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Bills Today: ESPN ranks Bills’ draft day trades among most ‘impactful’ of 2018

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1 - ESPN ranks Bills’ draft day trades among most ‘impactful’ of 2018

April 26, 2018, was an eventful day for Buffalo general manager Brandon Beane.

The executive orchestrated two trade ups on the first night of the 2018 draft, his first as an NFL general manager. He initially leapt into the top 10 to land his prospective franchise quarterback, selecting Josh Allen with the seventh overall pick in the draft. Just a few moments later, he traded up yet again, this time to select linebacker Tremaine Edmunds with the 16th pick.

Though it will be some time before someone will be able to objectively determine whether or not Buffalo’s draft day trades were worth it, the moves, thus far, have been beneficial. Allen showed signs of promise in his rookie campaign, throwing for 2,074 yards and picking up another 631 on the ground. Edmunds tallied a team-high 121 tackles in his debut campaign, this in addition to doubling up on sacks and interceptions.

ESPN writer Bill Barnwell graded Buffalo’s two first-round moves in a recent article, ranking the trades as two of the more impactful deals of the past year. The analyst gave the Allen trade an “impact grade” of C+, noting that the quarterback will likely mature with an improved supporting cast next season.

“The first-round pick was excellent as a scrambler but struggled mightily with the downfield throws that were supposed to be his calling card,” Barnwell wrote. “The Bills have plenty of cap room to work with this offseason, and they'll go after weapons to help their second-year passer in 2019.”

Barnwell was more receptive to the Edmunds trade with the benefit of hindsight, giving that deal an impact grade of B-. The writer feels as though Edmunds will be the centerpiece of an exciting Buffalo defense for years to come.

“The Virginia Tech product filled up every line in the stat sheet, racking up two interceptions, two sacks, seven quarterback hits, five tackles for loss and 12 passes defensed,” Barnwell wrote. “With Edmunds, Matt Milano and Tre'Davious White, the Bills have an exciting young defensive core under coach Sean McDermott.”

2 - Jets S on Josh Allen: He’s a phenomenal QB

He wasted little time in welcoming Josh Allen to the NFL.

Just a few days after the Bills traded up to land Allen in the first round of the 2018 draft, Jets safety Jamal Adams took to Twitter to express his excitement for Buffalo’s selection.

Can’t wait to catch passes from one of my fav QBs,” the breakout defensive back tweeted.

The tweet was initially viewed as a diss on the Bills’ prospective franchise signal caller. After actually playing against the talented passer, however, Adams has nothing but respect for Allen.

“He’s a phenomenal quarterback, don’t get me wrong,” Adams said during a recent appearance on One Bills Live. “Runs a lot, I’ll put it like that. He can definitely keep a defense on its toes, you have to have a spy on him because the guy can run. He has a bright future and I’m looking forward to the matchup for the long haul.”

Allen and Adams faced off against each other once this season, a Week 14 contest in which the Jets clawed out a 27-23 victory. Allen accounted for 307 yards and one score in that game Adams tallied two tackles and two quarterback hits.

Adams, who is coming off an All-Pro caliber sophomore season, has now faced off against the Bills four times in his career, the two teams splitting the season series in each of his campaigns. Games against Buffalo are always amongst his most anticipated, and he feels as though the rivalry between the two teams is only strengthening.

“They’re a well-coached team,” Adams said. “It’s always a slugfest when we go into Buffalo or when they come to us, because it’s a rivalry. We know what type of guys they are, they know what type of guys we are. At the end of the day, it’s always a great rivalry. The energy is always there.”

3 - B/R: This draft prospect is ‘perfect’ for the Bills

Brandon Beane hasn’t been shy about his philosophy heading into the 2019 draft - should he decide to stay put at pick number nine, he’s going to take the best player available.

Though the Bills undoubtedly have holes to fill on their roster, Beane won’t take the team’s immediate needs into account when making his selection. Instead, he’ll take the player who he feels has the largest upside, regardless of position.

Though Beane does not believe in drafting for need, it’s entirely possible that the best player available at pick number nine could immediately fill a hole on Buffalo’s roster. According to Bleacher Report’s Brett Sobleski, Ole Miss offensive tackle Greg Little would be a “perfect” addition to the Bills’ offensive line. Sobleski cited Buffalo’s need for a stout tackle and Little’s ability to play on either side of the line as reasons for the fit.

“Ole Miss' Greg Little is a former elite recruit who quietly put together a very good season despite his team's disappointing performance,” Sobleski wrote. ‘The 6'6", 325-pound tackle has all of the physical tools to excel on the blind side. Or, the Bills can move him to the right side if [Dion] Dawkins regains his form.”

Little is coming of a 2018 season in which he earned All-SEC first team honors. Described by DraftWire’s Gavino Borquez as a “long term All-Pro,” Little will likely hear his name called on the first night of the 2019 draft.

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