Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Explaining Bills' blockbuster mock trade
By Mike Rodak
Who said the extra two weeks before the draft were boring?
We kicked our ESPN NFL Nation live mock draft with a bang just minutes ago, swinging a deal with ESPN Houston Texans reporter Tania Ganguli for the first overall pick. In return, Tania and the Texans received the Bills' first-round pick (No. 9 overall), second-round pick (No. 41 overall), their 2015 first-round and third-round picks, and 2016 second-round pick.
Whoa. That would be sure to get Chris Berman and the ESPN crew talking Thursday night.
Such a trade would seem incredibly risky in real life and quite frankly, it would be. We wrote an extended take last Friday about why we feel the Bills shouldn't give up their 2015 first-round pick in a deal, even if it means moving up for Jadeveon Clowney.
However, brokering this deal in the safe confines of our mock draft allows us a chance to present the other side of the argument: Why would it be a good move for the Bills to trade up to No. 1 and take Clowney?
If the Bills did so, it would be a "win now" move. Despite some question marks, Clowney is probably the best player in this draft and has enormous athletic potential. Combining him, Mario Williams and Jerry Hughes would give the Bills the NFL's best pass rush. It would contribute to a defense that already has several other pieces in place (Kyle Williams, Marcell Dareus, Kiko Alonso, etc.) and as we saw with the Seattle Seahawks last season, a strong defense can make a big impact.
As far as giving up future picks, the Bills' decision-makers are in a unique position. The team's pending ownership change gives them less job security. Another non-playoff season -- which would extend the Bills' NFL-leading streak to 15 seasons out of the postseason -- could doom general manager Doug Whaley and coach Doug Marrone in the eyes of a new owner. Why not go for broke now?
The price tag would be significant. The Bills would select No. 1 and then not again until the third round. Next year, they'd have just one pick in the first three rounds (their original second-round selection). They'd also be without their second-round pick in 2016, but picks that far in the future aren't worth much in deals made in the present, so that 2016 selection could be the least significant piece of this exchange.
But would the Texans even agree to this trade in real life? That's up for debate. There's one school of thought that the Texans would want three first-round picks in order to trade out of their No. 1 spot, and this deal would fall short in that category.
Still, it's not out of the realm of possibility. Several reports -- including one from ESPN NFL Draft expert Todd McShay -- have placed the Bills among teams wanting to trade up, while it's hardly a secret that the Texans would be open to trading down.
Just some food for thought. Now let's get to the real thing, already.