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With the 2008 NFL Draft just around the corner, I thought it would be a good time to get one last post in here about exactly how I believe that the Buffalo Bills should approach tomorrow's selection process. Please keep in mind that this is simply my opinion. This opinion was formulated on very little insider knowledge (I am privy to some, but it does not show up here). Feel free to completely blow this off if you're not into this sort of thing, or feel free to change my mind. I just can't hold it in any longer. I have to say my final piece before tomorrow's festivities. So without further ado, here's how Buffalo should approach tomorrow's draft:
Plan A: Trade Down
The Bills are reportedly entertaining offers to trade down in the draft - the Kansas City Chiefs are mentioned most often as a potential partner - and this is absolutely the best move for the Bills. No, it will not allow them to get the top guy on their board in all likelihood. But it will allow them to get the player they most need - and that's whichever receiver they have rated highest - at a better value with an extra pick. Wide receiver is Buffalo's most desperate need to fill, and if they can swing a trade down to get better value, it would be the best move for the team by leaps and bounds.
Plan B: Grab Value at 11, then Pick Up the Phone
If the Bills can't swing a trade down in the first round, and are forced to choose at 11, that pick stands little chance of being a wide receiver. The Bills are a value-first drafting team, and they'll only reach slightly for a need if the value is close. That's not the case with receiver and the eleventh pick. Whether they choose a cornerback, defensive lineman, linebacker or offensive lineman here, take the top guy on the board. I've pimped WR here for a long time, but ultimately, you get better by picking the best players. The logic of Buffalo Rumblings' readers has, at long last, swayed me.
If they choose at this pick, however, and the choice is not a wide receiver, the team needs to begin working the phone lines to move back up, if at all possible. The team has some ammo to do this, but it may leave the team pick-less until the fourth round. It may be worth it if they get the top guy on their board and the top wide receiver on their board.
Plan C: Stay Put in Rounds 1 and 2, then Pick Up the Phone
This is not my favorite strategy, but it could work if the right players are available. This plan is the same in round one - get your guy. Round two presents plenty of possibilities; the most likely event is that the team went defense in round one, so the team should at that point go offense in round two. There is a strong chance that the team will have its pick of the litter at the tight end position. There is also a solid chance that a starting-caliber receiver is available.
If the Bills play their cards right - and it's a big "if" - the team could take their favorite tight end at their default second-round pick, then package a 3 and their first 4 to move back into the second for a wide receiver. This would give the Bills the top guy on their board, the top tight end on their board, and a starting-caliber wideout. TE and WR can be flip-flopped in this scenario as well. This is the biggest gamble the team could make tomorrow, but again - if the right players are available, it could give the team tremendous help offensively and defensively.
Plan D: Let's Avoid Plan D
Plan D, conceivably, is that the Bills stay put in rounds one through three and miss out on getting maximum value, as they have the potential to do in plans A through C. The team can get good players staying where they are, but they could get far greater value otherwise.
So that's that. No prospect name-dropping, no picking favorites, no making a case for specific players. Pure strategy. If the Bills want to put together the best value possible tomorrow, they'll be trading. I look forward to seeing many of you back here tomorrow for our live coverage!