After adding two new players to the offensive side of the ball, the Buffalo Bills turned in their card during Round 3 to select Tulane LB Dorian Williams at pick 91.
Following their selection of offensive guard O’Cyrus Torrence in Round 2, the landscape of linebacker prospects seemed to paint an optimistic picture for the Bills to attack the void left by Tremaine Edmunds’ departure during free agency. That horizon changed quickly as linebackers began to disappear the further Round 3 progressed.
In the months prior to the 2023 NFL Draft, the Bills hadn’t done a ton of publicly known research on the linebacker position. They’d interviewed several prospects at the 2023 NFL Combine, but besides two hybrid S/nickel LB prospects, there were no top-30 visits paid by the most premiere prospects.
So it was anyone’s guess as to what linebackers they preferred, and if general manager Brandon Beane and the team intended to draft a specific prospect earlier in the draft. So what are they getting with Dorian Williams? Per ESPN Bills reporter Alaina Getzenberg, it would appear One Bills Drive has added another very athletic, versatile defender to its roster.
In 2022, 79% of Williams' defensive snaps came at inside linebacker. He's spent time at OLB and playing nickel as a slot CB.— Alaina Getzenberg (@agetzenberg) April 29, 2023
While many predicted the Bills would look to replace Edmunds with someone of similar athleticism and stature, Williams profile more in the mold of linebacker Matt Milano. It’s easy to see why Buffalo chose Williams when you consider his tackling ability, versatility as either a zone or man-cover ‘backer, and his team captainship as a three-year starter at Tulane.
It remains to be seen what role Williams will play for Buffalo’s defense for the 2023 NFL season.