I warn the reader that I have no inside information to any teams drafting plans and that the following is just a lot of wishful thinking on my part. But if I were the Bills GM I'd try to exploit this situation as far as I could.
After reading through various mock drafts the one player that everyone seemingly could want (or need) in the 10 (Jags), 11 (Broncos), and 12 (Dolphins) draft slots is Dez Bryant. I've seen drafts where he goes to Oakland at number 8 and I've seen drafts where he falls into the late teens. When I heard that Miami has an interest in him and then Brian mocked him to the Jaguars, it really got me interested in the possibility of the Bills trading down. Let us assume that Oakland drafts a late second rounder (and I'm being kind to Mr. Davis) in the first round again and Dez falls to 9. For for the sake of argument (and for a consistent draft board/discussion) we will assume that Brian gets every pick 1 to 8 correct. To recap that is:
3-Bucs-McCoy ("Jim, I'm a DT not a doctor dammit." Sorry, couldn't resist.)
Then come the teams that are interested in Dez Bryant. (We would be one, if the holes at LT and NT weren't so much more pressing.) In the mock draft Brian convinced me that our need for a NT is just as great as it is for a LT. Perhaps more so. The previous coaching staff thought enough of Bell to take a chance on him at LT. While I think most Bills fans would call it a failed experiment he has at least shown he has the potential to be considered at LT. Without having anyone on the team that played NT before (at least for us) I would argue that NT is the biggest need for our team (even if it was by a fraction over LT.) And Brian sold me again on Dan Williams being the perfect fit at NT for our team. But realistically Williams should be there at number 12 too. So trading down a couple spots and still getting the guy you wanted and an extra pick, (with so many needs on our team) should be our goal. Below is the chart that NFL GM's use when assigning fair value to draft picks. This one happens to come from CBS Sportsline.
Again for the sake of a consistent discussion let us say that Miami wants to move ahead of the Broncos and Jags to select Dez Bryant. With the number 9 overall pick being worth 1350 points, it is Miami's job to offer up picks that put them in that range. The number overall 12 pick is worth 1200 points and would definitely be part of that scenario. Miami could offer us their 4th round pick and their 4th round pick next year too to make an appropriate value. I think it is more likely however that they would swap picks. Miami would give us their 3rd round pick (74, worth 220 points) and their 7th round pick (216, worth 6 points) for our 4th round pick (108, worth 78 points.) This represents a total difference of 148 points which puts us more in line with the difference in value between the 9th and 12th overall picks. I could definitely see us filling in more holes by having an extra 3rd round pick (even if it means giving up a 4th.) With Williams in the first, I would argue that "Charles Brown or Rodger Saffold type" (a guy with the potential to be our LT,) should be our selection in the 2nd. I say type because who knows which player will actually be there. Then having the 73 and 74 in the 3rd round opens up a lot of doors again to trade down for more picks, or try to get 2 more potential starters.
IMO this is where the selection of Nix as GM could pay off huge dividends. An experienced scout/GM type should be able to find that 3rd and 4th round gems that make a team rebound faster. At least that's the dream of this Bills fan.