The Chiefs and quarterback whisperer Andy Reid traded up 17 spots with the Bills on Thursday night to draft the QB they wanted, Patrick Mahomes II.
The Bills still got the better end of the deal. For now, at least. Assuming they can make something special out of the first-round pick next year they got from KC.
They would have to mess it up pretty badly, though, to get burned on this. And they’d have to mess up pretty badly in 2017 overall for the much-maligned, seemingly power-deficient Doug Whaley to not be around to make the pick himself.
As Bills general manager the last few years, Whaley has been blessed with a certain amount of luck, having been retained through two coaching changes in three seasons — and cursed by bad luck, which was on display late last season when it became clear he was left out of some major decisions by owners Terry and Kim Pegula.
The products of some of his most impactful draft deals have been hurt by bad luck, too: Sammy Watkins (in 2014) and Shaq Lawson (in 2016) have been hampered by injuries.
But on Thursday, the Bills, with the 10th pick, made the move with the Chiefs, who were at No. 27 — moving down and picking up not only a first-rounder in 2018 but also a second third-rounder this year. On Friday they’ll have three picks in the second and third rounds, then three fifth-rounders Saturday.
They’ve continued to show faith in Tyrod Taylor as their quarterback, despite showing uncertainty about him the past two offseasons under two different head coaches. The new coach, Sean McDermott, is prepared to move forward with Taylor.
More important for Taylor, though, McDermott — and Whaley — are safe enough to trade an asset for a future asset, and safe enough to see whether they want to commit to Taylor or make a move at quarterback in next year’s draft.
Whaley knew there was a market for Mahomes, or another quarterback, at 10th overall. Deshaun Watson was still on the board, too. The Chiefs were the ones who bit — and they now have someone to groom the next few years while they make a few more runs at a Super Bowl with Alex Smith.
Watson went two picks later, to the Texans, who also traded up to get their man.
The Bills decided they already had their man in place. If they find out that they don’t, they have an extra first-rounder next year.
And they still got someone at 27th overall who helps them enormously: Tre’Davious White, the LSU cornerback who has a chance to fill the hole created by the departure of Stephon Gilmore.
Both teams can feel great about the deal. Both teams should avoid the dragging the Bears are taking over the big trade that preceded the Bills’. The Bills, in fact, should feel like they won, in this draft and the next.