2023 Buffalo Bills Mock Draft: Round 1
Happy New League Year everybody!! We are now in the mesh point of the NFL offseason, with Free Agent Frenzy dying down and the 2023 NFL Draft six weeks away. This means it’s also #MockDraftSZN. In that spirit, the BF writers and I have come together to make our picks for the 2023 Buffalo Bills draft class. So let’s kick things off with Round 1!!
(*Cue the pick is in sound that is embedded in every football fan’s brain*)
“With the 27th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills select…”
Iestyn Harris: WR Zay Flowers – Boston College
If we allow ourselves the assumption that the Bills aren’t collecting any starting-calibre receivers in free agency, then we can focus our attention on the draft. Truly, we still have a lot of work to do all over this roster. Though it may not be our biggest need, wide receiver is likely where we find the best value in 2023’s first round.
Enter Zay Flowers. The expected WR4 off the draft board, Flowers brings a lot to the table. Though he’s got smaller hands than would be ideal, which may lead to drops, he’s got the athleticism and speed of a player capable of much more. He’s electric when playing out of the slot, and when he has the ball in his hands there are few NFL defenders capable of catching him one-on-one. His route-running may need some work, but he’ll have one of the best route-runners in the game to learn from in Stefon Diggs.
The Bills find the successor to Gabe Davis’ expected WR2 position, allowing them to maintain a top-tier passing game without breaking the bank on multiple expensive veteran receivers next season.
Bryce Martino: LB Jack Campbell – Iowa
Jack Campbell is the same type of LB as Tremaine Edmunds, who the Buffalo Bills lost in free agency to the Chicago Bears. Standing at 6’5”, 249 lbs, Campbell finished the season with 118 tackles (ranking second in the Big Ten) and two INTs. His outstanding play lead him to win the 2022 Butkus award for best LB in college football. What Campbell lacks in blitz skills, he makes up for in size and his ability to read a play. Campbell fits best in a zone system.
Trish Patel: WR Josh Downs – North Carolina
I’m a HUGE One Tree Hill fan, so this pick really is fate.
Downs is a heck of a receiver and shifty as fuck. His ability to break ankles and get open reminds me of Diggs. So much so that he finished his college career with a 74.8% catch rate. Imagine Josh Allen having a receiver other than WR1 who actually makes plays?
Andrea Simon: WR Zay Flowers – Boston College
With a plethora of roster moves in the past week, wide receiver is still a position of particular interest for the Bills in the 2023 NFL Draft – at least in my opinion. With a need for speed and agility in the position, my pick is Boston College WR Zay Flowers.
While he may be considered undersized for the position, Flowers could prove to be a solid choice for a starting slot receiver with additional versatility. The 22-year-old senior played in 48 games for Boston College, with 12 starts in 2022. Flowers proved to be a consistently productive player in the Eagles’ offense, with impressive quickness at the snap of the ball. He is a dynamic athlete who puts his athletic abilities, as well as his heart and soul into the game – making him a good choice for the Buffalo Bills and for #BillsMafia.
Kevin Siracuse: OG O’Cyrus Torrence – Florida
With the 27th pick, I have the Bills taking IOL O’Cyrus Torrence out of Florida. The Bills need to continue beefing up their OL, and Torrence is a great piece to add to the mix. At 6’5” and 350 pounds, analysts are saying Torrence can come in and immediately play at the NFL level. The Bills have been patching their IOL ever since McDermott and Beane took over. It’s time to finally build the line the right way and get a guard of the future.
Zach Vaughn: LB Jack Campbell – Iowa
The Bills could go in a number of ways at 27th overall. However, there is a giant hole on the roster that sticks out like a sore thumb: Middle Linebacker. While I love Clemson LB Trenton Simpson’s athleticism and versatility, I do not believe that de facto defensive coordinator Sean McDermott will fundamentally change up his scheme to accommodate Simpson’s unique skill set. In short, the Bills will replace their MIKE with another true MIKE. Enter Jack Campbell.
He won’t replace Tremaine Edmunds’ unusual youth, but Campbell can fill his role both on the field and in the locker room. The two-time defensive team captain plays the run well, is effective in zone coverage, and disciplined in pursuit and tackling as well. Campbell possesses solid athleticism; it won’t be a significant drop off from Edmunds (see the RAS card below). Campbell also checks off two significant McBeane boxes: he played at Iowa and has significant special teams experience.
What do you think the Buffalo Bills should do with their first round pick #BillsMafia? Let us know on Twitter (Zach/@zvaughn2712, Kevin/@kevin_siracuse, Andrea/@heyitsandreah, Trish/@savage__trish, Bryce/@BillsByBryce, Iestyn/@IestynTHarris)!!
Featured Image: John Quackenbos/Boston College Athletics