The Buffalo Bills and general manager Brandon Beane have made moves to improve as much of the team’s roster as possible through the first week of NFL free agency. Thinking that Brandon Beane and One Bills Drive can fully address each and every hole adequately ahead of the NFL draft is an unrealistic expectation. That’s certainly true when considering the situation at MIKE linebacker, following Tremaine Edmunds’ departure for the Chicago Bears.
But there are other areas of concern, specifically along the right side of the offensive line. Fortunately, the draft presents the perfect opportunity to add cost-controlled talent — the likes of which hopefully become full-time starters. Do mock draft experts (and those who pretend to be) believe Beane and the Bills have a tell for their intended direction next month? Is there a consensus in choosing a player who’d immediately slot in as a starter — an upgrade over a current starter? That’s key for Buffalo in this draft, given the lack of funds available to sign veteran players. They must hit on their picks, and a big component of that could be players who win starting jobs as rookies, and who are immediate contributors as opposed to diamonds in the rough who develop down the line.
I took some time to digest the latest trends at the NFL Mock Draft Database and discovered that 82 different mock drafts have sent IOL O’Cyrus Torrence (Florida), a massive human being at 6’5” and 346 pounds, to the Bills at pick 27. Torrence is the single most popular pick being mocked (20.2%) to Buffalo in Round 1. Additionally, there are those who believe the Bills will select him in Round 2, but it’s more likely he doesn’t last until their pick at 59. Right now, O’Cyrus Torrence is a popular name associated with the Bills.
The second-most popular pick for Buffalo is running back Bijan Robinson (Texas). Robinson’s being sent to the Bills in enough mocks (17%) that it almost seems as though his name comes up more often than Torrence. Much of that may be due to the hotly debated topic of Buffalo’s history drafting running backs. Many a significant resource has been invested, with little in return. Make no mistake, Bijan Robinson would change the narrative.
Per NFL Mock Draft Database, safety Antonio Johnson (Texas A&M) lands as the third-most chosen player (7.4%) for Buffalo at pick 27. While Beane was able to bring back safety Jordan Poyer on a new contract, age is not on the side of Poyer or Micah Hyde. Drafting Johnson would illustrate a look to the future, while ignoring the need to bring in affordable players who might be upgrades as starters elsewhere in 2023.
It’s worth noting that combined, O’Cyrus Torrence, Bijan Robinson, and Antonio Johnson account for less than half (44.6%) of the total mock draft selections. Those picking a player other than the three players mentioned here make up greater than half of reported mock drafts (55.4%).