Should The Bills Brass Trade Down On Draft Day?

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Dec 31, 2009; Orchard Park, NY, USA; The Buffalo Bills introduced Buddy Nix who was made the new general manager for the team today. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-US PRESSWIRE
Hello readers it’s your favorite Buffalow Down staff writer once again bringing you that unique Buffalo Bills prospective. I don’t haft to tell you that the 2012 NFL Draft is only one week and four days away and with that being the case as one would expect the pre draft drama’s starting to mount higher and higher! Now some of this is intentional of course to peak interest in watching the draft for those who actually need motivation to do so, and some of it’s legitimate as teams attempt to position themselves for the best drafting opportunities possible. I have as I am sure’s the case with many of you heard several different scenarios in the past few weeks concerning the Bills draft strategy. In fact I myself as you all know have contributed to any confusion that may be circulating right now in reference to Thursday April 26th so I guess some would say I’m one to talk. Even so if you notice my view points changed according to pre draft moves that the Buffalo Bills made and not because of indecisiveness on my behalf. There’s a big difference there people, and it’s one that should be made note of when assessing my assesment of the Bills and what they should do on that (hopefully) magical night.
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  • LifetimeBillsFan

    When a team’s needs do not match the value “draftniks” place on the best available player at that position, the fans and pundits always say that the team should trade down. But, it’s not that simple.
    First of all, you have to find a partner to trade down with that is willing to pay a sufficient price and, most importantly, will leave your team in a position to pick the player that it wants at its position of need. That’s never easy and this year it is going to be even harder because most experts are saying that the prospects rated from #7 to # 20 are all relatively even in quality. Why should a team pay the price to trade up if it can get pretty much an equal quality prospect just by staying where it already is? The only reason is if they have “fallen in love” with a particular player who they have rated much higher on their board than everyone else. That happens, but then they have the option of trading with just about any team and not necessarily yours.
    Second is a factor fans and “draftniks” almost NEVER take into consideration when assessing whether a NFL team has “reached” in selecting a prospect in the draft: the depth of the draft classes at its positions of need. For example, as Pat Kirwin pointed out in an article on, ( ), there are are only 10 offensive tackles rated as eventual starters in this draft–five as possible top-tier LT prospects–and 15-17 NFL teams that are in need of help at offensive tackle. What that means is that those 10 offensive tackles, especially the top 5, are going to fly off the board early as teams try to insure that they will get one of those 10 rated as eventual starters by drafting them early, before some other team takes them, so that they will not be “left out in the cold”. As it stands, the top 5 LT prospects will probably all be off the board by the time the Bills pick in Round 2. On the other hand, as Buddy Nix has pointed out, the wide receiver and cornerback positions are very deep in this draft class, with it being possible, according to Nix, for a team to get a good prospect perhaps as late as in the fourth round. With the adoption of the spread offense by many NFL teams, the linebacker position has lost some of its value and, as a result, players who might otherwise have gotten higher grades in relation to the other prospects in this class in an earlier era may slip into a round or two lower. For example, if the 2012 draft class were entering the NFL 15-20 years ago, Zach Brown and Lavonte David would probably be rated as first rounders rather than likely second round prospects.
    This is why many NFL GMs say that they are just looking to get a “good prospect” in the draft. Because they have to weigh all of the factors and try not to just get the best player for their team in the first round, but the best combination of prospects to fill their team’s needs. Fans and “draftniks” may scream about their GM “reaching” on a player when they see their team pass on a prospect that has been higher rated than the one that the GM selected, but, more often than not, they’re just looking at that one selection and not seeing the bigger picture in the same way that the GM has to try to assess it.
    While almost everyone agrees that the Bills should try to trade down out of the # 10 spot in this year’s draft, that’s more likely going to be easier said than done. And, if Buddy Nix ends up having to take a player that fans think is a “reach” at the # 10 spot (but would be happy with at the # 15 spot) it will be because he sees that player as being the best available at that spot to allow him to address the team’s needs in the entire draft, not just the best player available at the # 10 spot in the first round. That being the case, he is going to be looking to get a “good prospect” at that spot–regardless of whether anyone else thinks that he “reached” in drafting him–who will help fill one of the team’s needs. We should all hope that he gets a “good prospect” who develops into a great player. If the player he gets becomes a great player, no one will say that he was a “reach” even if some fans and “draftniks” believe that he is on Draft Day.