ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay applauded the Buffalo Bills for getting the best player in the NFL Draft who would help quarterback EJ Manuel. At the same time, McShay remains iffy on Manuel as the franchise quarterback of the Bills.
Here's McShay on a conference call today in response to the question: Would he have traded next year's No. 1 pick for Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins:
"I understand what Buffalo did. Sammy Watkins is an elite player. You’re sitting there at No. 9, and you’re worried you’re not going to get one of the four elite players in this draft. I’m talking about Jadeveon Clowney, Greg Robinson, Sammy Watkins and Khalil Mack. Two of those guys are defensive players, and one of those guys is an offensive tackle. It’s highly unlikely you’re getting up to 1 or 2, regardless. I think at the end of the day, what the Bills ultimately wanted to do was go out and get the best player possible to put around EJ Manuel. If I had EJ Manuel as my starting quarterback, it would be a similar focus. That’s the best way I can put it. I don’t know that I would have made the trade. I know it’s giving up a lot. But I think it’s very clear there is urgency to get playmakers around EJ Manuel. If this thing’s going to work in Buffalo, they’ve got to have the best supporting cast possible. EJ has a lot of developing to do. I love EJ. EJ’s one of my favorite human beings I’ve been around in the draft process in the 15 years I’ve been doing this. But I said coming out, I thought it was a reach. I didn’t think they should have drafted him. And I think he has a lot of developing still to do. I think they recognize that after his first year. If they’re going to make this work, they better get the right people around him. For that, I applaud them for recognizing, self-evaluating, being aggressive and attacking the cause."