Falcons draft day trade for Julio Jones should be framework for Bills

2011 NFL Draft
2011 NFL Draft / Chris Trotman/GettyImages

The Buffalo Bills currently are set to pick 28th in the 2024 NFL Draft and if they remain at that spot, there should be some good wide receivers available. However, if the team hopes to draft one of the Top 3 at the position, which includes Marvin Harrison Jr., Rome Odunze, or Malik Nabers, they are going to have to trade up very high into the first round.

All three are expected to go in the Top 10 or in that range and it would require a pretty big trade offer from general manager Brandon Beane and the Bills to move up there. It would be tough because a team would have to be comfortable moving that far back in the first round but isn't impossible.

In fact, the Bills should look back to the 2011 NFL Draft as a framework for a potential trade to begin discussions with teams. That year, the Atlanta Falcons traded their first-round pick (27th overall) along with their second and fourth-round pick that year as well as their first and second-round pick the following year to move all the way up to sixth overall to select Julio Jones.

Would the Buffalo Bills be willing to give up that much to move up in 2024 NFL Draft?

The Bills are in the same range as the Falcons were that year so any trade would involve their 28th overall pick, the second-round pick this year, and then the first in 2025, and one of their two second-round picks in 2025. The 2025 second-round pick in the Stefon Diggs trade is really the only reason this is a discussion because the Bills would at least still have one second-round pick left over for next season.

However, this is also only a discussion because the Bills traded Stefon Diggs. They might want to bring in a top wide receiver who could be a true number one wide receiver to be the replacement for Diggs.

For the Falcons, the trade was a win because Julio Jones was one of the best wide receivers in the NFL. However, trading this far up doesn't necessarily guarantee those results and the Bills know this first hand from their draft day trade up to select Sammy Watkins. They didn't have to move up that far but Watkins didn't develop into that top wide receiver.

During the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft, Brandon Beane will be watching the wide receiver position closely and if one of those first three wide receivers start to fall the Bills will likely try to make a move up. However, a trade into the Top 10 seems unlikely and it is better to keep the draft picks.