Hot or Not: 2023 Buffalo Bills Draft
After months of eager speculation, the picks are in. The Buffalo Bills 2023 draft class is officially complete – with a few surprises in the mix. With six total selections in this year’s draft, GM Brandon Beane certainly was busy making roster moves.
For the purposes of this article, each draft pick will be rated with a grade out of 10. “10” being the absolute best, and “1” being the absolute worst.
Round 1: Dalton Kincaid, TE
Drafting a tight end in the first round may have come as a surprise, especially with the extension of Dawson Knox last season, but this certainly was a calculated move by Beane. Perhaps the best pass catcher in the draft, 23-year-old Dalton Kincaid could be another powerful weapon for Josh Allen.
However, incorporating Kincaid into the team’s offense, as it currently stands, could challenge the creativity of Bills OC Ken Dorsey. Switching from last year’s 11-personnel sets (1 TE, 1 RB, 3 WRs) to 12-personnel (2 TEs, 1 RB, 2 WRs) could be easy, or it could push Dorsey’s offensive plan to the test. While the former Utah TE was a Top-10 prospect and has even been compared to veteran Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce, Dalton Kincaid certainly has something to prove in Buffalo.
Round 2: O’Cyrus Torrence, OL
Selecting Florida OL O’Cyrus Torrence in the second round is about as good as it gets. We know the Buffalo Bills need to continue to build their offense and surround Josh Allen with as much talent as possible, and many projected he would be gone by the end of Round 1. Standing at 6’5” and weighing 330 pounds, Torrence is the perfect guy for the job. He’s nearly impossible to knock over and possesses great power and grip strength. While he may not be an immediate starter, he definitely can earn his way to that position.
Round 3: Dorian Williams, LB
The third round is where it starts to get tricky. While the former Tulane LB had an incredibly productive college career, as well as a great mentality on and off the field, selecting a linebacker who only figures to (initially) contribute on special teams poses a unique challenge. A defensive tackle or even a wide receiver may have been preferential to many in this round, and it will be interesting to watch how he is incorporated into the team’s defense. However, Williams is just 21 years old and is explosive, speedy, and relentless. Maybe he’ll learn a thing or two from Matt Milano.
Round 5: Justin Shorter, WR
The former Florida WR is a one-speed runner with predictable route running. However, his size and speed mix make him an uncommon fit for the WR position. At 6’4”, nearly 230 pounds, and a 40 time of 4.55 seconds, Shorter certainly will not lack confidence on the field. The 23-year-old will likely fit in the back of the roster as a WR3 or WR4, and can hopefully prove himself on the Bills offense.
Round 7: Nick Broeker, OL
Broeker came into the NFL Draft with more experience than most. As a four-year starter for Ole Miss, he projects as a potential backup on the interior, in either a zone or gap scheme. His athleticism may not be the greatest ever seen, but his strength and pass protection help make up for this. While drafting the 22-year-old may have been a decent depth move for Buffalo, the team could have taken a risk on someone with better guard/tackle flexibility.
Round 7: Alex Austin, CB
Brandon Beane certainly knows how to end things with a bang. The CB out of Oregon State has high-end potential in his game, great instincts, and an excellent athletic profile. The 21-year-old is a high-risk, high-reward type player that is sticky in coverage and stays in phase well. Austin also possesses the ability to play special teams, and has a great attitude to bring to the game. He could definitely become a useful player in the Buffalo Bills defense down the line.
Featured Image: Jeffrey T. Barnes/Associated Press