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SB Nation NFL Writers Mock Draft: Our preferred move is a trade down

The Buffalo Bills are on the clock in the 2021 SB Nation NFL Writers Mock Draft! With 29 picks up and 29 picks down, the Bills are finally in a position to add to their squad. As the general manager of Buffalo Rumblings, I have Dan Lavoie and Andrew “Grif” Griffin in the room with Bruce Nolan on the phone.

When we got to pick 20, our list looked like this (in no real order):

  • DE Kwity Paye
  • CB Caleb Farley
  • EDGE Azeez Olujari
  • LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah
  • CB Greg Newsome

With four of those players picked over the next eight slots, we tried to trade up with the Green Bay Packers to secure the last player on our board with a first-round grade, but we ultimately rejected. That leaves us in a pickle; do we take a player with a second-round grade or trade down?

Here are the first 29 picks:

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars - Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
  2. New York Jets - Zach Wilson, QB, Brigham Young
  3. San Francisco 49ers (from Houston Texans through Miami Dolphins) - Justin Fields, QB,
  4. Atlanta Falcons - Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
  5. Cincinnati Bengals - Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
  6. Miami Dolphins (from Philadelphia Eagles) - Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
  7. Detroit Lions - Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
  8. Carolina Panthers - Rashawn Slater, OT Northwestern
  9. Denver Broncos - Micah Parsons,LB, Penn State
  10. Dallas Cowboys - Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
  11. New York Giants - Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
  12. Philadelphia Eagles (from San Francisco 49ers through Miami Dolphins) - Devonta Smith, WR, Alabama
  13. Los Angeles Chargers - Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
  14. Minnesota Vikings - Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
  15. New England Patriots - Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
  16. Arizona Cardinals - Jaelen Phillips, DE, Miami
  17. Las Vegas Raiders - Alijah Vera-Tucker, OL, USC
  18. Miami Dolphins - Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
  19. Washington Football Team - Jamin Davis, LB, Kentucky
  20. Chicago Bears - Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State
  21. Indianapolis Colts - Kwity Paye, DE, Michigan
  22. Tennessee Titans - Rashad Bateman, WR, Minnesota
  23. New York Jets (from Seattle Seahawks) - Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
  24. Pittsburgh Steelers - Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
  25. Jacksonville Jaguars (from Los Angeles Rams) - Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama
  26. Cleveland Browns - Azeez Ojulari, OLB, Georgia
  27. Baltimore Ravens - Terrance Marshall, Jr., WR, LSU
  28. New Orleans Saints - Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, OLB, Notre Dame
  29. Green Bay Packers - Greg Newsome, CB, Northwestern

In an ideal world, with out first-round consensus players off the board, we want to trade down to the top of the second round and secure assets for a trade up later or the 2022 NFL Draft.

We found a willing trade partner in the New York Giants and Big Blue View’s Ed Valentine. It took some negotiating, but we landed on compensation. Our first offer as rejected:

  • Bills get 42+76 (second + third)
  • Giants get 30+161+174 (first + fifth + fifth)

“I’ve thought about this one a lot, and talked to my draft guys. I can’t do it,” wrote Valentine. “It would mean going from 30 to 116 without a pick, and I think that’s too big a price.”

My counter offer allowed him to keep his third-round pick in 2021

  • Bills get 42+116+2022 third-round (second + fourth + 2022 third)
  • Giants get 30 (first)

We agreed to this deal, though more of as a thought exercise as opposed to something he was really excited about. Fans at Big Blue View hated the idea, for the record.

So now, Buffalo has the following list of NFL Draft capital:

  • Second round, pick 42
  • Second round, pick 61
  • Third round, pick 93
  • Fourth round, pick 116
  • Fifth round, pick 161
  • Fifth round, pick 174
  • Sixth round, pick 213
  • Seventh round, pick 236
  • Extra 2022 third-round pick

With this capital, we would likely stay put at 42 and draft the best player on our board. A glut of our second-tier cornerbacks and defensive ends are still available, so once we picked at 42, we would start working the phones to get back up into the top 50 for a player at the other position before what we consider a big drop off.

Picks 61 and the 2022 third-rounder should be enough to move up to 49 to sneak ahead of the Miami Dolphins but maybe more importantly Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Kansas City, and Cleveland and New Orleans, who has similar needs to the Bills.

All in all, we emerge with two potential down-the-line starters picked in the top 50 plus keep pick 93 where we can pick a developmental prospect in the top 100 and picks in every round down the line for flexibility to move up.