In his first year as the general manager of the Buffalo Bills, Brandon Beane overhauled the Bills roster, stockpiled draft picks, and, in the process, helped lead the Bills to a 9-7 record and the No. 6 seed in the AFC playoffs.
While the Bills’ season eventually came to an end with a 10-3 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the Wild Card round, the season was ultimately a success as Buffalo far exceeded the preseason predictions and snapped a 17-year playoff drought.
Moving forward, the Bills have holes to fill (quarterback, linebacker, offensive line, defensive line, wide receiver), and plenty of draft capital to work with.
Thanks to the draft day trade with the Kansas City Chiefs, the Bills will have the 21st and 22nd overall picks. Buffalo will also have two picks in the second round (53rd and 56th) thanks to the Sammy Watkins trade with the Los Angeles Rams.
“We have a long way to go. We really do. We have a lot of work to do. We’re trying to compete and win everyday. We really are,” Beane said during his year-ending press conference. “I know we said it and people drew their own conclusions of what our strategy was or what this team was or was not going to be. The great thing was this team defined itself in their prep every day on and off the field to get the results. Our plan has not changed. The only thing that gets adjusted is you don’t know where you’re going to draft each year. It’s a great thing to be drafting [at pick number] 21, and we got Kansas City’s pick, which is [pick number] 22. [If] you draft in the twenties, you made the playoffs. That’s the goal because if you get in, you have a chance. ... we’re going to look at every avenue from the draft to free agency [to] guys on the street. We’re going to do what we can to get better at each position.”
Buffalo also has one pick in the third round, fourth round, and fifth round, plus a fifth round pick from the Marcell Dareus trade. Those exact draft positions won’t be known until the compensatory picks are announced in February.
Having one of the older rosters in the league, and with a potential void at quarterback (depending on what the team decides to do with Tyrod Taylor), possessing ample draft picks is a good situation to be in.
There is a plethora of talented college quarterbacks who could be there for the taking, ranging from Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma) to Sam Darnold (USC), Josh Rosen (UCLA), Josh Allen (Wyoming), Mason Rudolph (Oklahoma State), and Lamar Jackson (Louisville).
Beane shared his thoughts on if he felt the Bills had enough draft pick arsenal to make any necessary moves/trades in the upcoming draft to assess the quarterback position...or any other position of need.
“The good thing is we have a lot of draft capital and we can stay there and pick, we can move up, we can move back, we can do a lot of different things. It’s so early in the process. I mean, we’ve seen these college guys on the field, but we’ve yet to meet any of them and to know who they are,” Beane said. “You rank these guys [from] what you see on the film, but until you know them and know how they know the game and all of that, talking about the quarterback position, there’s so many layers of what it takes to play quarterback in this league – and we’ve talked about them – that we’re still a long way to go. It’s too early for me to answer what we would do, whether we’d do it or not, but yes, we will go where we need to go to get the right players.”