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Will the Bills trade down in April?

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Teams may be willing to deal up for Mendenhall (AP Photo)

Even though I wrote a while back that the odds are against the Buffalo Bills making a trade on draft day to move back, I think it might still be wise to discuss some scenarios in which they may entertain the idea. You should still keep in mind that trades might be a little tougher to come by this year, as the time between first round picks has been reduced from 15 minutes to 10 minutes. While that doesn't sound like a big deal, you must also remember that this is the first year of the rules change and teams might have a hard time adjusting the way they operate. You would also be wise not to forget the 2006 draft, when the Bills could have easily traded down and still gotten Donte Whitner (they even had an offer on the table) and decided not to. If the guy they like (Malcolm Kelly?) is available at #11 they will most likely take him and not trade down.

With all of that said however, lets look at some situations in which the Bills might trade down:

Enticing O-Linemen: There are several players that teams might want to move up to get, and the main reason is because they won't make it past the four teams directly behind the Bills. Denver, Carolina, Chicago, and Detroit, respectively pick after the Bills and all four have needs along the offensive line. Most of the top O-line prospects should still be on the board at 11. Ryan Clady (Boise State), Chris Williams (Vanderbilt), Jeff Otah (Pittsburgh) , Gosder Cherilus (Boston College) and Branden Albert (Virginia) could all be available when the Bills pick. Teams like Seattle, Green Bay, and Pittsburgh could be looking to jump ahead of the pack to get their hands on the cream of the crop, also keep in mind that Detroit could be looking to get in front of those others so they can snag their guy.

Moving for Mendenhall?: The other player that could entice teams to move up is Illinois RB Rashard Mendenhall. Mendenhall is easily the second best running back in the draft; some even say the best. Carolina, Chicago and Detroit will all give him a long look and it is highly doubtful that Mendenhall is on the board after pick #15. Oregon's Jonathan Stewart has undergone surgery on his big toe that will sideline him right up to training camp. If everything goes well he should be ready for the start of the season. Some teams may back off of him however due to the injury and this could force some teams to make getting Mendenhall a priority. Philadelphia, Arizona, and maybe even Dallas or Tampa Bay could all look to move up and grab him. Again, Detroit could look to jump up also.

Defensive Options: The last scenario involves defense, namely pass rushers. If Denver doesn't pick O-line they most certainly will pick a player for their defense, and teams like the Vikings and Texans have had their eyes on defenders such as Phillip Merling (Clemson) and Derrick Harvey (Florida) for quite some time now. Teams like San Francisco or Jacksonville might want to move up in front of Denver to grab an elite pass rusher. Draft Tek did a simulation detailing this very scenario, and ran a mock to show how things could shake out.

Overall I think that if the Bills want to trade out of the #11 pick, they will have ample opportunities, and potential partners to do so. The question is, will the Bills risk missing out on the guy they want (presumably Malcolm Kelly) by trading down and obtaining more picks? Given the Bills' conservative nature and their history (Whitner), I just don't see it happening. If you have any trade thoughts, feel free to leave them in the comments section, but keep in mind the trusty draft trade chart.