BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The NFL Draft kicks off Thursday night, and the Bills currently have six selections to try and bolster their roster for a Super Bowl push.
I believe there’s a decent chance they will trade up if the wide receiver (and only a wide receiver) they covet begins to slide down the board in the first round, but at the end of the day, I believe Brandon Beane and co. will be able to fill some big holes over the three-day event.
Here is my 2023 Bills mock draft.
Round 1, Pick 27: Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College
There are 5 receivers in this draft that I believe can contribute from day one: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Jordan Addison, Quintin Johnston, Zay Flowers and Jalin Hyatt. I believe the first three on the list will be gone before pick 27 and it’s too high to take Hyatt. Last season, Flowers finished with over 1,000 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns. Size is a concern as Flowers is just 5-foot-9, 182 pounds, but this pick would give Josh Allen another weapon and that’s never a bad thing.
Round 2, Pick 59: Jack Campbell, LB, Iowa
This one makes me nervous because I’m really not sure he will be around when the Bills go on the clock in round two. There are two linebackers who seem to have distanced themselves from the pack: Jack Campbell and Arkansas’ Drew Sanders. Everyone has been talking about the Bills trading up in the first round, but I think it’s more likely they trade up in the second and get Tremaine Edmunds’ replacement at linebacker. In 2022, Campbell was the Dick Butkus Award winner as the nation’s top linebacker
Round 3, Pick 91: Ji’Ayir Brown, S, Penn State
After two picks who will likely play a lot next season, I have the Bills going with a safety who can wait his turn behind Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer. If you turn on just about any Penn State game over the last two seasons, No. 16 shows up a lot. Brown had 10 interceptions, three forced fumbles, and recovered three fumbles in 2021 and 2022 combined — those numbers earned him the nickname “The Takeaway King”.
Round 4, Pick 130: Byron Young, DL, Alabama
The Bills need to add some youth to the interior of their defensive line, and Byron Young could achieve that. Young played in 50 games during his career at Alabama. He’s a big body (6-foot-3, 292 pounds) who is tough against the run. The futures of Ed Oliver, Jordan Phillips, DaQuan Jones and Tim Settle are very much uncertain, and Young could be a rotational piece this season with a bigger role lined up after his rookie year.
Round 5, Pick 137 (From Arizona): Andrew Vorhees, OL, USC
The Bills add an offensive lineman who could become a starter in 2024. Andrew Vorhees would have been one of the top linemen drafted but suffered a torn ACL during the scouting combine and will miss the whole of the 2023 season. This is a future investment and a potential steal in the fifth round. Vorhees was a First-Team All-American in 2022 and started 48 games in college.
Round 6, Pick 205: Josh Whyle, TE, Cincy
This year’s draft class is deep at the tight end position. Josh Whyle is a quality player who is praised for his pass-catching ability. He would be a nice number two tight end behind Dawson Knox and at 6-foot-6 has the size to be a red zone target for Josh Allen.
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Josh Reed is an award-winning journalist who has served as News 4’s Sports Director since 2015. See more here.