Who is Bills’ worst draft pick of last decade?

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Nick Wojton
·2 min read
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The Buffalo Bills faithful have good reason to trust their current front office at the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft.

Head coach Sean McDermott and general manager Brandon Beane, contrary to popular belief, actually can’t walk on water. They’re with their own faults and misses at the draft. It’s hard to hit on every single player. But in most cases with the draft? Things have gone well with the current front office.

Bleacher Report reflected just that in a recent ranking.

Each NFL team is with their tough times and B/R pegged the biggest draft mistake of every team in the league from the past decade. For the Bills, it was not anyone selected by McDermott and Beane. Instead the move was the team’s selection of quarterback EJ Manuel back in 2013.

First, here’s B/R’s breakdown:

The Bills went into the 2013 draft desperate to find a franchise quarterback. They settled on EJ Manuel, a winner during his time with the Florida State Seminoles but a prospect who needed to polish his raw mechanics.

Manuel couldn’t clean up his game enough, going just 6-11 from 2013 to 2016. He completed a meager 58.3 percent of his passes and threw just 19 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.

Buffalo turned to Kyle Orton for most of 2014 and Tyrod Taylor for the majority of the 2015 and ’16 seasons, letting Manuel walk in free agency following the 2016 campaign.

He had unproductive stints with the Raiders—where he became the first quarterback to lose a game in four countries—and Chiefs before he retired in 2019.

Manuel was a classic chapter of the Bills’ drought years. He was yanked from the starting lineup in 2014 despite having a .500 record in favor of Orton.

Yes, in a bit of Manuel’s defense, the team was 2-2 when he was taken out.

From there, it was clear the damage was done and his time was cooked with the Bills.

While Manuel wasn’t good enough in the end for the Bills… as the old saying goes, timing is everything.

In 2018, the Bills needed a quarterback. That draft class was stacked by comparison to 2013 and Buffalo landed Josh Allen. In 2013, the Bills needed a quarterback… and they might have just let the best QB to come from that draft class walk in free agency: Matt Barkley. Others include Tyler Bray, Mike Glennon, and Geno Smith.

The Bills were in the wrong place at the wrong time to draft a QB in 2013, and Manuel landing on this list shows just that.

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