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Is moving up in the draft for a QB too pricey for the Bills?

INDIANAPOLIS — It seems likely the Buffalo Bills will be reeling from sticker shock when exploring the possibility of moving up in the first round of the NFL Draft to select a quarterback they don't think will be available at their current Nos. 21 and 22 picks.

Brandon Beane, for one, figures to be especially challenged on this front because he's a general manager who likes to use the picks he has rather than trade them away.

"I do like my picks, you nailed that," Beane told one of the group of reporters gathered in front of him Wednesday at the NFL Scouting Combine. "It's one of those things where if you're gonna move up, especially in Round One, it takes a lot. The higher you go, it exponentially increases.

"So you have to feel good about what you're doing. You can't just go up there, 'Hey, we need a quarterback, we're going to mortgage everything to go up there.' We've got to know that we feel this guy is the guy and is worth the ransom or whatever you want to call it that it would take to move wherever you have to move to get a guy you think fits your long term plan."

Speculation on the cost of leaping from 21st and 22nd overall into the top five is both of this year's first-rounders plus a first-round pick in 2019 ... and possibly additional premium choices this year and/or next year.

Who is the quarterback the Bills might consider giving up a "ransom" to get?

That's anyone's guess at the moment. The names draft prognosticators attach to the top half-dozen spots are USC's Sam Darnold, UCLA's Josh Rosen, Wyoming's Josh Allen, and Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield.

Beane said he had no idea whether it was a "seller's market" at the top end of the draft.

"I haven't gotten into any deep conversations with anybody, because we're still evaluating," he said. "I haven't met some of the quarterbacks. I've seen them on tape. You hear some things about them, with some of the recon we've done talking to some of their coaches and trainers and people in the building. I'm going to meet some of them this week.

"Then, we have a plan in March and through April until the draft, to continue to process. The Combine is another step. Until I can put that final value on where we see each of these quarterbacks, I'm not going to worry about where I'd have to move to if we decided we need to move up and get one."

The GM stressed there would be extensive research because of the quarterback's importance. He will call upon the experience he had in the front office of the Carolina Panthers before they made quarterback Cam Newton the top overall choice of the 2011 draft.

"There's so much expected out of that position," Beane said. "It's the closest thing to a coach on the field, the leadership that's required. You're going to vet a quarterback probably more than any other position. I know, at Carolina, the guy we vetted the most was Cam Newton. We spent a lot of hours before we came to that decision. As we go through this process, we will investigate all these guys. But we'll do that every year."

There is another potential quarterback of the future already on the Bills' roster: Nathan Peterman.

McDermott seemed to make a point of praising last season's rookie backup to Tyrod Taylor while he and Beane continued to be vague about whether Taylor will be on the team for the 2018 season.

"Like most players and like our team, really, I thought Nathan had some good moments and some moments he'd like back, much like myself," the coach said. "I'm confident that he is wired the right way and he'll learn from the moments both high and low that did or didn't go his way. He's an extremely confident young man and a guy that works hard.

"Sometimes as a rookie — in this case as a rookie quarterback — you're thrust in a situation where everyone sees your body of work. I know his second year will be better than his first year. I thought he did some really good things his first year. When you look at the DNA, he's a fit for us in that regard."

 

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