Early in the offseason, the consensus was that the Bills would target a pass-rusher to help put pressure on opposing quarterbacks. After signing both Mario Williams and Mark Anderson in free agency, that now seems unlikely.
The next logical position to address appeared to be offensive tackle, especially after Demetress Bell signed with the Philadelphia Eagles. But Riley Reiff has some teams convinced he’s a better fit at guard due to his short arms, and Stanford’s Jonathan Martin’s stock has dropped with an unspectacular offseason.
Buffalo could target Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly at pick 10. The question is, do they like him enough and do they have a plan for where he fits in the new 4-3 defense? If he’s not going to log early playing time, is he worth a Top-10 pick?
Cornerback is another position of need. However, it’s a deep class this year, and the value at 10 may be a slight reach.
If Michael Floyd or Justin Blackmon is available at pick 10, Buffalo might look to grab one of them to complement Steve Johnson as the No. 2 wideout. But, there’s a possibility that both could be gone before the Bills are on the clock.
For all these reasons, the Bills may be thinking about trading back in the first round. But they’ll need a willing partner to make a deal.
This article focuses on five potential trade partners for the Bills and addresses which players those teams might target, and which players the Bills could target if they move back.
The Seattle Seahawks are trying to get young at linebacker. Furthermore, David Hawthorne, their leading tackler over the last three seasons, signed with the New Orleans Saints in free agency, leaving a noticeable gap at middle linebacker.
Boston College’s Luke Kuechly is widely projected as the top overall linebacker in this year’s class. Dan Arkush of Pro Football Weekly suggests the two sides could be a match.
With Kuechly rising more and more as the draft approaches, Seattle could opt to make a move into the Top 10 to ensure they get their man.
If Seattle makes a trade with Buffalo, the Bills would likely target offensive tackle Riley Reiff or cornerbacks Dre Kirkpatrick out of Alabama or Stephen Gilmore out of South Carolina.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones always gets what he wants
Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys are reportedly very high on defensive tackle Dontari Poe out of Memphis. According to Evan Silva of Profootballtalk.com, the Cowboys are infatuated with the prospect but are trying to keep their interest under wraps.
Their interest in Poe could very well be legitimate. But if this is all smoke in the air, Dallas could also use help in the secondary. Veteran cornerback Terrence Newman was released this offseason, and the team could use depth at both corner and safety.
With the 14th overall pick, the Cowboys may not want to take a chance waiting on Poe, Dre Kirkpatrick or even safety Mark Barron—three players who could all improve Big D’s defense. A defense that needs another playmaker.
And if Jerry Jones feels he could miss his guy by waiting until 14, they could move up to 10.
In that case, the Bills would likely miss out on prospects Luke Kuechly and Riley Reiff. However, they could still land someone like Georgia’s Cordy Glenn or possibly one or both of Dre Kirkpatrick or Stephon Gilmore at corner.
Could Stanford OG David DeCastro be on Cincinnati's radar?
The Cincinnati Bengals have two first-round picks at 17 and 21. The logical assumption is that they’ll keep both and add two key players to their young, developing roster.
However, they are also in good position to both move up from pick 17 or 21 and still get two first-rounders.
In other words, if there’s a player that the Bengals covet at pick 10, it’s possible they could trade either pick 17 or 21, keep the other and offer up additional picks to move up and get their guy.
Possible players the Bengals might pursue include Notre Dame wide receiver Michael Floyd, Stanford offensive guard David DeCastro and defensive tackle Dontari Poe.
Buffalo could accumulate extra draft picks while moving back to either 17 or 21. At that point, they might target someone like Stanford’s offensive tackle Jonathan Martin, Alabama’s linebacker Dont’a Hightower and even Kirkpatrick or Gilmore if they’re still on the board.
Baylor WR Kendall Wright could be a huge weapon for Colt McCoy
Like the Bengals, the Cleveland Browns have two first-round picks at No. 4 and No. 22.
At pick four, they could target an offensive playmaker like Trent Richardson to solidify the running back position and help young quarterback Colt McCoy. Then with their 22nd overall pick, they could target the best wide receiver available.
The problem, though, is that both Justin Blackmon and Michael Floyd could be long gone. So, too, could Baylor’s Kendall Wright.
Buffalo likely won’t trade their 10th pick if Floyd falls to them, but if he doesn’t, Cleveland may want to move up to pick 10 to target Kendall Wright.
In that case, the Bills would move all the way back to pick 22. Possible targets at that point in Round 1 include Jonathan Martin, Dont’a Hightower and possibly Georgia Tech wide receiver Stephen Hill.
The Lions may not want to wait to grab the CB of their choice
Trading with the Detroit Lions would be the biggest move back for Buffalo. With the 23rd overall pick, Detroit is expected to target cornerback, pass-rusher or even an offensive lineman.
The only highly rated corner that is likely to fall to them at pick 23 is North Alabama’s Janoris Jenkins, but the team has reportedly made it very clear that they do not plan to draft the troubled prospect.
As a result, Detroit may want to grab the highest rated player on its board, whether that be Dre Kirkpatrick, Stephon Gilmore or a pass-rusher like Quinton Coples should he slip to the Bills.
The Lions are very close to being consistent contenders, so they may not want to risk waiting for the player of their choice to fall to them. If they feel they’re missing that one crucial player, it’s possible that they’ll make a move for him.
At pick 23, Buffalo could then consider various players, including the previously mentioned Jonathan Martin, Cordy Glenn, Stephen Hill and Dont’a Hightower.
Another enticing prospect here is Stanford tight end Coby Fleener. If Buffalo could move back to grab Fleener and acquire additional draft picks, Bills fans will likely be excited.