CAPACCIO: Bills continue to make it clear they're going big-game quarterback hunting at draft

The trade of Cordy Glenn to the 12th overall pick is the latest evidence

Sal Capaccio
March 12, 2018 - 8:13 pm

Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig - USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Beane did it again.

In a span of 72 hours, the Buffalo Bills general manager traded two players who were clearly not going to be part of the team’s 2018 plans for valuable assets. At the same time, the team got out from under the contracts of those players.

It started on Friday with the trade of quarterback Tyrod Taylor to the Cleveland Browns for the 65th overall pick in the draft. Then Monday afternoon, he spun left tackle Cordy Glenn into the 12th overall pick, moving up nine spots from 21st overall.

If collecting two first rounders, two second rounders, and two third rounders weren’t enough to convince you, Monday’s trade of Glenn and the move up to 12th overall certainly should. Beane and the Bills are going big-game hunting on April 26, the first night of the 2018 NFL Draft. Book it. They’re trying to get as high as they possibly can to select the quarterback they’ve identified as their franchise signal-caller of the future.

It’s clear this has been the plan since draft night last year when, before Beane was hired, head coach Sean McDermott made a deal with the Kansas City Chiefs to drop down 17 spots and added an extra first round pick this year. But just two first round picks was never going to be good enough. It was always going to take more.

Sammy Watkins was dealt to the Los Angeles Rams for an additional second round pick. 

Ronald Darby was sent to the Philadelphia Eagles for another third round pick. Buffalo did trade their own third round pick to acquire wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin, but replenished that with the Taylor trade.

All of that may have been enough to climb really high, but a funny thing happened on the way to the top. The Bills made the playoffs last year, wound up with a lower first-round pick than many expected and, coupled with the Chiefs’ selection, went into the offseason with the 21st and 22nd overall picks.

Even with those first rounders and the extra four picks in the next two rounds, there was still a problem. No team is moving from the top three or four down to 21. It just doesn’t happen, almost regardless of the package offered. The Bills have known this since January. So they’ve had to find a different way to finish off their plan.

As I’ve been stating for two months, that plan would have to involve two separate moves up. The first would have to occur sometime before the draft, getting into the top 10-12 range. Then the second either happening before the draft or on draft night to ultimately wind up with the second or third overall pick.

Exactly how high and exactly who the Bills want is still a mystery. There are a lot of different theories already out there, but we just don’t know yet.

Heck, at this point, who knows if they might even have designs on the top overall pick? I wouldn’t put it past Beane.

Because if there’s one thing the Bills’ general manager has made abundantly clear to everyone now, it’s that he will do whatever it takes to get where he wants to be in late April.

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