Buffalo Bills 2014 NFL Draft Fact or Fiction
The NFL Draft season is one filled with mis-direction and rumors are a dime a dozen. It is sometimes hard to decipher what is a smoke screen and what rumors are legitimate. However, that is where the fun lies for fans.
The Buffalo Bills currently hold the ninth overall pick and is a team that has had their fair share of rumors. The following slides will hopefully shed some light on these and whether I feel they fall in the fact or fiction category.
Bills Trading Up to the First Overall Pick?
Bleacher Report's Dan Pompei reported that the Bills could be interested in trading with Houston for the first overall pick. He wrote in the article:
Word from the NFL meetings is the Texans are trying hard to deal the first pick in the draft. They want to move down and acquire extra selections. Sources say they might have a trade partner in the Bills, who appear interested in moving up.
It would not surprise me if the Bills had contacted the Texans about the first overall pick, most likely for the opportunity to draft Jadeveon Clowney. There are two major roadblocks that would hinder a potential trade between the Texans and the Bills.
The first is that the Bills would have to give up numerous draft picks to move up that high and that doesn't fit GM Doug Whaley's philosophy. He has made it clear that he wants to build this team through the draft, so to trade away the amount of picks necessary to move up would be surprising.
The other potential hurdle in this trade is the fact that while the Texans probably do want to trade back and acquire extra picks, they probably don't want to trade all the way back to the ninth spot. By moving that far back in the draft, they would run the risk of missing out on one of the top quarterbacks in this year's draft.
Bills Won't Draft Wide Receiver Since They Have Acquired Mike Williams
One of the things on the offseason checklist for the Bills was to find big targets for quarterback EJ Manuel. The team crossed it off the list last week when they traded for Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Williams.
This has given rise to the thought that Buffalo is now set at wide receiver, but not so fast. WGR 550's Howard Simon tackled this issue and discussed the idea that Buffalo might pass on Texas A&M's Mike Evans now that they have Williams. He wrote:
Which is why I don't think we should rule out the Bills drafting Mike Evans with the 9th pick. It might not make sense now when you see [Steve] Johnson, Williams, Robert Woods, Marquise Goodwin and TJ Graham among others on the receiving depth chart but what if the Bills have decided or will decide to move on from Johnson next year?
I agree with Simon that, though the wide receiver group looks more than capable to handle the job in 2014, there is uncertainty past this coming season. If Mike Williams does not have a bounce-back year this coming season there is a strong possibility he could be cut to avoid the substantial salary he is due in the future.
If the team drafts Evans, they would have a big target for Manuel for years to come, and he'd be signed to a reasonable salary.
Steve Johnson Will Be Traded If the Bills Draft Evans
If the Bills were to draft Mike Evans with the ninth overall pick, what would that mean for wide receiver Steve Johnson? NFL.com's Albert Breer tweeted that he believes if Buffalo selected Evans, then Johnson would be on the move. I would have to agree with Breer's view on this.
According to Spotrac, Johnson has cap hits over $8 million each of the next three years. If you combine that with the remaining years on Mike Williams' contract, the Bills would have over $15 million dedicated to those two wide receivers. If the team then adds another wide receiver, one who was drafted in the Top 10, it creates a problem.
This by no means is set in stone and there is a strong possibility that Evans may not even be available when it is the Bills' turn to pick. However, if Evans is there and he is their pick, then Buffalo would have to decide who is the odd man out.
The Bills Will Look to Add a Running Back in This Draft
As strong as the running back position looks for the Bills this coming season, there are some big question marks looming for this team. Can the Bills re-sign C.J. Spiller after his rookie contract expires? How many more productive seasons does Fred Jackson have left?
This is possibly why Buffalo may be looking to add a running back in this year's draft. At the end of February, ESPN.com's Mike Rodak reported that the Bills had met with Boston College's Andre Williams at the NFL Combine. He closes the article stating:
Still, it's dangerous to read into the Bills' interview, as every NFL team sits down with dozens of players in Indianapolis. Because of that, it's far too early to say the Bills are "interested" in Williams, but it's not too early to consider running back as a draft need for Buffalo.
The idea of Bills drafting a running back has continued to gain steam, as the team has already had pre-draft visits with two running backs in their first 10 visits. WGR 550's Joe Buscaglia has reported that the Bills have already entertained LSU's Jeremy Hill and Baylor's Lache Seastrunk at One Bills Drive.
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