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Draft pick simulator: A mock trade to get the Bills to No. 5

It's possible that quarterbacks could be selected with the first four picks of the 2018 NFL Draft, which would be a first in league history.

If that scenario panned out, a trade up to No. 5 would certainly not be worth it for the Bills. But if the draft falls the right way, a trade with Denver for the fifth overall draft pick could provide a nice sweet spot for the Bills, allowing them to land one of the top quarterbacks without having to give up nearly their entire draft arsenal (like a trade for No. 2 might require).

The Broncos may also be in the market for a quarterback, but perhaps they're willing to trade down after signing free agent QB Case Keenum this offseason. Using our NFL draft pick trading simulator, which allows you to plug in any trade of draft picks you can think up, here is what a deal could look like:

Bills trade 

12th overall (first round, 1,200 points)
22nd overall (first round, 780 points)
166th overall (fifth round, 25 points)
Total value: 2,005 points in the Jimmy Johnson scale.

Broncos trade 

5th overall (first round, 1,700 points)
71st overall (third round, 235 points)
115th overall (fourth round, 68 points)
Total value: 2,003 points in the Jimmy Johnson scale.

Play our NFL Draft trade simulator

This deal gives the Broncos both of the Bills' first-round picks, which I am guessing they would want. A difference of 2 points in the Johnson scale is about as close as it gets (simply trading picks 12 and 21 for No. 5 grades as a big loss for the Bills).

But the best part of this trade is that the Bills get back roughly equivalent value in the two more modern draft value scale that are included in our trade calculator.

The Johnson model – still believed to be the baseline model for draft value charts used around the league, per Bills GM Brandon Beane – is subjective and overvalues the top picks. But by getting mid-round picks back from the Broncos, which are undervalued in the Johnson model, the deal would also come out close to even in the performance-based Harvard and Football Perspective models, resulting in a difference in value of only a sixth- or seventh-round pick.

Alternatively, if the Broncos didn't want to give up multiple picks, here's what a trade would look like for just No. 5.

Broncos trade

5th overall (first round, 1,700 points)

Bills trade

12th overall (first round, 1,200 points)
53rd overall (second round, 370 points)
96th overall (third round, 116 points)
187th overall (sixth round, 16.6 points)
Total value: 1,702.6 points

This package would involve the Bills being able to keep their 22nd overall pick, which feels like a win, but they would be giving up a second, a third and a sixth to move up seven places.

The performance-based scales view this trade as a big loss for the Bills, giving up the equivalent value of a late first or early second-round pick. However, the gain of getting a potential franchise quarterback might be worth it.

How much would it cost the Bills to acquire a top pick in the draft?

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