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2015 NFL Draft: Buffalo Bills pre-draft luncheon gives insights into plans

The Buffalo Bills hosted a pre-draft press conference with Doug Whaley and his deputies in attendance today. Here's what we learned.

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

In a change from recent offseasons, the Buffalo Bills have been under the radar regarding the NFL Draft this year. Some of that can be attributed to the team's lack of a first-round pick, while some may be the result of organizational change. The team hasn't announced pre-draft visitors like they did in recent years, for instance, and there is a sense that they're trying to be more tight-lipped this offseason.

With that in mind, the Bills hosted a pre-draft press conference Monday at noon featuring GM Doug Whaley, pro personnel director Jim Monos, and college scouting chief Kelvin Fisher, allowing us to gain some insights into Buffalo's process. While Whaley started the press conference by reminding reporters that the team didn't want to give others a competitive edge by revealing too much, there were still some good tidbits shared. Here are the highlights:

Bills not planning to trade up

This may have seemed obvious given the lack of resources in Buffalo's draft pick arsenal this year, but considering Whaley's growing reputation as a gunslinger in the trade market, it's helpful to hear some confirmation. Whaley indicated that the Bills would be more willing to trade down, and you can probably expect Buffalo to make at least one trade on draft weekend even with their limited flexibility. After all:

Looking for starters early on

The Bills believe they have a team with strong depth, but they're still looking for starters with their first two picks. On the other hand, Whaley mentioned that late-round picks and undrafted free agents would probably struggle to make the roster this year, increasing the importance of hitting on those first two picks.

Positional rundown

While the Bills mainly stuck to generalities, they did share some thoughts about the different position groups in this draft.


Buffalo was asked about Colorado State's Garrett Grayson, calling him a "solid" player who would probably start as a backup and eventually become a starter. When asked if they'd consider drafting a quarterback with their first pick, the Bills stressed that they would get the "best value" with whoever they picked in the second round.

Tight End

The Bills currently only have four tight ends on the roster: Charles Clay, Chris Gragg, Marquies Gray, and Chris Manhertz. If they want to run with four tight ends on gameday, it's probably going to require another body, and the addition of Clay won't alter their draft board. That keeps second-round possibilities like Maxx Williams and Clive Walford on the radar heading into next week.

Offensive Line

The majority of local folks have the Bills picking a lineman in their mock drafts, and flexibility could help that prospect, especially on game days.

Where Buffalo's leaning

If you're looking for any kind of hint towards Buffalo's draft intentions, this might be the best nugget to go by, at least on the defensive side of the ball. Joe Buscaglia's tweet was slightly different from Chris Brown's, mentioning cornerback and safety but defensive line instead of pass rusher; it's not clear if the two were talking about the same or different position groups, though Buffalo could use depth for both. Cornerbacks were mentioned several times, lending credence to the idea they will pick one on draft weekend.