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Pollock: Beane explains the first round trades and a look at the first three Buffalo Bills’ picks

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By CHUCK POLLOCK, Sun Senior Sports Columnist

Before we get to what happened for the Bills last night in Detroit in the second and third rounds of the NFL Draft, a review of Thursday’s bizarre opening round is in order.

Buffalo had the 28th overall pick but while it was on the clock for that selection, the Bills made a trade with two-time defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City for that spot.

The Chiefs got that 28th pick as well as a fourth rounder (No. 133) and No. 248 in the seventh round while Buffalo received KC’s first-round spot, 32nd overall, plus a third-round pick, No. 95, and a seventh-round selection, No. 221.

Then, instead of using that last pick of the first round — No. 32 — Buffalo general manager Brandon Beane dealt that choice plus the Bills’ sixth rounder (No. 200) to Carolina for the Panthers opening pick in tonight’s second round (No. 33) and their fifth-round choice (No. 141).

Those two deals surprised most everybody as Beane, who traded up four times in the first round in his six previous drafts, told the media before Thursday that he absolutely didn’t like to trade down. Then he did it twice.

An NFL draft-trade chart gave the Bills a very slight edge in both deals, but  it was the optic of making a trade with the team the Bills have been unsuccessfully chasing in the AFC, having lost to KC in the playoffs three of the past four years.

There’s also one bitter memory.

In 2017, before Beane was hired in Buffalo, coach Sean McDermott was running the draft and had the No. 10 overall pick. He traded it to the Chiefs to drop into the 28th position and also got KC’s first-rounder in ‘18. With that 10th pick, Kansas City took quarterback Patrick Mahomes, a player Bills owner Terry Pegula coveted.

A year later Beane used that first-rounder from the Chiefs to move up to take franchise QB Josh Allen but, to date, Mahomes has taken KC to four Super Bowls, winning three of them, and Buffalo, well you know the answer to that.

SO NATURALLY the first question was about Thursday’s trade with Kansas City during Beane’s 17-minute press conference that ended just before 2 a.m. 

“You don’t always do business in the division or, in this case, conference with Kansas City,” he conceded. “But (in Round 1) we had conversations with teams in our division because in our case it could have made sense for us.

“(The Chiefs) can move around. If we don’t trade with them, someone else can get them to whatever player they’re targeting. To me, it’s got to make sense for us. We didn’t want to go crazy far (down), and honestly thought we would pick at 32. But then we talked to (Panthers General Manager Dan Morgan) and he gave us a chance to move up (59) slots, from a six (rounder) to a five (200 to 141).”

He added, “We were able to get ourselves back into the third round and feel like there could be some value there … we’re back to getting three picks in the top 95.”

Buffalo was without a third-rounder because of the Rasul Douglas trade with Green Bay and, unexpectedly, the free-agent loss of middle linebacker Tremaine Edmunds to Chicago, which returned only a fourth-round pick rather than the anticipated third.

“We were picking at 28 and there weren’t near 28 first-round grades so you know there’s not really a great chance you’re going to pick there (and get one),” Beane said. “We did feel there was some value to getting back in the third or at least the value of that pick. What today did was give us some ammo if we want to move around.”

And Beane admitted there were more players with second-round grades on Buffalo’s board than there were first-round ratings.

FRIDAY’S second and third rounds were more routine for the Bills and their three selections are profiled below courtesy of Lundy’s Pro Football Draft Guide.

Buffalo was one of five teams with 10 or more draft picks in this year’s lottery. The Bills have seven more selections to make today, assuming there are no more trades: fourth round (No. 128), fifth round (Nos. 141, 144, 160 and 163), sixth round (No. 204) and seventh round (No. 221).

If Buffalo makes those seven picks it will give Beane his largest draft class.

SECOND ROUND:

No. 33 Keon Coleman, wide receiver, 6-3, 210, Florida St.

Strengths: Started career at Michigan State. Highlight-reel acrobatic contested catches. Incredible frame that allows him to box out defenders. Premium catch radius. Speed for his size (4.48, 40) is top-notch.

Weaknesses: Mostly a straight-line player and can’t make quick movements after the catch. There are separation concerns. Often relies on athleticism and physicality to win matchups rather than moves. 

No.60 Cole Bishop, safety, 6-2, 209, Utah

Strengths: Football IQ and sure tackling stood out at the Senior Bowl. Had enough range to hold his own on the back end. Instinctive player sees field well. Processing speed and overall feel for the game stood out.

Weaknesses: Will come up short against big-body receivers. Good athlete, but not a great one and may get picked on by downfield NFL deep threats. Lacks sufficient recovery speed after making a mistake.

THIRD ROUND:

No. 95 Dwayne Carter, defensive tackle, 6-3, 309, Duke

Strengths: His intangibles will be one of the first things front offices notice. First three-time captain in Duke history. Tracks and attacks the ball with plenty of energy. Excellent instincts in both the run and pass games.

Weaknesses: Lacks power and length to bully through blocks on pure athletic ability. Lacks the flexibility to stay low and play with ideal pad level. Loses steam later in games and appears to have stamina issues.

(Chuck Pollock, a Wellsville Sun senior sports columnist, can be reached at cpollock@wnynet.net.)

Read more from Chuck:

• Will the Bills regret trading out of the first round?

• A look at the Buffalo Bills going into the NFL draft

• Pollock on the Bonnies and the need for a defensive lineman in the NFL draft for the Bills

• O.J. Simpson left a mixed legacy … in the wrong order

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