Happy spring Bills fans. Still waiting for the snow to exit for good here in the B-lo. On to your questions from Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.
1 – @ChrisBrownBills
Are they trading up in the draft?
CB: I think this is an interesting question only because there are many possible answers. First, I do think GM Brandon Beane will try to trade up. The problem is no one at the top of the draft wants to move down to 12.
I think there’s a good chance Buffalo has to take a rung-by-rung approach to use a ladder analogy. If your ultimate goal is to get to the Giants pick at two, the most important thing is to find out how far down the board New York is willing to move.
Word is they covet DE Bradley Chubb (in wake of JPP trade to Tampa) and G Quentin Nelson. Both are likely to go in the top 5 to 7 depending on how the run on QBs plays out at the top of the board.
So the Giants likely do not want to move out of the territory where they know they can get at least one of them. That means their floor for moving down is probably pick 6, which now belongs to Indianapolis.
It’s very likely that the Bills will have to make an initial move into the top 10 first to an area that’s appealing to the Giants in terms of moving down. So a trade with the Colts at 6 is probably step one, before you can talk turkey with the Giants about their pick at two.
The alternative is overpaying from your current spot at 12 to get straight up to 2. That likely means giving up both your ones this year, your one next year and probably something else.
2 – @ChrisBrownBills
Although you never say never, it looks like the Bills may not be able to get in to the Top 3 of the draft at any price – if the QB(s) they like go off the board, what might a Plan B for the Bills at QB look like now that Taylor is in Cleveland?
CB: As unappealing as your scenario might sound to Bills fans, Buffalo’s front office must have a contingency plan or plans. That contingency plan is probably taking the best player available at 12, and then they have to determine whether they believe one of the second-tier QBs is someone they can develop into a starter.
Do Lamar Jackson or Mason Rudolph have what they believe it takes to progress and be a successful starting quarterback in a couple of years? Are they worth the investment?
If they don’t believe they are, then you may have to explore other options if you think you need more than AJ McCarron and Nathan Peterman at QB. Do you trade for Nick Foles?
These are all things that have to be considered and weighed by the front office.
The good news is this. GM Brandon Beane is a personnel man who doesn’t tie his emotions to what does or does not happen regarding transactions involving his team or around the league. He’s a cool customer who doesn’t panic. I’m confident he’s thought this whole thing through hundreds of times and has more than one plan in accomplishing what he has set out to accomplish in this year’s draft.
3 – @ChrisBrownBills
What are your thoughts of the Bills using Shaq Lawson as trade bait to sweeten the pot of any attempt to move up in the draft?
The Duke Of Blasdell
CB: Trading Lawson isn’t a realistic option. The main reason being that his cap hit right now is $2.8M. If the Bills were to trade him, his cap hit would more than double at $6.07M per overthecap.com and spotrac.com, two of the more respected salary cap monitoring sites.
GM Brandon Beane has worked hard to clean up what was a salary cap mess when he arrived. Moving Lawson via trade would be counterproductive.
4 – @ChrisBrownBills
Why have the bills been completely absent in the WR market? It’s a pretty significant need
CB: It’s a valid question, especially for a passing offense that ranked 31st in the NFL last season. Kelvin Benjamin fully healthy gives you a number one, though he’s not the traditional number one receiver that most clubs have. After that it’s a mixed bag with Zay Jones, Rod Streater, Andre Holmes, Brandon Reilly, Quan Bray and Malachi Dupre.
I never believed the Bills were going to be early players in the free agent market for a receiver. Knowing it’s not a strong class of wideouts in the draft, a lot of teams overpaid for receiver talent on the free agent market.
I do admire the Bills resolve to not join the spree of overspending, but there’s no question they need help at the position.
This isn’t an excuse as much as it is a fact. When you’re cleaning up a bad cap situation and you’re trying to fill out a roster that has multiple holes, it’s hard to plug them all in one offseason. Receiver, quite frankly, may just have to wait a bit to be sufficiently addressed.
5 – @ChrisBrownBills
Getting sick of QB talk, so I’m interested in who the best MLB prospects are in the upcoming draft. If Beane/McDermott have something other than a QB in mind, which LB could you see them spending the #12 pick on?
CB: Unfortunately it’s a pretty thin crop. There’s essentially one legit MLB prospect per round. If the QB thing doesn’t work out and the Bills stay at 12, Georgia’s Roquan Smith would be a hell of a consolation prize to drop into the middle of your defense. Guy is day one starter and playmaker.
After him the drop off is significant.
Texas’ Malik Jefferson is talented, but he’s too aggressive and doesn’t read plays well. Often overpursues and can be fooled by good QBs.
Virginia’s Micah Kiser is as sharp as a tack, but doesn’t have the coverage skills to be a three-down LB in Buffalo’s system.
Iowa’s Josey Jewell is an intriguing player who looks like he checks all the boxes. Even though he’s not fast on the watch, he plays faster and checks all the boxes. He’s probably a third-round prospect.
Azeem Victor from Washington was suspended twice this past year so he probably doesn’t fit coach McDermott’s profile. Wisconsin’s Jack Cichy is a nice player, but missed all of last season with a torn ACL and has an injury history before that.
Memphis’ Genard Avery has some great workout numbers, but I just don’t see it translate to his play on tape.
Hopefully some of the OLB prospects like Boise State’s Leighton Vander Esch and Georgia’s Lorenzo Carter can project inside. Otherwise it’s slim pickings.
Tags: 2018 NFL draft, Brandon Beane, Fan Friday, NFL free agency, Shaq Lawson
Posted in Inside the Bills