Brandon Beane’s press conference was a Master Class in giving enough to answer a question all the while creating more intrigue. While this is solely opinion, Beane saying that they can look for more long-term solution than short term answers said what we all know; Beane and head coach Sean McDermott will not be expecting 100% snap counts played by this years first round pick. Nor should they to be honest considering they are picking at what is widely considered the start of the second round at selection 30, although the only Beane and McDermott first round drafted player in Buffalo to start less than 91% of their games is Ed Oliver.
Taking this as objectively as possible, the part of the presser that hit the hardest was Beane’s concerns over the guys with injury history, as he said normally his staff gets a very deep and direct look at players, both in person (at the NFL Combine, or Senior Bowl as an example) while also checking with their college team doctors, specialists, and coaches. With the rules this year, they are very limited with what they can working with compared to the standard year. Because of that, Beane was noticeable trepidatious around selecting players coming off an injury. Most NFL teams will have between fifteen to eighteen players they see as true first round talent, so selecting at the bottom of round one creates a scenario when Beane may have to make a choice; beat the board to get the player they covet before he is gone, stay put and trust their rankings for best player available, or trade down to acquire more assets in hopes that the players they are target at thirty will mostly still be available at their next pick
Beane saying that they could go with a more long-term solution may mean getting up in the draft to a guy they have faith can start of the next 5 years, while also getting ahead of teams selecting the rest of the players Buffalo visions as first round talent. The ceiling for a trade up is probably Las Vegas at pick seventeen (one selection ahead of Miami’s second pick). I’d imagine they would target secondary with this pick, TCU safety Trevon Moehrig (who could slide instantly into your nickel linebacker role), Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II or Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley if he were to slip outside of the top 16.
Staying put, you’d have to imagine they are still looking for an impact immediately and I can say that this draft is pretty thin on the interior big men and this might be the last chance they have to grab one who can play right away. I still think they pass on that, looking to shore up either the linebacker group or grab an edge rusher who has fallen. Everyone knows the name Zaven Collins, the linebacker from Tulsa but he might not make it to pick thirty because of a pretty sizeable drop off between him and the remaining players at that position. If Jaelan Phillips from Miami remains on the board by the time Buffalo get there, they certainly would welcome the defensive end.
Trading down tells me Buffalo isn’t happy with what they have at the start of their second round board, almost assuring that every first round player they had ranked was selected already. This might be the time where they select a player who has a bit of an injury history, knowing they got additional assets for trading out of the first round. This pick screams Alabama center Landon Dickerson, a gritty leader who should have been a top 20 selection had he not torn his ACL in his senior season.
This draft is littered with fun pass rushers and linebackers to be found in rounds 2, 3, and 4 which is where I think Buffalo focuses to address those needs (Defensive End: Washington’s Joe Tryon, UCLA’s Osa Odighizuwa. Defensive Tackle: Florida State’s Marvin Wilson. Linebackers: Ohio State’s Pete Werner, LSU’s Jabril Cox). No matter how this turns out, I think the Buffalo faithful have learned that Beane knows best.