It's funny to reminisce on this time last year when the Bills were headed into the 2015 season with question marks at the quarterback position and a certain air of cockiness on the defensive side of the ball. Fast forward a year and it seems the narrative has totally flip-flopped; confidence in Tyrod Taylor and plenty of question marks on the defensive side of the ball.
So why is it that it seems the closer we get to April 28th, the more chatter you're hearing about the Bills potential interest in drafting a quarterback with one of their first two picks? Can it be dismissed as simply a smoke screen as the draft draws near or do the Bills have legitimate interest in taking a quarterback high despite the successes of Tyrod Taylor?
I'll take the latter. I believe the interest in a quarterback in the first two rounds is absolutely real. Just go back to Whaley's comments this time last year about his Bills team being in "quarterback purgatory."
Fast forward again to today and past Taylor you have exactly what you had last off-season, minus Matt Cassel. EJ Manuel enters the final season of his rookie contract and likely will not be back in 2017. What better place to start than with a prospect who looks a lot like Manuel did coming out of school? An NFL ready arm with inconsistencies in college and issues with accuracy.
Cardale Jones fits that mold perfectly and as CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora put it, the Bills are "enamored" with his boom-or-bust potential and that's exactly what you saw from his game on film. In 2014, after incumbent starter Braxton Miller went down in Spring Ball followed by a leg injury to J.T. Barrett late in the season, Jones got his opportunity and didn't disappoint leading his Ohio State Buckeyes team to wins over Wisconsin, Alabama and Oregon to win a National Championship.
Jones had the opportunity to leave college early and enter the 2015 NFL Draft when his stock was piping hot but chose instead to go back to school with a crowded group of athletes to compete against for the starting spot.
Even though Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer hid who his starter would be right up until kickoff of their season opener, Meyer would ultimately choose Jones. It wouldn't last long however, as Jones struggled with accuracy and moving the starting offense consistently. After throwing for seven touchdowns to only two interceptions in three games in 2014, Jones had only eight touchdowns and five interceptions all of last season.
Talk about a boom-or-bust.
No matter what the Bills intend to do at the end of April, expect a quarterback to be on their radar. Where they take that quarterback will likely be the topic of discussion for weeks to come.null