Here are my three thoughts on what the Buffalo Bills did in the first round of the NFL Draft Thursday night:
1. Making the trade with the Kansas City Chiefs to move down from 10th overall to 27th was smart. Outside of Texas A&M edge rusher Myles Garrett being the No. 1 pick to the Cleveland Browns, there was very little consensus on how the draft would play out. Opinons varied enough on genuine first-round grades to convince me that it was more likely than not that the Bills would be reaching if they went for any of their need positions at No. 10: cornerback, wide receiver, quarterback, linebacker, or offensive tackle.
The Chiefs used the choice for Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes, but there was hardly any overwhelming belief among most analysts that he'll be a franchise player. The bottom line is that the Bills had to trust their conclusion that a transformative talent -- which is what the 10th pick has to be -- wasn't going to be there.
Additionally, the Bills received something extremely valuable in the Chiefs' first-round pick next year, in addition to their third-round choice in this year's draft. First-round picks are the best currency of all, and it gives the Bills -- who have decided that Tyrod Taylor is their quarterback for the 2017 season -- additional ammo to pursue a QB next year, when the draft class is expected to be much stronger.
It could also enhance the Bills' ability to trade for a quarterback from another team.
2. Another thought on the Bills-Chiefs deal: It never would have happened if General Manager Doug Whaley was calling the shots. That is no longer the case. It hasn't been the case since Sean McDermott signed on to become the Bills' head coach. This is McDermott's show all the way. And he long was looking at trading down in order to add picks.
The Bills originally had six, then added a seventh (in the fifth round) as compensation for the New England Patriots signing restricted free-agent running back Mike Gillislee. Now, they have eight this year and eight in 2018.
McDermott wanted more draft capital and he was able to utilize his close relationship with Chiefs coach Andy Reid to make it happen. Reid is McDermott's mentor, giving him his first NFL job when Reid was coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. Most of what McDermott knows about football and coaching has come from Reid.
Whaley has never shown a desire to trade down. He's the guy whose biggest draft-day move was trading up to make wide receiver Sammy Watkins the fourth overall choice in 2014. Given Watkins' durability issues, which figure to discourage the Bills from picking up his fifth-year option by the May 2 deadline, that's among the questionable decisions that have put Whaley's job in jeopardy.
3. The selection of LSU cornerback Tre'Davious White underscores the considerable emphasis that McDermott places on character, something that has been reflected in all of the players the Bills have added in the offseason. White was class valedictorian of his high school. He already has his college degree, and by all accounts, he is viewed as a quality person.
The Bills had previously been more willing to take character risks, but that has changed dramatically with McDermott in charge.
"We want to know what we're getting, I think that's big," McDermott said. "And there's a lot of unknowns in the draft, there's a lot of unknowns in life in general. And so you try and close that gap as much as you can and certainly with the character, in this case, the Tre'Davious White has. We felt good about that person off the field."
"I'm a genuine guy," White said. "I'm a guy that really, genuinely cares about my teammates and cares about pretty much everything they have going on. I pretty much put my individual goals on the back burner for the team. I've always been that way. Those guys know that I'm a guy that you can pretty much come to with any problems that you have on or off the field."