You can view Kincaid’s press conference above. You can view Bills GM Brandon Beane’s press conference after drafting Kincaid below.
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) — Tight end Dalton Kincaid is the newest member of the Buffalo Bills, drafted out of Utah with the No. 25 overall pick in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft on Thursday night. He is the first tight end drafted by Buffalo in the first round since Tony Hunter was picked 12th overall in 1983, two spots before the Bills selected Jim Kelly.
Here are four things to know about Kincaid.
For the fourth time in six years, Bills general manager Brandon Beane traded up in the first round. Sending pick No. 27 along with pick No. 130 in the fourth round to the Jaguars, the Bills jumped two spots, ahead of the tight end-needy Cowboys. In a draft which NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah said “the tight end group is the best I’ve seen in the last 10 years,” the Bills took the first player off the board at the position.
The 6-foot-4, 236-pound Kincaid leveled up in competition during his college career. A zero-star recruit after playing just one year of high school football, Kincaid began his college career at non-scholarship San Diego, leading all tight ends in the FCS in averaging 19 yards per reception as a sophomore in 2019. Kincaid caught 106 passes for 1,400 yards and 16 touchdowns over the past two seasons at Utah. His 890 yards receiving and eight TDs ranked second among FBS tight ends in 2022.
Four wide receivers were selected within five picks before the Bills made their move to add to Josh Allen’s arsenal of weapons. Bills general manager Brandon Beane called Kincaid “not your standard tight end,” touting his pass-catching ability (four dropped passes in five college seasons) and comparing his instincts for getting open in the middle of the field with slot receiver Cole Beasley.
“Elite hands,” Beane said. “Really good route runner. Good feel setting up guys inside.”
Beane said Kincaid’s skillset differs from established starting tight end Dawson Knox, allowing the Bills to play “11-and-a-half personnel,” with two tight ends on field, and Kincaid flexed out to a receiver position. Kincaid fills the flex tight end role Beane had been searching for with free agent signings Tyler Kroft, Jacob Hollister, and O.J. Howard.
“He pairs well in our offense,” Beane said. “He’s something we don’t have.”
Regardless of where he lines up, Kincaid will be the only skill position player on the Bills offense who was drafted in the first round. In fact, the only first-round draft pick Allen has ever thrown a pass to is Kelvin Benjamin, who had 23 receptions in 12 games for the Bills during Allen’s rookie season.
Kincaid did not perform drills at the NFL scouting combine or Utah’s pro day due to a thoracic injury. He also missed games during his senior season with a shoulder ailment and did not participate in the Senior Bowl game.
Those physical issues did not deter the Bills.
“Our docs cleared him and checked all that through,” said Beane, also noting that the Bills conferred with other teams about Kincaid’s health.
Kincaid’s back felt well enough that he was able to play golf Thursday morning, he said in a zoom call with local media after the draft.
Kincaid is still developing as a blocker, in part because he played flag football and wasn’t allowed to participate in tackle before joining his high school team as a senior.
The youngest of three siblings, Kincaid also competed in baseball, soccer, skiiing, and snowboarding. But his best sport was basketball, having helped his AAU team win a national championship.
“No stats, sets the screens, gets rebounds, takes charges, doing the little stuff,” Kincaid said.
Jonah Bronstein joined the WIVB squad in 2022 as a digital sports reporter. The Buffalonian has covered the Bills, Sabres, Bandits, Bisons, colleges, high schools and other notable sporting events in Western New York since 2005, for publications including The Associated Press, The Buffalo News, and Niagara Gazette. Read more of his work here.