Beane’s op­tions: Trade up? Stay put? Move down?

The Buffalo News - - NFL - By Jay Skurski Do you think the Bills will stay put at No. 9? Think­ing out­side the box, as most of the free agents the Bills signed were back­ups or spot starters with their for­mer teams, do you think Beane will get ul­tra-ag­gres­sive and trade up to nail a

With less than two weeks re­main­ing un­til the NFL Draft, it’s as dif­fi­cult as ever to pre­dict which di­rec­tion the Buf­falo Bills will go with their first-round draft pick.

With a ros­ter that doesn’t have a lot of cry­ing needs, Gen­eral Man­ager Bran­don Beane has no short­age of op­tions – both with his draft po­si­tion and the play­ers he targets. This week’s mailbag thor­oughly ex­plores all those op­tions. Let’s get to it ...

Chadm­seger asks:

Jay: I’d break down the odds of it like this: 50 per­cent move down, 35 per­cent stay put, 15 per­cent move up.

If I was in charge, mov­ing down would be my pri­or­ity. In so do­ing, I’d be able to add an­other sec­ond- or third-round draft pick, which would help me fill an­other need. This team isn’t one player away. An­other pick or two in the top 100 would help me find po­ten­tial starters, or at the very least key depth play­ers.

If a move down doesn’t present it­self, I’d stay put. The Bills should get a starter at No. 9, whether it be along the of­fen­sive or de­fen­sive lines, tight end or wide re­ceiver. If one or two quar­ter­backs go in the top eight picks, that pushes play­ers down to the Bills.

I would not be in fa­vor of mov­ing up if it meant trad­ing my sec­on­dround pick, No. 40 over­all. Again, the team isn’t one player away, and trad­ing No. 9 and No. 40 should mean trad­ing two starters. If the cost to move up is less, it might be worth it, though, if a pre­mier ta­lent slips out of the top five.

Luigi Mike Sper­anza asks:

Jay: Let me start by dis­agree­ing slightly with the first part. Mitch Morse, Cole Beasley, John Brown and even Quin­ton Spain played a lot of foot­ball for their for­mer teams. As for the sec­ond part, we know that Beane isn’t afraid to be ag­gres­sive, but again, at what cost? If Alabama de­fen­sive tackle Quin­nen Wil­liams slips out of the top five, you could make a case it’s worth mov­ing up. The same goes for pass rush­ers such as Nick Bosa or Josh Allen – as long as the cost doesn’t in­clude that sec­ond-round pick.

It’s easy to say that 10 draft picks aren’t go­ing to make the ros­ter, but those picked on the sec­ond day of the draft cer­tainly will. Of course the Bills would be happy to move some of their Day 3 picks, but those are prob­a­bly not go­ing to get them too far up the board in the first round.

As for of­fen­sive line­men, I don’t be­lieve there’s one worth mov­ing up from No. 9 for.

Trevor asks: sec­ond round?

The wide re­ceivers in this draft in­ter­est me. I can find de­cent prospects from even Round 4 and on in mock drafts. Do you agree, or do the Bills need to take an im­pact wide re­ceiver ear­lier?

One more ques­tion, sorry. Do the Bills take a de­vel­op­men­tal quar­ter­back? Brett Ryp­ien from Boise State and Jor­dan Ta’amu from Ole Miss are two of my fa­vorites. I get the feel­ing they like their QB room right now, though.

Jay: A grand slam of ques­tions! Well done. Let’s go through them one by one:

1. I’d say it’s hard to find im­pact at any po­si­tions be­yond the top three rounds, with the pos­si­ble ex­cep­tion of run­ning back. By Day 3, you’re just hop­ing for con­trib­u­tors. There is a rea­son edge rush­ers are in such de­mand ev­ery year. Other than quar­ter­back, it’s the high­est-paid po­si­tion on the field. I agree that if the Bills want to ad­dress it this year, they do it in the top two rounds.

2. Howard is ab­so­lutely a con­sid­er­a­tion in the sec­ond round. Most pre-draft rank­ings have him as a third-round prospect, but, of course, it only takes one team.

3. Sign­ing Brown and Beasley has less­ened the need at re­ceiver. That said, nei­ther of them qual­ify as a No. 1 re­ceiver.

