Bills face major decisions at quarterback after Ryan Fitzpatrick release

Rick Stewart

Syracuse's Ryan Nassib is a player who makes sense for the Bills, but where should he be taken in the draft?

The Buffalo Bills are at a crossroads following the Tuesday release of quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, which leaves the roster bare at the position. Only Tarvaris Jackson, the backup for the Bills during the 2012 season, and Aaron Corp, a developmental passer that has never played in an NFL game, remain.

Simply put, the Bills will need to add talent at the quarterback position in the next two months and the player added will have an inside track to become the starter in 2013.

Following a season that featured Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson all leading their respective teams to the postseason in their rookie seasons, that may not sound like such a daunting idea, but the quarterback class of the 2013 NFL Draft hasn't exactly received rave reviews. In fact, ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. said earlier in the offseason that there isn't a quarterback worth a first-round pick in the class.

However, the only other immediate option for the Bills is to look to a very thin class of free agents. With Jason Campbell, Rex Grossman and Byron Leftwich among the headlining free agents, it's hard to argue that there's anyone on the market that presents a better option than Fitzpatrick or Jackson.

Barring a trade for a player like Matt Flynn, Ryan Mallett or Nick Foles, the Bills will essentially be forced to enter the 2013 NFL Draft desperate for a passer.

The most logical target for the Bills in the draft is Ryan Nassib, the quarterback who played under new Bills head coach Doug Marrone for the last four years at Syracuse. With steady improvements through each of his four seasons as starter and the large hand measurements that are advantageous for cold-weather teams, all signs point toward Nassib, but when do the Bills select him?

Dan Kadar of SB Nation ranks Nassib as the No. 93 prospect in the draft and doesn't crack the top five in his quarterback rankings, but sitting and waiting for your starting quarterback in the second or third round can easily go wrong. Especially if teams know which player you are targeting and make moves to take him earlier.

But as crazy as sitting and waiting for Nassib to fall is, taking him with the eighth overall selection seems crazier. Perhaps the easier route would be to target the passer that most consider to be the best in the draft, West Virginia's Geno Smith. Even that could be difficult, though, as a trade up to the top two picks could be necessary to secure the top quarterback in the draft.

If Nassib is the player that the Bills truly want leading their team in 2013, though, taking the Syracuse quarterback at eighth overall might be the most logical move for a team that is now presumably desperate to find a franchise guy.

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Ranking the NFL’s top 50 free agents

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