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A Rush to judgement: Early team grades for Buffalo Bills’ 2023 NFL Draft class

While many find reason to criticize those who hand out snap-judgement grades on players who’ve yet to do anything in the NFL, such report cards remain must-reads

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NFL: MAR 03 Scouting Combine Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Buffalo Bills put a bow on their 2023 NFL Draft class halfway through Round 7 this past Saturday. General manager Brandon Beane orchestrated multiple trades, both up and down the board, to secure what he felt were the team’s best prospect options in each round. Trading up in Round 1 to land tight end Dalton Kincaid proved to be one of the biggest surprises in the first round. Landing offensive guard O’Cyrus Torrence with their scheduled pick at 59 in Round 2 fully impressed those who analyze the draft.

There were, of course, mixed reactions to the entirety of Buffalo’s draft class, namely the selection of linebacker Dorian Williams in Round 3 — though not all impressions of Williams paint the picture you might be expecting at this point. Bigger concerns for many were the team’s inability to add talent at defensive tackle and elsewhere along the defensive line.

Assembled below are just a few of the outlets that provided overall grades for the Bills’ 2023 draft class. How would you rate the performance by One Bills Drive this past weekend?

Buffalo Bills NFL Draft 2023 overall grades

The Washington Post

Buffalo Bills grade: B

“This is all about trying to fine-tune a potential championship roster before the Bills’ window as a top Super Bowl contender closes. The first-round trade up for TE Dalton Kincaid made sense. He adds a dimension to the offense and can be worked into certain packages. Second-round G O’Cyrus Torrence could vie for a starting job and help the running game.” — Mark Maske

Draft Kings

Buffalo Bills grade: B+

“Did Bills fill needs?

Overall, yes. When Buffalo went into the draft, they needed offensive line, inside linebacker, cornerback, wide receiver and defensive tackle. Torrence is a huge get for the offensive line to help protect Josh Allen. Williams is also a helpful piece that could be involved in the linebacker rotation come Week 1.

The surprise was Kincaid in the first. Buffalo traded up to get him, and he could be another weapon for Allen. The initial run on wide receivers happened right before this pick, and with Dawson Knox I don’t know that they really needed him. He has a ton of upside, but it was a surprising choice at the time. The Bills eventually added Shorter in the fifth, but it may have been too little too late to help the offense take a step forward.” — Teddy Ricketson

Buffalo Bills grade: A

Day 1 grade: A-
Day 2 grade: A
Day 3 grade: A

I thought the Bills would move up for a pass-catcher in the first round, and that’s what they did to land Kincaid. Torrence was a steal because of the power and nimble feet he’ll provide in the run game and Williams should play immediately in Tremaine Edmunds’ old spot.

They picked an outside receiver with downfield ability in Shorter, who could push Gabe Davis. Broeker could have easily been a top-150 selection because of his toughness inside and experience at tackle. Austin has potential as a physical outside corner.” — Chad Reuter

Fan Sided

Buffalo Bills grade: B+

Buffalo did good work to secure some key new weapons for Josh Allen, including tight end Dalton Kincaid and wideout Justin Shorter.

The best value came in the second round with guard O’Cyrus Torrence, the class’ best interior lineman who fills a critical need for the Bills. GM Brandon Beane also found good value with third-round linebacker Dorian Williams, who could fill Tremaine Edmunds’ shoes right away.” — Mike Phillips

Buffalo Bills grade: B+

“The Bills accomplished what they needed to do by finding Allen a potential difference-making skill position player and a massive blocker. The rest depends on how you view the roster and what’s needed to win in 2023. I believe Buffalo’s priority had to be on improving their offense.

The Bills got better in this year’s draft but these players need to reward Beane by finding a path to the field and production in their rookie seasons.” — Matt Parrino

Walter Football

Buffalo Bills grade: B+

“I loved what Buffalo accomplished in the first two rounds of the draft. Dalton Kincaid is a very talented tight end who easily could have been chosen in the teens, yet he was available at No. 27. He’ll be a great weapon for Josh Allen. After that, the Bills used their second-round choice on O’Cyrus Torrence, who was a potential first-round prospect. Torrence will provide some much-needed protection for Allen.” — Walter Cherepinsky

The Ringer

Buffalo Bills grade: B+

“The Bills did exactly what I had hoped they’d do in this draft by bolstering their offensive skill player position group with Dalton Kincaid. The former Utah tight end brings high-end movement skills and toughness after the catch, and should be able to give Josh Allen a much-needed boost on passes to the short and intermediate areas. Buffalo got good value in the second round in Florida guard O’Cyrus Torrence, a player I had ranked 18th overall on The Ringer’s Big Board.” — Danny Kelly


Buffalo Bills grade: Thor Nystrom — A, Andrew Erickson — A-

“The Bills came into Draft Weekend with a need for a compliment to WR Stefon Diggs. They addressed that with the best receiver in the class – TE Dalton Kincaid. Don’t let Kincaid’s position designation fool you.

In Round 2, the Bills stole OG O’Cyrus Torrence. Torrence is a superb OG prospect who didn’t give up a sack over his four-year college career. When his first-baseman-mitt-sized hands (11 1/4″) latch onto you, it’s night-night. Nuclear reactor play strength.” — Thor Nystrom

“Josh Allen gets another weapon right off the bat. And the Bills can never have too many weapons in the arms race AFC. With the top WRs off the board, Buffalo invested a first-round pick into Dalton Kincaid (traded up), who projects as a hybrid slot receiver in the Bills offense.

The Bills scooped up more first-round talent in O’Cyrus Torrence, who fell all the way to pick No. 59. He helps plug the interior – that ranked 5th worst in run-blocking per PFF last season — as my highest-ranked guard in the class.” — Andrew Erickson

Pro Football Focus

Buffalo Bills grade: A