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Bills Beat Blog

By Joe Buscaglia
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Manziel/Cowboys linked again: Bills trade-down mini mock

Without any doubt, the most interesting prospect available in the 2014 NFL Draft is a man who is known mostly by his moniker. And, to some, that moniker involves an expletive in between the two words of his nickname.

Johnny Bleepin’ Football.

As exciting as it was to watch him on Saturdays over the past two years, a similar amount of anticipation is felt about where he’ll actually being playing in the National Football League. As is the case with everything to do with the draft, there is an abundance of speculation. However, one has been gaining a little bit of steam.

Last week both ESPN’s Ed Werder and Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com speculated that the Dallas Cowboys could be interested in drafting, or even trading up for Texas A&M star quarterback Johnny Manziel. The reports surfaced around a certain point in the draft, and if Manziel were to be available past the eighth pick, that could put the Bills in a pretty good spot if Dallas wanted to make the move.

Adding fuel to that fire, Jim Nantz of CBS Sports went on with Tony Grossi of ESPN Cleveland 850 AM. Inevitably, Manziel’s name entered the discussion. What was not expected, however, is what Nantz dropped into the bucket of discussion.
“I can say this, he’s going to be the guy everyone wants to see. I’ve heard this rumor for a month -- the Cowboys will figure out a way to get Manziel.” - Jim Nantz

That’s quite a definitive rumor, but one that would certainly fit into the type of aggressive personality Cowboys owner and GM Jerry Jones has built his reputation up to. Last week we looked at what the Bills would yield in a trade down with the Cowboys.

So, with another rumor, how about a little mini-mock draft to see how it could play out for Buffalo if they were to do it? Here’s how it could play out, with no other trade-ups. This is just a very quick look:

1) Houston - DE Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina
2) St. Louis - OT Greg Robinson, Auburn
3) Jacksonville - LB Khalil Mack, Buffalo
4) Cleveland - WR Sammy Watkins, Clemson
5) Oakland - OT Taylor Lewan, Michigan
6) Atlanta - OT Jake Matthews, Texas A&M
7) Tampa Bay - WR Mike Evans, Texas A&M
8) Minnesota - QB Blake Bortles, Central Florida
9) Dallas (via BUF) - QB Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
10) Detroit - S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Alabama
11) Tennessee - OLB Anthony Barr, UCLA
12) New York Giants - TE Eric Ebron, North Carolina
13) St. Louis - LB C.J. Mosley, Alabama
14) Chicago - DT Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh
15) Pittsburgh - WR Odell Beckham, Jr., LSU

That brings us, with the trade, to the Bills first pick at 16th overall. The top players on the board to choose from at positions of need would be Notre Dame offensive tackle Zack Martin, Virginia offensive tackle Morgan Moses, Florida State wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin, Oregon State wide receiver Brandin Cooks, Washington tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Missouri defensive end Kony Ealy, Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier and Virginia Tech cornerback Kyle Fuller.

While there are some fringe first-round choices among that group listed above, the middle of the first round is when teams start to make some outside-the-box selections in the NFL Draft. You could make a case for any of the eight names available at positions of need.

Some look to the pre-draft visitor list to try and whittle the list down to see who the Bills might be interested in. While it is true that the past four first-round selections have made it to One Bills Drive in the month leading up to the event, it can’t always be depended on as the ultimate precursor.

However, if you’d like to narrow it down that way, out of the eight names listed, only half of them were invited to One Bills Drive on a visit. Martin, Seferian-Jenkins, Shazier and Fuller each met with the coaching staff and toured the facilities, but is that enough to give them the edge in this scenario?

Regardless, what the trade would do is give the Bills the 16th pick, the 47th pick and potentially an additional seventh-round selection, all while giving back ninth overall and their fourth-round selection to Dallas.

Three picks in the top 47, in this year’s draft especially, could yield three impact players for a team hoping to make a playoff push. If you’re rooting for a trade down, it might be a good place to start to root for Manziel and all the quarterbacks to fall.

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia

**Photo courtesy of the AP​

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