After making the gamble to trade a first-round pick for Stefon Diggs, it’s becoming clearer that it was a no-brainer move for the Buffalo Bills.
Anytime a team moves a first-round pick for a player, there is a calculated risk and one the Buffalo Bills have taken on several occasions.
However, at the time the team made the deal to get Stefon Diggs from the Minnesota Vikings for the 22nd pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, there were some reservations about the move at the time. This was magnified with the Minnesota Vikings trading for Justin Jefferson and some other moves made during the offseason.
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Many will recall back in 2014 when the Bills traded the ninth overall pick and their 2015 first-round pick to move up and select Sammy Watkins at fourth overall. General manager Brandon Beane did his best to try and salvage the situation trading Watkins for E.J. Gaines and a 2018 second-rounder.
That experience didn’t dissuade the Bills and Beane from making the trade for Diggs and while Jefferson has been an emerging star with the Vikings while Diggs has been one of the top receivers this season.
Marcel Louis-Jacques of ESPN wrote a great story looking at how Diggs embraced the role in the Bills offense. He brought an attitude and swagger which has certainly rubbed off the rest of the team.
"“I’ve always been a winner in my heart. … I’m always going to do everything in my power and give it everything I’ve got,” Diggs said. “No matter what team I’m on, I try to do that. Going into Buffalo and my new situation, a lot of people weren’t too high on Buffalo, people on the outside.“But none of that s— really matters to me. I like the guys that I’m around, I appreciate the guys that I’m around. They grind, they put the time in just like any other team.”"
The biggest winner of the Bills trade was quarterback Josh Allen who has seen his game transform with Diggs as his top target. He has been in the conversation as an MVP candidate at times this season and you can bet that he would not have gotten there without Diggs.
"“All he wants to do is help his team win football games. He’s a competitor and we have very similar mindsets. I love the guy,” Allen said about Diggs. “He goes out there and competes his tail off and I’m just super blessed that we traded for him.”"
Diggs sits atop the NFL with 100 catches, third in receiving yards with 1,167 yards and has seen the second-most targets (134). He is on his way to setting a new Bills record for receptions in a season and should be able to set the team’s new single-season franchise record for receiving yards.
With Diggs signed to an extension, this should keep the Bills atop the AFC East as long as they can continue to make plays on defense like they did against the Steelers and the offense finds a balance in its attack.
What are your thoughts on the Bills trade for Diggs and how it has worked out? Can they continue to elevate the team’s offsense? Let us know in the comments below.