Beane and staff getting ready to do own mocks as final draft prep begins

The Bills general manager likes the position the team is in

Sal Capaccio
April 15, 2019 - 7:50 pm

Photo: Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills)

With just over a week to go until the 2019 NFL Draft, Brandon Beane and his staff are going through their final preparations. Finishing up their player visits and private workouts, getting medical reports, putting together their final board and rankings and even doing their own mock drafts. Yep, just like many of us and a whole lot of other people who either do it for a hobby, for fun, or for their job, the Bills general manager, his assistants, and personnel department will go through mock draft exercises to simulate what players may be taken ahead of them at ninth overall.

In order to eliminate any bias and gain as much information as he can, Beane says he is just an observer and has others make the picks, even for the Bills.

“We make every scout the GM of a team – the [New York] Giants, the [Oakland] Raiders, whoever – and our pro guys go through what each team’s needs are, what we see their team needs are,” Beane told reporters Monday after players worked out on the field for the first time in 2019. “Obviously, you’re not necessarily supposed to draft for need, but teams still do it. At that point, you start looking to see where need and skill level fit. It’s nice when you still fill a need. Sometimes guys will pick it the way a lot of the mocks have it, and sometimes guys will do it how they have it in their mind. If they’re picking a wide receiver or whatever for ‘X’ team. Naturally, if you do it enough times, it naturally will present enough scenarios and sometimes there are scenarios that you maybe didn’t think about. At nine, there will probably be less scenarios than what we were dealing with last year at No. 12 and No. 22, but there will still be a lot of variations and the goal is to hopefully practice a scenario that actually presents itself which makes it really easy. We’ll have some discussion on it, and I’ll make the GM of that team explain the pick if it’s something way out of the ordinary. I’ll also put someone in charge of the Bills, not me. When they get to that pick, they’ll have to explain that pick, especially if it’s something that wasn’t obvious on the board.”

Even Beane knows that no matter how many mock drafts they go through, there can always be situations and scenarios that no one saw coming. That was actually the case last year when the Bills traded up not once, but twice in the first round to select quarterback Josh Allen and linebacker Tremaine Edmunds at No. 7 and No. 16, respectively.

“We got Josh, but there was no scenario where we got Josh and Tremaine,” he said. “I told you, I screwed that up last year. Sometimes I do dictate the mock and I do say, ‘You can’t take this player’ or ‘these three players have to be gone before we pick,’ just to mix it up so we don’t end up with the same thing going. Last year, I screwed that up and we did all sorts of trade-ups and trade-backs with the first one, but I never did it with pick No. 22. We always made a pick at 22 or, in scenarios, used that pick to move up, so we didn’t have it.”

Last year, everyone knew the Bills were in the ,market to draft a quarterback. They traded Tyrod Taylor to the Cleveland Browns, signed A.J. McCarron to a two-year deal and still had Nathan Peterman on the roster. They had been collecting draft capital for a year and it was clear they were searching for their future franchise quarterback.  

This year, after signing 17 free agents and filling holes around the roster, it’s not nearly as obvious what direction the Bills will go in the first round, and that’s exactly the spot Beane wants to be.

“Yeah, I like that,” he said. “I don’t want to be sitting here with a major hole. If you have a major hole at a spot that’s just glaring, that ‘Joe Fan’ or ‘Joe Media Writer’ knows you need that if you don’t get it in the first round, especially at a position that would be considered thin, I think it would be harder to play poker, so to speak, to what your plans are. I like it. I know there’s a lot of stuff out there. Everybody has a mock. People can be just making stuff up or it can differ depending on their intel.”

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