Here's the draft-day trade the Bills and Broncos had in place before Bradley Chubb fell

The expectation for the early part of the 2018 NFL Draft was trades galore. But it ended up being fairly slow, with all six of the first teams selecting standing pat at their position from the start of the draft (obviously the Colts and Jets flipped picks prior to the draft). 

We nearly saw a big move from the Denver Broncos and Buffalo Bills, but a draft-day drop by Bradley Chubb to No. 5 caused it to get tossed aside.

In a wide-ranging interview with the Buffalo News' Jay Skurski, GM Brandon Beane explained how the draft-day process shook out for the Bills and broke down a trade the Broncos and Bills agreed to the day of the draft.

"Literally about 8 o'clock, John calls me and says all right, here's what we'll do," Beane told the Buffalo News. "We finalized the deal, but it's contingent on his guy not being there."

Unfortunately for Beane (it seemed), the Browns drafting Denzel Ward at No. 4 and allowing the Broncos to take Chubb at No. 5 meant that the deal was off

The swap in question, per Beane, would have netted the Broncos No. 12 overall, No. 22 overall and one of the Bills' second-round picks. Let's call it No. 53 overall (their first of two along with No. 56). The Bills would have gotten No. 5 overall and one of the Broncos third-round picks. Let's call it No. 71 (their first of two along with No. 99).

It's hard to pass up on a blue-chip player, but that would have been an absurd haul for Denver. Let's compare it on the various trade value charts (Jimmy Johnson's old school one, Chase Stuart's Football Perspective chart and the Pats Pulpit post CBA chart).

Trade Chart

Denver Points Received

Buffalo Points Received

Johnson

2350

1935

Stuart

43

31.8

Pats Pulpit

705.53

536.11

Yikes. That would have been a massive win for the Broncos, in terms of acquiring draft capital. If you want a more realistic example of what could have been, how about just compare the players chosen. 

The Broncos got Chubb at No. 5 and Oregon running back Royce Freeman at No. 71 overall.

With the 12th overall pick, the Buccaneers took defensive tackle Vita Vea, the Titans selected Rashaan Evans at No. 22 overall and the Buccaneers took M.J. Stewart with the 53rd overall pick. 

Time will tell how those guys play out, but if we're just swapping the players involved, I'll take the group of two headlined by the blue-chip player in Chubb. It's really bizarre how that looks more appealing, despite what the Bills offered Denver looking like a clear win in terms of the value of the draft. 

From an analytical approach, it's easy to see why the Broncos could get killed here. You need to have as many shots as you can shoot and they had Buffalo in a bad spot with that offer. 

On the other hand, Beane knew it. He said he was basically bidding against himself, and he also started to panic after Elway bailed on No. 5 and the Colts declined to move out of No. 6 (both Peter King of TheMMQB.com and Stephen Holder of the Indy Star have reported Chris Ballard was locked into Quenton Nelson and not moving off his spot).

"I thought at 7, I'm getting in that gray zone. Miami can get there, Arizona now can get there. I don't want to lose him here," Beane explained, noting his concern over the Dolphins and Cardinals both potentially moving up for a quarterback as well.

Beane's whole goal in the draft was to not give up a) his other first-round pick (No. 22) or b) his 2019 first-round pick. Ultimately he was able to swing a deal with the Bucs, giving GM Jason Licht a haul of No. 12, No. 53 and No. 56, in order to move up to No. 7 and snag Josh Allen

The Bills GM, in his first draft, would jump back up to grab linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, closing the deal on a very nice haul in the first day of the draft, even if it's one that was expensive for them to move around. 

It actually ended up being cheaper, though, and as it turned out, Chubb falling was probably the best thing that could have happened to the Bills. Without him there at No. 5, they give up their other first-round pick and don't walk out of the draft with Edmunds as well. 

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

Our Latest Stories