The Bills haven't been very good at finding a franchise quarterback since Jim Kelly retired (the book is still open on Tyrod Taylor). They also haven't been lucky. The only time they used their first pick in a draft on a quarterback (2013) was regarded as one of the weakest quarterback drafts in recent memory. The experts were right in their assessment. That '13 class might have been the worst ever for quarterbacks.
But the Bills needed their guy to replace Ryan Fitzpatrick and took -- reached, to be precise -- EJ Manuel at No. 16 overall. Most teams had Manuel as a second-round pick or worse. Some draft gurus didn't think there was a QB on the board who was a worthy of a second-round pick. History shows that might very well have been the case.
No quarterback from the 2013 class is currently an NFL starter. There is at least one starter from every other draft going back to 2007 (all you need to know is that Trent Edwards was the prize of that class). The Jets' Geno Smith has the most starts (29) and yards (5,836) of the QBs from the '13 draft. Any Bills fan who remembers Smith throwing three picks in the first several minutes against the Bills two years ago would argue that Smith isn't even a decent NFL backup.
Mike Glennon, now the Bucs' backup, is second with 18 starts and 4,025 passing yards. Manuel is third with 16 starts and 3,381 yards. If Doug Whaley has his way, EJ might eventually be the class of a bad class. The only other QB from the 2013 class with an NFL start? Landry Jones has two career starts and 513 passing yards for the Steelers.
Matt Barkley, no starts, 300 passing yards. Ryan Nassib, the Syracuse guy who some felt would be a fit with Doug Marrone: Zero starts, 128 yards. Surely you remember Sean Renfree (11 career yards) and B.J. Daniels (7 passing yards.)
So the Bills decide to use their first pick on a franchise QB, and there isn't a single one in the draft. Oh, they did draft J.P. Losman in the first round in '04, trading up to get him at No. 22 overall after picking Lee Evans earlier. More bad luck. Eli Manning, Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger all went in the first 11 picks of that draft and are all still productive NFL starters.