There is no shortage of options if the Buffalo Bills want to trade up in the first round of next month's draft, a move that some believe would be a gamble worth taking for a franchise desperately in need of a winning team.
But what would be the cost?
In order to acquire the first overall pick from the Houston Texans, the Bills will need to bundle together several high draft picks. Would the Bills' No. 9 pick and their first-round pick in 2015 get the deal done? One NFC executive told me this week that he feels it would take the Bills more than that.
Whether it's the Bills' second- or third-round pick this season added to the deal, it's a huge price to pay. The Bills would be without their biggest chip next season and would have a large gap between selecting No. 1 overall and again on Day 2 of the draft this season -- all to move up eight spots on the board.
Even if the Bills make a more modest trade, moving up to No. 5 or No. 6, it would cost the team its second- or third-round pick this season.
It's worth examining, then, which players the Bills might pass up in the second or third rounds in order to slide up three or four spots in the first round. Here are a few possibilities:
Potential second-round targets:
CB Kyle Fuller, CB Bradley Roby -- Both of these players made pre-draft visits. Either could be selected late in the first round but it's also possible that they slide down to the Bills at No. 41. While the Bills have a logjam at cornerback -- Stephon Gilmore, Leodis McKelvin and Corey Graham all are locked up for several years -- it would add depth at a position that is becoming increasingly important in today's NFL.
OT Cyrus Kouandjio, OT Morgan Moses, OT JaWuan James -- Any of the three would have the potential to start at right tackle for the Bills from day one. Moses' stock seems to be rising and he could be a first-round pick. Kouandjio was the Bills' final pre-draft visit. James might be a slight reach at No. 41 but would also compete for a starting job.
DE Scott Crichton, DE Demarcus Lawrence -- The Bills are in need of defensive end depth, and Crichton fits the mold. At 6-foot-3, 273 pounds, he has ideal size for the position and would bring potential as a pass-rusher. He's a far cry from Clowney as an athlete, but could work as part of a rotation with Mario Williams and Jerry Hughes. At 6-foot-3, 251 pounds, Lawrence is smaller but could fill a similar role.
TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins -- He's a player who frequently has been linked to the Bills in the second round. He doesn't possess the athleticism of Eric Ebron, who could be drafted in the first 10 picks, but he would have the potential to take over for Scott Chandler as the Bills' leading pass-catching tight end.
Potential third-round targets:
RB Jeremy Hill, RB Andre Williams, RB Terrance West -- The third round could be the sweet spot for the Bills to pluck a running back off the board. West and Hill made pre-draft visits to the Bills' facility. In any case, the Bills could take one of these running backs and begin to develop him as a potential replacement to C.J. Spiller or Fred Jackson, who are both scheduled to become free agents after this season.
QB Zach Mettenberger -- Uh-oh, a quarterback? You bet. If the Bills want to add a quarterback in next month's draft, the earliest I could see them doing it is the third round. The Bills had representatives at Mettenberger's pro day earlier this month, which could be standard operating procedure or could signal legitimate interest in the battle-tested SEC quarterback.
LB Telvin Smith -- Despite adding Keith Rivers and Brandon Spikes this offseason, general manager Doug Whaley said Friday that the Bills need more depth at linebacker. Smith is on the smaller side but has the athleticism that could work in Jim Schwartz's defensive scheme. He could step in next to Kiko Alonso as a sub-package linebacker and provide value from day one.