Rewind to the 2014 NFL Draft, and when the Buffalo Bills traded up from the number nine pick to number four overall with the Cleveland Browns, they put themselves in excellent position to draft a stud prospect. Jadeveon Clowney went first and was followed by offensive tackle Greg Robinson and Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles.
With the fourth pick overall, the Bills took Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins making him the first receiver off the board. The team passed up on University of Buffalo’s own Khalil Mack and the Oakland Raiders took him right after Watkins.
The Different Road Paths
Since then, Watkins has battled through multiple injuries, has not played a full season since 2014 and was traded from the Bills to the Los Angeles Rams, just to join the Kansas City Chiefs this past offseason.
On the other hand, Mack has put himself in the conversation as one of the top defensive players in the league. He has racked up ten-plus seasons for the past three consecutive seasons, has been selected to the Pro Bowl three seasons and was voted onto the All-Pro team at two different positions.
They both are outstanding talents, but Mack stands out more and has yet to disappoint.
Are The Bills Willing to Pay Up?
There would be two big questions that the Bills would need to figure out; what will they give in return and how much would they be willing to pay Mack outside of 2018?
Mack is a rare type of defensive player who can make the biggest impact in a game. He is much like Aaron Donald and Von Miller in ways of setting the tone and making the crucial plays to clinch games. The other 31 teams in the league that do not have Mack would want him. The Bills have been listed as a team to possibly land Mack in a trade deal.
Why Pay Up for Mack?
It is quite simple. The Bills highest number of sacks recorded by a player last season was set by Jerry Hughes and Shaq Lawson, both who had four each. Utterly disappointing for the defense. Mack adds at least ten sacks to the defense if not more. He is an absolute force on the defensive line and can add an attitude to the Bills line.
The Bills are also projected to have the second highest cap space in 2019, which would come out between $60-$70 million. They should be able to pay Mack while having left overs for any other signings.