The Buffalo Bills need to consider the long-term future of their safety unit. While bringing back Jordan Poyer is fantastic news, and Micah Hyde being cleared to return to play is even better news, both players are beginning to age out of the league. We haven’t seen a drop in production from either yet, so the hope is that continues for the foreseeable future — and that Hyde and Poyer return to their pre-2022 levels of health. But investing in the room overall is a wise move toward sustained success.
It appears the Bills are working to make sure they continue researching and investing properly, having conducted an official top-30 visit with Alabama safety Jordan Battle. Jordan Schultz of The Score shared the news about Battle’s visit to One Bills Drive earlier this month.
#Alabama safety Jordan Battle is visiting the #Bills today, source tells @theScore.— Jordan Schultz (@Schultz_Report) April 10, 2023
I spoke with a veteran NFL scout about Battle, a 2x First-Team All-SEC performer: “He’s really good in coverage. Ball-hawking safety who tracks the ball naturally. Pretty willing tackler as well.… pic.twitter.com/KsES6TQUVJ
In four years playing for the Crimson Tide, Battle played 52 games and made 252 tackles (6.5 tackles for loss), one sack, six interceptions (3 touchdowns), one fumble recovery, and defended 10 passes.
Battle’s 2023 NFL Scouting Combine numbers support his potential as a starting safety in the NFL. With Battle’s size and athleticism, NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein made the comparison of Justin Reid for Battle. On the Lucas Oil Field turf, Battle ran a 4.55-second 40-yard dash, and 1.56-second 10-yard split.
Scouts and analysts praise Battle’s physicality, leadership, and football IQ. He was a highly efficient and productive safety for Alabama, and should be able to start as a rookie. Battle has shown good instincts and the ability to create turnovers when the football is airborne.
Analysts believe Battle needs to work on his ability to provide run support, and improve his tackling of receivers away from the line of scrimmage as an “in-space” defender. If he finds the right system, Battle should improve his play as a man-to-man defensive back. The 33rd Team’s assessment of Battle appears far more critical and less sold on his future as a starting strong safety.
Does Jordan Battle fit the Bills? Viewed by some as the top safety prospect in this year’s draft, Battle is projected to go during Day 2 or early on Day 3. He could be just the right fit for Buffalo’s future plans at the position, if all things line up accordingly. Remember, Taylor Rapp was signed to a one-year contract in free agency and Damar Hamlin was cleared by three independent doctors to return to football. Whether Rapp is given an extension and retained and Hamlin makes a triumphant return to the field, it’s important that the Bills’ brass doesn’t get complacent with their core of safeties at this point. Jordan Battle could be a name to watch in next week’s NFL Draft.