On this episode of The Rico Report, Rico covered the Buffalo Bills 2022 Draft class. He hit a few topics, and graded each of the team’s selections. From Kaiir Elam to ‘Punt God’ Matt Araiza, how did we do? Let’s get into it.
2022 Draft: Early Rounds (9:44)
Kaiir Elam, out of Florida, is a game-changing cornerback. We already needed help, especially with Tre’Davious White returning from his ACL tear. The Buffalo Bills couldn’t start the season with Dane Jackson and Cam Lewis as our sole starters. Elam brings elite upside with a large frame and great instincts. Once White returns to full strength, this is an excellent long-term solution to start across from him and upgrade our secondary. He also brings incredible speed (4.39s 40-yard dash), something our cornerbacks lacked, and what potentially cost us the win against the Kansas City Chiefs in the playoffs this year.
James Cook fills a specific need for our offense: A receiving back. Now, Allen has a useful outlet who can take some of the load off him, especially in short yardage situations. Rico may have wanted to draft Breece Hall, who eventually went to our rival New York Jets, but Cook is going to do a lot for this offense. Soft-handed and speedy with elite route-running and a great work ethic, we can’t wait to see this running back take the field in 2022.
Mid & Late Rounds (19:07)
In the third round, Terrel Bernard was a bit of a surprise. A linebacker wasn’t deemed a significant need by many, but it will be one moving forward. With the insecurity of Tremaine Edmunds’ situation, we needed to give ourselves options. Bernard doesn’t play the same role – and shouldn’t be asked to – but he does provide good coverage, despite his undersized frame.
Khalil Shakir is a shifty route runner known for his YAC. A nightmare with the ball in his hands, we can expect a guy who fights for the end zone on every snap.
Brandon Beane loves traits, and Matt Araiza has them. The strongest leg in the draft, the ‘Punt God’ can put out 80-yard boomers. An odd combination of right-handed and left-legged, Araiza will be someone to watch.
When it came to addressing our 2022 needs this draft, Rico had just one grade to give: B+.
Rico also touched on the news from around the NFL (2:14), Buffalo Bills players on notice (28:17), discussed the AFC East (36:21), made a case for Zack Moss (51:58), and much more. For all of that, check out the latest episode of The Rico Report on the Buffalo Fanatics YouTube channel.