With less than a month until the draft, the Bills have some options in regards to their first round pick. In recent interviews, Brandon Beane suggested the Bills don’t “need” to be in the top ten, which hints to a potential trade back if the right deal was offered.
The Bills were very active in free agency, overhauling the offensive line and adding two receivers, both positions that desperately needed an upgrade. Those additions don’t necessarily rule out additions in the draft, but it does take some of the pressure off and give the Bills the freedom to select the best player available, something Beane also referred to in recent interviews.
One position the Bills left open that lines up with the talent pool in the draft is defensive line. There are several players both inside and outside of the defensive line projected in the top ten of the draft.
Defensive tackle, Ed Oliver from Houston seems to be the most likely projected to fall to the Bills at #9. Outside of signing Jordan Phillips, the Bills have left the defensive line alone thus far during free agency.
Even though the Bills invested heavily in the offensive line in free agency, a draft pick up front is not out of the question to invest in long term. Offensive tackles Jawaan Taylor out of Florida and Jonah Williams from Alabama could also be in play as building blocks for the future of the offensive line. Mitch Morse is the only signing on the line longer than two years.
Another option for the Bills is trading back out of the ninth pick. It’s not as easy as it sounds, but if a team wants to give up some significant draft capital to move up, it could be worth it to the Bills to move back and pick up some extra picks. In this year’s draft, a team might want to move up to select a quarterback or an elite defensive prospect.
The Washington Redskins could be a potential candidate for a trade partner. They signed Alex Smith last off-season but lost him to a gruesome leg injury in 2018 and he will miss the 2019 season along with an uncertain future.
In response to Smith’s injury, Washington traded for Case Keenum from the Denver Broncos but Keenum is only under contract for 2019. Washington still has a sizable amount of money invested in Alex Smith, thus limiting their ability to sign a free agent quarterback so the draft could be their best chance of getting their quarterback of the future.
If the Bills did pull off a trade with the Redskins, that could put a wild card pick in play at tight end. This year’s draft features some talent at tight end with T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant, both out of Iowa with potential first round projections.
Being able to pick up some extra draft capital and drafting a potentially dangerous weapon for Josh Allen at tight end would be crucial in his development. Offensive Coordinator, Brian Daboll likes to use tight ends in his offensive scheme via creating mismatches to make safe outlets for Josh Allen.
The Bills have shown that this off-season priority is building around Allen, so trading back and picking up more offensive talent is not out of the question. Brandon Beane did an excellent job of adding to this roster so far, which has given the Bills freedom to select best player available along with trades up and down the board.
Editor’s babble: Sign me up for Hockenson or Fant, or even Zach Gentry from Michigan. Getting a stud tight end is a critical piece for Daboll’s offense and a position the Bills rarely focused on in the past. Thanks to Erik Smeal for his terrific contributions to our blog. You can find Erik on Twitter @Buffwagon819.