by Bob Gaughan, Buffalo Sports Page

The Buffalo Bills draft ninth going into the NFL draft this season. Not needing a quarterback this year the Bills shouldn’t be concerned about this class of QB’s right?
WRONG. The way I and many people see it the best move for the Bills this year is to trade down a few picks to maybe get another second round pick. The Bills have three huge needs at this point: Pass rusher (Jerry Hughes, Shaw Lawson in the last year of their contracts), Offensive Tackle and Wide Receiver. It would be nice to get all three of these positions in the first two rounds. The only way to do that is to trade down.

The good news is this is a great year to trade down. There are three teams with glaring needs for a QB behind the Bills: Denver at 10, Miami at 13 and Washington at 15. These teams could make ideal trade partners with the Bills. The more available first round QB’s for the Bills the better. Dwayne Haskins should go to the Giants at six. Drew Lock could go at seven to Jacksonville. The Bills could use a third QB that teams covet so they can trade down.

Curious Case of Kyler Murray

This brings us to the curious case of Kyler Murray. Murray won the Hesiman trophy this year and put up huge numbers. He had 42 TD’s and seven interceptions. He threw for over 4300 yards. He’s by far the best running QB in the draft. His advance numbers are top of the class in terms of yards per attempt, on target pct, QBR, etc.

So what’s the problem? The first is his height. He’s only 5’10. He’s shorter than even Drew Brees and Russell Wilson, both considered short QB’s. He’s Doug Flutie short. But unlike Flutie, he’s got the arm that few people on this earth have. Let’s say with the success of Brees, Wilson and Baker Mayfield his lack of height isn’t his biggest problem.

The real concern is his commitment to football. You see he signed a $4.66 million dollar contract with the Oakland A’s to play baseball. That contract only guarantees him about $1.66 in actually dollars. An NFL team would pay him more than that to play football if he’s a first round pick.

Daddy Issues?

His father is a concern. Is this another Lavar Ball situation? Kevin Murray, Kyler’s dad, was in a similar situation. He signed a $35,000 deal to play for the Milwaukee Brewers. When he hurt his arm he wanted to play football at Texas A&M. There was a lawsuit. He played at A&M but was never drafted again in either sport. He thinks he was blackballed. He appears to be running the show.

Another red flag was his bizarre interview with Dan Patrick last week before the Super Bowl. Kyler Murray wouldn’t answer any questions about what he wanted to do. He sat in awkward silence looking off screen to his dad for answers when Patrick asked him the most basic questions.

So why was he doing interviews in the first place if he didn’t want to answer any questions? That’s another red flag. He signed a deal with Gatorade so he had to do interviews to promote the product. Is he just all about the money?

So NFL team have to decide do they want to draft a player high in the first round that might hold them hostage to play baseball? This will all play out over the next few months.

Bills Effect

From the Bills stand point this is something Bills fans should want to keep an eye on. Talent wise I think Kyler Murray will check the boxes as a top NFL prospect. Where his head is at is a different question. If he convinces NFL teams at the Indianapolis combine later this month in interviews that he’s all in on football then I see Murray as a perfect player other teams might want to trade up for in the NFL draft.

In spite of the fact that the Bills don’t need a quarterback this year, it’s the quarterbacks that will dictate how the top of this draft goes.

Bob Gaughan

Bob Gaughan has worked in Buffalo media for over 25 years. He spent 15 of those years as a staple on WGR radio as a talk show host and sports director. Currently, Bob works for UB Athletics on the radio broadcast of football and women’s basketball. Off the air, he has been an adjunct professor for over 20 years at Buffalo State College where he developed and has taught a class on how to be a talk show host.

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