2021 NFL Draft: 6 realistic trade partners for Bills’ first-round pick

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Nick Wojton
·6 min read
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You can never count out the Bills from making trades at the NFL Draft when Buffalo’s general manager is Brandon Beane.

At first, one could make the case that… Beane loves to move around the board, but he won’t be doing anything with that first-round pick. One Stefon Diggs trade later and that went out the window.

Speaking of a first rounder, for a variety of reasons, the Bills could both move up or down the draft with their No. 30 overall pick.

With a talented roster, could a jump up to grab that one final piece to put the team over the edge be on the table? On the flip side, Buffalo doesn’t have any holes, right? Might as well move back…

In terms of both possibilities, here are six realistic trade partners for the Bills surrounding their No. 30 pick in Round 1 ahead of the upcoming draft:

Trade up: Washington Football Team

Head coach Ron Rivera of the Washington Football Team. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

Bills acquire: Pick No. 19 Football Team acquire: Picks No. 30, 61

Here's to hoping we got a few folks that actually read this next sentence. This trade is admittedly unlikely, but we're not pegging likely trades, just potential trade partners. In this scenario, Buffalo is getting very bold and sends a message that there's one player they'd want that could be a difference-maker. In Jimmie Johnson's trade value chart, the value of the Bills' first two pick is 912. Washington's No. 19 is 875. It might require another late-round pick for Buffalo to make this happen, but if the Football Team does not land a QB and they're on the clock and Buffalo calls? Ron Rivera knows the Bills well. By comparison, the Bears at the No. 20 pick are less of an option because they are in win-now mode. That front office needs a good 2021. Rivera has time and is more likely to trade back. For those wondering about the 18th selection, that's held by the Dolphins a.k.a. it's not happening.

Trade up: Pittsburgh Steelers

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, right, and Bills head coach Sean McDermott. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Bills acquire: Pick No. 24 Steelers acquire: Picks No. 30, 93, 213 Another friendship: coaches Sean McDermott & Mike Tomlin. Maybe that could spur a trade up for Buffalo, but in a much smaller jump. In the trade scenario to Washington, its Buffalo's first and second rounders. Here we have Pittsburgh landing the Bills' first and third. Again, the Bills don't seem super motivated to move up currently... But there's a relationship here that's worth mentioning and also like the Football Team, the Steelers could stand to land a QB to groom as a backup. Since the Steelers are even further down the draft order, it's even more unlikely that a QB happens. So once more, maybe the Bills jump to No. 24 to grab that one prospect they really like? In terms of draft value, the Bills might need to sweeten the pot a bit more. The combined value of picks No. 30 and 93 is 748. The No. 24 pick is 740. Buffalo might add another later pick somewhere here, too.

Trade down: Atlanta Falcons

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan. Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Bills acquire: Picks No. 35, 108 Falcons acquire: Pick No. 30

NFL.com's Chad Reuter laid this trade scenario out a few times so far this offseason. While our first couple scenarios involved relationships the Bills front office might have with a trade partner, that doesn't play a part here... aside from the Lee Smith trade. Simply put, this one just makes sense. The Bills move back just a couple of spots and acquire a fourth-round pick from the Falcons. Buffalo does not have a fourth rounder at the upcoming draft, so that's the appeal. In draft value, Buffalo's pick No. 30 is worth 620 points while the Falcons' haul is 628. Considering that, if general manager Brandon Beane is feeling like a stickler, he could probably get another late-round pick in Round 6 or 7 tossed in.

Trade down: New York Giants

Giants general manager Dave Gettleman (left) pose for a photo with Bills general manager Brandon Beane. Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Bills acquire: Picks No. 42, 76 Giants acquire: Pick No. 30, 161

Right back to the relationship game for us. Giants general manager Dave Gettleman worked in Carolina with Beane and McDermott. Gettleman has also seemingly been on the hot seat in New York for years, so maybe he's feeling bold at the draft? The Giants did add multiple pieces in free agency, so Gettleman could trade back into Round 1 (NY holds pick No. 11) to really put the cherry on top of his offseason work. Say that does happen, Buffalo lands their second and third rounder here, a haul with a draft value of 690. Considering that compared to the Bills' 620 value, Buffalo would likely have to toss in their fifth rounder worth 25 points. Not only would that bring the point values closer, the Giants only enter the draft with six picks. They won't want to lower that total.

Trade down: Dallas Cowboys

Buffalo Bills owner Terry Pegula, right, talks to Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. (AP Photo/Gary Wiepert)

Bills acquire: Picks No. 44, 75 Cowboys acquire: Pick No. 30

When has Jerry Jones NOT wanted to make a big splash? Exactly. It's a pretty fair trade here, too. By now you know Buffalo's No. 30 pick is worth 620. The Cowboys' combined total of their second and third rounder is 655. Plus, the Cowboys, who pick at No. 10 in Round 1, have 10 total picks at the draft. They'll absolutely be making some moves.

Trade down: Philadelphia Eagles

Tight end Zach Ertz #86 of the Eagles. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Bills acquire: Picks No. 37, 84 Eagles acquire: Picks No. 30, 161

According to reports, the Bills were talking to the Eagles about trading for tight end Zach Ertz. Is that all these two sides talked about? Maybe, maybe not... maybe some draft groundwork was established? If so, we have another final deal that is even. Buffalo sends their first and fifth-round picks for Philly's second rounder and their second of two third-round picks. We'd have a 640 trade value to a 700 trade value. Maybe the Bills send another later pick in there as well.

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