We all know that Buffalo's biggest need is for an improved pass rush. Of course, we've all know that for quite some time and CHIX has done what about it again? Oh, yeah, bring aboard a gimpy cast-off from San Diego. While I still think Merriman was worth the gamble, the lack of other attempts to address the pass rush in the draft are somewhat puzzling. Common wisdom is that this draft will be different; this draft will see the Bills finally bring in a pass rusher (regardless of the defensive scheme employed) who will make a difference.
What if that isn't in the cards? What if CHIX has other plans in the first round? What if CHIX wants to put a WR on the field who is both big and fast enough to both stretch the field (freeing up a hopefully re-signed) Stevie Johnson? What if, as seems likely, the Bills don't get that WR in free agency? What if the Bills - FINALLY - show a willingness to work the phones on draft day?
Here are a few scenarios based on a couple of different WR options. Mike Mayock lists Justin Blackmon as his top WR with Kendall Wright and Michael Floyd as second and third. Not in his top five, but possibly someone of interest to Buffalo, is Stephen Hill. Hill is (a) from Georgia Tech (which Gailey will appreciate), (b) from a southern college (seemingly the only schools Nix drafts from), (c) has the build Nix appreciates and (d) ran a 4.3 at the Combine.
Justin Blackmon seems likely to come off the board in the top 5 picks, possibly as soon as the 3rd pick overall but 4th or 5th seems more plausible. (Luck, RGIII and Kalil may well be the first 3 guys off the board.) For the moment, let's assume that the Bills want Blackmon and CHIX has a willingness to move up to get him. (Don't say it can't happen-Buffalo reportedly did look to trade back into the first round in 2010.) The Bills would need to get the 4th pick, 5th at the latest. Currently the Browns hold the 4th pick and the Bucs are at 5. There's a good chance the Browns try to move up so it could be the Rams at 4 when the clock starts for that pick. No matter. The Bills could offer 10, 41 and 106 for pick 4. If rejected and Blackmon wasn't taken 4th the Bills could offer the Bucs 10, 41, and 106. Needless to say, this would cripple the draft-leaving Buffalo with Blackmon and picks 72, 106/125, 137, 168, 202. There would be no opportunity to pick up much pass rushing help and TE/OT would once again get a lick and a promise.
If Wright, Floyd or Hill is the target, the Bills could just stand pat a 10 and take him. Nix has said that he's inclined to take guys he wants when they are available. But he's also said that he's a professional liar when it comes to anything he says about the draft. Plus, Spiller and Dareus came off the board about where most draft gurus thought they would which implies that the Bills won't reach for a guy.
If the Bills are enamored with one of the three WRs, trading down might be in the card, or Card(inal)s as the case may be. Wright and Floyd, for the moment, seem to be pegged in the 15-25 range and Hill near the top of the second round. Let's take a look at some possible trading partners.
The Chiefs and Seahawks don't make much sense in terms of getting value out of the 10 pick if one of those 3 WRs is the target in that Buffalo would net a 4th rounder or so. The Cardinals - dumb pun above aside - are without a second round pick and not terribly likely to give up their 3rd to move up 3 slots. I don't see a deal with the Jets working out.... The Chargers would have to covet someone an awful lot since they wouldn't get another pick until the 4th round if they traded up to 10.
The Cowboys (never rule out Jones making a deal) could move up to 10 by shipping Buffalo 14, 83 and 114. It would have to be someone that Jones really wanted, though, for him to limit his draft day options so quickly.
The Eagles have all kinds of juice and could easily afford to send Buffalo 15 and 51 for 10. Doing so would allow them to jump in front of Dallas and pluck someone off the board while Jones could only watch and whimper.
The Bengals could, if they want to help out Dalton by getting a stud OT, make things very interesting for Bills fans. Offering picks 17, 21 and 85 the Bengals could ask for 10 and 41. The Bills could then use 17 on the best pass rusher on the board and 21 on their highest rated WR.
The Bears, who are suddenly in a rough division (wanting a CB perhaps?) could move up to 10. 19, 50 and 185 might get the job done with 19, 50 and 174 as a possible back up offer.