2017 NFL Draft: Bills look for late-round quarterback gem with Nathan Peterman

The Bills don't have Tom Brady under center, unlike a certain team in their division (the Patriots), but their quarterback room isn't looking shabby, like another New York team (the Jets). They already have Tyrod Taylor as their starter and on Saturday, they added another developmental prospect to the mix.

With the 171st overall pick (fifth round) in the 2017 NFL Draft, the Bills selected Nathan Peterman from Pittsburgh. NFLDraftScout.com's Spencer Hall gave the Bills a B+ for the pick.

"Good spot here for a QB some really like," Hall wrote. "Should have some time to continue his development behind Tyrod Taylor."

Unsurprisingly, Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi was also a fan of the pick.

"I think Buffalo got an incredible steal in Nathan," he said in a statement. "He is a highly intelligent player and leader. There's a reason he was the ACC's pass efficiency (leader) as a senior. He played a major role in orchestrating one of the nation's most explosive scoring offenses. Nathan will be a great asset on and off the field for the Bills."

Peterman will join a quarterback room that also includes Taylor (the starter), Cardale Jones (a fourth-round pick last year), T.J. Yates and Josh Woodrum. Ignore the names other than Taylor, because the Bills didn't draft Peterman to be stuck behind them. Yates and Woodrum are fillers, while Jones hasn't shown anything yet. If the Bills were confident in Jones' ability to develop into the quarterback of the future, they wouldn't have taken Peterman in the fifth round. The plan has to be for Peterman to eventually take over for Taylor or at the very least, function as a capable QB2. Taylor's dead cap becomes much more manageable after this season. 

In two seasons at Pittsburgh, Peterman completed 61.1 percent of his passes, averaged 8.3 yards per attempt, and threw 47 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. He ran a system that should help him more easily adjust to the NFL than quarterbacks coming from spread systems. That's a solid background, but there's a reason why Peterman was still available in the fifth round. He needs work.

Here's what NFLDraftScout.com's Dane Brugler wrote in the weakness section of Peterman's scouting report:

Erratic ball placement and makes receivers work for the reception. Inconsistent weight transfer and his feet and eyes are often on different pages. Pre-determines throws. Inconsistent eye use and bird-dogs his reads. Guilty of panicked decisions, forcing the ball into heavy coverage. Not the type of athlete who will make defenders miss. Needs to hold the ball tighter when scrambling with several fumbles on the game tapes studied. Simplistic passing offense at Pitt that relied on a lot of roll-outs and half-field reads.

Brugler added that Peterman can be "a reliable NFL backup with starting upside with improvements in certain areas." The point being, don't expect him to supplant Taylor in the near future. This is a long-term investment.

I'm not a Bills fan, but I like the idea behind the pick. Plus, this makes it look a bit nicer:

Matt Cassel ended up throwing more interceptions than touchdowns for Dallas.

CBS Sports Writer

Sean Wagner-McGough joined CBS Sports in 2015 after graduating from UC Berkeley. A native of Seattle, Sean now resides in the Bay Area. He spends his spare time defending Jay Cutler on Twitter. Full Bio

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