Following their headlining trade with the Minnesota Vikings for star wideout Stefon Diggs, the Buffalo Bills aren’t harboring any fantasies about making waves on the first night of the 2020 NFL Draft. As far as they’re concerned, that work is already finished. Speaking with reporters in a remote press conference last week, general manager Brandon Beane shared his thoughts about how the Diggs trade recalibrated Buffalo’s draft strategy.
Beane was candid about the process that led the Bills to opt into their trade, especially giving up their first-round pick. Ever looming, the coronavirus’s impact on the practice calendar (and Buffalo’s ability to prepare rookies to play) could not be ignored.
“I think it became ever present with what’s going on around us, that we don’t know what kind of offseason we’ll have,” said Beane. “And I just felt like it was going to be really hard, unless I trade it up really high to find a guy that I know could walk in, day one”
Beane acknowledged that this year’s draft was “stacked with receivers,” but given the circumstances, “I just felt a proven commodity was worth this.”
Asked by a reporter if he considered Diggs as Buffalo’s first-round pick, Beane concurred.
“I [see it as] our first-round pick. The way I’m viewing it with the draft capital that we moved to acquire him is we moved up, let’s just say four spots. We traded up there, and we got him.”
With Buffalo’s first-round pick cashed in, the Bills won’t have much to do during the first round. Beane quipped that the Bills will be watching Diggs’s highlights when their original pick slot comes up. They seem to be prepared to sit out the first round entirely and watch the chips fall. Beane said as much: “We’ll just be patient and go through it and watch it all and then the big thing will be when day one is over.” That’s when the Bills will reset their board, look at which players fell to day two, and update the remaining roster needs for all the other franchises.
He left open the possibility that the Bills could trade up in the second round, as they did to select Cody Ford last year. While Buffalo only has a single pick in each of rounds two through five, Beane’s very familiar with the art of pick trading at this point. For round one, though, the Bills can sit this one out.