No. 12 – QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
... Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott from their days in Carolina should be well aware of how far a defense, a running game and a dual-threat QB can take a team. Mayfield has the "it" factor to finally give Buffalo a long-term solution.
No. 22 – LB Leighton Vander Esch, Boise State
The Bills can continue their Panthers copycatting with this pick after getting their Heisman-winning QB earlier in the draft. McDermott needs someone to fly to the ball in the Luke Kuechly/Thomas Davis vein, as Lorenzo Alexander, who turns 35 in May, is their best linebacker.
No. 12 – QB Lamar Jackson, Louisville
With a pressing need at quarterback and five of the top 65 picks, Buffalo seems like a solid bet to make another move to vault even higher after already advancing to this slot. If Buffalo misses out on the first four quarterbacks, however, Jackson is the kind of distinct talent that the team can build an offense around — and might have to, given his elusive ability as a runner and uneven showings as a pocket passer.
No. 22 – G Will Hernandez, Texas El-Paso
Richie Incognito's retirement means the Bills are now without their three best starters from last year's offensive line. The powerful Hernandez would open holes for LeSean McCoy, who last year averaged less than 4 yards per carry for the first time in his career.
No. 4 – QB Sam Darnold, USC
The Bills look at the board with the eyes-wide-open emoji, as Darnold and Josh Rosen remain on the board at No. 4. With the cost slightly reduced at this juncture, the Bills make a trade with the man they did business with -- John Dorsey -- in last year's draft to get the immensely talented but somewhat raw Darnold.
No. 12 – OL Isaiah Wynn, Georgia
If the Bills have a hard time trading up inside the top five for a quarterback, the 12th pick is difficult to figure out. Do they reach on quarterback Mason Rudolph of Oklahoma State? If Louisville's Lamar Jackson the choice? If they don't like either at No. 12, the Bills could look to replace the recently retired Richie Incognito with Wynn, a player who works at guard and tackle.
No. 22 – QB Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State
At every stage of the process, from the Senior Bowl to pre-draft visits, the Bills have shown an interest in Rudolph. The thing about Rudolph is that you have to teach some of the Oklahoma State system out of him because the routes they run just don't always translate to the NFL. But if he can be coached up properly by offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, the physical gifts are there.
No. 6 (via trade with Colts) – QB Josh Allen, Wyoming
At the moment, the Colts hold this No. 6 pick. Andrew Luck still hasn't picked up a football, which seems less than ideal. But don't take a quarterback. And if Nelson, Chubb and Barkley are gone -- as they are in this exercise -- my advice would be to avoid going on tilt. Even though I would be freaking the freak out right now. But be cool. The Bills would love to trade up with you and take a quarterback. You need a lot of help, so you take Buffalo's two first-rounders (Nos. 12 and 22) and let Brandon Beane take Josh Allen. … Allen has the big arm. He's mobile. And I know you don't want to get into the trap of drafting the next Carson Wentz, but you really have no choice.
No. 4 (via trade with Cleveland) – QB Josh Rosen, UCLA
This is a projected trade, as the Bills send the No. 12, No. 22 and a second round selection to the Browns to move up to No. 4. It might take even more than that, like a first-round pick in 2019 instead of the lone second rounder. Or even two second round picks. If we look at the passers the Bills recently moved on from (Tyrod Taylor) and acquired (Nathan Peterman and A.J. McCarron), it appears the Bills want a prototypical pocket passer. Rosen is easily the best quarterback that fits that label. Josh Allen might as well. The Bills seemed to be interested in last year's quarterback class (maybe Mitchell Trubisky specifically) and likely plan to not be near the top of the draft for years. Shoot your quarterback shot now.
No. 12 – QB Lamar Jackson, Louisville
The Bills might need to trade up to secure a quarterback. But if the asking price is too much, Buffalo could stay put and see if Jackson falls to them.
No. 22 – G Will Hernandez, UTEP
After taking the quarterback earlier in the first round, the Bills need to protect him, especially after the recent Richie Incognito retirement news.
No. 12 – QB Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State
Some will consider this a reach, but it's never too early to grab a franchise quarterback, right? Rudolph is a blue-collar QB with the leadership skills, intangibles and solid overall game to flourish as a QB1 in a conservative offense.
No. 22 – DT Maurice Hurst, Michigan
No. 6 (via trade with Indianapolis) – QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
If the board plays out this way, there is almost no chance the Colts don't move down in some kind of trade. They would either need to be infatuated with the player remaining (and maybe they would consider Saquon Barkley) or unwilling to get any haul. In this case the Bills give them multiple first-round picks and a second to come get the last top-tier quarterback.
No. 5 (via trade with Denver) – QB Josh Allen, Wyoming
The Bills package the 12th and 22nd picks to move up and nab the guy they love: Allen, a quarterback with the arm strength to throw in all weather conditions.