By Nick Richardson @NickSonofDave on May 2, 2014
As we inch ever closer to the 2014 NFL Draft, the rumor mill is running full-tilt. The Buffalo Bills in particular are at the heart of several draft day rumors. With the ninth overall selection in this year's draft, the Bills certainly have plenty of options with what to do in the first round and beyond. Here are some of the biggest rumors surrounding the Bills.
The Bills were dealt a blow when Pro Bowl safety Jairus Byrd signed with New Orleans this offseason. However, this loss is not as severe as it seems. Aaron Williams showed improvement last season and is entrenched at one safety spot. GM Doug Whaley has expressed his desire to fill the other with in-house talent such as recent draft picks Jonathan Meeks and Duke Williams, making it less likely for the Bills to spend an early pick on a safety.
Buffalo's draft team would like to avoid this scenario. It would take a multitude of factors to cause the Bills to trade down, such as not being able to trade up or not being enamored enough with whoever is on the board. Trading down could give the Bills more picks, and with them the opportunity to take the best player available. With no glaring needs outside of right tackle, the Bills can take advantage of an uncommonly deep draft class.
This strategy will undoubtedly raise some eyebrows. Buffalo’s front office has repeatedly stated their commitment to current starter EJ Manuel. But there are many outside of Bills management who believe the team needs an insurance plan. While it is unlikely that Buffalo will spend a second straight first-round pick on a quarterback, many draft experts point to a deep class and Manuel's inconsistency as reasons to consider selecting another QB.
Trading up for Jadeveon Clowney would be an enormous gamble by the Bills. While many consider Clowney the best prospect in this year’s draft, the Houston Texans will likely demand a king’s ransom for the opportunity to draft him. This would include not only multiple picks in this year’s draft, but also Buffalo’s first-round pick in 2015. Adding Clowney would give the Bills a frightening defensive line, but the asking price may be too high.
This is a rumor that has been gaining more and more traction in recent days. The Bills’ brass has reportedly fallen in love with Watkins and are seriously considering moving up to select him. The biggest quandary facing Buffalo is how high they would have to go to select Watkins. With other teams at the top of the draft, the Bills must weigh how far they think Watkins will fall against how much they are willing to give up for him.
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