On the latest episode of Smoke Break, Z-Bot recapped the 2022 NFL Draft. From a first-round cornerback to the legendary ‘Punt God’ himself, the Buffalo Bills may have knocked this draft out of the park. Let’s get into it.
Round One: CB Kaiir Elam (16:23)
Teams needed a ‘world-beater’ at wide receiver, and it became a serious trend in round one. It was wild, but it wasn’t our target. We needed to stop those receivers from finding the end zone. Enter Florida CB Kaiir Elam.
|Buffalo Bills Receive||Baltimore Ravens Receive|
|Pick #23 (CB Kaiir Elam)||Pick #25 (OL Tyler Linderbaum) + #130 (P Jordan Stout)|
They traded up to get him, trying to avoid missing their guy to a potential trade-in. Their faith in Elam must be significant if they were willing to shed a fourth-round pick to secure him. He’s a perfect fit and, whilst his play blows us away, his character is what drew us all in. A hard worker with elite physical traits and great instincts, Kaiir Elam is going to be a star, soon. He’s also only 20, and could be a leader in this secondary for the next decade or more.
Round Two: RB James Cook (58:28)
We knew we needed another running back, both now and for the future. This Buffalo Bills draft class wouldn’t be complete without one. Beane, McDermott, and the rest of the front office got one. James Cook, out of Georgia, found himself in Buffalo after we traded down. Twice. In the span of three picks.
|Buffalo Bills Receive||TB Buccaneers Receive|
|Pick #60 + #180||Pick #57|
|Buffalo Bills Receive||Cincinnati Bengals Receive|
|Pick #63 (James Cook)|
Younger brother to Vikings RB Dalvin Cook, James is an elite receiving threat for his position, which may count more than his carries. You see, this team doesn’t need an elite running game. They can’t be elite everywhere, and by choosing their battles they can focus on what matters: Keeping defences guessing on short downs. Cook gives us more options on offense, and they’re going to use him.
Round Three: LB Terrel Bernard (1:25:31)
Baylor’s Terrel Bernard was a bit of a question mark for the fanbase. The future is a mystery, however, and Bernard is a guy who can provide good coverage on a long-term rookie contract. Getting talent at this position now gives us flexibility moving forward with the uncertainty regarding the future of Tremaine Edmunds. The Sugar Bowl MVP will be the backup in 2022, with plenty of snaps available as he replaces A.J. Klein.
The Rest Of The Buffalo Bills Draft Class (1:31:56)
Khalil Shakir, WR out of Boise State, was an underrated draft pick. This YAC machine is set to blow the doors off as a rotational player in this offense. He's a menace with the ball in his hands, and his focus in unparalleled at the catch point. Buffalo should be thrilled with their WR depth moving forward.
With the first overall pick of the sixth round, the Buffalo Bills selected P Matt Araiza. This franchise bets heavily on traits, and 'Punt God' is all about traits. His leg strength is arguably the best of any prospect in the last 20 years, and it addressed a nagging need we don't have to worry about any longer. Special teams is locked down, and the team has improved in every phase of the game.