This is just a random dump of things floating in my brain-housing-group:
Aaron Schobel is from Columbus, Texas, just West of Houston. If Schobel doesn't want to retire but doesn't want to play in Buffalo, Houston is the seemingly obvious trade partner, right? What about New Orleans? It's a short flight from there to Houston. Or a 6 to 7 hour car ride, mostly on I-10. Schobel and Gregg Williams are very familiar, and Schobel knows the system and fits in well. The Saints don't need much, but Charles Grant is injured, Will Smith is better suited for the strongside end position, and the McCray / Hargrove combo are situation rushers. Think the Saints wouldn't give up a 2nd round pick to upgrade their 20-ish ranked defense with a proven pass rusher?
The more I think about the draft, the more I think Buffalo should draft OT over NT in the first round. While there are less good NT's in the draft than OT's, the difficulty of playing OT is far greater than NT. Buffalo could get a great NT later in the draft (Terrence Knighton is a good example). Finding a starting quality OT is less likely the more the draft progresses. That said, I'd really like to see the Bills work a trade for Isaac Sopoaga to fill their need at NT and draft OT in the first round.
I'm not a super fan of Bryan Bulaga, especially after seeing him get beat by Brandon Graham during the season. I also don't like that he can't anchor well. I also think he's going to be the best OT available at 9th when the Bills pick, with Davis and Okung already selected. I'm not convinced that he's a LT. He might turn out like Jake Long and be a good pass blocker and a great run blocker. He could also turn out to be Robert Gallery, another Iowa OT that couldn't anchor well. Bulaga's a good talent, but he makes me worry about picking him way more than Davis, Okung and even Iupati.
Iupati at RT is something that isn't a bad idea for Buffalo. They already have Butler, but Iupati's power and balance are striking. It would still leave Buffalo with a hole at LT, but Iupati could become a perennial Pro Bowl RT or guard who makes the running attack go.
Going along with the last two thoughts, if I were given magical genie powers to enable Buffalo to sign whichever free agent they wanted, I'd take Chad Clifton. Kind of nuts with guys like Wilfork and Peppers available, but Clifton would plug a huge and crucial hole. Here's to hoping that Green Bay has moved on and doesn't resign him.
Free agents that make sense to me: Chris Chambers (traded for by San Diego when Nix was there), Larry Foote (Pittsburgh connection with Whaley), Jason Ferguson (Edwards connection), Joey Porter (depending on what kind of relationship he has with Edwards), Barry Sims (cheap, dependable back-up OT).
I think the most important round in this year's draft is going to be the second round. While there isn't as much elite talent this year as others, the depth of quality players is good. Plenty of prospects with first round grades are going to slip into the second. If I were Buffalo, I'd explore all options to gain picks in the 2nd, whether through trading down in the first round to get extra picks and/or moving up from the third round.
A trade down with the Giants is one that makes sense to me. If Rolando McClain is still on the board, a trade that works is the Giants 1st, 3rd and 4th for the Buffalo 1st. Or swaping firsts with Buffalo getting the Giants' second rounder and NY getting Buffalo' 3rd and a later pick. NY would make either trade to get McClain, who could complete their defense. Bulaga and/or Iupati might both still be available at 15th overall, better value than at 9.