Bills GM Doug Whaley spoke at the team’s annual pre-draft luncheon, and Jay Skurski of the Buffalo News relayed some of the key talking points:
- Said Whaley: “We can go any position We’re set up. If a guy is there with our pick, whenever that pick is – be it one, eight, nine, 20 – if he’s the guy we think can get us to the playoffs, there’s nothing that will preclude us from taking that guy. That’s the beauty of how we set it up this year.”
- Surrounding quarterback E.J. Manuel with talent and giving him the best chance to thrive is a high priority.
- Whaley admits to trying to the use the media to his advantage in the time leading up to the draft: “There are things that you put out there to see if someone bites and there are some things you put out there that are true. You have people read between the lines and you don’t want to show your hand. I’m sure everyone is doing the same thing,”
- When asked about the possibility of trading up, perhaps as high as No. 1 overall, Whaley said he’s open to all options and “it all depends on the deal.”
- In terms of the draft pool, receiver and offensive tackle “have high-end talent and depth.”
- The old-school philosophy that left tackle is more important than right tackle is changing thanks to the evolution of defenses using speed rushers on both sides of the line. Accordingly, Whaley believes a plug-and-play right tackle would be worth a first-round pick.
- The team is seeking more depth at defensive end and linebacker.
- The team’s scouting staff considers Clemson’s Sammy Watkins’ talent “on par” with A.J. Green and Julio Jones, comparing Watkins’ style to Percy Harvin‘s.