INDIANAPOLIS --- Drafting only four quarterbacks since Jim Kelly has not quite worked out for the Buffalo Bills. So no wonder General Manager Doug Whaley is "absolutely" considering drafting a quarterback in the early rounds despite Tyrod Taylor's Pro Bowl season.
Do the Bills go quarterback at No. 19 overall? Probably not. Rex Ryan's defense needs work above all.
But if they take a quarterback in the middle rounds, Stanford's Kevin Hogan could make sense. Remember, Whaley has lamented the fact publicly that college quarterbacks today can't read defenses on a NFL-level. Spread offenses are proliferating at an unprecedented rate. Quarterbacks' knowledge was so limited that Whaley told the Wall Street Journal he was “a little nervous about the long-term future of this game.”
If Buffalo is patient and wants someone who has read a defense, maybe Hogan enters the equation. He played in a pro-style offense at Stanford, throwing for 2,867 yards, 27 touchdowns and only eight interceptions last fall. So he points to the fact that he played under center most of his career and "handled the offense at the line of scrimmage." He made all run checks, pass checks.
"A student of the game," Hogan said. "I feel like I am able to learn offenses very well."
Hogan met with the Bills on Wednesday night for an informal meeting and said it went well. He drew up plays and concepts for the coaches and "came away from it very happy."
Granted, Hogan led a very run-first offense --- he threw less than 20 times in six games last season. CBS Sports projects Hogan as a sixth-round pick. But a lack of attempts at the position, even in the fourth, fifth and sixth rounds has hurt the Bills through 16 playoff-less seasons.
"I feel like I've put a lot of good things on tape," Hogan said. "I know that all these coaches are going to watch my tape and that's who I am. I'm just trying to improve where I can. I'm trying to make strides with my base in the pocket and really tighten up my base. Have a more compact delivery. I feel like once I put it all together, I'll be good to go."
So that'll be the question from scouts. He'll need to adjust his delivery.
Still, many other quarterbacks entering the NFL haven't called plays, haven't huddled.
"It's absolutely beneficial --- I've been taking snaps for five years under center," Hogan said. "I've called plays in the huddle. I've had to manage tons of different looks at the line and not looking to the sideline to see what the adjustment should be. So I feel extremely comfortable having to change protections. Readjust the 'Mike' point. Check run plays. Exotic blitzes. Just getting us into efficient plays."
Hogan has ideal size at 6 foot 3 1/4 inches, 218 pounds. And when he talks football, he'll impress teams. He can speak on a level that others in this draft class probably cannot.
"I go in and we just start talking X's and O's and concepts and defenses," Hogan said. "It's a lot of fun because you're speaking that language. As far as how I can compare to other quarterbacks, I'm not sure. But I feel comfortable talking to any of them about football.
"I'm happy with where I'm at. I'm happy with my upbringing in the West Coast system. And just from talking to guys who are playing on a number of different teams in the NFL, it translates very well."