Several plugged-in NFL Draft sources have pegged the Buffalo Bills as a prime candidate to trade up over the past month, to the point where it has become the first topic of conversation when fans discuss next week's draft. If it were to happen, the move would be virtually unprecedented in Bills history.
The last time the team traded up in the first round was 1982, when they shipped a fourth-round pick to move up two spots (from No. 21 to No. 19) to select Clemson wide receiver Perry Tuttle. (If the rumors about a trade up this year are true, they may be targeting another Clemson wideout.) Tuttle had a very successful receiving career in college, but was released after two seasons and 16 total NFL games where he netted just 24 receptions.
It's the only such trade in team history. The team has moved back into the first round from Round 2 on several notable occasions - draft picks J.P. Losman and John McCargo fit that description most recently - but moving up within Round 1 is a very rare thing for the Bills.
General manager Doug Whaley has a little more experience at it, having been a member of two front offices that utilized the trade up. In 2006, Santonio Holmes was picked No. 25 overall after the Pittsburgh Steelers moved from No. 32 (must be nice) by trading their third and fourth round selections. Third round and sixth picks moved them up from 27 to 16 to grab Troy Polamalu in 2003.
This time last year, we were talking about the fact that the Bills had never drafted a quarterback with their top pick in the first round in franchise history. That ended when they made EJ Manuel the No. 16 overall pick. Perhaps this will be the second year running that the team will buck a very long trend in the draft.