Brandon Beane shows chutzpah in dealing back with Chiefs


Staff member

They don’t call him Big Baller Beane for nothing.

Buffalo Bills General Manager Brandon Beane showed his guts Thursday night by sticking to his draft board and making a trade with the nemesis Kansas City Chiefs late in the first round of the NFL draft.

We can say for sure that Beane wasn’t lying a week ago when he said the Bills did not have 28 first-round picks on his draft board.

The Bills proved it by moving down from 28th to 32nd in the first round, and then again, moving down to 33rd, the first pick in Friday’s second round.
The surprise, however, was that the Bills allowed the Chiefs to move up to get the player they obviously coveted – Texas’ Xavier Worthy, the fastest receiver in the draft.

Obviously, the Bills did not love Worthy. Obviously, the Bills figured that if they were not taking Worthy, he almost surely was going to wind up with the Chiefs anyway at No. 32. So why not get some extra picks out of Kansas City? The Bills moved up 38 spots from the late fourth to the late third in the transaction.

Yet, letting Chiefs coach Andy Reid get his hands on Worthy, who set the 40-yard dash record with a 4.21-second time at the NFL scouting combine, shows some chutzpah.

Gee, I wonder if Reid will figure out how to use Worthy? He is about the same size as DeSean Jackson, who Reid drafted in 2008 and coached to three Pro Bowls. If Worthy scores a touchdown in Highmark Stadium in the fall when the Chiefs visit Orchard Park, Bills fans are going to lose their minds.

This isn’t to say Worthy was the answer to the Bills’ prayers. Worthy does not check every box on the receiver scouting report. He is only 165 pounds.

He’s not the big, X-WR the Bills need. But he does have the stretch-the-field speed the Bills need. He does put some fear into defensive secondaries. The Bills need that, too. Because of his size, Worthy’s durability is a bit of a concern. But he has a football mentality, not a track-guy mentality.

Ultimately, the Bills moved down five spots in the draft. Not a very big deal, at all.

There still are viable wide receivers still on the board for the Bills at No. 33. Do they check every box? No. But no wideout in this draft checks every box, outside of the top three of Marvin Harrison Jr., Malik Nabers and Rome Odunze. They went fourth, sixth and ninth, respectively.

Texas’ Adonai Mitchell is a big X-WR. So is Florida State’s Keon Coleman. Georgia separation machine Ladd McConkey is available.

If the Bills had taken Mitchell at No. 28 or No. 32, nobody would have batted an eye.

Thus, we have to wait and see how it plays out Friday.

There is a lot of value in adding more picks in the middle rounds.

In the big picture, stockpiling picks is a great way to keep a winning program on track.

The Bills have huge a salary cap commitment to quarterback Josh Allen. They need to keep young talent flowing through the draft pipeline.

Kansas City has kept it going by hitting on lots of draft picks – Trent McDuffie, George Karlaftis, Isiah Pacheco, Nick Bolton, Creed Humphrey, Trey Smith, Willie Gay, L’Jarius Snead. Those are a lot of good players in the span of just three drafts, from 2020 to 2022.

Beane & Co. have done a good job of finding value in the middle and later rounds. Terrel Bernard, Khalil Shakir and Christian Benford came in 2022. Spencer Brown was a third-round gem in 2021. Gabe Davis, Tyler Bass and Dane Jackson were later-rounders in 2020.

The salary cap demands that the Bills get younger. The more draft shots you take, the better your odds.

That’s all good ... as long as Worthy doesn’t turn into Tyreek Hill 2.0 for Reid and Patrick Mahomes.