The Buffalo Bills need a left tackle, and the 10th spot in the draft doesn't look like the most perfect place to get one. With that in mind, an NFL Network report tonight that the Bills would be interested in moving up to get Southern California left tackle Matt Kalil makes some sense for Buffalo.
According to former NFL general manager Charley Casserly, analyst for the NFL Network and CBS Sports, the Bills would be willing to give up their second round pick (No. 41 overall) in order to make the move up to get the top-rated left tackle in the draft.
Minnesota, with the No. 3 pick, has been pegged as the destination for Kalil for months. However, the Vikings have made it known they would be willing to move down. In addition, the Vikings' need for a cornerback and a receiver are just as great, if not greater, than their need for a tackle. The Vikings' pass defense was horrible last season, and they play in a division with star passers Aaron Rodgers of Green Bay, Matt Stafford of Detroit and Jay Cutler of Chicago. Speculation in recent days has centered on the possibility of the Vikings taking cornerback Morris Claiborne of Louisiana State at No. 3 instead of Kalil.
Minnesota might be able to get the second best cornerback (South Carolina's Stephon Gilmore) or the second best receiver (Notre Dame's Michael Floyd) if it moved back to No. 10. On the other hand, if the Vikings opt for Claiborne, Kalil probably would fall to at least No. 6 (St. Louis) or No. 7 (Jacksonville). There's a slight chance he could fall farther than that.
Moving up and giving up a prime draft choice would be out of character for Bills General Manager Buddy Nix, who covets draft picks like gold. However, Nix acknowledged last week that the best left tackles come very early in the draft.
"There are a high percentage of them that’s drafted in the top 10 - left tackles," Nix said. "Again, don’t read into that, but most of the starters in this league, especially Pro-Bowlers, were taken in the first eight or nine picks."
If the Bills can't or won't move up for Kalil, their best option at left tackle likely will be Georgia's Cordy Glenn, a 346-pounder who switched from guard to left tackle for his senior year and improved as the season went on. The problem in that scenario, however, is that the Bills probably would not be sticking to their draft board by taking Glenn 10th. It's likely they would have higher rated players available above him, such as Gilmore, Floyd, Alabama safety Mark Barron or Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly.
How much competition might the Bills face in seeking to move up? Speculation for months on the trade-up prospects has centered on teams that might want to move up to get the third best quarterback in the draft, Texas A&M's Ryan Tannehill. Some team might want to make the Vikings an offer for him. However, it does not look like there will be much action for other teams moving up to try to get Kalil.
Thursday's first round promises a lot of intrigue, whichever route the Bills take.