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Vic Carucci's Bills Wake-Up Call: Trading down best option

The more mock drafts I see that have the Buffalo Bills using their first-round pick on a wide receiver or pass-catching tight end, the more I believe their best move during the real thing is to trade down.

I understand the logic that my Buffalo News colleague, Jay Skurski, and others apply when having the Bills use their 10th overall pick on the 2017 college crop's best receiver, Clemson's Mike Williams, or highly talented tight end O.J. Howard, from Alabama.

Besides addressing what is widely viewed from the outside as one of the team's most pressing needs, those players also appear to represent the appropriate value for where the Bills are selecting.

But I'm having a hard time believing that new coach Sean McDermott will see it the same way.

For those who wish to believe the Bills' woeful passing game mainly resulted from an absence of great targets, there's an equally strong (if not stronger) argument that quarterback Tyrod Taylor didn't consistently get the most out of the ones at his disposal -- especially tight end Charles Clay. Picking Williams or Howard would, in many ways, resemble the thinking behind moving up to land Sammy Watkins in 2014 for the sake of helping to prop up former Bills QB EJ Manuel.

I think that would be a hard sell for McDermott. The restructuring of Taylor's contract, which effectively turned it into a one-year prove-it deal, seemingly reinforces the notion that the coach who is calling the shots would want to see exactly what he has before throwing a precious asset such as a first-round pick at an offense built to be more effective on the ground than through the air.

McDermott understands that his top priority is improving the Bills' defense, which is in dire need of help at cornerback. The draft is supposed to have plenty of quality players there. Does McDermott feel good enough about one to choose at No. 10? We'll see.

Regardless of whether he'll acknowledge as much publicly, one thing is certain: McDermott isn't happy about inheriting only six picks -- rather than the full complement of seven -- and would like to do something about it.

The best course to recapture a choice, and possibly add a second, is for the Bills to put a "for sale" sign on the 10th pick. Skurski listed three solid potential takers in the Cleveland Browns, Arizona Cardinals, and Houston Texans, because all could very well want a quarterback for which they might be willing to move up from their respective slots below the Bills to get: the Browns at No. 12, the Cardinals at No. 13, and the Texans at No. 25.

Those and other teams also could have their eyes on players such as Williams or Howard.

Either way, it would make a great deal of sense for the Bills to buy themselves an extra pick, or two, while still being able to address most of their needs.

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