The Buffalo Bills are one of the most active, and interesting, teams of the 2018 NFL offseason. They have traded away quarterback Tyrod Taylor, and need a new one. They swapped left tackle Cordy Glenn to the Cincinnati Bengals to move up from 21st to 12th in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft.
Could all of the Bills’ maneuvering end up impacting how the New York Giants approach the draft?
Even before the Bills traded with the Bengals, back in the old days when they had the 21st and 22nd picks in the draft, fans were speculating about whether it would be wise for the Giants trade back with Buffalo, get those two late first-round picks and a few other assets, and stock up.
SB Nation’s Buffalo Rumblings believes the Bills are knocking on the doors of every team with a top five pick in the draft, hoping to get into one of those slots to select a quarterback.
The Bills can’t stand pat to pick a quarterback. If they do, they won’t have a quarterback. By trading Cordy Glenn on Monday, Buffalo now owns the 12th and 22nd overall picks. Teams know that Buffalo needs to come away from this offseason with a new passer. If Buffalo declines to trade to the top of the draft, even Bill Polian would realize that the team would draft a player with one of their first round choices. Suddenly the 10th and 11th overall pick become a hot ticket item, for teams itching to add a Lamar Jackson or Baker Mayfield before Buffalo can select him.
If Buffalo really wants to control their destiny, they only have one choice - trade up for the quarterback they desire. And therein lies the rub - by trading Taylor, Buffalo gained some cap space and a third round pick, but they lost a sizeable amount of leverage. Teams at the top of the draft - the Browns, the Giants, the Colts - can hold Buffalo’s picks hostage in a bidding war. Buffalo owns six top-100 selections, a king’s ransom this year. Why would a potential partner settle for a lesser return when they know that this team has the ammunition to spare, and is desperate to have a quarterback who can lead them to the promised land?
Yahoo Sports is now reporting that the Bills will indeed try to move up in the draft.
A league source tells Yahoo Sports the Buffalo #Bills will explore trade scenarios to move into the top five picks in the #NFL draft (QB-needy #Jets hold 6th pick). Talks are expected to materialize after first week of free agency and intensify at the Orlando owner's meetings.— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) March 13, 2018
So, the question for the Giants is whether or not a trade down with the Bills is worth it. By the traditional trade chart the Giants would have to get at least Buffalo’s two first-round picks (Nos. 12 and 22) and one of their second-round picks (53rd or 55th) to make it worthwhile. To be honest, if I’m Giants GM Dave Gettleman I ask for even more than that from Buffalo GM Brandon Beane.
Why the Giants should do it
Because this would give the Giants four picks among the first 55 in the draft. They would be able to acquire several players who should help them with these picks, perhaps addressing positions like the offensive line, linebacker, and cornerback. Maybe even quarterback. They could also use the additional picks after dealing fourth- and sixth-round picks to the Los Angeles Rams for linebacker Alec Ogletree. The added picks might also give them flexibility to make other draft day moves.
Why the Giants should not do it
Because dropping all the way from No. 2 to No. 12 is too far. They would gain quantity, but lose quality. That would take the Giants out of the discussion for Saquon Barkley and Quenton Nelson, as well as most of the top quarterbacks. Probably linebacker Tremaine Edmunds and defensive backs Denzel Ward and Minkah Fitzpatrick, as well.
The second pick in the draft gives the Giants a chance to select a player they believe could be a franchise-changing difference-maker. It is difficult, and perhaps unwise, to give that up.
If the choice were mine, this is a deal I would not make. Dropping out of the top 10, maybe even out of the top six or seven, is too far for me in this scenario.