Nathan Peterman was named the Bills' starting quarterback for Sunday's game against San Diego. Here are five things to know about him:
1. He put up big-time numbers in a pro-style offense. Pittsburgh averaged 40.92 points per game last year, setting a school record. Peterman went 398 of 662 for 5,236 yards and 47 touchdowns, and also rushed for 525 yards and another five scores. The Panthers ran a pro-style system that had Peterman take snaps from under center -- a rarity these days in college.
"To have some familiarity with that I think is going to help me a lot in Buffalo," Peterman said in the spring.
Bills coach Sean McDermott stressed that Peterman's experience was a big factor in what attracted the Bills to him.
"When you look at his accuracy and the timing of his throws at the position and his ability to work from under center, that was important for us," McDermott said. "That’s not something you see very often in a college game."
2. He's gone through adversity. Peterman started his college career at Tennessee. As a freshman, he started a game against Florida that was pretty much disastrous. He went 4 of 11 passing for 5 yards and two interceptions in a 31-17 loss, and broke his right thumb.
"He’s learned some valuable lessons early on in his young life," McDermott said after the draft. "Went into a new situation, basically earned the respect of his teammates and then goes and takes his team and wins some big-time football games."
3. He played his best against the best. Peterman was named the Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week after throwing for 308 yards and five touchdowns in a 43-42 victory against eventual national champion Clemson. Peterman became the first player to throw for at least five touchdowns and no interceptions against an AP top-three opponent since 2004.
"He led his football team to a win against the eventual national champions," McDermott said. "At Clemson. That’s hard to do. The leadership part of the job, at quarterback, of all positions, that’s important as we evaluate those intangibles."
4. The Bills have done something they haven't in more than 20 years. That would be draft quarterbacks in back-to-back years. Buffalo took Cardale Jones in 2016, followed by Peterman this year. The last two quarterbacks drafted in consecutive years were Frank Reich (third round, 1985) and Brian McClure (12th round, 1986).
For fans who have lamented the amount of quarterbacks the Bills have taken in recent years, the selection of Peterman can be viewed as a step in the right direction.
5. He has a huge fan in Jon Gruden. The former Bucs and Raiders coach and current ESPN Monday Night Football analyst had Peterman on his quarterback series leading up to the draft. Gruden gushed about Peterman, saying "I think he’s going to be a real good pro quarterback. I just have a real confidence in that. He can memorize, he can execute any play you dream up, and he loves it. I’m smitten with him a little bit as a player."
Gruden's not the only one, too.
Buffalo native Greg Gabriel, the former college scouting director of the Bears, said on Twitter "Nate Peterman will become a starting QB in Buffalo. He's this year's Kirk Cousins."