This was the third time Brandon Beane ran the NFL Draft as general manager of the Buffalo Bills and no matter the circumstances, he shows he is one of the best in the league at navigating the NFL Draft.
While the general managers who are successful in the NFL Draft must be good at evaluating players, there is a key part in strategy and reading the rest of the league to find the top players. Brandon Beane has run three NFL Drafts for the Buffalo Bills as general manager and every year, this is something that he has excelled in.
One of the characteristics of Beane the first two years was that he was aggressive and made multiple trades, most of the time moving up to get players. In 2018, with multiple first round picks, the Bills traded up to select quarterback Josh Allen and then traded up again later in the first to select Tremaine Edmunds.
However, there is an art to trading within the NFL Draft because as a general manager a team doesn’t want to make a trade for the sake of a trade. They need to read the other teams, try to determine where a player might go and move up ahead of them to grab them.
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While there is an aggressive nature to Brandon Beane’s philosophy, there is a patience that balances it and is the reason he is one of the top general managers while running an NFL Draft.
Last year, Beane was asked about Cody Ford and how the trade transpired. He noted that they tried to get back into the first but it was a little too rich. Instead they waited until the second, moved up only two spots which cost them a fifth round pick, and still got the player they wanted.
"“We had a very good grade on Cody and we even looked into late last night trying to get into the end of the first round, but it was a little rich for us,” said Beane. “We felt like we’d be giving up too many assets to do that. We made some calls and fortunately he was there for us to make that move with Oakland to pick him up.”"
That patience was on display during this year’s NFL Draft. The Bills didn’t have a first round pick and had to wait until Day 2 to really start building out their roster. The team could have traded up but instead stayed at 54th overall and got A.J. Epenesa, a defensive end out of Iowa who was considered a late first round pick. If the Bills had their pick in the first round he likely would have been in the discussion at that time.
A similar scenario played out last year when the Bills had the ninth overall pick. Defensive tackle Ed Oliver was one of the top defensive players, and filled a need for the Bills. As he began to slip, the Bills could have traded up to grab him but understanding the teams in front, there was a good chance Oliver would be available at nine.
That confidence and patience has paid off for Brandon Beane over the course of three NFL Drafts. He has shown he is not afraid to be aggressive when the situation calls for it but he trusts in his process and has shown to have a great understanding of the strategy general managers need to be successful.