You’ve got to look at down the road. If you want to get instant gratification then you go sign a 37-year old veteran and pay him 12 and a half million and see how that works out.”

A personnel veteran like Nix is understandably irritated by the term ‘safe pick’ because in the no guarantee world of the NFL draft, there is no safe pick. Based on his response Nix also made it clear that signing a proven veteran that’s been productive, but past his prime is not how you build a franchise back into a winner either. You do it through the draft.

Yes, there are a lot of variables at work to declare any prospect a safe pick. But that’s why Nix and his staff go through such a painstaking process over the course of the calendar year, to reduce that margin for error as much as possible. No one can ever get it down to zero, but Nix and his staff reduce it enough where building a team through the draft is a worthwhile and effective approach.

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