Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane said trading up for cornerback Kaiir Elam was an easy decision because he was the final player the team had graded as a first-round pick heading into the 2022 NFL draft.
We may know another one of them now.
According to Bally Sports, cornerback Trent McDuffie was on that shortlist at one time.
McDuffie was picked by the Kansas City Chiefs at the No. 21 overall slot. The Chiefs traded up to land McDuffie and had they not, it sounds like Buffalo might have pounced either at No. 23, where they got Elam, or their original spot at 25.
Via analyst Michael Silver, here’s how Beane’s mindset looked when the move for Elam came about, which revealed some interest in McDuffie:
Beginning on Thursday night, Beane did his best to strengthen McDermott’s hand. When the Chiefs, after trading up with the New England Patriots, selected Washington cornerback Trent McDuffie with the 21st pick, Beane felt that Elam was by far the best remaining option at a position of clear need. After making the trade with the Ravens, Beane got his man and, importantly, did so without surrendering his third-round selection in the process.
Pre-draft, we knew the Bills had some level of interest in McDuffie because the team met with him at the combine.
Enough to select him? That’s something we’ll never know thanks to the Chiefs.
But on paper, it does make sense. Many draft experts called both McDuffie and Elam two of the top defensive back prospects in terms of their ability to play in a zone defense. That’s the type of scheme Buffalo runs.
Moving forward, the Bills will only concern themselves with the way Elam plays in one now.
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