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ESPN ranks Bills' backup quarterbacks No. 22 in league-wide analysis

What would happen if Tyrod Taylor were to get hurt? That's something the Buffalo Bills are clearly hoping they don't have to answer in 2017.

The team's backup quarterback situation is largely unsettled. Veteran T.J. Yates was signed this offseason, and has a good handle on offensive coordinator Rick Dennison's system having played for him before in Houston. After that, second-year veteran Cardale Jones and rookie fifth-round draft pick Nathan Peterman are developmental prospects who figure to compete for one roster spot.

ESPN's Field Yates recently ranked all 32 NFL team's backup quarterback situations, placing the Bills No. 22 on the list.

Here was his explanation: "The Bills have a pair of interesting drafted quarterbacks on the roster, as both 2016 fourth-round pick Cardale Jones and rookie fifth-round pick Nathan Peterman are vying for top backup duties behind Tyrod Taylor. Veteran T.J. Yates was signed this offseason and gives Buffalo its most experienced thrower behind Taylor, but it's unlikely the Bills will keep four QBs."

Yates served as the No. 2 quarterback throughout the spring, and figures to be in that role when the team starts training camp Thursday. That means Peterman or Jones will have to beat him out for the backup job.

Other rankings Bills fans may find interesting include the Oakland Raiders at No. 15. The Raiders signed former Bills first-round draft choice EJ Manuel this offseason. "It's a young quarterback room for the Raiders, as 2013 first-round pick EJ Manuel, who signed as a free agent this offseason, serves as the elder statesman. Manuel is 6-11 as a starter in his career but gets a chance in a new organization after not fulfilling expectations in Buffalo. Last year's fourth-round pick, Connor Cook, who started the wild-card game loss to the Texans after Derek Carr's injury, has high upside. Although he struggled in that game -- 161 passing yards with one touchdown pass and three interceptions -- he'll be improved in Year 2 in the NFL."

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers rank No. 30 on Yates' list, with old friend Ryan Fitzpatrick as the No. 2 behind Jameis Winston.

"Fitzpatrick's time as a starter in the NFL is likely over -- he threw 17 interceptions in 11 starts for the Jets last season -- but he'll help Winston as the 2015 No. 1 overall pick continues on his promising arc," Yates wrote.

Finally, from the this-should-surprise-nobody-department, the New England Patriots come in at No. 1 on the list.

"Although the sample on Jimmy Garoppolo is still small -- he has attempted only 94 passes in his career -- it's clear that he is viewed across the league as a long-term starter in the NFL. His value to New England was shown through the Patriots' decision not to trade him this offseason, despite ardent efforts from the Browns. Jacoby Brissett showed promise in two starts last season and won the respect of teammates and coaches through his toughness," Yates wrote.

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