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2017 NFL Draft - Mock Draft - Buffalo Bills Draft - Rankings


Final 2017 QB Rankings

  1. Mitchell Trubisky               QB          6-2, 222         North Carolina
  2. Deshaun Watson              QB          6-3, 210         Clemson
  3. Patrick Mahomes              QB          6-2, 225         Texas Tech
  4. Nathan Peterman              QB          6-3, 226         Pittsburgh
  5. Brad Kaaya                       QB          6-4, 210         Miami
  6. DeShone Kizer                  QB          6-4, 233         Notre Dame
  7. Davis Webb                      QB           6-5, 230        California
  8. Chad Kelly                        QB           6-2, 224        Ole Miss
  9. Josh Dobson                     QB          6-3, 216        Tennessee
  10. Kyle Sloter                       QB         6-4, 215        Northern Colorado
  11. Greg Ward Jr.                  QB         5-11, 185       Houston

2017 QB Class a Minefield

by Anthony D. Macari

Teams desperate to find that franchise QB will have multiple intriguing options in this year’s draft class. By my count I have 11 QB’s with enough upside potential to at least have a puncher's chance of being that guy. Unfortunately every single one of them comes with huge question marks that makes it more likely they will never reach those heights. How teams manage the risk reward minefield of this class will seal their fate for years to come.

I'm willing to bet at least one or two prospects from this draft will end up being worth the risk, but I wouldn't bet the house on any one of them. Especially when safer impact players will be available at other positions. The reality is if your a team without a true franchise QB on your roster, you aren't really going anywhere, so attempting to navigate a minefield like this will be attempted by those desperate teams like the Bills, while the teams set at QB will feast on the talent in this draft.

Mitchell Trubisky

QB North Carolina

6’-2” 222 lbs

40yd: 4.67

Radar: 51 (Left), 50 (Right)

Wonderlic: 25

Year         School           Conf Class Pos   G Cmp Att Pct Yds Y/A AY/A TD Int Rate

*2014     North Carolina ACC  SO     QB   9   42   78 53.8 459 5.9 4.9   5 4   114.2

*2015     North Carolina ACC SO      QB   9   40   47 85.1 555 11.8 14.4 6 0  226.4

2016       North Carolina ACC  JR      QB  13 304 447 68.0 3748 8.4  9.1  30 6 157.9

Career    North Carolina                                386 572  67.5 4762 8.3 9.0 41 10 157.6

Trubisky checks a lot of boxes. Prototypical size, good arm, plus athleticism. Flashes some Andrew Luck/ Matt Stafford type traits on the field. Carries himself like a leader. Handled not being named starter until RS Junior year like a pro and was ready when called upon off the bench.

So what’s the risk? Only has 13 starts under his belt and those came in a spread read option heavy offense.

Bottom line, his upside is as good as any in this class, maybe the last few. Looks the part. However, with only 13 starts, we don’t know much about him on the field. How will he adjust when team’s throw the kitchen sink at him or the likes of Bill Belichick are taking away what he does best. He’ll cost you a top 10 pick, and possibly more if you need to move up to get him. In a draft stacked with talent, if you miss with a top 10, you would have lost a huge opportunity to add a play-maker on D or for the offense. Excelled in the red zone.

Floor - Blaine Gabbert

Ceiling - Matt Stafford

Prediction - Carson Palmer

Bills Risk/Reward : Rumors are Bills love him and want to move up. I don't think the rumors are a smoke screen. He may be worth the risk at 10 or lower. However, risk overwhelms reward if you have to give away additional picks to move up. Advise would be stay put, take him if there, grab BPA if not.

Deshaun Watson

QB Clemson

6’-2” 221 lbs

40yd: 4.66

Radar: 45 (Left), 45 (Right)

Wonderlic: 20

Year    School    Conf   Class  Pos G  Cmp  Att Pct       Yds  Y/A   AY/A TD  Int Rate

*2014 Clemson ACC     FR       QB 8   93   137 67.9     1466 10.7 12.1  14   21 88.6

*2015 Clemson ACC     SO       QB 15 333  491 67.8    4109  8.4   8.6  35   13 156.3

2016 Clemson ACC       JR       QB 15 388  579 67.0     4593  7.9   8.0  41   17  151.1

Career Clemson                                   814 1207 67.4  10,168 8.4 8.7   90   32  157.5

If you value production and leadership, hard to not have Watson on the top of your board. When the lights shined brightest, he was at his best. Rare you have so much tape in big games. Watson is a proven winner. Showed his toughness in the Championship game vs Alabama.

