BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – As it stands right now, just hours away from the NFL Draft, the Bills won’t make a selection in the first-round but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a first-round pick.
“Stefon Diggs is our first-round pick.”
Bills GM Brandon Beane is treating wide receiver, Stefon Diggs as their first-round pick this year since they traded theirs to Minnesota in the deal that got them Diggs.
Beane admitted day one will be tough not having a first-round pick but I’m sure this will make it better:
“We just got to play some videos of Stefon Diggs when 22 comes up,” Beane said.
The Bills won’t have a first-round pick in the draft for the first time since 2015 when Doug Whaley traded it to Cleveland in order to pick Sammy Watkins in the 2014 draft. With their first selection in 2015, the Bills drafted cornerback Ronald Darby in the second-round.
As for Diggs, Beane wanted to make that deal rather than draft a wide receiver who would need time to get up to speed. Even though this draft is stacked with receivers, Diggs was the better option.
” I just felt like it was going to be really hard, unless I trade it up really high to find a guy that I know could walk in, day one. Let’s just say it’s August before we get back to things. You know, I just felt a proven commodity was worth this. The trade value of this move probably moved us up three to four slots from 22, might of got us to 18 or 19, not as high as I thought we had to get to get one of those premier guys that I knew would walk in the door, even August 1, and be ready to roll,” Beane said.
We all know about what Diggs can bring to an offense. We’ve gone over that time and time again.
So what now? How do the Bills proceed IF they don’t get back into the first-round. Right now their first pick will come at No. 54 in the second round. I wouldn’t be surprised if Beane makes a deal to get a higher pick in the second round, considering he’s done that many times before.
But let’s say things stay the way they are. The Bills will pick at 54 and Beane explained his mindset when it comes to staying patient through the first-round and waiting for their time to come.
“The big thing will be when day one is over, which we do whether we have a pick or not, we’ll stay there for a little bit and stare at the board and start looking over. Okay, what’s on the board that we like here. Is there anybody left in our first round guys, guys we gave first round grades to. Is there anybody there? Obviously those are targets. How long before a guy stays there before we make a move like Cody Ford last year, whatever,” Beane said.
“And then secondly is start looking at all the teams in front of us and what their needs are. Let’s just say we were looking at receiver and let’s say we have three receivers there in the second round. And how many teams that didn’t take a receiver in the first that we have penciled as a team that we see a receiver need for maybe they reach here in the second round for that guy and will the third guy get to us? Maybe we love to have any of these three, if two of them go, do we want to be aggressive and go get that other one? Or do we want to be patient, maybe we get one in the third round and focus on another position. That’ll be my plan. Watch day one. And then see what’s on the board for us going in to be ready for day two,” Beane explained.
As usual, Beane made a lot of moves in free agency and addressed a few different positions of need then. But there are still some areas they could use help in like edge rusher, running back and even wide receiver still despite the addition of Diggs.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bills added another receiver as the draft goes on. Why not? It’s a deep receiver class and the more weapons for Josh Allen, the better. Especially to help a passing attack that’s struggled for a while, but particularly the past two years finishing seventh worst last year and second worst in 2018.
When it comes to running back, they need a compliment to Devin Singletary for that 1-2 punch in the backfield. Behind Singletary, the Bills only have T.J. Yeldon and Christian Wade on the practice squad. There are a bunch of intriguing options when it comes to running back in the draft, guys that could be available at 54.
And edge rusher is something they should target as well given the loss of Shaq Lawson (and even defensive tackle Jordan Phillips who led the team in sacks last year.) There aren’t as many top options when it comes to edge rusher as wide receiver and running back as mentioned so in order to get one of these top guys, they’d probably have to trade higher up in the second-round. Now Beane did sign Mario Addison in free agency but this seems more of a short term fix rather than long term solution. A guy I really like in this draft is Iowa’s A.J. Epenesa who didn’t have a great showing at the combine but has shown his big-time, play making abilities at Iowa.