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The Bills can’t pass on a quarterback, but first they have to get the No. 2 pick

Retired NFL lineman Geoff Schwartz takes a look at what has to happen for Buffalo to get their future signal caller.

NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL Draft can’t get here fast enough. We all agree right? As the draft approaches, the craziness around the three-day event gets intensified. And this year, it’s extra intense with a log jam of quarterbacks at the top of the draft. You know the names — Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, Josh Rosen, and Baker Mayfield. They all will, in whatever order, most likely be taken in the top five of the draft.

It’s a general consensus that the Browns are taking a quarterback, and I believe it will be Darnold. That means the New York Giants, at No. 2, hold all the cards. They can shop the pick, and it’s the Bills that should do whatever it takes to get it.

With the Jets trading up to three, they aren’t moving anywhere; they’ll take whatever quarterback is available in their draft spot. That leaves Denver, Arizona, and Buffalo as potential options to trade with the Giants. The Broncos and Cardinals signed Case Keenum and Sam Bradford, respectively, to lead them in the near future. While both these teams could use a young quarterback for the future, and will potentially draft one, the Bills need a quarterback now.

Buffalo’s general manager Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott never took a liking to Tyrod Taylor, even after he led the team to the playoffs last season. They dealt him to the Browns in the offseason.

That leaves them with two quarterbacks still on the roster. Nathan Peterman, a fifth-round pick last year who started one game and threw five interceptions. Former Bengals quarterback AJ McCarron signed a backup deal with the Bills last month.

The Bills need to draft a quarterback.

Buffalo currently sits at No. 12 and No. 22 in the first round, along with two picks in the second round and two in the third. They have plenty of ammo to get into the top five to draft the quarterback of the future, which should be their priority, considering there’s plenty of options in this draft for the quarterback of the future, while next season, it looks a down year for quarterbacks entering the draft.

There are two quarterbacks ready to roll now — Darnold and Rosen. With the Browns presumably drafting Darnold, that leaves Rosen for the Bills.

Rosen would be an ideal fit for offensive coordinator Brian Daboll.

Dabol prefers the classic pocket passer. These are the quarterbacks he’s worked with as an offensive coordinator — Brady Quinn (two different teams!), Matt Moore, Derek Andersen (not that year he was good), Chad Henne, and Matt Cassel. Daboll was an offensive coach with the Patriots, but didn’t directly coach Tom Brady. However you slice it, he likes the classic definition of a quarterback.

Looking at Daboll’s history with quarterbacks, plus seeing the Bills draft and play Peterman, sign McCarron, and jettison Taylor, that leads to me believe that Rosen is the play for the Bills, or possibly Josh Allen, though his flaws would scare me out of trading up for him. Baker Mayfield and Lamar Jackson don’t fit the mold of the Bills quarterbacks.

Rosen is the best quarterback right now, if we are looking at on the field attributes, out of the top five. There are zero questions about that in my mind. The issues that surround Rosen are mostly about his mental makeup, which seem blown out of proportion. If you have concerns about Rosen, they should be about his injury history, which would concern me, especially the head injuries.

For the Bills to draft Rosen they have to trade with the Giants to get their second pick.

Another possibility is the Browns do take Josh Allen with the first pick, which would leave the Bills with Darnold, which would also fit their identity.

In 2016, the Eagles traded with the Browns for their second pick and eventually drafted Carson Wentz. That trade took the Eagles swapping firsts that year, giving up third- and fourth-round picks, a first-round pick in 2017 and a second-round pick in 2018. Last season, the Bears traded up to two for Mitchell Trubisky. They swapped their third overall pick, a third- and fourth-round pick, plus a 2018 third-round pick.

I’m not a mock draft guy, but the Bills will at least need to part with the 12th pick, a third-rounder, and an early pick in the draft next year. The Bills may need to sweeten the offer with either a second-round pick or maybe their other first-round pick since the Giants would be moving all the way back to the 12th spot. In the two previous trades, the teams trading out of two were able to stay in the top 10. Something else to consider is the Giants could be getting offers from other teams and the Bills would need to add even more to the offer to get their guy.

The Bills need to make this trade before the night of the draft, because if the Browns do indeed draft Josh Allen, the Giants would love to take Darnold.

This draft season has been intense, and I can’t wait for the draft to finally get here. I’m sure it’s even more intense for Bills fans waiting for their team to finally draft the quarterback of the future.