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Buffalo's Possible Draft Day Trading Partners

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It's a long time between now and the 2010 NFL Draft. During that time, any number of stories and FanPosts will appear on this blog in which the authors propose one trade or another. It seemed to be a good idea to take a look at the current draft day trade possibilities, and then make judgments as to which are realistic and which are not. Compensatory picks can't be traded, but do have an impact on the pick values. Because the compensatory picks begin at the end of the third round, the effect should be minimal. Also, this looks at the draft day trade options within the first four rounds primarily because the late round picks don't have much trade value; the first 13 picks in the fifth round combine to equal the value of the last pick in the first round.

The hope is that this article - and, more importantly, accompanying comments - will give us common ground when discussing draft day trade scenarios. This might keep us from engaging in repetitive discussions about what is or isn't possible. Buffalo has picks 9, 41, 73 and 109 in the first four rounds.

Totally Screwed On Draft Day: probably paralyzed on draft day
Jets: The Jets traded away their third and fourth round picks, leaving them with only 29 and 61 through the first four rounds. They are a candidate to drop back from the first or second round in order to add a pick or two, but given that they believe they are a piece or two away from winning it all, they will likely stay put.

Bears: Chicago traded away their first and second round picks. Yikes. With only 75 and 110 to work with, Chicago can only move around the board if they decide to give Dan Snyder a run for his money by mortgaging yet another (2011) draft.

Weakened Position On Draft Day: more likely to trade down than up
Jaguars: The Jags traded away their second round pick, which should put a stake in the heart of any Jack Del Rio impulse to move up unless he adds players to the mix. They have 11, 76 and 111.

Titans: The Titans, like the Jags, traded away their second round pick. They have 17, 79, 100c, 114.

Falcons: The Falcons traded their second rounder to KC. They have 19, 84, 119, 133c.

Redskins: What's that you say? The Redskins aren't totally screwed? Yep, they only blew their third rounder on a supplemental pick, leaving them with 4, 37 and 105. The 4 is probably already earmarked for Sam Bradford.

Panthers: The Panthers traded away their first round pick, leaving them with 47, 78, and 113.

The Standard Package: capable of moving up or down
Rams: The Rams have the top overall pick and, for now, seem a lock to take Ndamukong Suh. They have picks 1, 33, 65, and 101.

Broncos: Even after the Jay Cutler trade, the Broncos have only the 10, 45, 81 and 116 picks.

Dolphins: The Dolphins have 12, 43, 74, 112. Miami has Tyler Thigpen to dangle in front of Buffalo to grease the wheels of any deal.

Giants: The Giants have 15, 46, 77, 117.

Texans: The Texans have 20, 51, 82, 120.

Bengals: Cincy has 21, 53, 85, 121. The Bengals may be interested in moving up for the right offensive weapon, though 9 seems a bit high.

Packers: The Packers have 23, 55, 87, 123. They may be interested in moving up if the right defender is available at 9.

Cardinals: The Cards have 26, 58, 90 and 126. Arizona could be looking to move up to take a QB if they want an upgrade over Matt Leinart

Chargers: San Diego has 28, 60, 92 and 128.

Vikings: Minny has 30, 62, 94, 130 and not a whole lot in terms of needs if Brett Favre returns.

Colts: Indy has 31, 63, 95, 131 and a GM who is way too smart to overpay to move up the board.

Saints: The Super Bowl champs have 32, 64, 96, 132.

Sitting Pretty: most likely to move up the board in the early rounds due to extra draft picks
Buccaneers: The Bucs figure to get one of the best players in the draft at 3, and also have 35, 44, 67 and 103. They could easily get back into the first round.

Chiefs: You get the feeling that KC hired a pretty good GM. They have 5, 36, 50, 69, 104.

Browns: Everyone knocked the sweetheart deal Cleveland gave the Jets last year, but now they have 7, 38, 72, 93, 107. They could get a king's ransom for 7 and/or get back into the first round.

Raiders: No one ever knows what Al Davis is going to do. He has 8, 39, 70, 86, 108 to squander as he sees fit.

