Despite adding six offensive linemen during a busy free agency period, the Buffalo Bills weren’t done overhauling their o-line, trading up in the second round to select Oklahoma standout Cody Ford with the No. 38 overall selection Friday evening in Nashville, Tenn.
The Bills traded up two spots from the 40th pick to acquire Ford, a mauler and one of the best and most complete offensive tackles available in the draft. The Bills dealt the 40th pick and pick No. 158 (fifth round) to the Oakland Raiders in the trade.
Turns out, the Bills weren’t alone in their admiration of Ford. A pair of AFC North rivals, the Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals, also expressed an interest in trading up in the second round to select the versatile Ford, who can play multiple positions on the offensive line.
The Ravens, who didn’t have a selection until No. 85 (third round), deemed the price of trading back into the second round as too steep.
Same for the Bengals, who held onto pick No. 42 but didn’t want to give up either their fourth- or fifth-round picks in a trade for Ford.
“We had a very good grade on Cody,” Buffalo general manager Brandon Beane said. “We even looked into late last night potentially getting into the end of the first, but it was a little rich for us. We felt like we would be giving up too many assets to do that. We made some calls, and fortunately, he was there to make that move with Oakland and pick him up.”
The Bills made their move to acquire Ford after seeing two other premier tackle prospects—Florida’s Jawaan Taylor and Mississippi’s Greg Little—get drafted earlier in the second round.
The Jacksonville Jaguars traded up from No. 38 to No. 35 to draft Taylor, while the Carolina Panthers moved up from pick No. 47 to 37 to draft Little.
By parting with the pick Buffalo received in the AJ McCarron trade with the Raiders, Buffalo was able to leapfrog another tackle-hungry team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, to land Ford.
”It was starting to get thin,” Beane said of the tackle market. “We honestly thought when Carolina traded right in front of us, tackle was one of their needs as well. They went with a tackle, they just wanted a different tackle. We felt fortunate to get Cody.”