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Buffalo Bills tried to trade up to 22 to snag CB Kaiir Elam, but settled for 23

They didn’t want to lose their guy

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Matt Warren is Associate Director of NFL coverage for SB Nation and previously covered the Bills for Buffalo Rumblings for more than a decade.

The Kansas City Chiefs’ trade up to the 21st overall selection was the catalyst for the Buffalo Bills’ trade up, and while general manager Brandon Beane didn’t admit that the Bills had a first-round grade on Trent McDuffie, it seems pretty clear.

As soon as McDuffie was off the board, the Bills attempted to trade up with the Green Bay Packers at 22, per Mike Silver at Bally Sports, who was embedded with Beane over Draft Weekend. After they were rebuffed, they swung a deal with the Baltimore Ravens at 23 to ensure they got the last remaining first-round grade on their board.

Beane confirmed the trade attempt with the Packers on One Bills Live the Monday after the Draft, saying they just “couldn’t work it out.”

The question has rightfully been asked. “Why trade up two spots to leapfrog Dallas when the Cowboys weren’t looking at a cornerback?” It was pretty simple for Beane. Other teams knew the Bills might be looking for a cornerback, so if they were in the same boat with one first-round CB left on their board, that other team might be trading up to 23 or 24 to pick ahead of the Bills. Beane short-circuited any attempts at that plan and the rest is history.

Bills trade up for CB Kaiir Elam