Bills head coach Sean McDermott told Buffalobills.com earlier in the day that there were a lot of teams interested in their pick at 10. Before they were on the clock Buffalo swung a trade with Kansas City giving up their pick at 10 in exchange for the Chiefs pick at 27, their third-round pick (91st overall) and their first-round pick in 2018.
"We really felt like the value we were looking at, very rarely can you do that where you can cash that in into a first-round in 2018 and get a third-round pick on top of that," said McDermott. "We felt good about that."
Trade talks commenced with the Chiefs and other clubs right after the free agent market began to thin out according to McDermott. Kansas City GM John Dorsey and Bills GM Doug Whaley remained in constant contact throughout the week leading up to the draft Thursday night to ensure they remained on the same page.
Once the draft was underway the final hurdle for the deal to go down was at pick seven with the Los Angeles Chargers. There was thought they might take a quarterback at seven as an heir apparent to Philip Rivers.
When the Chargers took WR Mike Williams the pre-arranged details of the trade were finalized with both the Bills and Chiefs confident that Carolina at eight and Cincinnati at nine were not going to take a quarterback. After no other clubs jumped in front of them with trades and the Bengals took WR John Ross ninth overall, Buffalo and Kansas City then called the trade into the league to consummate the deal.
The fact that the first draft day trade with McDermott as head coach came with an organization that has one of his coaching mentors in Chiefs head coach Andy Reid was seen as coincidence more than anything else. McDermott did acknowledge that the familiarity didn't hurt.
"Obviously there's a relationship there so you feel that the trust factor is there. No doubt about it," he said. "So it makes the communication a little bit easier. I'll give credit to Doug Whaley and the scouting staff and the work they put in behind the scenes on this deal."
The Bills came into the draft with just three picks in the top 155 selections. Following the trade they now have four in the top 100. NFL talent evaluators have widely seen the second through fourth rounds as the sweet spot in this year's class in terms of talent matching value.
Buffalo now has three picks on day two of the draft (44th, 75th, 91st).
Perhaps even more important is the acquisition of an extra first-round pick for the Bills in 2018. Next year is seen as a much stronger draft class for quarterbacks. Buffalo will have a lot of capital to work with next year should they decide a quarterback in that class is the best fit for them.
"As far as having two first-round picks next year, yeah I feel really good about it," said McDermott. "All options will be on the table, we're looking to do what's in the best interest of this organization both short term and long term and we've got to be responsible with the pick and I felt real good about it. Doug and myself and Terry (Pegula) and the communication that ensued we felt real good about it. We did our homework. We felt this would help us and put us in good position next year with two first round picks."