Friday, April 23, 2010

Spiller is a Thriller, but the Bills had so many other needs

A day later, I’m still having mixed emotions about the Bills surprising selection of C.J. Spiller with the 9th pick overall in the 2010 NFL Draft.

He’s unquestionably a dynamic performer, as evidenced by his 21 touchdowns of 50 yards or more at Clemson. And any guy who can traverse 40 yards in the blur of 4.32 seconds should be able to pump a little life into a moribund Bills offense that managed just 16 points per game last season.

But you already have a versatile running back in Fred Jackson on your roster and dire needs at a multitude of other positions – offensive line, quarterback, defensive line, linebacker to name a few - so I’m wondering if you really had the luxury to go in this direction.

I believe the Bills could have maximized the draft by trading down a few spots and picking up additional picks. A pass-rushing end/linebacker such as Jason Pierre-Paul (15th) or Derrick Morgan (16th) still would have been available. With Aaron Schobel’s future plans in doubt, they need to think about his replacement.

Perhaps, I’m wrong. Perhaps Spiller will be the second coming of O.J. and Thurman. Maybe I’m just gun shy because I saw too many of these luxury picks (Willis McGahee, Roscoe Parrish) go bust during the Tom Donahoe era. Time will tell if Buddy Nix hit a home run or whiffed.

* The biggest first day surprise was that Tim Tebow was drafted and Jimmy Clausen wasn’t. My sense is that unless they’re really playing possum, the Bills aren’t that high on Clausen. New Bills coach Chan Gailey likes mobile quarterbacks, and Clausen is more of a pocket passer. So, maybe Gailey and Nix have their sights set on Colt McCoy, who, as expected, dropped out of the first round. I’d be willing to take my chances on McCoy over the current sorry Bills QB triumvirate of Edwards, Fitzpatrick and Brohm. (Sounds like a law firm, doesn’t it?)

Another huge need is nose tackle as Buffalo converts to a 3-4 defense. Dan Williams, the top nose in the draft, is gone, but the Bills might be interested in Alabama’s Terrence Cody, a 350-pounder whose nickname is Mt. Cody. And if they are looking to go with an offensive tackle with the 41st pick overall, they might look at Southern Cal’s Charles Brown. If they do, let’s just hope he plays more like Ruben Brown than Charley Brown.

* Well, it's official. I'm no longer the parent of teenagers. A Happy Birthday to my son, Christopher, who turned 20 on Thursday. Man, where did the time go?

* COMING ATTRACTIONS: Just a reminder, Jim Mandelaro and I will be giving a talk and signing copies of our new book, Silver Seasons and a New Frontier: The Story of the Rochester Red Wings, at the Greece Barnes & Noble, starting at 7 p.m. tonight. Rochester's Mr. Baseball, Joe Altobelli, will be joining us and will be signing books, so please stop by.

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