However, the problem is a lot of his tape when the lights weren’t so bright is down right awful. 17 interceptions, many of which were on him. Once the 1st option is gone, he either bails or makes a poor decision. He may not have the arm strength, accuracy  or football IQ to be successful at the next level. Excelled on 3rd down and long.

Bottom Line: The highlight of his career will be his performance in the Nation Championship game. He’s the kind of kid you want to root for, but his ceiling is too low to invest the 1st or early 2nd round pick it will cost to get him.

Floor - Tim Tebow

Ceiling - Russell Wilson

Prediction - Ryan Fitzpatrick

Bills Risk/Reward : Rumors are that Whaley loves Watson. If true, this is the best argument for why Whaley should not be allowed to make the decision on the next Bills QB. Some team will buy into Watson's championship resume and as much as I want to believe in the kid, I just don't think his game translates to the next level. Not worth a pick until the 5th round with the intent of having a high character back up on the roster.

Patrick Mahomes

QB Texas Tech

6’-2” 225 lbs

40yd: 4.80

Radar: 55 (Left), 55 (Right)

Wonderlic: 24

Year  School       Conf    Class Pos  G Cmp  Att   Pct    Yds   Y/A  AY/A   TD Int  Rate

2014 Texas Tech Big 12 FR      QB   7 105  185  56.8  1547 8.4   9.1    16   4   151.2

*2015 Texas Tech Big 12 SO     QB 13 364  573  63.5  4653 8.1   8.2   36  15  147.2

2016 Texas Tech Big 12 JR       QB 12 388  591  65.7   5052 8.5   9.2   41 10  157.0

Career Texas Tech                               857 1349  63.5 11252 8.3  8.8    93 29 152.0

Mahomes is an ESPN Sports Center highlight machine. Has elite arm strength and loves to improvise. Throws every ball with the intent of being a hero. Incredible numbers in Texas Tech’s Air Raid O.

Mahomes will tantalize many GM’s with his playmaking ability. He simply makes throws no other prospect in this draft and many already in the league are capable of. He has a professional athlete pedigree and his love of the game comes through on the tape. Prototypical size and plus plus arm strength.

A gunslinging gambler who never seems comfortable in the pocket. Mechanics are meant for mere mortals, not Mahomes. Of the hundreds of reps I watched, I can count the throws from the pocket on one hand. Teams will be frustrated trying to tame him.

Bottom Line: Much of his tape reminds me of a raw Brett Favre, for better and worse. His love of the game, athletic instincts and arm strength will entice a team to take him in the first round. If that team thinks they can throw him out there right away or get him to play more disciplined will likely be frustrated. If a team is willing to let him improvise, create and give him room to grow while they smooth out some of the rough edges, they may get something special out of him.

Floor - Jamarcus Russell
Ceiling - Brett Farve
- Jay Cutler

Bills Risk/Reward : Classic Boom or Bust candidate. Flashes signs of greatness but is light years away from being a polished NFL QB. Will be fun to watch and will be a regular on ESPN for both amazing plays and not top 10 plays. Will sell seats and jerseys, but likely will never consistently win. Will cost a 1st round pick. If somehow he slips to the 2nd round or you can trade down, roll the dice but pass on him at 10.

Nathan Peterman

QB Pittsburgh

6’-2” 226 lbs

40yd: 4.82

Radar: 49 (Left), 49 (Right)

Wonderlic: 33

Year  School       Conf   Class Pos G Cmp Att Pct     Yds   Y/A  AY/A   TD Int Rate

2013 Tennessee SEC   FR       QB 3  10    23   43.5     45   2.0  -2.0     0 2 42.5

*2014 Tennessee SEC  SO      QB  6  10    20   50.0    49   2.5   2.5    0  0 70.6

*2015  Pitt             ACC JR       QB 13 193 313  61.7  2287  7.3   7.4   20 8 139.0

2016   Pitt             ACC  SR      QB 13 185 306 60.5  2855  9.3 10.1 27 7 163.4

Career  Overall                                    398 662 60.1 5236   7.9  8.2 47 17 144.9

Peterman has a floor that most closely matches his ceiling in this draft. He is the most NFL ready prospect despite only being a 2 year starter. 

