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Transcript: Buffalo Bills GM Brandon Beane’s press conference following pick of TE Dalton Kincaid

Wizards often work in magical ways

Washington Football Team v Buffalo Bills Photo by Joshua Bessex/Getty Images

Late last night Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane met with the assembled media in Kansas City, MO to field questions about the team’s selection of Utah tight end Dalton Kincaid following a trade up to pick 25 in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Here for you now, is that press conference transcribed so you can digest more fully.

Beane: “I had some people calling about the pick, so I think we — you know, if Dalton was not there we were gonna trade back. But, we knew — we had a good feeling that Dallas would take him, and we just really liked him and just felt he would be a great fit in our offense. He is a tight end but he is a receiving tight end. We think he’ll pair well with Dawson and give us another target in the middle of the field. So yeah, when (he) and Dawson are in the game you’re in ‘12’ but it’s quasi-like ‘11’ anyway. It’s not like — he’s not your standard Y tight end. He’s gonna be flexed out a lot more than necessarily you would do with Dawson.”

Reporter: “Did the receiver run impact what you did?”

Beane: “Not really. It was more how we saw Dalton. We knew it was gonna come down to that maybe there’s a receiver there left, maybe he’s there left, we weren’t sure. You ask me five picks before we pick, I still woulda’ told you we’re gonna trade down. I thought he was gonna get taken but — you know, I called the Giants and they talked about it then they let me know they were gonna trade up, so as soon as I heard that I called Jacksonville and right away they weren’t sure and they waited ‘til they got on the clock — talked it through and got it done.”

Reporter: “There’s been a lot of mixed signals on the wide receiver class, some people like some of the guys at the top, some people haven’t loved it. What was you’re kinda of opinion on it now that (inaudible).”

Beane: “Yeah, there’s really good players, it’s really — there were some different ones, you know you’ve got you know the Ohio State kid, really good inside... could play outside too, but you’re probably gonna specialize with him inside. You’ve got a couple of smaller guys — Zay Flowers is a is a ‘RAC’ guy, Addison can play inside and play out — I’d say he’s probably more inside but he can play outside. Then Johnson’s a big outside, you know, vertical stretch player. You know all of ‘em have kinda different skill sets, but good group and there’s, you know there’s still more as you kinda move down the draft board.”

Reporter: “Dalton’s skill set. Could you go a litter deeper into what his best traits are and what you like.”

Beane: “Elite hands. Really good route runner. Good feel settin’ up guys inside. There’s always the card as a player telling you what to do — eight yards here or there, but sometimes the defense changes and this guy’s got great feel, great instinct. You guys saw from a different position — Cole Beasley, great feel. This guy, in a different body type does that but he’s you know I would say the number-one thing about him: elite hands, good route runner, separation ability at the top of the route.”

Reporter: “You have historically since you’ve been here gone after tight ends who are ‘Y’ tight ends — Tommy Sweeney and O.J. and everybody. So this is a little bit of a departure for you, what do you think?

Beane: “It’s just — I think he pairs well in our offense. He’s somethin’ we don’t have. Like I said, if we’re in ‘12’ you know when he’s in the game — generally in ‘12’ if you’ve got two ‘Y’ tight ends you’re gonna get base defense. When he’s in the game, we’re gonna get nickel as if we’re in ‘11’ so it’s just a different style player you know, six-three, just under 250. You know he’s not a receiver but he is, he’s more of a receiver. We’re not gonna be havin’ him block a lot of six-techs.”

Reporter: “He had a back injury at the end of last season it kept him out of the combine and I think out of their pro day too. Obviously you guys were okay with medical on him?”

Beane: “Yeah, our docs cleared him, checked all that through and we compare grades around the league as well and he was definitely cleared.”

Reporter: “Can you give us some insight into how things fell relative to your board. You had indicated in your pre-draft (inaudible) you didn’t have a lot of first-round grades necessarily along with other teams obviously but you had said you’d trade down if he wasn’t there. Where did things stack up relative to some of the other defensive players (inaudible)?”

