Draft Grades – Buffalo Bills

E.J. Manuel

I’m going to be looking at the fantasy repercussions of the 2013 Draft and giving out a few grades and rankings. The grades mostly focus on fantasy-relevant positions, but I’ll also be examining overall positional value and strategy. It goes without saying that there’s an informational gap between what the teams have at their disposal and what I have. On the other hand, the great thing about being an outsider is that the informational gap often runs the other direction as well.

No. 32. Buffalo Bills Grade: Z-

I’m not a Ryan Nassib fan from a football perspective – as anyone who’s read my comments in the RotoViz Composite Rookie QB Rankings knows – but I’m certainly rooting for him from a human one. I definitely hope he sticks it to Doug Marrone and the Buffalo Bills.

The Bills incurred a large karmic debt by using Marrone’s college QB as a pawn in a bit of nasty misdirection during the final 48 hours before the draft. Meanwhile, the selection of E.J. Manuel is a reach but not for the reasons most are suggesting. Since his selection, pundits have been falling all over each other to compare Manuel to Jake Locker and Blaine Gabbert. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Check out their respective numbers from their final college seasons.

E.J. Manuel 8.8 2.3 -0.66
Average NFL Starter 8.7 3.5 3.9
Jake Locker 6.6 1.9 8.24
Blaine Gabbert 6.5 1.8 3.29


As I examined at length in discussing the 2013 class a month ago, Manuel owns the profile of a future starter. (I even projected him to the Bills at No. 8). Even if you’re focusing solely on pressurized situations, the numbers are totally different. Locker and Gabbert both averaged fewer than 4.0 adjusted yards per attempt in difficult situations during their final collegiate seasons. Manuel averaged 6.7, which isn’t elite but isn’t disastrous. So Manuel may have plenty of work to do – and he was a bizarre reach with Geno Smith still on the board – but he’s not anywhere near Locker/Gabbert bad.

The truly egregious picks were at WR. I don’t understand the fascination with Robert Woods. I certainly don’t know how a player many think had the best feet after Tavon Austin could put up an 11.62 Agility Score. Woods possesses late round measurables and went for 849 yards in an offense that threw for over 3,600.  Selecting Woods with Keenan Allen still available – even a slow, still-injured Allen – is probably grounds for Buddy Nix’s dismissal. The selection of Marquise Goodwin with Stedman Bailey and Markus Wheaton still on the board was quite possibly the single worst pick of the last ten drafts.

The Bills finally did add a receiver with NFL potential after the draft in signing Da’Rick Rogers. The former Tennessee castoff didn’t exactly dominate the SEC in 2011, but he may have some excuses for his poor play at Tennessee Tech. Regardless, it’s an epic misuse of draft resources when an UDFA is fully expected to beat out guys you took No. 41 and No. 78.

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By Shawn Siegele | @ff_contrarian | Archive

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