There is a lot to like about Peterman. He has elite pocket awareness and along with Trubisky is the most accurate passer in the draft, especially in the short to mid range area of the field. He ran a pro-style offense at Pitt. Plays with great balance and reads the field well smoothly working through his progressions. Tough as nails and will wait that extra second for his receiver to get open and take the hit. Can extend plays rolling out of the pocket and although he isn't the most athletic in this class, knows when to hang in the pocket or tuck it and run for plus yards.

Peterman only has adequate arm strength and struggles to throw with accuracy when unable to set his feet properly and drive the ball. Tends to float passes to the sidelines and may struggle at the NFL level to drive the ball into tight windows.

Bottom Line: Peterman is one of the safer prospects in the draft at QB. He can step in day one as a reliable back up and in the right system, be a solid starter down the road. Fits a West coast offense that will best take advantage of his football IQ, timing and accuracy. Bill Walsh said if you want to evaluate a QB prospect, look at his feet and Peterman has the best feet in the draft.

Floor: Josh McCown

Ceiling: Drew Brees

Prediction: Frank Reich

Bills Risk/Reward: Peterman can be had day 2, likely in the 3rd round, where he would be worth the investment. Worst case you have a reliable back up QB with a chance to develop and groom to take over down the road. He is not the flashiest of prospects in this draft, but may represent the best value. He would be a good fit for Dennison's offense.

Chad Kelly

QB Ole Miss

6’-2” 224 lbs

40yd: N/A

Radar: 59* Estimated

Wonderlic: 22

 Year   School   Conf    Class Pos   G   Cmp   Att   Pct   Yds    Y/A   AY/A   TD   Int   Rate

*2013 Clemson ACC       FR  QB     5     10  17    58.8  58    3.4      3.4      0      0    87.5

*2015 Ole Miss SEC        JR  QB   13    298 458    65.1 4042 8.8    8.9    31    13    155.9

2016 Ole Miss    SEC      SR  QB    9    205  328    62.5 2758 8.4    8.5    19     8    147.4

Career  Overall                                     513  803    63.9 6858 8.5    8.6    50    21    150.9

Kelly has as much arm talent as anyone in this draft possessing a cannon for an arm. Has NFL bloodlines as the nephew of Bills HOF QB Jim Kelly. Will need to answer maturity and decision making problems both on and off the field.

Kelly seemed to put his immaturity issues behind him at Clemson when he arrived at Mississippi. After winning a tight battle, he flashed first round ability in the tough SEC highlighted by orchestrating a stunning victory over Alabama. He can make every throw on the field, throws with touch, reads defenses and protections at a sophisticated level.

Forced out at Clemson after confronting Coach Swinney when he wasn't named starter. Involved in bar fights and rushed the field to defend his brother during a high school football game. Was not invited to the combine due to his off the field problems. Senior year cut short after blowing out his knee and was unable to complete his pro-day workout and required surgery on his wrist. Ton's of baggage.

Bottom Line: If you base your evaluation solely on his tape and measurables, he is the best QB in this draft. His off the field issues along with the injuries likely drops him to day 3 or even possibly to UDFA status. Kelly is the poster child of boom or bust. If he can mature, he can develop into an elite franchise QB. If he doesn't wake up, he will be out of the league in a year. While the off the field issues show a pattern of immaturity, none of them rise to the level of some of the other issues with domestic violence or drug abuse as other troubled prospects. He's certainly guilty of arrogance and being thin skinned but also is reported to be a football junkie logging long hours studying film and perfecting his craft. 


Floor: Johnny Manziel

Ceiling: Jim Kelly 2.0

Prediction: Matthew Stafford

Bills Risk/Reward: If the nephew of Chad Kelly is drafted by a team on day 3 and develops into a franchise QB, it may be a final nail in the emotional coffin of the Bills Mafia. The Bills as a franchise may never live it down. Buffalo is either the best or worst place for Chad to be given the pressure of wearing the same uniform that his uncle wore in the same town and stadium. There may be no good answer for the Bills, pass and risk watching him thrive elsewhere or take him and have him be a major distraction and bust. However, on day 3 and as high as the 5th round, the potential reward outweighs the risk and the Bills should roll the dice.