Beane: “You know, us tradin’ up tells you how we valued him. You know without me bein’ specific — but you know there’s defensive players around but he was the best player on our board. By our opinion.”

Reporter: “Did those first four receivers go off the board — did you have first-round grades on all of them, or two...three?”

Beane: (Shaking head) “No, but I’m not gonna give you the number. Know that I did not have ‘em all there, but at the same time I’m not gonna tell you how many.”

Reporter: “How far was it to move up those two spots — I know how much you liked Dalton from what you’re saying — but giving up that pick knowing how few you have.”

Beane: “Yeah, hard for sure. But, you know, I would’ve — we were definitely pickin’ a little bit of a gap down after him and if I thought he woulda’ got to us I was gonna be patient but it was the one player that I felt strongly that the team in front of us had a lot of love for.”

Reporter: “You mention that you can see Dalton and Dawson being on the field at the same time but Dawson’s coming off a year where you guys just paid him. There is gonna be some talk about what this potentially means for him, so in your mind, what does this for Dawson in terms of his usage?”

Beane: “Yeah, I don’t — you know — I don’t wanna get into the usage part ‘cause this guy’s gotta come in here and learn our offense, he’ll be a rookie, it’s gonna take him time. I think that’s to be determined. I think that’s just another weapon for Dorsey. Dawson’s still gonna be very involved. Like I said, Dawson will play more of that traditional ‘Y.’ He’ll (Kincaid will) play more of the ‘F’ for us, so like I said — it’ll just be a different package. But Dawson is a clearly better in-line blocker, still a receiving threat so I don’t think Dawson’s gonna be goin’ anywhere.”

Reporter: “How important was it — did you feel that you needed to address your pass-catching needs to spread the ball out more to have another threat in your passing game for Josh?”

Beane: “Yeah, we hoped in the draft that somewhere — I mean, there’s more guys that could help as well if we didn’t land it tonight, so it’s not like it was — we had to do it tonight, but we just, you know... we felt strongly about Dalton and his skill set and what he would add to this offense and so... you know any time you can add a weapon you know for your quarterback and your offense, you know, you don’t pass that up unless there’s just someone clearly better.”

Reporter: “This feels like something you’ve kinda been after for a little while, like when you brought O.J. Howard in last year, Jacob Hollister. Is this kind of, go — a couple years back maybe of what you kind of wanted to do with the offense and now you have the guy that really fits in to that?”

Beane: “Yeah, I mean, we’ve been looking for another tight end. You know, I can tell ‘ya. When we just drafted Cam Newton in Carolina the first year we had Jeremy Shockey and then we traded for Greg Olsen in camp — just two guys to work the middle of the field, ‘12’ was one of our stronger personnels. We’re a more ‘11’ team but again this guy, you know I would say we’re in kinda like ‘11 and a half’ when he’s in the game. It’s not two true ‘Ys’ as I mentioned earlier. So, again, a piece that can work the inside of the field for us and we’ll be excited to get him here. Really, like I said, really good hands.”

Reporter: “Do you think, do you see him, like, growing as a blocker in your strength & conditioning program with your coaches and how all that might actually go through his career for the next few years?”

Beane: “Yeah, we’ll definitely work on that. Rob Boras is a great teacher, great technician. You know Rob’s been here the whole time we’ve been here. Great instructor for these guys and that’ll be one of the first things that — he’s not gonna need to teach him how to catch the ball or run routes — you know that’s probably the thing that we would say we wanna see improvement on. But we’re not gonna major in that with him, it’d be more, you know, do enough just to keep the defense honest.”

Reporter: “I mean he had a great year this year. Did his, did he elevate — or what, were there moments this year that he, that stood out to you — maybe the USC?”

Beane: “The USC game, I mean you just... we were watchin’ him as a group a couple weeks ago with the scouts and we were goin’ through — it was one of the segments were we just went through all his targets and we were like ‘are these the same play—’ like it just kept goin’ and goin’ and you’re just amazed at how many catches he had in one game and, you know, the defense didn’t adjust in that game to kinda’ slow him down. But, no, he definitely was a guy that we didn’t have rated as high as we ended up. He definitely elevated himself as the season went on.”