The Bills have a budding franchise quarterback in Josh Allen. That didn’t stop them from taking a fifth-round flier on Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm.
G.M. Brandon Beane explained this week during a visit to #PFTPM the rationale behind the Fromm selection.
“He wasn’t in our plans, he really wasn’t,” Beane said. “But you set your board and if a player is sticking out especially at the quarterback, that is the premium position in all sports, and is definitely in our game. So we had a pretty good grade on Jake and he was clearly sticking out on our board, the highest player, and unless you got three guys that you are going, ‘Man, we are set for years to come,’ why would you ignore the premium position? And that is why we selected Jake, and he is a winner.”
There are different schools of thought on whether winning matters when it comes to quarterback play. The truth is in the middle — that a great quarterback can help his team win by inspiring confidence, and by elevating those around him.
“If you look at what he did, he held off [Jacob] Eason who ended up transferring, and then he held off Justin Fields who is at Ohio State, so he has got to have something to him,” Beane explained. “He is very smart and scored very high on the Wonderlic. If he had all the measurables, if he was 6’5” with a cannon arm, this was a guy that would have been talked about a lot higher. Obviously, he has a lot to prove and, listen, this is nothing at Josh Allen or even Matt Barkley. This was just a player on our board like we do at any other position and that we had a high value on him and we decided to choose him.”
Beane was asked whether Allen’s style makes it more important to have competent backups, given the potential for injury.
“That is real,” Beane said, “and we do have more designed runs with him than the Patriots have with Tom Brady or the Packers have with Aaron Rogers and some of these guys, so that is part of Josh’s game as he continues to develop his skill set as a pocket passer. So it’s important, and again I think Matt Barkley has done a really solid job, and he is going into his last [contract] year and we will see after this season if we would extend him or not, but you know Fromm just gives us a young player at a very good value for four years and again it was just too hard to pass up where we had him falling in the fifth round.”
At best, Fromm will become Buffalo’s No. 2 for several years, providing an insurance policy for Allen and, possibly, a trade opportunity for the Bills during Fromm’s fourth season. Regardless, when a player stands out that clearly on the overall board in round five, most teams will take the player and figure out how best to utilize him later.