Buffalo Bills: Complete 2014 NFL Draft Wrap-Up and Analysis

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Buffalo Bills: Complete 2014 NFL Draft Wrap-Up and Analysis
Bill Wippert/Associated Press
The Buffalo Bills drafted Sammy Watkins (third from left) with their first of seven selections in the 2014 NFL draft.

The Buffalo Bills don’t have a reputation for making splashy, aggressive moves in the NFL draft, but that certainly changed under general manager Doug Whaley’s leadership in 2014.

With a draft strategy historically reminiscent to their division rival New England Patriots than any draft the Bills had conducted in recent memory, Buffalo traded up in the first round, down in the second and made another trade down on Day 3.

In addition to their navigation up and down the draft order, the Bills also conducted trades to move veteran wide receiver Stevie Johnson to the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for a 2015 conditional fourth-round pick, then sent that conditional fourth-round pick to the Philadelphia Eagles to acquire running back Bryce Brown.

The Bills’ draft strategy became clear over the course of the selection meeting’s three days. So did their objective for the 2014 season: Win now.

Buffalo’s wheeling and dealing in this year’s draft has both energized its fanbase and been questioned by critics, but if their strategy proves to be effective, it could give the Bills a chance for a playoff push.

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