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Buffalo Bulletin: Buffalo Bills 2023 Top-30 Visits

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As the NFL Draft approaches, the Buffalo Bills have started to make their rounds, meeting with prospects and learning what there is to learn about the soon-to-be draftees. Since 2018, every first-round pick made by the Bills had a top-30 visit with the team (aside from Greg Rousseau, as no top-30 visits were allowed from 2020-21). This is not uncommon. A first-round pick is a significant investment, and going into that decision armed with all the information you can get is an absolute must.

What Is A Top-30 Visit?

First, let’s define what a ‘top-30’ visit is. The ‘visit’ part is self-explanatory, but there’s more to it.

To keep things even and fair, the NFL allows all 32 NFL teams to meet in-depth with 30 prospects. Each visit must be declared to the league, but not publicly, and can involve a great deal of work. Players meet with coaches, managers, training staff, and more. They may take medical tests, run drills, watch film, and answer a bevy of questions, with each designed to gain greater insight into the potential draftee.

James Cook 2022 NFL Draft 2023 Buffalo Bills Top 30 Visits Meetings Prospects
Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Though they only get 30 of them, teams may look at players at any level of the draft. Day Two picks are often top-30 interviewees, such as RB James Cook or TE Dawson Knox. Last season, TE Jalen Wydermyer had a visit with the Bills, and wasn’t drafted at all. They signed him as an UDFA, but cut him during the preseason. Typically, the limited number of meetings means that if a player has a top-30 visit, there’s a significant amount of interest. Sometimes, visits may seem like pure misdirection. They can be.

Buffalo Bills Top-30 Visits

They’re a finite and valuable resource. It’s why you won’t see the Buffalo Bills using one on a QB this draft season, and why you may gleam some insight into their targets based on what positions see a lot of visits. For that purpose, we’ll look at their visits by position. Let’s get into it.

Note: All reports are unconfirmed by the team, but made by trusted news sources. Updates will be added.

Wide Receiver (6)

The Buffalo Bills have a definitive need at receiver, and have met with a range of pass-catchers thus far:

Jordan Addison (USC) — Per Ian Rapoport

Justin Shorter (Florida) — Himself via Instagram

Zay Flowers (Boston College) — Per Tom Pelissero

Jaxon Smith-Njigba Buffalo Bills JSN Ohio State 2023 NFL Draft Top 30 Visit Meeting
Ohio State Athletics

Jaxon Smith-Njigba (Ohio State) — Per Ian Rapoport

Jalin Hyatt (Tennessee) — Per Jordan Schultz

Nathaniel Dell (Houston) — Per Ryan Fowler

Tight End (3)

The team has allocated a surprisingly large number of visits to tight ends. This may mark interest in another capable blocker/playmaker.

Darnell Washington (Georgia) — Per Aaron Wilson

Luke Schoonmaker (Michigan) — Per Jeremy Fowler

Luke Musgrave (Oregon State) — Per Ryan Fowler

Offensive Line (3)

The Bills’ offensive line was the weakness of the team last season, and they will look to remedy that for 2023.

Darnell Wright (Tennessee) — Per NYUP/Syracuse.com

O’Cyrus Torrence (Florida) — Per Justin Melo

Joe Tippmann (Wisconsin) — Per Peter DiBiase

Running Back (2)

The Bills have a great offense, but no star running back. Some perceive it to be a hole that must be addressed.

Kendre Miller (TCU) — Per Ian Rapoport

UCLA RB Zach Charbonnet (UCLA) — Per Tom Pelissero

Quarterback (0)

No quarterbacks have met with the Buffalo Bills.

Defensive Line (6)

Fans may not like it, but interior defensive line is a need if the Bills don’t expect to retain DT Ed Oliver and others past 2023. They may have interest in outside linebackers and edge rushers as well.

Zacch Pickens (South Carolina) — Per Jordan Schultz

Gervon Dexter (Florida) — Himself

Jaquelin Roy (LSU) — Per Cover1

Mazi Smith (Michigan) — Per Ian Rapoport

Will McDonald IV (Iowa St) — Per Tony Pauline

Byron Young (Tennessee) — Per Jeremy Fowler

Safety (2)

Both of Buffalo’s starting safeties are battling age and injury. They may look for a replacement to learn behind them this season.

Jordan Battle (Alabama) — Per Jordan Schultz

Marte Mapu (S/LB) (Sacramento State) — The Sacramento Bee

Linebacker (0)

Following the loss of Tremaine Edmunds, the Bills have yet to interview any true MLB prospects as part of their top-30 visits.

Cornerback (2)

Jartavius Martin (Illinois) — Per Ian Rapoport

Deonte Banks (Maryland) — Per Ian Rapoport

Total Reported Visits: 24

Understanding The Top-30

The Bills book these top-30 meetings with deliberation and care. They may schedule zoom calls or meet with players at events, such as the Senior Bowl or the NFL Combine, instead of a top-30. Because of this, the top-30s rarely give us a complete picture of their interest. Still, knowing which players they elect to spend the time and effort on is incredibly useful.

Some players aren’t expected to be selected in the first two days, but have interesting cases that may require further insight. A great prospect may have suffered an injury which affects their stock. An inexperienced player who flashed may need a closer look to understand.

The top-30 visits give the team this information and, though they won’t obtain a vast majority of the players they speak to, doing their due diligence can often pay dividends.


Like this piece? Check out the previous Buffalo Bulletin on Josh Allen, and the value of sliding vs. taking the hit.

The Buffalo Bulletin on Buffalo Fanatics is a weekly editorial by Iestyn Harris. Check back regularly for hot topics, riveting discussion, and, occasionally, some actual insight.

Original Featured Image: NCAA.com; Composite By Iestyn Harris