49ers: Mike Singletary has 13, 16, 49, 80, 115. He could easily get to the top 3 if he so wished.

Steelers: The Steelers have 18, 52, 83, 118, 136c.

Patriots: What are the odds? New England has 22, 42, 48, 54 and 122. His history is one of trading out of the first round and stockpiling picks.

Eagles: After being fleeced by the Bills in the Jason Peters trade, the Eagles still have 24, 56, 71, 88, 98c, 134 and 129. Andy Reid has been more than willing to move up the board (remember he wanted to move up to take Brodrick Bunkley when Buffalo chose Donte Whitner) and make deals with Buffalo. With offensive line questions, Reid may be looking to move up.

Ravens: Baltimore has 25, 57, 89, 97c, 125, 134c. Yeah, two of them are compensatory picks that can't be traded but that's still 6 picks in 4 rounds.

Cowboys: Jerry Jones, likewise, has two compensatory picks. He has 27, 59, 91, 99c, 127, 135c to wheel and deal with.

Seahawks: The Seahawks don't have a thrid rounder but they have a pair of picks in the top 14. They have 6, 14, 40, 106. They could make a play for No. 1 overall.

Deeper Look
The Jets and Bears are off the board. They don't have the juice to move up and have needs they can't address if they move down. Please remove them from draft day trade discussions. The Skins are also verboten with 4 being spoken for (Bradford) and no third rounder. The Titans have a pair of third rounders thanks to a comp pick, but no second rounder. They don't have players the Bills would want in trade, so they're probably off the board as well. Ditto for the Falcons, who have no second rounder as well. Carolina would likely love to trade up, but have little with which to do it. The Jags are a possible trading partner with the Bills, mainly because they have a player Buffalo might want (David Garrard) in trade if they want to move from 11 to 9. More likely, the Jags would trade down from 11 to add a second and third rounder, which Buffalo is unlikely to do. 

Rams: I don't see any trade with the Rams happening. For example, trading from 41 to 33 would involve giving up 73. With so many holes I can't see the Bills moving up to 33. As for 1, well, forget it.

Lions: See the Rams.

Seattle: The new regime has an excellent opportunity to revamp their roster by standing pat. If the Seahawks want to move up from 14 to 9 it would cost them a third rounder that they don't have. They could ship 40 to the Bills and demand 73 in exchange. That would give Seattle 6, 9, 73 and 106 while Buffalo would have 14, 40, 41 and 109. I'd do it if I were Buffalo but I don't see Seattle passing on a 2nd rounder just to move up to 9.

Denver: There really wouldn't be much point in Denver hopping up to 9 from 10 unless they were convinced that Buffalo was going to take their guy or trade 9 to a team that would take their guy. Buffalo would require Denver to overpay by handing over 81. That's a steep price to pay for 1 draft slot so I don't see it hapening.

Miami: The Dolphins might want to move up but Parcells is too sharp to bleed picks to make the leap. I can see them dealing Thigpen to Buffalo, even though it would probably help the Bills. Miami has won with Pennington before and, shoulder surgery or not, Henne would be the starter. It's pick neutral, other than the drop from 9 to 12.

Giants: It would be a grand swap of picks to let the Giants move up the board from 15 to 9. The Giants would give Buffalo 15, 46 and 117 in exchange for 9 and 73. The Giants end up with 9, 73, and 77 in the first four rounds. Buffalo get 15, 41, 46, 109 and 117. This is very similar to the Seattle deal in terms of picks.

Houston: Houston isn't all that far away from having a playoff caliber team so I don't see them giving up a great deal to move up the board. To move from 20 to 9 they'd have to throw in their 2nd and 4th rounders which would cripple their draft.

Cincy, Packers, Cardinals, Chargers, Vikings, Colts, Saints: See Houston, only they'd have to pay even more. It's not happening absent a team sending a player or two Buffalo's way.

