There's been a lot of discussion on how the 2013 draft class for quarterbacks is somewhat of a muddled group. With no clear cut top talent at the position NFL talent evaluators working for clubs in need of a quarterback will have to find the qualities their teams value most in that position in the players available.
Bills Assistant GM Doug Whaley, who oversees the team's College Scouting Department and organizes the formation of the team's draft board, said this year's quarterback class is going to come down to skill set preference.
"In my opinion it's basically going to come down to what you value over other things," Whaley told Buffalobills.com. "All of these guys have a value and some things they do good and some things they don't do as well. So it's a matter of what value you put on the quarterback you want to lead your team."
Last year there was no debating who the top two quarterback prospects were. There was widespread consensus across the NFL. This year Whaley admits the picture heading into this week's NFL Combine is different.
"Is there an RG III or a Luck out there? From this point you can't see it," he said. "Could these guys develop into that? Yes. So if their strengths are strengths that you put a high value on then you'll like him better than another guy."
Much has been made about how a handful of the top senior quarterbacks did not improve on their junior seasons this past fall. Arkansas' Tyler Wilson's numbers were down. So were USC's Matt Barkley's, who also had a shoulder injury. N.C. State's Mike Glennon's statistics were flat. West Virginia's Geno Smith threw all six of his interceptions last season in his last eight games, six of them were losses.
A slip in production, when the expectations are the exact opposite might affect the opinion of the draft prognosticators, but that's not the case on the whole for NFL scouts.
"It doesn't affect us," said Whaley. "We'll look
at the full body of work. Yeah his junior year was this, but we're looking at his senior year primarily. If something triggers us to make us go back and look at the junior year we will. So we don't look at these guys until that year they're coming out. All that media hype we hear it, but we don't take it into consideration for our purposes of scouting."
Whaley referenced all the media chatter about how if Matt Barkley had come out a year earlier in the draft that he would've been the fourth overall pick to Cleveland.
"When you hear, 'Well if he would've come out last year he'd have been taken fourth overall.' We don't know that," said Whaley. "That's the media saying that. Is it true? I don't know because I didn't really pay attention to him because he wasn't a prospect coming out last year."
The reason Bills GM Buddy Nix and Whaley do not take any stock in those opinions is because the Bills have a scouting staff to do that.
"We pay scouts to formulate opinions," Whaley said. "We don't pay the gurus or the media or anybody else. We believe in the guys we have out there, like we say the foot soldiers. We'll listen to those guys, not this draft guy who said the player is going in the first round. That's good for his opinion, but how is that player going to work for the Bills? That's what we focus on."