by Paul Peck, Buffalo Sports Page

For every Bills fans who doesn’t want the team to aggressively pursue a quarterback, it was the quote that endorsed their opinion.

“If you make a mistake, you’re done,” said Giants General Manager Dave Gettleman. “We talk that when you miss on a quarterback, you really hurt the franchise for probably five years. It’s a five-year mistake.”

Guess what Bills fans.  Not drafting a quarterback has been a 21-year mistake for the franchise.  It’s time to stop being afraid, and embrace the idea that the Bills should have a new franchise quarterback on Thursday night.

I have heard all the different opinions of Bills fans.  There are two main camps heading into Draft’s first round on Thursday.  There are those who want Brandon Beane to use his draft picks to move up and get one of the top four QB’s.  There are those who want Beane to keep the picks, fill other holes and let the draft come to them.

Fearful Fans

But then there is a group that falls somewhere in between.  They’re the ones who keep bringing up Ryan Leaf and Jamarcus Russell whenever you talk about the Bills drafting a quarterback.  They’re the Fearful Fans.  No matter what prospect you talk about, or what possible trade options you discuss, this group goes right to the negative, right to the two worst QB draft busts in NFL history.

I don’t understand it.  I understand that Bills fans, through a lack of tangible evidence over the years, always think the worst is going to happen.  But to be so afraid of finding the next great QB, they can’t move beyond the worst possible result?

Yes, there are always quarterback busts in the first round of the NFL Draft.  Roughly 50% of all first round QB’s fail miserably.  Names like Jake Locker, Christian Ponder, E.J. Manuel, Robert Griffin III and Brandon Weeden make up a club who’s membership card no one wants.

QB’s Grow in the Top Ten

But if half fail, then the other half succeed.  Especially in the top 10 of the Draft.  Wouldn’t any Bills fan love to have Carson Wentz or Jared Goff?  Heading into the 2018 season, 15 of starting quarterbacks (half the league) were drafted in the top ten.

2018 Starting Quarterbacks Drafted in Top 10

  • Jared Goff
  • Carson Wentz
  • Cam Newton
  • Jameis Winston
  • Matt Ryan
  • Mitchell Trubisky
  • Matthew Stafford
  • Eli Manning
  • Philip Rivers
  • Alex Smith
  • Patrick Mahomes
  • Andrew Luck
  • Marcus Mariota
  • Blake Bortles
  • Ryan Tannehill

Would any Bills fan be happy with a starting QB off that list?  That’s how you get them, you take the risk and draft them in the top ten.

Past Bills Performance Does Not Guarantee Future Results

Please don’t hang on E.J. Manuel or J.P. Losman.  No decision maker is still here who had any role in picking the last two quarterbacks chosen in the first round by Buffalo.  Their failure (which had more to do with being over-drafted, rushed into the lineup, and given no support) has absolutely nothing to do with what may happen to Darnold, Mayfield, Allen or Rosen.  I know we love our history here, but in this case, it means nothing.

You can believe that the Bills should or shouldn’t draft a quarterback on Thursday.  That’s fine.  But agree with that decision or not, let’s not get so wrapped up in fear that you never give that QB a chance because you think he’s going to be a bust.  Have some patience, understand that there will be mistakes, and think positive.


Paul Peck

Paul Peck is sports broadcaster with over 25 years experience in TV and Radio. He served as sports anchor, reporter, and producer at WIVB for 24 years. In that role, he covered all four Buffalo Bills Super Bowls, the Buffalo Sabres in the Stanley Cup Finals, the NCAA Basketball Tournament and the Daytona 500. He has been the Voice of the UB Bulls Football for 17 seasons, in addition to host of Bulls Athletics TV & Radio shows. Peck also served as the sideline reporter for the Buffalo Bills Football Network, host of the bowling show "Beat The Champ" and announces college basketball for ESPN 3 and Time Warner Cable Sports Channel. He has also been the Master of Ceremonies for the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame, one of the largest sports banquets in WNY.

Paul is also involved in the local business community, having been a financial advisor at AXA Advisors, and is currently the Vice President of Sports Development at VSP Graphics Group.

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