In lieu of losing Jason Peters, the Buffalo Bills may be trying trade up in the draft to secure a left tackle.
A league source told Scout.com's Adam Caplan that the Bills are trying to trade up – past the Cincinnati Bengals at No. 6 overall – to land Alabama tackle Andre Smith. Both Buffalo and Cincinnati are in need of a starting tackle and the Bengals are considered a hot landing spot for Smith.
The need for a left tackle was created last weekend when Buffalo finally dealt the unhappy Peters to the Philadelphia Eagles for the 28th overall pick, a fourth round selection and a sixth round pick next year. The team lacks any viable immediate replacements right now. Only Langston Walker, Kirk Chambers and Demetrius Bell are the top tackles in the mix.
Peters wanted to be paid as the richest tackle in the league last off-season, a demand Buffalo refused to meet. He skipped the team's entire training camp, drawing $560,000 in fines. During the season, Peters was inconsistent. He made his second straight Pro Bowl but allowed more sacks than any other starting left tackle in the NFL (11.5).
Still, it's a big hole to fill. Peters remained one of the best young talents in the league. It appears the Bills are aggressively seeking to fill his void with their first pick in the draft. No player has had a rockier last couple months than Smith. He ducked out of the NFL Combine and was underwhelming at his pro day. In the bench press, he only had 19 reps of 225 pounds. His 40 time hovered in 5.3 range.
Click here for the video of Smith’s pro day.
Still, on talent-alone Smith could be the biggest hit at tackle in this year’s draft class. Before his miserable series of events, Smith was projected as a possible No. 1 overall pick. He is a masher with a massive base. Though his character has been questioned, Smith's talent ceiling is extremely high. He is deceptively agile for a man of his size.
Of course, if the Bills do indeed plan on trading into the top 5 for Smith than they'd need to pay him a contract that'd be awfully close to the one they denied Peters. Somewhat strange. Smokescreens are the norm this time of season, so you never know.
The Bills still have pressing needs at tight end and defensive end but positions are rich enough to address in the second or third rounds if need be. For now, the Bills may be on the warpath for Andre Smith.
Stay tuned for more updates on this development...