Connect with us

Buffalo Bills

2023 NFL Draft Prospects: Injury Concerns



The Buffalo Bills own the 27th pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. Recent consensus suggests the Bills will be looking to add at LB, WR, and DT. First-round selections are a commitment and teams need to factor both talent and durability. No one wants to use their top resource on a prematurely aging prospect, so forecasting a player’s injury liability should weigh heavily. 

LB Jack Campbell

Jack Campbell, Iowa, NFL Draft

Jack Campbell missed Iowa’s 2022 spring practices due to a knee injury. Campbell said he missed the practices because he was “trying to get some things fixed up.” If he had surgery, it was likely a minor clean up. He was able to have a productive 2022 season and tested well with running activities at the NFL Combine. Therefore, the knee should cause minimal concern.

However, an injury that might cause some alarm is his shoulder, as Campbell did not perform the bench press at the Combine.

He was also seen wearing a shoulder harness during this past season. These harnesses are common for shoulder instability. A concern here would be Campbell needs surgery on his shoulder for a possible lingering shoulder injury. This would be the exact situation that occurred when the Bills drafted DE Shaq Lawson in 2016. After he was selected, he had a labral repair which caused him to miss the first six weeks of the season.

WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba

Jaxon Smith-Njigba had a phenomenal sophomore season at Ohio State in 2021. He capped the year off with an incredible performance in their Bowl Game versus Utah, catching 15 passes for 347 yards and 3 TDs. Unfortunately, he injured his hamstring during the season opener in 2022, which ultimately limited him to three games.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba, hamstring

Hamstring injuries are common, and they reoccur. Recurrence rates have been reported as high as 32% in the NFL (1). There is a debate to be had if Smith-Njigba could have played through his injury. Was he protecting himself for the NFL Draft? It is unknown, but anytime a player misses multiple months for a hamstring strain should be a red flag. Fortunately, he was able to run his 40-yard dash at his Pro Day, which is promising. 

DT Bryan Bresee

Bryan Bresee was the third overall prospect in the 2020 ESPN 300 when he enrolled in college at Clemson. He got his career off to a great start as a freshman All-American and appeared to be a budding star.

Unfortunately, Bresee suffered an ACL tear during his sophomore season (2021). This required a reconstruction surgery; he also had a shoulder surgery ‘clean up’ while he recovered. He was able to return to the field 11 months later.

Bryan Bresee, acl tear

His 2022 season was complicated both on and off the field. Bresee missed a game due to the death of his younger sister, as well as two more games shortly after for a kidney infection.

Overall, Bresee carries a moderate amount of injury concern. However, he will be two years removed from his torn ACL, which is a critical milestone. He may have some tread on his tires, but by no means should drop off of anyone’s draft boards. Bresee is the epitome of a blue-chip talent that will likely drop in the NFL Draft due to injury concerns, but could wind up being a steal.


  1. DeWitt J, Vidale T. Recurrent hamstring injury: consideration following operative and non-operative management. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2014 Nov;9(6):798-812. PMID: 25383248; PMCID: PMC4223289.

Featured Image: Joshua Gunter/