By Lewis Gould
Rookie coach Sean McDermott didn’t stand pat in turning the first three round of the NFL draft into swap meet by wheeling and dealing to place his personal stamp on the Buffalo Bills roster.
The Bills yesterday traded with the Los Angeles Rams to move up seven spots to select East Carolina receiver Zay Jones with the 37th pick.
Not done yet, Buffalo struck a deal with Atlanta to jump ahead 12 spots to pick Temple offensive lineman Dion Dawkins at 63.
McDermott began to chuckle when informed Buffalo selected Dawkins one spot ahead of the Panthers, who were also in need of an offensive lineman.
“Well said,” the Panthers former defensive coordinator said with a laugh, when asked if he might have had some inside information.
“You do your homework and you look at the needs like every team,” McDermott said, before noting the Panthers did select Western Michigan guard Taylor Morton at 64.
Buffalo’s trade with Kansas City featured a McDermott connection to Chiefs coach Andy Reid. McDermott spent 12 seasons on Reid’s staff with the Eagles.
And Jones’ and Dawkins’ selections were notable because they didn’t play for schools in one of the nation’s five power conferences. Buffalo hasn’t used a first- or second-round pick to select a player from a non-power-conference school since choosing Central Florida defensive tackle Torrell Troup in the second round of the 2010 draft.