The Buffalo Bills roster has been considered one of the deepest and most talented in the league. However, after a stunning home playoff loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, that sentiment is now questionable. That’s why the 2023 NFL Draft is so crucial for the organization. This Bills’ draft must include impact players, or the team could be in trouble. With that in mind, here are a few bold Bills predictions ahead of the draft, including one about Bijan Robinson.
General manager Brandon Beane started his Bills draft career hot. In his first NFL draft in 2018, he took franchise quarterback Josh Allen and Pro Bowl linebacker Tremaine Edmunds in the first round. Since then, Beane has picked some solid starters — Dawson Knox, Ed Oliver, Gabriel Davis, Gregory Rousseau — but not a single Pro Bowl player.
That must change at the 2023 NFL Draft.
When the Bengals steamrolled the Bills in Western New York in the Divisional Round, it was obvious which team had the better roster. Beane even noted the fact, although he also threw some shade at the Bengals, saying he wouldn’t want to ever be as bad as they were to get the type of highly-drafted players they have.
Barbs aside, the Bills draft has to be a killer one this year if the franchise wants to keep the immediate Super Bowl window for Allen and company open. To that effect, here are some bold Bills predictions as to how they do that.
3. The Bills take multiple tight ends, but only one who still plays the position
Brandon Beane has a type. He likes tall, athletic tackles, and he found a solid one in 2021 with Spencer Brown. Brown was an All-State tight end and defensive end in high school before moving to tackle at Northern Iowa.
In the 2023 NFL draft, there are several tackles that fit this mold.
BYU tackle Blake Freeland was also a tight end and defensive end in high school as well as a state champion in javelin and shot put. Alabama offensive lineman Tyler Steen started his career as a D-lineman at Vanderbilt before switching to offense, and Kansas OT Earl Bostic Jr. was a TE as a freshman in college before moving to the line.
Buffalo will take a tight end to join Dawson Knox in this Bills draft. However, look for them to also take one of these uber-athletic linemen to add depth to the line and, Beane hopes, one day replace Dion Dawkins as the starting left tackle.
2. Bills make a “dumb” first-round pick
Conventional wisdom in the NFL is that taking a running back in the first round is a dumb move. This often bears out when you see things like a Super Bowl that featured running backs like seventh-round pick Isiah Pacheco, fifth-round pick Kenneth Gainwell, and sixth-round pick Boston Scott.
However, there are sometimes exceptions that prove the rule, and Texas running back Bijan Robinson is one of those guys.
Robinson is the best RB prospect to come out of college since Saquon Barkley, and he is a better pass-catcher coming into the league than Barkley was. The Longhorns RB is a game-changer, and he could rejuvenate the Bills’ offense and help protect Josh Allen by reducing the need for him to run so much.
If Bijan Robinson is there at pick No. 27 when the Bills draft, great. But the bold Bills prediction here is that Beane goes and gets him a little further up the draft board.
1. Brandon Beane finally drafts another Pro Bowler
The biggest of these bold Bills predictions here is that Brandon Beane finally gets it right this year. Look for the GM to make some aggressive moves, take some chances, and draft the best players available, regardless of need or positional value.
These are some of the things Beane and the Bills have gotten away from in the past few NFL drafts, and why they haven’t picked Pro Bowlers. In the 2023 NFL Draft, this needs to — and will — change.
Bijan Robinson would be the most sure-fire Pro Bowl pick on the board, but there are other possibilities as well. The Bills could draft a guard or a middle linebacker higher than most teams would or even take a gamble on a talented player with potential character issues like former Florida pass-rusher Brenton Cox Jr.
No matter how he goes about it, Beane has a Pro Bowl or bust mandate when picking players this year, and if he doesn’t succeed and the Bills don’t improve next season, he could ultimately be in trouble long-term.
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