4. I don’t see them draft­ing a quar­ter­back. The plan should be to get Josh Allen as much work as pos­si­ble in the spring and sum­mer. If the Bills want to add a fourth­string quar­ter­back, it should only be as an un­drafted free agent. If that player im­presses dur­ing the spring and sum­mer, per­haps they be­come a can­di­date for the prac­tice squad.

Chef asks: What do you think of the pos­si­bil­ity/like­li­hood of Buf­falo trad­ing down in the first round, and get­ting an ex­tra sec­ond- or third-round pick, then trad­ing back up into the bot­tom of the sec­ond or third round (with 4-7 round picks) to grab falling ta­lent? Whom could they tar­get in the bot­tom sec­ond/third?

Jay: I like what you’re cook­ing up there, Chef. (Sorry, that was ter­ri­ble). I see the Bills hav­ing five po­si­tions that would make sense to ad­dress in the draft: De­fen­sive end, de­fen­sive tackle, tight end, wide re­ceiver, run­ning back.

If I can ad­dress four of them on the first two days, I’d feel re­ally good about it. Trad­ing down in the first round and pick­ing up an ex­tra sec­ond-round pick gives me a great chance to do that. I’d also be up for mov­ing some of the Day 3 picks to get back into the third round. I agree that 10 draft picks aren’t mak­ing the ros­ter.

Eric Sepci asks: What’s with all the in­ter­est the Bills are show­ing in work­ing out safeties be­fore the draft? Doesn’t ex­actly seem to be even a mar­ginal need at this time.

Jay: By my count, the Bills have hosted two safeties on pre-draft visits – Vir­ginia’s Juan Thornhill and Florida’s Chauncey Gard­ner-John­son. I don’t see any prob­lem with that. Keep it mind, re­build­ing the spe­cial teams is a pri­or­ity this off­sea­son, as well, and it’s pos­si­ble the Bills are look­ing at safeties for that rea­son. I agree that Micah Hyde and Jor­dan Poyer are en­trenched as the starters.

Jim Eimer asks:

Jay: Kicker. Stephen Hauschka had a tough ending to 2018, so it’s not crazy to think the Bills might want to send a mes­sage that his job isn’t guar­an­teed. Charles Sch­mitt asks: Paul Cata­lano asks: Rick McGuire asks:

Jay: Let’s put all the Iowa tight end ques­tions to­gether. Here’s where I stand on draft­ing a tight end at ninth over­all: If you’re do­ing it, you bet­ter be get­ting Rob Gronkowski. The prob­lem is, there’s only one Gronk. Any tight end drafted that high is go­ing to have un­rea­son­ably high ex­pec­ta­tions. Also, with the depth at the po­si­tion, it’s pos­si­ble to get a con­trib­u­tor on the sec­ond or even third day of the draft, so that would be my pref­er­ence.

As for which one is bet­ter, Hock­en­son is thought to be the more com­plete player, while Noah Fant is the more ex­plo­sive ath­lete. What made Gronk so great was his abil­ity to dom­i­nate as a blocker. Hock­en­son sim­i­larly ex­cels in that role. The flex­i­bil­ity he would give an of­fense makes him more valu­able than Fant in my mind.

As for the big­ger need, de­fen­sive tackle or tight end, flip a coin. By sign­ing tight end Tyler Kroft and re-sign­ing de­fen­sive tackle Jor­dan Phillips, the Bills have play­ers who can start in a pinch. The point about Phillips is a good one, al­though he doesn’t play ex­actly the same po­si­tion as Wil­liams. The Bills have Star Lo­tulelei to plug in the mid­dle of the line. The other de­fen­sive tackle needs to make plays in the back­field.

BigD asks:

Jay: If he makes the 53-man ros­ter, he can ab­so­lutely play. If the Bills want to keep him around to de­velop him more, he can be added to the prac­tice squad with an ex­emp­tion. If that’s the case, he would be in­el­i­gi­ble to play for the team in 2019.

Chells asks:

Jay: I honestly can’t tell you the last time I’ve been to the movies. I’m the least “movie guy” there is. I also haven’t seen Avengers 1-3, so I don’t have a burn­ing de­sire to see No. 4.

Reg­gie LeDrew asks:

Jay: Speak­ing of things I haven’t seen, Game of Thrones tops the list. I’m lit­er­ally the worst when it comes to TV or movies. The an­swer is al­most al­ways, “I haven’t seen it.” Thanks for all the ques­tions this week!

Derek Gee/Buf­falo News

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.