Brandon Beane continued shaking up the Buffalo Bills roster just days after trading QB Tyrod Taylor to the Cleveland Browns for the first pick in the third-round of the 2018 NFL draft when he dealt veteran LT Cordy Glenn to the Cincinnati Bengals Monday. The Bills sent their No. 21 overall pick and Glenn to the Bengals for the No. 12 overall pick while the team’s swapped fifth and sixth-round selections.
Buffalo now holds six of the top-100 picks in the 2018 NFL draft and the team is in a great position to land their potential franchise quarterback.
Buffalo is operating in a similar manner to how the Philadelphia Eagles did when they traded up for Carson Wentz. They sent the No. 13 pick, along with Kiko Alonso and Byron Maxwell for the Dolphins’ No. 8 selection.
They then swapped first-round picks with the Browns to acquire Wentz, adding third and fourth rounders along with future first and second-round picks. The fourth-rounder was a conditional pick and after two years, the Eagles clearly seem to have won that trade.
At the end of the day, the first-rounders cancel each other out, so Philadephia essentially sent a future first and future second rounder plus a third-round pick to acquire Wentz.
How much would Buffalo give up to move into Top-5?
There’s been a lot of debate amongst fans and analysts that Buffalo will need to package the No. 22 overall pick with the No. 12 overall pick to move up to the Top-5 for a franchise quarterback. Jimmy Johnson developed a trade value chart years ago with the Dallas Cowboys that assigned a point value to each draft pick. However, that chart is rarely used today due to the new CBA’s rookie wage scale. Chase Stuart of Football Perspective developed a modernized version of the chart that aligns more with how trades have fallen in recent years.
Assuming the Bills want to move from No. 12 (1200 points) to the Cleveland Browns’ No. 4 overall pick (1800 points), Buffalo could still hold onto their second pick in the first round by sending the No. 53 overall pick (370 points), the No. 121 overall pick in round four (52 points) and their future second-round selection, which Stuart projects to be worth 10-percent less than the current year’s value.
By doing so, Buffalo would still have selections in the first and second rounds, two third-round choices, one fifth-rounder and a sixth rounder.
Debunking the race for QB frenzy
Each year several quarterbacks are talked up as sure-fire top-10 or top-15 selections. The same holds true this year with quarterbacks Josh Allen, Baker Mayfield, Josh Rosen and Sam Darnold all hyped as franchise quarterbacks with Lamar Jackson and Mason Rudolph not far behind.
Each year, like a broken record, quarterbacks get pushed up and overhyped prior to free agency before one or two ultimately wind up ‘sliding’ in the draft.
In fact, since 1970, there have only been two occasions in which four quarterbacks were selected in the top-12 picks. It’s hard to imagine this year being the third, regardless of what some talking heads may think about these prospects.
So while many Bills fans are panicking that they need to sell the farm to move up as high as No. 2 overall, with the belief that every team is looking to draft a quarterback, history says that simply isn’t the case.
Buffalo will certainly have to trade into the top-10, but they shouldn’t have to part with both of their first-round draft picks.
How Brandon Beane can dominate the draft, again
Due to the new CBA allowing teams to pick up fifth-year options on first-round draft picks, teams have traded back into the latter part of the first-round in order to secure a player for that sole reason. In 2014, Minnesota traded first and fourth-round picks to take Teddy Bridgewater – a passer many had projected to go No. 1 overall – with the No. 32 pick.
Now, the Bills’ roster is laden with holes, coincidentally at the positions where this draft class has depth and talent – most notably at running back, wide receiver, defensive line and linebacker.
Beane could recoup some of the draft picks dealt from trading up and acquire talented players to fill out some glaring holes this year, or begin stockpiling selections for the 2019 NFL draft.
This is certainly new territory for Bills fans and while the price tag to move up may be higher than Stuart’s model suggests, it seems that many are exaggerating just how much Buffalo will need to part ways with to acquire their franchise passer. There isn’t an Andrew Luck/Robert Griffin III or Carson Wentz/Jared Goff caliber of passer this year. Heck, there isn’t even a consensus among the top four passers depending on which ‘expert’ evaluates them.
So the Bills are in a fantastic spot to not only finally draft a quality quarterback, but also have enough draft capital to keep them flexible as well.