Beane reiterates Bills won't draft for need

Brandon Beane said at the Senior Bowl that the team doesn't need to be in the top-10

Sal Capaccio
January 22, 2019 - 11:46 pm

Photo: Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills)

With all the pre-draft scouting and maneuvering it took to get in position to draft a quarterback last year, it’s understandable that Brandon Beane is able to breathe a little easier this pre-draft season.  

“I’m smiling. It’s better. That’s a stressful thing to do and to go through, and just the uncertainty,” the Buffalo Bills general manager said Tuesday while speaking to a contingent of local media at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. “Last year, we were sitting here at 21 and 22 and you’re going, 'man, there’s some good guys out there. But how do you get up into the top-10 and how far do you have to go?’" 

That’s where the Bills were sitting in January last year. Two months later, Beane sent left tackle Cordy Glenn and that 21st overall pick to the Cincinnati Bengals in order to move up to No. 12. Then, on draft night a little over a month later, he dealt that 12th pick to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to climb all the way to seventh overall to select quarterback Josh Allen. That deal also cost Beane two second round choices.

This year, it’s a totally different scenario for the Bills, but that doesn’t mean Beane is automatically going to stay put. In fact, he may very well have been putting an “open for business” sign up for all other general managers in the NFL to see when he said that his team doesn’t need to be drafting in the top-10. Maybe this year he’s looking to move down? Whether that’s the case to not, they definitely aren’t looking for their hopeful franchise quarterback and plotting to do everything they can to get high enough to draft him.  

“It’s weird,” Beane said. “This year we’re in the top-10 and we don’t need to be. It’s funny how it all works out, but it’s nice to be able to focus a little more of our energy all the positions.”

Even though he can focus more on other positions and the team has several holes to fill around the roster, Beane also reiterated what he said the day after the season ended when he told reporters he won’t draft for need.  

“I’m always going to be emphatic about that,” he said. “I know people say, ‘well last year you needed a quarterback and you drafted one.’ Well, my answer to that would be, 'we didn’t draft him at 21. We moved up to where we thought we had to get to do that.’ If we had stayed at 21 and just taken whatever quarterback was left then, that would have been drafting for need. We’re at nine and we’re going to take the best player, offense or defense, and we’ll continue to do that rounds two, three, and beyond.

“I don’t know that there will ever be a year where I can sit here and say that one side of the ball that we don’t need. With free agency, injuries, and things like that, you can almost always upgrade your talent on either side. That’s why I think it’s always important. You can say, ‘well, you didn’t need this position.’ Well, you’re one injury away, or something happening. Or maybe this guy’s got one year left on a contract and you want to draft a good player so that you can let that guy walk and not have to pay him $10, $15 million, whatever it is.” 

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