The Buffalo News has an exhaustive look at the Bills’ strategy leading up to and through the NFL Draft. General manager Brandon Beane broke down several scenarios which never came to fruition in addition to the ones that did. One included draft-day trade with the Denver Broncos.
With the No. 4 pick not an option, Beane turned his attention to No. 5. He spoke three times on draft day with Broncos boss John Elway.
“I felt like, what I shared with (team owners) Terry and Kim (Pegula), is Denver’s our best landing spot,” Beane said. “We were closing in on what it would cost. I was good with that.”
The Bills would trade No. 12 and No. 22 in the first round to the Broncos, along with one of their second-round picks, and get the No. 5 selection along with one of Denver’s third rounders.
“Literally about 8 o’clock, John calls me and says all right, here’s what we’ll do,” Beane said. “We finalized the deal, but it’s contingent on his guy not being there.”
Elway’s guy turned out to be Bradley Chubb, and Denver stayed at No. 5 to select the highly-touted defensive end. That is a lot of love right there, turning down the 12th and 22nd pick in addition to another second-round slot.
Denver finished last year 5-11 and brought in Case Keenum in the hopes of solidifying what has been an unstable quarterback situation. It’s not as though they were one impact player (assuming Chubb is an impact player) away from seriously competing in the AFC.
In addition to Chubb, the Broncos got wide receiver Courtland Sutton and running back Royce Freeman in the first three rounds. Had they executed the trade with Buffalo and addressed the same positions, they could have had a trio of Marcus Davenport, Calvin Ridley, and Derrius Guice.
Time will tell if Elway made the right decision. We already know he was sky-high on Chubb.