Buffalo’s top brass spent the last week in Mobile, Alabama and they aren’t just trying escape the harsh cold snap that’s taken over WNY. They’ve been scouting possible draft picks practicing for the annual Senior Bowl. The game this Saturday will feature seniors from all over the country in a setting that’s compared to the NFL combine. The Bills have said they are looking for a big wide receiver to fill the 2 spot behind Stevie Johnson, a tough linebacker and their future starting quarterback. There are plenty of QBs entering the draft this year and, it’s speculated, the Bills are looking to take one at the 8th overall pick. Many are saying the 2013 QB draft class is nothing compared last year’s first round pedigree but, there are a few NFL-ready gun slingers looking to take the next step. Here are a few that the Bills are looking at this week.
Ryan Nassib – Syracuse: Since the Bills new head coach Doug Marrone brought along his offensive coordinator from Syracuse, Nathaniel Hackett, it’s been said that Nassib is a given to join the team. However, Nassib recently told the press that he’s most comfortable running a west coast style offense as opposed to the k-gun offense he was successful in running this year with the Orange. Marrone’s plan was to bring that offense back to Buffalo where it was first developed during the Jim Kelly era. Nassib put up very impressive numbers and set a few school records in his career at Syracuse but, if he isn’t comfortable running Marrone’s fast paced offense, maybe he’s not the man for the job. It’s hard to tell if Nassib is as good as he seems or if Marrone made him good. Either way, he’s got a decent arm, so that’s better than what we have now. Nassib has said that he would love to come to Buffalo. Born and raised in Pennsylvania, he’s used to the climate and he says he wants to continue working with Marrone and Hackett. It would be an interesting experiment to see if a college system with all its working parts could be effective in the NFL. That might just be the risk the Bills need to take.
Mike Glennon – North Carolina State: The Bills had a chance to watch Glennon last year while scouting TJ Graham at NC State. Apparently, they liked what they saw because they’re still looking at him. Some even credit Glennon for getting Graham drafted so high as Graham received 757 yards and 7 touchdowns from Glennon in his senior year. At 6’7”, Glennon is hard to block on throws down the middle of the field but his throws to the sidelines are usually lacking accuracy. He’s not very mobile so he’s developed a strong pocket presence. He was billed as having a huge arm and showed it over the last two seasons. At Senior Bowl practices, however, it’s reported that Glennon hasn’t been able to throw the long ball and, when he does, he’s missing his mark. Other reports say he’s throwing bullets but is still inaccurate. The Bills might want to hold off on this one since Glennon isn’t the most accurate to begin with. What good is a big arm if you can’t hit the receiver? Then again, a big arm and fast receivers make for big plays.
Zac Dysert – Miami (Ohio): Miami of Ohio (and the Mid-Atlantic Conference in general) hasn’t been known to produce all-star quarterbacks, unless of course you count the youngest starter to ever win a Super Bowl and two-time NFL champion, Ben Roethlisberger. Oh yeah, there’s that guy. Even though the MAC doesn’t produce superstars, they produce game-ready NFL players. In fact, no NFL roster has fewer than 4 MAC alums on it (BleacherReport). It’s a conference where you get to play a wide range of decent teams so it produces a wide range of talent. Dysert is one of the better of that bunch. For starters, Dysert broke Roethlisberger’s school records for yardage, completions and pass attempts. Miami had a terrible season and underwent some drastic scheme changes but, Dysert stayed consistently good and that’s why the Bills should check him out. Since Jim Kelly retired, Buffalo has been stuck with quarterbacks that go down with the team. Dysert is one of those QBs that finds a way to perform no matter who is around him. He doesn’t have the pocket presence of Big Ben but he’s got the arm to get himself out of trouble and he’s very accurate. On top of that, he’s what the NFL has been looking for recently, as far as a quick QB who can run the ball down field.
Tyler Wilson – Arkansas: This is one of my favorite quarterbacks to come out in a while. He’s your typical SEC quarterback. He’s got a good arm and pocket presence, but he can also run if he needs to. Over his last two years with the Razorbacks, Wilson threw 45 touchdowns and only 19 interceptions. That’s pretty good but, as former SEC quarterbacks, Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Cam Newton and Matthew Stafford prove from their college records, that’s also pretty average for that conference. Those names prove something else too. The SEC produces either all-stars or decent quarterbacks. There are only a few duds that have come out of that conference in recent years. Tyler Wilson possesses some of the same characteristics as the greats to come from the SEC. He’s tough, he stands his ground and he’s not afraid to take a hit to make a throw. In fact, that’s also one of his downfalls. He’s had a few injuries in Arkansas and a concussion. Is that enough to keep him out of the NFL? Not by a long shot. Teams are lining up to grab this guy. He’s got character, leadership skills and the physical ability to move the ball down field. He had some hiccups his senior year due to a coaching change shake-up but, out of all the Senior Bowl starters, he looks the most ready to lead an NFL team. Fun fact: There was another Arkansas QB who was drafted by the Bills and did pretty well. His name was Joe Ferguson.
If you want to watch all of these quarterbacks in action, the Senior Bowl is this Saturday, January 26th, at 4pm (check your listings for the channel). Nassib, Glennon and Dysert will be playing for the North and Wilson will be playing for the South.
– Josh Paufler