Best Path to a Franchise Quarterback

Photo of GM Brandon Beane from bleacherreport.com.

The NFL Draft is just weeks away and social media is buzzing.  Unlike previous years, The 2018 Buffalo Bills are one of the major story lines as we get closer to April 26th.  It is widely believed that Brandon Beane will move up the draft board to select the future face of the franchise.

Surprisingly, the fan base seems more divided on this idea than anyone originally expected.  Trading guys like Sammy Watkins, Ronald Darby, Cordy Glenn, and Tyrod Taylor have put the Bills in a position to really take a swing at a guy if they deem him worthy of the investment.

Then again, with six picks in the first three rounds, Buffalo could also choose to fill the many holes they currently have on their roster. Many fans will say that the only hole that matters is the one at quarterback, but that theory has been disproven time and time again.

Let’s assume that the Bills do decide to trade up, considering people much more connected than I think that they will.  Here is a look at some of the ways Beane could get the Bills in the driver’s seat to select their quarterback.

Sell the farm to the Giants for pick #2

Photo of Giants’ GM Dave Gettleman from NJ.com.

This is the one most fans expect to happen, but it’s probably the least realistic for several reasons.  First of all, Giants GM, Dave Gettleman, has never traded down in a draft.  That’s not to say that he wouldn’t, but certainly the price would have to be steep.

Furthermore, this draft is not considered to be exceptionally deep at the top with high-end, elite talent.  By moving down to the twelfth pick, the Giants would likely put themselves out of reach of that top tier.

Potential Cost: Pick 12, 22, 53, 65, 2019 1st rounder, 2019 4th rounder

Trade twice to get to #2

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – FEBRUARY 13: Head coach Frank Reich of the Indianapolis Colts addresses the media during his introductory press conference at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 13, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

If Beane wants to get up to the second pick, this is probably the path he would have to take.  The Giants probably don’t want to move all the way back to 12, and a team with as many holes as Buffalo has probably shouldn’t give up five top-65 picks.

The Colts and Browns look like the most likely candidates to trade down.  Personally, I think the Browns would be better served staying put at four and taking the best player on the board.  Eventually, they need to turn these early round selections into star-caliber players. That leaves us with the Colts.

The Colts, may have taken themselves out of the Bradley Chubb sweepstakes by moving back in a trade with the Jets. If that’s the case, Indianapolis would probably be reaching for any player at six that would fill a position of need specific to their roster.

Instead, they could look to acquire an additional second round pick and Shaq Lawson to move back six spots in the first round. Getting Shaq on his rookie deal would fill a major need for Indianapolis while allowing them select the best offensive lineman on the board at pick 12.

From there Buffalo could move the, newly acquired, sixth overall pick to the Giants in a package deal.  Gettleman would probably be more comfortable moving back to six, especially knowing that three quarterbacks are coming off the board before his selection.  The Giants would end up with additional draft capital and one of Barkley, Chubb, or Nelson.

Potential Cost: Pick 12, 22, 53, 56, Shaq Lawson

Leapfrog Denver, get to #4

Photo of Broncos’ GM and Executive VP from thedenverchannel.com.

This one comes with one major caveat.  This trade wouldn’t happen until after the Giants make their selection at number two.  Buffalo would need to know that they were not going to select a quarterback.

By moving up to pick number four, Beane would not only be selecting the third quarterback off the board, he would also be letting the second quarterback off the board land within his own division.  This is why these guys get hired by NFL owners and we sit here reading and writing blog posts.

Denver has shown interest in many of the top quarterbacks. If Buffalo thinks that they may pull the trigger on one of these guys, then it is important to get ahead of them.  This would be a risky move by the front office.

Ultimately, if the quarterback selected by the Jets works out and Buffalo’s selection at four doesn’t, Beane will be criticized for not doing more to get up to pick number two.  It could cost him his job in Buffalo.

Potential Cost: Pick 12, 22, 53

Regardless of the path they take, Brandon Beane has done an incredible job putting Buffalo in this position in just one year’s time.  It’s unfortunate that this next decision will inevitably determine his legacy in Buffalo.  With that being said, he knows the stakes, and for this reason I am choosing to trust the process.

Editor’s babble: Many thanks to Joe Geniti for his contributions to our blog and helping us figure out what the options are for the Bills in the upcoming draft. You can follow Joe on Twitter @JoeGeniti.

*Views expressed belong to the author of each post and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the owners of the BillsMafia.com website.

8 Replies to “Best Path to a Franchise Quarterback”

  1. Thanks Joe….

    In hindsight the Bills making the playoffs (unexpectedly) and ending the drought may have hurt their chances of getting a top rated QB this year.

    Trading up or staying put is a tough choice. If they do trade up and get a QB, I hope the fans will have patience while he develops.

  2. “In hindsight”

    What do you mean in hindsight? I was preaching that choir before the season ever started. I’m happy (and still a bit shocked) the Bills finally got that monkey off their back, but I’d much rather be in position for the QB of their choice than catching a break and a bad team lucking their way into the playoffs. Let’s hope they can luck their way into selecting (one of) the best QB(s) from the class now that they’re on the outside looking in.

    In hindsight, which I also said the day after the draft, the Bills shoulda traded with Houston instead of KC…

  3. Joma, I think we were all surprised the Bills made it as far as they did.. They finally had a season where the bounces went there way right down to the Bengals beating the Ravens… I would have put my money on the Bills winning 5 or less games last season especially after the purge.

    You definitely made your point about the Bills making the playoffs, for me I was too blinded by the excitement of them breaking the non-playoff streak… That playoff game is going to cost them either a shot a the QB that they want or a boatload of picks to get the QB they want…

  4. Ever since the Bills traded back with KC last year and gained the extra first round pick, it’s been a clear sign of what they intend to do, use the draft capital to move up and get their QB. How the Bills do it is the big mystery and one we most likely won’t find out until draft night.

    Joma, I think Cleveland got the Texans first round pick by taking on Osweiler’s ridiculous contract. In hindsight, that was a brilliant move on their part as they have picks 1 and 4.

  5. They got their second round pick for that. The first was just to trade up for Deshaun Watson.

    • I have never been this excited for the draft. In my opinion the Bills stay at 12 draft Mason Rudolph and keep all of their remaining picks. Giving up all those picks doesn’t make sense to me when we need receivers to throw to and many holes to fill on both sides of the lines. Rudolph is a gunslinger that needs to be looked at by the Bills.