In a recent interview with The Buffalo News, general manager Brandon Beane provided incredible insight into the Buffalo Bills’ war room during the 2018 NFL Draft’s first round. In the weeks and months that lead up to draft time, general managers try to plan for every imaginable scenario to gain an edge when the chaos starts. Brandon Beane’s imagination fell short by at least one scenario: landing Tremaine Edmunds.
“I can’t lie. I’d love to tell you that I planned that out, and I’m that good, but I didn’t. I thought I had every scenario, but I didn’t have that one,” said Beane.
Beane had already made one trade to gain pick number seven, drafting Josh Allen. An incredible combination of patience and luck meant Beane had given up fewer assets in that move than anticipated. Retaining the 22nd pick and hoping for an impact player, Edmunds inexplicably slid down the board. When he was still there at pick 14, Beane knew he had to make a move. Edmunds was the right combination of impact and need that spurred the Bills to take action again.
“He was sticking out on our board, and it’s a need,” explained Beane. “If a guy is sticking out on our board, and it’s really not a need, you might not do it. But with the hole we had there, and where he was on our board, it was a no-brainer. Even if we could have got to 14, we would have done it.”
The Bills attempted to trade with Green Bay at the 14 slot, but the Packers ended up taking a deal from the New Orleans Saints instead. The Oakland Raiders were up next, but didn’t want to budge. At pick 16, the Baltimore Ravens were willing to do business with Buffalo and just like, the once unimaginable scenario became reality.
Beane describes the entire experience as if he couldn’t believe it actually happened.
“We got our guy [Josh Allen], but let’s get back to business. We’ve got another pick here. Let’s focus. When we got Edmunds, man, what just happened in the last hour? Listen, he’ll have to define his career and all that, but from where we had him on our board, to filling a need, it couldn’t have fell any better,” said Beane.
It’s also worth noting that Beane had a deal in place with the Denver Broncos to move up to pick 5, but when their player fell into their laps, the Broncos backed out of the deal. If the Browns had made a different pick at four, Buffalo probably trades up to 5 and doesn’t end up with Edmunds.