Brandon Beane and his scouting staff continues to prepare for next week’s NFL Draft. The Bills GM discussed several subjects during Monday’s press conference. Brandon continues to preach the team will draft the best player availbe with the 9th overall pick. Here are 4 notable quotes from Brandon Beane:
Q: Brandon, with the moves that you made in free agency, do you feel like you have truly gotten to that point where the idea of ‘best player available’ isn’t something that you can just say, but something that you can go about implementing?
A: I do think I can sit here and say that I don’t feel we have a glaring hole. Like I said, I’m never going to say that we have positions that are stronger than others. I don’t have to go through those. You guys are pretty sharp people. We still do have ‘needs,’ but not going into the Draft with a glaring hole was the focus and will be the focused area in free agency. At the minimum, we’ve at least accomplished that.
Q: In 2017, you guys traded down in round one. Last year, you guys traded up in round one. In general terms, can you just comment on what a GM has to consider from trading up as opposed to moving down? I’ve got to imagine that there are different things in play that you are weighing.
A: Yeah. Let’s first talk about going down. If you’re sitting at a position where you’ve got one guy sitting on the board when you’re getting close to the clock that you really like that you value and feel he fits whatever round, if you trade down, you almost better trade down to another round, because if you trade four or five back, the odds of one guy sticking out there is not very good. If you have five to seven guys and someone wants you to move back six to ten [spots], it’s close. There’s a chance that all of those guys could be gone. You probably have a good shot to get one of those guys if you have similar grades. It really goes back to following your board. That’s why it’s so important. Draft day, if you get your board right, should be a lot simpler. It’s just like Sean out there on game day. If they practice everything and run it and it works well in practice, it probably has a good chance to work on game day. Same thing with trading up: if you’re down at this level of the draft, let’s just say you were at #25 and you have a guy in the top tier of your draft board. You think he is in the first round and he’s by himself up there and you think he is a rare player at his position, that might be the time to do it. But you also have to consider: what is the cost? Is there a team willing to do it? What is the cost? Is the cost too much to where it will jeopardize the rest of your draft or potentially future drafts?
Q: Given the age you have in your running back group, do you need a running back somewhere in this Draft?
A: I understand the question, but I don’t want to sit here and say we need it. I get it, we’ve got two guys who are over 30. We’ve paid attention to it. But I still think there’s guys who are out there and even some in free agency still who can help who will get on teams and help them. It’s kind of a different market for that position altogether in a lot of ways. I think there are some guys in the Draft who do have a good skillset and we’ll see how it falls.
Q: Tight end is arguably less of an early impact position than some others. What do you view are some of the challenges of projecting guys, whether a guy can put it all together at the tight end position?
A: Well, tight end is kind of a three-part player. What does he do as a run blocker, as a pass blocker, and in the passing game? And so as we’re going through these tight ends, those are the three areas that we focus on. Let’s watch his receiving skills simply as a receiver, let’s grade him there, and then what does he do as an in-line blocker? What does he do when he’s not attached? And then do they keep him in in the passing game at all or does he always go out for a route? There is projection because the game is changed and there are so few who are flexed out. You’re seeing that into our game. You do see certain players being used more. We did privates with certain guys and went to pro days for certain guys at a lot of positions. You try to get around him, get one of your coaches out there to work with him and get him on the grass. It’s not pads, but just seeing where the fundamentals are and if they don’t have them, can they be coached? Sometimes, they teach them some things and see how quickly they can pick it up.