By now many people have tried their hand at reading the tea leaves on why one of the top rated WR prospects in the draft hasn't been looked at by the Buffalo Bills in person, even as we've met with prospects from the same school. He would seem to fit the profile for what our GM has proclaimed he's looking for, and many wonder why we wouldn't want a look at a prospect like that, right?
I honestly think what he's doing is trying to set the table for a potential draft day trade.
Just my opinion, but lets consider what we, and likely the other GM's in the league, know about Buddy Nix. The man is nearing the end of his tenure. He's shrewd with his draft picks (he actually referred to the rare trade up to get T.J. Graham as 'riverboat gambling', albeit in jest). He has a history of drafting players he's seen with his own two eyes in the top rounds, and he has a team with a number of significant holes to fill.
Given that, I think they are in an interesting position. Our biggest need is still QB, followed by LB and WR. The QB selections available in this draft vary in quality, depending on which talking head you're listening to at the moment. Yet the 2nd and 3rd rounds seem to be full of talent at each of those positions.
By not bringing in Patterson for a workout, you're tipping your hand a bit, letting other GM's know that if he's there at your pick you likely won't take him. And as anyone who's seen the NFL Draft before knows, all it takes is for one team to fall in love with a player and he could be taken dozens of slots before his "mock draft" status says he should be (Tyson Jackson, Aaron Maybin, etc.).
St. Louis. Pittsburgh. Minnesota. These are 3 teams just off the top of my head that have a significant need to upgrade their receiving staff who have no guarantee of having a shot at him or Tavon Austin (should he fall to us). All own mid-to-late 1st round picks, and even with Patterson's slipping draft stock (again, depending on which talking head you trust), might call just to kick the tires on what it would take to swap with us and get him. Imagine a scenario where we trade back to pick number 16, gain an extra 2nd (as St. Louis already has 2 first round picks in 2013 from the RGIII trade) and then take our QB. Lord knows I'd feel better about the value of the pick at that point.
Now, this could all just be me over thinking the subject of the draft. The fact that it takes me 15 minutes just to order from a menu means it's entirely possible. It's also possible that the Bills simply take BPA at pick # 8, and we live with the consequences. But with all the gamesmanship, bluster and smokescreening that goes on during this pre-draft process, who's to say Buddy Nix isn't trying to at least plant the seed that it's an option in a few minds?