Flight Path

The Buffalo Bills drafted a quarterback last night. It was kind of a big deal. They traded out of the eighth pick and down to 16, picking up second- and seventh-round picks in the process. I was pleased by this development. I was also pleased that no other team took a quarterback. Every draft-eligible quarterback in the nation was available to the Buffalo Bills.

They picked Florida State quarterback E.J. Manuel. I was disappointed.

I’m not a draft expert, so the rest of my night was spent trying to figure out why I felt that way. The football people at my football team did exactly what they wanted on Thursday night. They were excited, and I was not. I can’t say why Geno Smith or Matt Barkley or Ryan Nassib are better than E.J. Manuel. They are probably not. What was my problem?

Then I figured it out. Somehow I had forgotten that I don’t trust anyone involved with this pick. I don’t trust anyone in the Buffalo Bills organization at all. I don’t understand why Buddy Nix still has a job. I don’t understand why Russ Brandon was given a promotion. I don’t have any reason to believe that Doug Whaley will be better at this than anyone he eventually replaces.

I have absolutely zero faith in the Buffalo Bills to make the right pick, or to do anything of any importance correctly. This is because they’ve done almost nothing right for the last 13 years. That’s what it comes down to. Skepticism is at an all-time high, and I think that’s more than justified.

Buddy Nix is the guy who drafted E.J. Manuel last night. That’s the same human being who gave Ryan Fitzpatrick a gigantic contract extension, though later it would sound like some vagrant had snuck into his office and drafted up the paperwork while he was out to lunch. The Bills will pay Ryan Fitzpatrick to stay away from Buffalo this season. In the few weeks since that happened, I had forgotten my interest in paying Buddy and Co. to do the same.

All of that came back when the Bills actually did something last night. I don’t trust them as far as I can throw them, and it’s difficult for a human being to throw an entire football franchise. I’m incredibly skeptical of our new head coach. To say I’m skeptical of Manuel is an understatement. He’s just the shiny new thing put on top of the pile of things that can’t convert flight path to faith.