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Bills fans don't want to consider this position as a first-round possibility, but Doug Whaley might


INDIANAPOLIS -- What would be the Buffalo Bills' worst idea for the first round of this year's draft?

Bills fans should brace themselves for this quote from General Manager Doug Whaley today at the NFL scouting combine.

"Because of our situation on our roster, we can pick the best player available," Whaley said. "If it's a running back, we will go after a running back."


Since the Bills were founded, they've had an infatuation with drafting running backs. In 2010, they drafted C.J. Spiller ninth overall even though they already had a pair of 1,000-yard rushers on the roster, Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch.

Since 1978, when they selected Terry Miller fifth overall, the Bills have drafted more first-round running backs than any other NFL team. The Bills have taken eight of them.

And with running backs becoming increasingly fungible -- many effective rushers go undrafted or are found in the later rounds -- justifying such a high pick is near impossible.

"He'd have to be very special like a Adrian Peterson, just because of the devaluation of the position," Whaley said.

Whew. That's better.

But notice he didn't use Spiller as the example. The Bills have the ninth pick again this year.

"Most teams, you've got to have two now just because of the laws of physics," Whaley said. "Everybody's bigger, stronger, faster. And those collisions wear these guys down.

"It's tough to say you'd take one, but there's always exceptions to the rule."

  • CD1083

    Jackson can't play forever. Another bruiser back wouldn't be a bad thing to have waiting in the wings.

    • Big Frank

      First round picks need to contribute immediately, not wait in the wings.

  • jim

    I'm not clear why Bills fans should be concerned about the draft considering the overall ineptitude of the front office. Fans instead should better understand the big picture, starring Ralph Wilson and the dedicated idiocy of his lackey Russ Brandon, who are wholly responsible for making the team into the joke it is today.

  • Dave

    Why read any more into Whaleys statement than the Bills will pick the best player available? It won't be a RB but it could be a QB.

  • Ron

    If you want a great RB, draft seven Offensive linemen!

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About the reporters

Vic Carucci returned to The Buffalo News as a Bills beat reporter in September. Carucci covered the Bills for 17 years before joining as a columnist in 1999. Prior to rejoining The News, he spent three years as a senior editor for the Cleveland Browns.

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida.