Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane’s Zoom press conference with the Buffalo media was just as informative as it was unconventional. While social distancing from one another, Beane discussed the Stefon Diggs trade in terms of the draft class.
“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 in his answer about the move. “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. Let’s just say it’s August before we get back to things. You know, I just felt a proven commodity was worth this. The trade value of this move probably moved us up three to four slots from 22, might of got us to 18 or 19, not as high as I thought we had to get to get one of those premier guys that I knew would walk in the door, even August 1, and be ready to roll.”
His comments legitimized a specific four-step logical sequence many fans and commentators have been championing since the move took place:
- The draft capital Beane used would have moved the Buffalo Bills from 22 to approximately 18.
- Stefon Diggs is a (damn good) known commodity.
- Beane would have been comfortable trading up four spots to guarantee he’d be getting a known commodity at wide receiver.
- In the 2020 draft Beane believes he would have had to trade “way up” up to get a wide receiver he felt could contribute the way he expects to see from Diggs.
When viewed through this lens, Diggs can almost be considered a bargain taking into account what the Bills would have netted in the draft for a similar price (contract notwithstanding, of course).
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues and keeps work being done differently than in all previous NFL seasons, the Diggs trade continues to seem prudent. The Bills brought in a bona fide young playmaker at receiver with no question marks about his ability to play at the NFL level, from terminology to technique. Beane made it clear that the same level of certainty and confidence would have been hard to come by had he selected a player in the back half of the 2020 draft.