I like puzzles. Sometimes you can learn more from what's missing, than from what's there. So far the Bills have brought in 23 of the 30 allowed players (with 1 more scheduled that we know of), but they have only brought in Matthews, Ebron, and Evans from the top prospects. They represent the remaining positional players from the top tier, but that only comes up to 7 when you add in Clowney, Mack, Robinson, and Watkins.
I'm sure OBD has looked at all of the likely scenarios for the first 8 picks. I believe they have come to the same conclusions as the draft gurus and us. While it's likely that 2 QB's (or more) will be selected, it's also possible that only 1, or no QB's will be taken. I'm left considering 4 options:
1) They're willing to move up a couple of spots (as long as it doesn't break the bank) if no QB's are taken and the right guy is there. I'm not counting this out, but I'd be very surprised.
2) They are very confident that at least 2 QB's will be taken, and they will get one of their top guys.
3) They've come to the conclusion that only 1 or 2 guys are worthy of the #9 pick. If they aren't there at #9, they will trade down. This would also assume they don't think there really is enough separation between #10 and #25 and an additional pick or two.
4) They have their sights set on 1 guy (Matthews?), but they would be surprised if he's still on the board at #9. They are comfortable with this scenario, because they already have a couple of trade partners lined up. Last year's trade was worked out with the Rams at the combine. Everything lined up, and they pulled the trigger.
So who are the possible trade partners?
The Rams are in cap trouble. They have about $5.7M left, and their draft picks are estimated at $6.3M (according to overthecap.com). They might be prepared to move on without Bradford if the right QB is there, and they wouldn't want to take the chance that Tennessee would take their guy. We wouldn't get a 2nd, but we'd also only drop down 4 spots. If we don't like who's there at #13, maybe we could move back again. We might be able to accumulate picks by moving back in smaller steps, and just stop and pick when we like the guy and the value.
Dallas or Philly might think Barr is worth moving up for. Dallas lost Ware, and Philly tried to trade for Dion Jordan. The numbers don't add up for the Dallas trade, but they might be willing to pay a premium if they're bidding against Philly. Do they want him on their team, or do they want to face him for the next 5 years or more?
Cleveland might be considering drafting a stud at #4 and using their extra picks to grab their QB also. This one I think is the most likely. Cleveland parts with #26, #35, and #106 (maybe we settle for #127). They could move up further, but they'd have to part with one of their 3rd's, and there's only one spot further back they can go before Tennessee picks. The current regime didn't draft Richardson or trade him, so they might just be looking at the picks as an opportunity to get the team back on track. They use 2 of their additional picks to make this happen. They still have 2 picks in the 3rd round, so they could jump back into the 2nd if someone they really like falls. They could also keep those 2 picks and grab 2 potential solid contributors in a deep draft (maybe they use one to grab Richardson's replacement). Plus Cleveland owes us!
Of course this might all go out the window if OBD brings in a few guys in the #10-15 range out of their remaining 6 visits.