Buffalo Bills NFL Draft: GM Brandon Beane’s history of trading first round picks

Brandon Beane, Buffalo Bills (Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
Brandon Beane, Buffalo Bills (Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Buffalo Bills
Kaiir Elam, Buffalo Bills (Photo by Jason Hanna/Getty Images) /

2022 – Beane gives up fourth round pick to secure cornerback Kaiir Elam

In the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, in the midst of a flurry of trades Beane struck once again to move up just two spots to select Kaiier Elam at pick 23. The move cost the Bills their first-round pick (25 overall) along with their fourth round selection (130 overall). Beane explained the urgency and why he was willing to give up a valuable mid-round pick to move up just two slots:

"“We had a good grade on Kaiir, and we were down to one player in the first round on our board, and so at that point, it just made sense. We’re not sure what those teams ahead of us would have taken, but there was a lot of trade action going on too. It just felt like it was within striking distance.”"

Elam was integrated slowly into the Bills defense, with Dane Jackson and 2022 sixth-round selection Christian Benford starting the season opener in Los Angeles. However, Elam progressed as the season continued, finishing with 41 tackles and 2 interceptions. He projects to be a key starter for the Bills next season and form an electric cornerback tandem with Tre’Davious White.

The trade up to select Elam provides insight into the Bills thinking for this season. With a draft class that has seemingly been impacted by the Covid-19 rule changes producing a class with fewer than normal first round grades, and a significant number of players in the middle rounds who could provide value, it would make sense for a team slotted to pick at the back of the first round, such as the Bills, to look to either trade up to select a player with a surefire first round grade, or trade back to add multiple picks later in the draft.

Look for Beane to once again be opportunistic and for the Bills to likely move off of that slot at 27 in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Next. 3 teams the Buffalo Bills could trade with in the first round. dark