Why I loved the Bills’ Draft
From an offensive standpoint, and from a value standpoint, I loved what the Bills did in the draft this year. Not only did they get good players with good talent, they got players that fit well with their existing personnel. They say speed kills, and speed is what you see everywhere you look with the new look Bills.
They already had perhaps the most elusive tailback in the NFL, C.J. Spiller, who sports 4.37 wheels and outstanding lateral agility. Considering that they also had speedster T.J. Graham at receiver ... team speed on offense was not a dire need by rational standards.
So what did they do? They added speed at three positions.
- QB - E.J. Manuel (4.65)
- WR - Marquise Goodwin (4.27)
- WR Robert Woods (4.50)
- TE - Chris Gragg (4.50)
They also added a nice size/speed combo guy on the UDFA market in Da’Rick Rogers. Rogers was considered toxic by a lot of teams and slipped through the draft despite having 2nd round ability. If he makes the team and they can develop him both on and off the field, he has a very high ceiling. The Bills also added our guy QB Jeff Tuel as a UDFA. Tuel could develop into a high quality backup or perhaps even high quality trade bait. He’s in a perfect spot in Buffalo because he can continue to build his body and get healthy. They’ve also brought in our guy Terrell Sinkfield. He’s probably headed for the practice squad, but Sinkfield has a lot of ability long-term and he's got serious ... you guessed it ... speed. He could be a name to know for the future.
Now, when you consider that Buffalo also landed significant defensive help in the form of ILB Kiko Alonso and safeties Duke Williams and Jonathan Meeks, you have to be impressed with such an effective re-load on offense.
Amazingly enough, I’ve heard a fair amount of criticism about where the Bills selected E.J. Manuel. I have to say that this amazes me. First of all, they traded back to get him and added two picks in the process. What, are they supposed to move back twice? At Rotobahn, we had Manuel ranked as the most valuable QB in the 2013 draft. Who cares if the media wants to write stories about Manuel being given a 4th round grade by Dallas? Dallas just gave Tony Romo a 108 million dollar extension. Why should we care what they think about quarterback value? The Bills drafted circles around Dallas in 2013.
Think about it. The Bills effectively traded the rights to Tavon Austin and INCREASED their overall team speed in the process. They also got their hands on enough picks to address needs on both sides of the football.
At the end of the day, Buffalo ended up with great team speed and talent at all the skill groups on offense. This will put tremendous stress on opposing defenses and will create an extremely difficult situation if teams want to send extra men to get after E.J. Manuel. It also makes it tough to load the box against Spiller. It’s one thing to have some speed, but it’s a far different thing to have superior speed at every position on the field.
So, why this long screed on the Bills' draft? Because their skill talent is very desirable over the long term for fantasy, and I want my readers to be ahead of the curve. I did the same thing a few months back with my “Hello Cleveland” article. I’d be targeting the lesser know Bills in dynasty and long-term formats. Guys like Goodwin, Gragg and Rogers can be had for a song. That means no risk and no consequence if things don’t work out. Robert Woods is not as highly sought after and he should be. E.J. Manuel has a solid fantasy ceiling and he’s got medium value in the market right now. Some of these rookies may even have redraft value in 2013, especially Manuel.
The Bills made a commitment and they made it work. They obviously had a plan and they had the courage of their convictions to execute it. They now have a serious mix of speed and the key thing is that it’s not empty speed. Read our predraft report on Goodwin. I’m pretty sure you’ll see Goodwin as a value in my Drafting In Reverse series next week. Read Rotobahn’s Guys and see how many of them now play in Buffalo. Then go back and read my stuff on C.J. Spiller.
The Bills are not a lock, but the fact that people are still skeptical makes a lot of their players good values and that includes C.J. Spiller at his current ADP of 6. They may have an up-and-down season in 2013, but at some point this year or next, this group could gel ... and when that happens, look out.
As a Jets fan, it pains me to admit it, but we got outflanked by Buffalo this year. Miami got better, but they overpaid for a lot of it. Buffalo did it the right way. If they can fortify the offensive line next offseason, they'll have something that can last.