INDIANAPOLIS - Buffalo Bills General Manager Buddy Nix talked at length Thursday about the prospect of drafting a quarterback with the third pick in the NFL Draft but also stressed there are other options for his team in the first round.
Will it be hard to pass up a franchise quarterback at No. 3, Nix was asked? "It wouldn’t be hard if we thought somebody else was better, but we haven’t made that decision and in the next two months we will," Nix said at the NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Nix said his definition of a franchise quarterback was: "A guy who can win for you for years. That to me is what it is. You get a lot of guys that’ll play good for you a year or two, but its somebody that can be a 10-year guy where you don’t have to worry about that postion any more."
"We really like Ryan Fitzpatrick," Nix said. "He’s tough, he’s smart, he’s proved he can win for us. We’re not in a position where we’ve got to have a quarterback. There’s people in the draft that do have to have one. There is some areas – and I’ll be honest with you – that we’re looking at very strong that’s not quarterback."
Conversely, however, Nix said: "If you wait ‘till you absolutely don’t have a quarterback, normally somebody else will be in the front office making the decision to draft one."
The Bills will look hard at Auburn University quarterback Cam Newton, the Heisman Trophy winner.
Nix on Newton's strengths: "Athletic ability, size. He’s got a strong arm. He throws better than people think he does and obviously he can beat you running.
On Newton's throwing mechanics: "I think they’re good. But see I don’t put a lot of stock in that. A lot of people do. I saw Doug Flutie throw it underhanded. So I don’t know why it matters if you get it there. The best thing is getting it out on time and hitting what you aim at."
Newton made news this week by saying he saw himself as an entertainer. "You never know how that was said," Nix said. "You’d have to hear it to know. It doesn’t bother me. If you like him … It’s kind of like scouting. You can make excuses for him if you like him, and if you like him you can say he’s really confident.”
Nix coached at Auburn for five years, from 1976 to 1980. He was asked if his connections there would ensure he'd get a good read on the top Auburn prospects. "Absolutely. Nick Farley and Cam, we’ll know as much about them as you can possibly know. His (Newton's) landlady ran the dorm when I was there. I’ve got kin folks there that better not tell me a story."