Rumors have been circulating that the Buffalo Bills are trying to move up in next week’s draft, presumably to add the services of one Jadeveon Clowney to an already stout defensive line. But flying under the radar is the very real possibility that the Bills could be a likely trade-down partner for teams looking to move up into the top 10. In 2013, the Bills moved back in the first round, and used the compensation from that trade with the Rams to add to one of the strongest draft classes in the league. With several teams itching to move up into the top 10, I wouldn’t put it past Whaley and company to entertain offers.
Some of those potential trade partners include:
Tennessee Titans, No. 11
It is no secret that the Titans need help in their secondary, and they haven’t been shy about their infatuation with Oklahoma State CB Justin Gilbert. Incidentally, the Detroit Lions also have their eye on Gilbert at No. 10. An 11-for-9 swap with the Bills would allow the Titans to cut in line in the Gilbert sweepstakes.
While the Bills could make this move and still have a solid chance at landing North Carolina TE Eric Ebron or Michigan OT Taylor Lewan at No. 11, the compensation would be minimal. The Titans would need to surrender this year’s fourth round pick, and possibly a 2015 fourth rounder as well, a move I’m not sure they’d be willing to do considering the 49ers already own their third round pick in this year’s draft.
Dallas Cowboys, No. 16
The Cowboys and their unpredictable GM have been linked to any and every eligible player in this year’s draft. Ok, not really, but the Cowboys have kept the rumor mill churning with potential trade-up targets ranging from Pitt DT Aaron Donald to Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel. Rumors have also circulated that UCLA LB Anthony Barr is also on their radar. Knowing what we do of Jerry Jones, I’d guess that all of these are possibilities, but none are too likely. Still, count the Cowboys as a team with which the Bills could at least test the trade-down waters.
In the event of a 16-to-9 trade, the Bills could probably pick up Dallas’s third-round pick (No. 78) and fourth-round pick (No. 119).
New York Jets, No. 18
The Jets need help at the WR and TE positions and are said to have their eye on Ebron and Texas A&M WR Mike Evans. One or both of those guys could be available at No. 9 when the Bills are on the clock. While the Jets could get anxious and make a call, I doubt that Doug Whaley would have much interest in a trade that would not only give away the rights to one of those players, but also leave the Bills with the task of chasing said player all over the field twice a year for the foreseeable future.
That said, the Bills could nail down an additional second- (No. 49) and third-round pick (No. 80) in the deal, making it enticing enough for the Bills to at least consider it.
San Francisco 49ers, No. 30
Now here’s a chance for the Bills to make some hay. The Niners have recently expressed a strong interest in Mike Evans, a player that is projected to go in the top 10 by most pundits, as well as UCLA LB Anthony Barr. While the Bills themselves would be chomping at the bit if Evans fell to them at No. 9, they would at least need to answer the phone if San Francisco called. The 49ers have an abundance of early round picks this year, giving them plenty of ammo in a big-time trade like this. Buffalo could realistically garner both of San Francisco’s second round picks (No’s. 56 and 61) as well as a third-rounder (SF has two, but it would likely be No. 94).
Something tells me the Bills could live with passing on Evans if it means owning six picks (30, 41, 56, 61, 73, and 94) in the first three rounds.