7. Houston loves Patrick Peterson. Capital L. I smell a trade-up.
9. Seattle wants to trade down so bad from 25 that John Schneider can taste it.
Buffalo is in position to help either or both of these teams out.
Houston would have to ship Buffalo 11, 42 and likely a 2012 second round pick to get to 3...and it may take Buffalo throwing in pick 121 to get the deal done. Houston may really love Peterson, as King says, but 3 picks in the top two rounds seems like an awful lot for any cornerback. But what if Buffalo is a motivate seller? Assume for the moment that:
- Buffalo doesn't want any QB at the top of the first round. This is a fairly reasonable assumption given that Nix has said he wants an immediate impact player in the first round. No QB in this draft class looks like an instant starter, let alone an instantly competent starter.
- Dareus is either gone or not rated all that much more highly by the Bills than guys like Jordan or Watt.
- Buffalo doesn't have Peterson rated all that much more highly than guys like Amukamara or Jimmy Smith.
- Gailey is confident in the WRs on the roster and in his ability to turn late round/undrafted players into servicable starters/contributors. This is logical, though it doesn't preclude Nix from stacking a guy like Green or Jones on top of the WRs on the roster.
- Finally, Buffalo is looking for ILBs as opposed to OLBs. This is clearly the weakest of the assumptions, though Nix did talk about needing to stop the run so the defense could then rush the passer.
Armed with these assumptions, there is no clear pick for Buffalo at #3. Dropping back is the only way to preserve the value of the #3 pick. Instead of demanding Houston's 11 and a pair of second rounders, Buffalo could instead give the Texans a hell of a deal: #11 and #42 (plus a 2012 4th or 5th rounder) for #3. It's still a heavy price to pay for a CB but it's not outrageous. Meanwhile Buffalo would sit at #11 and have a second 2nd round selection in this stand alone deal.
The Seahawks reportedly want out of the first round and their front office has stated they have confidence in their ability to find quality players in the middle rounds. Seattle has no 3rd round pick. Buffalo may see a player that CHIX has rated highly slide to the end of the 1st round. It happened last year, when the Bills tried repeatedly to get back into the first for either Dan Williams or Tim Tebow. The only assumption required here is that a player Buffalo wants is still on the board at 25, a fairly safe proposition....though the player would have to really stand out.
There is a 20% premium when it comes to getting a team to bail out of the first round entirely. Two things may help Buffalo trade 34 and 68 (810) for 25 (720). While the picks Buffalo would be offering only make up for about half of that 20% premium, (a) the Seahawks are apparently motivated sellers and (b) 34 may be worth more than the point value suggests as it could be exchanged for a 2012 first round pick for a team wanting a player who slipped out of the first round. In this scenario, Buffalo takes a player at 3 and then another at 25 but has no 2nd or 3rd round picks.
Houston AND Seattle
Here's where things get fun. This requires all of the above assumptions to hold true. Buffalo does the deal with the Texans and then turns around and does a follow up deal with Seattle. Time wise the Bills would have about 2 hours to set up the Seattle deal. The Houston deal could be agreed upon in principle before the draft begins; it goes down if and only if Peterson is on the board at 3 AND no word of the deal leaks out.
#11 pick (of Maybin and McKelvin infamy...)
It's a good bet that both Newton, Gabbert, Dareus, Miller, Peterson (Texans at 3) and Green will also be off the board before the 10th pick...and it seems likely that those will be the first six picks, in some order. From 7 to 10, four of the following figure to be selected, either by the 49ers, Titans, Cowboys and Redskins or teams they trade with: Quinn, Jordan, Watt, J Jones, Fairley, Costanzo, T Smith, Amukamara, Locker, Bowers.
There's a realistic chance that both Watt and Jordan could be off the board at #11, though it seems more likely that one of the two would slip to 11--hard to imagine Bowers and Quinn and Fairley escaping the top 10, four defensive linemen going consecutively, and Washington not going QB or WR or OT. Watt or Jordan would be the likely pick if either made it to 11. If not, Bowers (assuming Buffalo isn't scared off by his knee). Costanzo would be another quality option, regardless of what CHIX thinks of Bell and Pears. In theory a guy like Locker or Kaep could be the pick but only if Nix was lying about wanting an instant starter in the first round.
#25 pick (in this scenario Buffalo sends 42, 68 and 99 for 25--Seattle gets out of the first and gets a pair of mid round picks along with 42....not quite making up the 20% premium)
Going back to the assumptions, if the Bills have Jimmy Smith rated about as highly as Peterson then he may be the pick at 25. If he's off the board the Bills could take Cameron Heyward (assuming Watt or Jordan weren't taken at 11) or Gabe Carimi (again, assuming no OT was taken at 11). A QB could again be an option, particularly if a guy like Kaep or Locker was available at 25. It's also the territory to being looking at ILBs...especially if Nix wants to keep open the option of trading 34 for a 2012 first round pick if an offer came in.
In this scenario Buffalo has no 3rd round pick and only one 4th round selection. With the labor uncertainty my guess is that Buffalo would keep this pick and use it on a guy CHIX had a first round grade on who made it past 33. Still, it's not out of the question that Buffalo could trade it for a 2012 pick.....or a later 2nd round pick plus a 3rd round selection. If the Bills use the pick, there should be a number of viable options that represent value and also fill a need.
Disclaimer: I am not renumbering picks based on the compensatory selections in this or any other posts. The compensatory picks can't be traded and thus have no trade value.