Buffalo Bills: Greg Robinson
Add some more fuel to the fire.
There have already been several reports over the last month placing the Buffalo Bills among teams looking to trade up in the draft.In his latest mock draft released Tuesday, ESPN NFL Draft expert Todd McShay says that he's been hearing the same.
"I've heard from three league sources in the past week that the Bills are trying to trade up," McShay writes. "If they do make a move, it'll likely be to land [Jadeveon] Clowney, [Greg] Robinson or [Sammy] Watkins."
Of the three, Robinson would seem to be the least likely target for a trade-up. The Bills could potentially select Texas A&M's Jake Matthews or Michigan's Taylor Lewan at No. 9 and fill their need at offensive tackle, without giving up the significant assets it could take to acquire Robinson at the top of the round.
Meanwhile, Watkins and Clowney are considered top-flight prospects at their positions. Trading up for Watkins would give EJ Manuel another offensive weapon, while Clowney would give the Bills -- already well-stocked with Mario Williams, Kyle Williams, and Marcell Dareus -- the NFL's best defensive line.
Yet trading up as far as No. 1 would likely require the Bills to give up their No. 9 pick, their 2015 first-round pick, and potentially more. We explored the impact of such a move Monday.
That's the debate that is beginning to take shape as the Buffalo Bills inch closer to the 2014 NFL draft this May.
It's little secret that the Bills need to improve their offense after a shaky season under first-year coordinator Nate Hackett and rookie quarterback EJ Manuel. If the Bills decide to devote their most valuable resource -- the ninth-overall pick -- to that side of the ball, how should they do it?
Even our ESPN NFL Draft analysts disagree in their latest mock drafts.
Todd McShay's latest mock has the Bills selecting Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins with the ninth pick. That's a change from his first projection, which had the Bills landing Michigan tackle Taylor Lewan.
McShay acknowledges the need to beef up the offensive line but says that "pairing young and developing QB EJ Manuel with the top receiver in this year's class might be too tempting to pass up."
Meanwhile, Mel Kiper sticks with offensive tackle in his second mock draft. Last month, Kiper projected Auburn tackle Greg Robinson to the Bills. This time, Kiper has Texas A&M tackle Jake Matthews falling to the Bills at ninth overall.
"I suspect [Matthews] would jump in right away at right tackle and succeed -- he can play left or right -- and his ability to finish as a run-blocker could pay early dividends," Kiper writes.
It's a debate that will continue to swirl into spring.
Playmaker or protection?