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2022 NFL Draft: What to expect if the Bills trade out of the first round

The Bills don’t have 25 first-round grades

Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane said last week that he does not have 25 first-round grades on his big board, and doubled down Tuesday morning saying the most he’s ever had were in the “low 20s.” That leaves open the possibility that the team won’t have the right value to pick in Thursday night’s first round. We know Beane loves to move up to nab players he likes, but what if he goes against type and trades back this year?

The 25th overall pick is worth 229.88 points on the Rich Hill Trade Value Chart. If a team is going to trade a second- and third-round pick to move up, the Bills would be looking at the 37/38 range in a move down, plus they would net the corresponding third-round selection.

That’s a bit complicated, though, because the Houston Texans hold the 37th overall selection and the Texans already have two first-rounders in 2022, so would they want to add a third? They have multiple picks in the third round and fourth round, as well, so that’s not a problem as they have the capital to move up.

The New York Jets are 38th, and intra-division trades aren’t usually something that happens in the draft. Usually.

The New York Giants at 36 also have two first-rounders already, making it unlikely they want to move up but the Chicago Bears at 39 don’t have a first-round pick. Instead, they have two seconds. To get good value, the Bills should also request a future fourth-round selection in addition to picks 39 and 71. The Bears get a first-rounder to help their new young quarterback and coaching staff. Chicago doesn’t have a fourth-rounder in 2022, so maybe they won’t want to give up their Day 2 picks.

The Bills could also choose to move further down and stock up for 2023’s draft with a trade into the 40s. A move that big would likely net Buffalo a 2023 first-rounder in addition to that 2022 second-round pick. While the talent pool is thin at 25, perhaps one of those teams in the 40s has a first-round grade on their board falling. As Buffalo’s cap hits go up and up with veteran players, reloading with an additional first-round pick in 2023 would be a great get, but the trick is finding a team to do it. It takes two to tango.

Buffalo moving down into the late 30s could solidify all their draft needs, and be a better place to draft RB Breece Hall, an offensive lineman, a cornerback, or a depth wide receiver while the third-round pick is the perfect place to find any of those positions or a tight end.

While I wouldn’t expect all the Day 3 picks to make the roster, having multiple cracks on Day 2 could be very intriguing for the Bills. A trade down could give them several swings at the plate.