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2018 NFL Draft: Buffalo Bills’ path to second overall pick goes through Cleveland Browns

If Buffalo wants 2, they might have to first secure 4.

If the Buffalo Bills want to make a big move up in the 2018 NFL Draft to take their quarterback of the future, they might need to make two more trades to do it. Buffalo has already moved from 21 overall to 12 overall after trading offensive tackle Cordy Glenn. To turn that 12 into 2, they might have to make a pit stop at 4.

On Thursday, the New York Giants traded defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, seemingly leaving them with a need at the position that could be filled bby top prospect Bradley Chubb. The Giants have also been rumored to be interested in running back Saquon Barkley. Neither player is expected to make it to 12.

That could make the 4th overall pick more valuable. It’s widely assumed that the Cleveland Browns will go quarterback at one overall and the New York Jets will go quarterback at three overall. If the Giants trade their second overall pick to a quarterback-needy team, they will have their pick of Chubb and Barkley at 4.

So whoever controls the fourth pick, it would seem, controls the number 2 spot in the draft. The Giants can’t trade down to 5 and guarantee their player is available. The Browns wouldn’t want to trade up into the second overall spot, so Cleveland is likely to hang out their shingle saying “come and get it”.

Enter Buffalo.

Buffalo has the draft capital to move up to the fourth overall pick. In Rich Hill’s analytics-based draft chart, the fourth overall pick is worth 490.52 points. Buffalo’s 12th overall selection is worth 346.51. If you add in pick 53 (106.31) and pick 65 (38.52) that gets Buffalo from 12 to 4 in a normal year. With the amount of talent available at the top of this year’s draft, Buffalo may have to give up even more.

Projected trade 1

  • Buffalo gets 4th overall pick
  • Cleveland gets 12th overall, 53rd overall, 2019 first round pick

This represents the premium the New York Jets paid to get up to the 3rd spot and locks in with the Browns’ recent strategy of picking up an extra first rounder each year. It also leaves Buffalo with picks remaining for their next blockbuster trade.

Projected trade 2

  • Buffalo gets 2nd overall pick
  • Giants get 4th overall and 22 overall

Once again, this represents an overpayment and a premium price. The Giants get the player they covet anyway at 4th overall while picking up an extra first round pick. This is the easier of the two deals to pull off as the Giants are guaranteed one of the two players they were attempting to select.

This would be such a massive move. In total, Buffalo would have traded three first round picks, a second round pick, and Cordy Glenn to move from 21 to 2 but they would end up with their franchise quarterback AND still have picks remaining in the second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth rounds of the 2018 NFL Draft. They would still have a relatively normal rookie class.


Should the Bills move to 4 to get to 2 as outlined above?

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