The Buffalo Bills held nine picks in the 2011 NFL Draft, but that number could have been higher, according to Bills GM Buddy Nix.
"We probably got 15 calls every round, people wanting to move up or move back and offering picks," Nix said on Monday during an interview with WEDG in Buffalo. "I don’t say this is always the case, because I don’t want to ever say never. Normally you won’t see us move back or swap picks just to be churning stuff. We kind of sit there and let what falls to us and take them and normally it’s worked out best. I’m not saying we wouldn’t ever do it. We might, but we’re not going to be big in that."
It seems the Bills valued their draft board instead of guarding against the risk involved with any pick. Instead of giving themselves two supposedly lesser-talented prospects, the Bills instead chose to go with one hopefully more talented player.
Nix made even more pointed commentary about the prospect of trading down in a post-draft interview with Clark Judge.
"We had opportunities to trade out here, with many calls - eight or 10 - from people wanting to move up," Nix said. "But we're getting to the point [where we don't do that]. It's been two years now, and if it keeps going this way people are going to quit calling because our answer is, 'No.' My experience has always been if you have a guy in mind and say, 'Oh, yeah, we can get him at this pick so we'll move back,' inevitably he is gone. It happened more times than one. So we're inclined not to do it."
This shouldn't be brand new information to many of you. In February, Nix said the team probably wouldn't trade down while attending the NFL Combine in Indianapolis.
"I wouldn't ever say we wouldn't do that," Nix said of trading the No. 3 pick. "But I never have been one to do a lot of that. I don't like giving up a player, especially if you're sold on one.
"If there's a guy that you were dead set on getting," Nix said, "you better take him and not move down, thinking you can get him at No. 7 because you might not, and then you don't have the player. If there's a guy we think we're dead set on, we're going to take him."
The Tuesday prior to the draft, Nix reiterated those comments without directly addressing a trade down. "We pick No. 3 in the first round, and that's pretty high, and we're going to use it," Nix said. "I think we earned it. We suffered through some pretty hard Sundays. We're going to take advantage of picking that high and try to get us a really good player."
While the third overall pick should net you an elite talent, Nix never mentioned the possibility of trading down at a later point in the draft until his most recent comments. It may have been better for the Bills to hedge their bets in later rounds, but they did generally get good value for their picks and didn't reach for prospects according to draft pundits.