Bucs: The Bucs are like the Bills--holes everywhere. They need both quantity and quality. Should the Bucs really have a guy they badly want at 9, they could ship Buffalo 35, 44 and 67. That would leave Tampa with 3, 9 and 103 while Buffalo would have 35, 41, 44, 67, 73 and 109. Given Tampa's need for quantity I don't see it happening but I'd love to see Buffalo with three second round picks.

Chiefs: The Chiefs are in the same position as the Bucs so I don't see KC trading all the way up to 9. I could see KC calling Buffalo and offering 50 and 104 for 41.

Cleveland: Buffalo has a trade up option with the Browns. The Bills would ship 9 and 41  to Cleveland for 7, 72 and 93. That would allow Buffalo to pick up a highly sought player and have a trio of third rounders...but no second rounder. I can't see that happening.

Raiders: Buffalo could move up with the Raiders but why bother when Al Davis can be expected to do something stupid anyway. The Raiders don't have the juice to move up to the first round but could send 70, 86 and 108 to Buffalo for #41. With Al Davis you can't rule that kind of insanity out.

49ers: San Fran has a pair of first rounders so they have all kinds of options. They could easily ship 16 and 49 to Buffalo for 9 and 109. Buffalo would walk away with 16, 41, 49, and 73. San Fran could also send Buffalo 13 and 80 for 9, giving the Bills 13, 41, 73, 80 and 109. Of course, if San Fran wants to move up they could easily swap 13 and 16 for for 3.

Pittsburgh: The Steelers really only have an extra compensatory pick (no trade allowed) so they're not getting up to 9 without crippling their draft. The Steelers could, however, trade 52 and 83 for 41.

Patriots: Belicheat will deal with anyone. Buffalo could send 41 and 73 to New England for 22. It would get Buffalo a pair of first rounders (again) but pretty well destroy any chance of addressing several critical needs.

Eagles: The Eagles are an intriguing trade option. They have the juice to jump from 24 to 9 or use one of their third rounders (the third is a comp pick) to move up the second. The Eagles could trade 24, 56 and 71 for 9. That would give Buffalo 24, 41, 56, 71, 73 and 109. Alternately, The Eagles could ship 56 and 88 to Buffalo for 41. The Bills would net a 3rd rounder in the deal. That doesn't, of course, take into account any player trades (Please no Vick! Please no Vick!) from the Eagles to the Bills.

Ravens: The Ravens don't have as much juice as the Eagles, mainly due to having only one extra third rounder (what a burden) and because it is a comp pick. I can't see the Ravens moving up to 9 but it's not out of the question for them to trade 57, 89 and 125 for 41. Their comp picks in the third and fourth rounds ease the pain of the move.

Dallas: Jerry Jones loves to deal and he has comp picks in the third and fourth rounds to play with. Again, I don't see Dallas flying up to 9 but he could trade 59, 91 and 127 for 41....just so Jones can be Jones. 

Analysis
The Jets, Bears, Skins, Titans, Falcons, and Panthers are non-starters, as are Cincy, Packers, Cardinals, Chargers, Vikings, Colts, Bucs, Browns, Pats, Saints and Texans. The Lions and Rams won't move up and it would cost Buffalo too much to trade up with them. Seattle, the Giants and Denver don't seem like realistic possibilities. The 49ers have better options than Buffalo.  

The Jags are only in play if they want to move Gerrard. Miami, like the Jags, only works if they want to trade Thigpen.

The Eagles are a logical trading partner due to both their plethora of picks and history with the Bills. The Chiefs Steelers, Ravens and Cowboys can trade with Buffalo but really only for 41.

You can never rule out anything that Al Davis might do.

So, trading up hurts Buffalo too much to do it. Trading down in the first round requires a partner and only a few teams (Jags, Dolphins, Eagles) are in position to make the deal. There are teams (Chiefs, Ravens, Steelers, Cowboys) who are good candidates to trade down from 41. The bottom line is that Buffalo doesn't appear to have as many potential suitors for the 9 pick than we might have thought, which limits the options considerably.

Hash it out in the comments so we don't spend the next two months constantly arguing over whether (blank) trade is likely to happen.