One day before the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, with no clues as to how the evening will unfold, we’re no closer to knowing who will play under center for the Buffalo Bills in the future. Brandon Beane won’t even tell his wife or kids which quarterback he wants to draft, but his lips aren’t completely sealed. Speaking with ESPN reporter Jeff Darlington today, he offered up a glimpse of the team’s strategy for the first day of the draft.
The first piece to note is that the Bills have identified at least one quarterback as a “franchise” signal caller - a sign that, as long as the team isn’t totally crowded out, they aren’t planning to punt this decision to 2019.
The next topic of discussion was the second overall pick. Beane believes the Bills have enough picks available in 2018 to trade as high as two without sacrificing substantial resources in the future, as past trades for Carson Wentz and Robert Griffin III have required.
Beane mentioned that Buffalo’s possession of the 22nd overall pick gives them that flexibility. He thinks that the possibility of two first round picks could entice a top-five team to negotiate a trade down.
The last bit of strategy, which may just be bluster on the part of Beane, is that he thinks there’s a possibility his favorite player may still be on the board at 4 or 6. Again, there’s no way to know that until tomorrow night as the board sorts out, but with rumors of the New York Giants being in on Saquon Barkley and the Cleveland Browns on Bradley Chubb, it’s definitely conceivable that the Bills could wind up at the fifth overall pick with only two quarterbacks off the board - and their number one guy still on it.
Regardless of tomorrow night’s outcome, we’ll never be 100 percent certain which player or tactic was the ultimate preference for the Bills, as they insist that the eventual outcome was all according to plan. But these hints from Beane suggest that, on their way to selecting a rookie quarterback, they’ll make things entertaining for the viewers at home.