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Brandon Beane explains the trade up for CB Kaiir Elam

The Bills weren’t interested in a big swing

Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane spoke with the media late Thursday night after selecting cornerback Kaiir Elam from the University of Florida. While answering questions from reporters, he hit a lot of subjects including how high he was willing to trade, why he made the move, and the position group he addressed.

Beane says he moved up those two spots because the Bills only had one first-round grade left on their board. It helped that it was at a position everyone was talking about.

“I’ve been hearing it loud and clear, we don’t have a corner,” said Beane, mentioning the media, his neighbors, and his kids. “We’ll all sleep good tonight.”

With everyone talking about it, the Bills were heavily linked to cornerbacks, which was a driving force in the move up. Beane didn’t want another team to leapfrog Buffalo to take a CB, knowing it was high on their priority list. So he shipped a fourth-rounder to ensure another team couldn’t make the move.

“It’s definitely one [position] that we wanted to add depth,” said Beane. “We looked at free agency too and we looked at the draft last year but we had to follow our board. It was within striking range.”

The Bills were reportedly in on Minnesota Vikings cornerback Patrick Peterson and Carolina Panthers turned Indianapolis Colts cornerback Stephon Gilmore this offseason.

“We looked at some guys in free agency [this year] that got out of our price range,” said Beane. “We knew going into this draft there were some guys that could fit us.”

When the cornerbacks started going early, Beane thought he might be looking at another position again, but the run stopped. Two CBs went in the first four picks, but it was a long wait for the third. When the Kansas CIty Chiefs traded up for Trent McDuffie at 21, that was the impetus to get Beane to move and the next-to-last first-round grade they had on their board. He claims they didn’t talk to anyone tonight until pick 20, so they apparently weren’t looking for a big trade up for Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton or anyone else on the board who went higher than that pick. He specifically discussed not calling the New York Giants at pick seven, to that end.

There is no truth to the rumor that Beane wanted to help folks get to bed a little bit early and do a favor for the media trying to make deadline. He did tell a joke to that effect, though.

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