Kyle Sloter

QB Northern Colorado

6’-5” 211 lbs

40yd: 4.79

Radar: 58* at pro-day

Wonderlic: 38* at pro-day

Year  Team     G Cmp Att Comp % Yds Yd/A TDs Int Sacked Yds

2013 SouMis  6     0     0 -   0 -   0   0     0     0

2014 Sou Mis  6     0    0 -   0 -   0   0     0     0

2015 No Col   11     0     1     0.0 0   0.0   0     0 0 0

2016 NoCol    11  198 319   62.1   2656  8.3  29  10  21  127

Career             34 198 320   61.9  2656  8.3  29  10   21  127

Sloter is a true hard luck story and a case of a prospect falling through the cracks through no fault of his own. Woefully inexperienced having started only 11 D1 games in his career at QB. However, the small sample size shows an intriguing prospect with a laser quick release, prototypical height, toughness and a rocket for an arm.

I won't pretend that I knew much about Sloter until recently but a 38 on the Wonderlic at his pro-day (tops in the class) sent me in search of tape. One 39 1/2 minute long YouTube highlight reel later (see below), I was intrigued. More research revealed a true hard luck story of a QB who was denied chance after chance he seemingly deserved. He was dealt a devastating blow after he transferred from Southern Miss to Northern Colorado when he was told his credits didn't transfer and he needed to make them up with classes during practice time. He persevered and ended up winning the starting job and went on to break multiple school records this past season. He hit 58 MPH on the radar gun at his pro day workout, which would have been tops at the combine. He also reportedly runs in the 4.5 range and played WR after being passed over for starting QB at S. Miss. The film (below) has multiple jaw dropping throws and a few note worthy runs. The kid flashes a rocket arm from a low release point where the ball jumps out of his hand in a blur. Capable of both standing tall in the pocket and delivering the ball in rhythm or rolling out of the pocket and accurately throwing on the run. Shows good patience and timing throwing receivers open.

Obviously the biggest concern is the lack of experience. His footwork can be inconsistent and the ball sails on him at times as a result. He will benefit by being in a pro-training program to add some bulk to his frame so he can survive an NFL season.  

Bottom Line: More info needed but absolutely worth a day 3 pick and definitely would be worth  bringing in as an UDFA. He may be the best kept secret in the draft, but in an exclusive interview with PFW, he said he has received interest from multiple teams including the Bills and has had a private workout with the Falcons. He's heard his name may be called as early as the 4th round.


Floor: John Skelton

Ceiling: Aaron Rogers

Prediction: Joe Flacco

Bills Risk/Reward: Sloter has talked with the Bills and they are one of the teams that has shown him the most interest. He would be a great fit on the roster, having experience in a diverse system that utilizes some pro style concepts, plus athleticism and a rocket arm. It also helps he has played in cold weather. He'd be a great day 3 option as a developmental QB with a ton of upside.

Top 5's: December, QB's

Top 5's: December, QB's

Mike Watkins



1. M.Trubisky, North Carolina

2. D.Kizer, Notre Dame

3. P.Mahomes, Texas Tech

4. D.Webb, Cal

5.D.Watson, Clemson

Overview: I’m late to the Trubisky bandwagon but there is a lot to like about him and right now is the favorite to be the leader in the clubhouse for the top QB off the board. That said, I do  ot have a single first round grade on any QB in this draft and I don’t see that changing. That’s not to say there will not be QB’s selected in the first round, there will be. If you are a team in need of a QB your scouting department has a tall task ahead of him to unearth the QB’s who will be successful from this group


Who I like for the Bills: Bills seem set to roll with Tyrod for the foreseeable future. Behind him I imagine EJ will be allowed to leave and they have spent the year developing Cardale Jones to take his spot. That said I would like the Bills to spend another late round pick on a QB to stash in the 3 hole. The QB that I like right now is Greg Ward Jr. It comes with some fine print however. I’d like the Bills staff to duel train him as a emergency 3rd string QB and WR ala K.Stewert in the 90’s. Chances of that happening are slim but I believe the Bills staff could do it


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