ESPN.com’s Todd McShay cited multiple sources last week in reporting that the Bills were trying to trade up from the No. 9 spot, and it appears the team hasn’t given up on that possibility. According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the Bills have been “burning up the phone lines” in an effort to move up to grab the first or second overall pick.
The Texans (No. 1) and Rams (No. 2) are both reportedly open to the possibility of moving down, so the Bills may try to create a bidding war of sorts, where they’ll pursue a deal with whichever team is asking for less compensation. That strategy could be particularly effective if Buffalo has a couple potential targets in mind, rather than just one.
A trade down to ninth from first or second is significant enough that Buffalo would likely have to include their 2014 second-round pick and a 2015 first-rounder. That’s just my speculation though, and perhaps the asking price could drop as tomorrow evening nears. Houston’s and St. Louis’ best chance at maximizing the value of their picks in a trade would be to draw in other potential partners, like perhaps the Lions or Falcons.
When McShay first reported the Bills’ interest in moving up, he identified Jadeveon Clowney, Greg Robinson, and Sammy Watkins as probable targets for the club, and Florio also names Clowney and Robinson as likely options.
Although defensive line isn’t a notable area of need for Buffalo, adding Clowney would make a strong pass rush even more formidable. Clowney and Khalil Mack, the consensus top two pass rushers in the draft, are expected to be long gone by the time the No. 9 pick rolls around. As for Robinson, he’s generally viewed as the top offensive tackle in the draft, just ahead of Jake Matthews, but other solid options, including Zack Martin and Taylor Lewan could still be in play at No. 9.
For what it’s worth, in a mock draft conducted this week by ESPN.com’s beat writers, Bills reporter Mike Rodak traded up to No. 1 in order to snag Clowney.