Sources: Beckham, Jr. in serious consideration for Bills at 9
by Joe Buscaglia,posted May 8 2014 11:48AM
The 2014 NFL Draft will be here in just a few hours, and the buzz is building around the Buffalo Bills’ selection at ninth overall. After speaking with some people around the league, there are a few more layers to add on to what the Bills’ draft plans might be.
One of the hottest names in the draft right now is LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr., and one of the biggest proponents of his talents are indeed the Bills. According to league sources, Beckham, Jr. is a player Buffalo is very serious about taking with their ninth overall pick in the event a board plays out a certain way.
If South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, Auburn offensive tackle Greg Robinson, Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins and Texas A&M offensive tackle Jake Matthews are all off the board as expected, the Bills will take a long, hard look at both Beckham, Jr. and North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron and debate the merits of drafting one versus the other when it gets to their selection, according to sources.
In that scenario, the Bills would also try and feel out a trade down, but very well could be stuck there at ninth overall. If they stay with the pick and both players are on the board and the aforementioned four are all selected, the decision will come down to one of those two according to a source. If they could induce a trade down, Notre Dame offensive tackle Zack Martin remains a potential target.
The interest in Beckham, Jr., which was first pointed out by Peter King of Sports Illustrated, is very real. In fact, there is even some thought that the LSU wideout is the second wide receiver on the Bills' board, behind only Watkins and ahead of Texas A&M wide receiver Mike Evans. The reasoning behind that is the versatility that both Watkins and Beckham, Jr. would bring to the Bills offense, whereas Evans is more of an outside receiver.
There also has been increased talk that the Bills are interested in the first or second overall selections to take Jadeveon Clowney or Greg Robinson. After hearing throughout the process when the rumor first started in March that the Bills actually wouldn’t do a trade like that for one of those players, those same sentiments were once again reaffirmed. Sources to WGR have said that a trade up to that level is not expected, and would not be for one of those two players.
However, a trade up the order is not out of line if one player in particular falls down the order. Sammy Watkins continues to be the apple of their eye, and if he falls in the area of the fourth or fifth pick, the Bills will look into seeing what it takes to move up to secure his services according to a source. The problem with that is there will likely be many suitors, so much so that Cleveland (4) or Oakland (5) can auction the pick off to the highest bidder if they so choose.
The other name to not rule out in a potential trade up is Jake Matthews, but the Bills would likely have less motivation to move up that far to secure his services than they would for Watkins. If Matthews is on the board at nine, though, expect him to be the selection.
If the Bills do end up with a receiver in the first round of the draft, Buffalo will then likely look to immediately see what they can get for wide receiver Stevie Johnson in terms of draft picks, according to sources. With his increasing cap number, it isn’t likely that Johnson stays on with the Bills past this season, meaning the drafting of a receiver would likely fast forward the clock on his potential departure from the team.
The Bills hold the ninth overall pick in tonight's draft. It all begins at 8 pm, with live coverage and pick analysis on WGR Sports Radio 550.