Before the dust had even settled on the 2023 NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills began working the phones to sign rookie prospects to undrafted free-agent (UDFA) contracts. To this point, general manager Brandon Beane and the organization have given seven UFDA rookies contracts. That number could increase as we head into rookie minicamp and the team’s official training camp later this summer at St. John Fisher University in Pittsford, NY.
Contained here are mini-scouting reports on those players.
Buffalo Bills UDFA Signings
Braydon Johnson, WR (Oklahoma State)
Johnson joins the Bills after a five-year redshirt career playing wide receiver/kick returner for OSU. In total, Johnson made 79 receptions for 1,314 yards with eight touchdowns. After an injury shortened his 2021 senior season to just one game, Johnson returned for 2022 to haul in 32 receptions for 566 yards and three touchdowns. Johnson, standing 6’ and weighing 200 pounds, brings deceptive speed to the football field with a 4.40-second 40-yard dash recorded in March at his pro day.
Jalen Wayne, WR (South Alabama)
Jalen Wayne is the cousin of retired Indianapolis Colts receiver Reggie Wayne. An older prospect who spent six season with South Alabama, Wayne (6’2”, 210) has a nearly identical build to Gabe Davis. As a true freshman, Wayne spent time at running back, wide receiver, and tight end. Wayne lacks elite speed, running a 4.51-second 40-yard dash at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine. Despite his size and deceptive short-area prowess, scouts and analysts knock Wayne’s ability to win contested catches amid a fairly thin route-tree experience. Wayne’s receiving career took off during his junior season, with most of his career production coming between 2020 and 2022. In total, Wayne made 152 receptions for 1,979 yards with 14 touchdowns. Wayne’s intangibles as an instinctual, football-intelligent player might have been the main drivers to his path with the Bills. Wayne could compete to be one of the team’s long-term developmental slot-receiving prospects.
Tyrell Shavers, WR (SDSU)
Shavers enters the fray at wide receiver with the Bills as the team’s tallest receiver at 6’6”. The well-traveled Shavers spent time with the football programs of Alabama, Mississippi State, and San Diego State. Shavers lacks requisite speed most NFL evaluators seek, and he has struggled in the past protecting the football. Despite that, Shavers is a still-ascending player with unique size who’s an adept route-runner and proficient hands receiver. SDSU is where Shaver made the most impact, catching 56 passes for 856 yards and five touchdowns in two seasons.
Richard Gouraige, OL (Florida)
The 6’5”, 306-pound Gouraige joins former linemate O’Cyrus Torrence in Buffalo. Gouraige was viewed by many as a likely Day 3 pick who may transition to play the interior after playing both tackle positions in college. He made 42 career starts at Florida, with more than 30 at left tackle. If Gouraige can improve the technical blocking aspects of his game, his chances at making Buffalo’s roster or practice squad will prove favorable. There’s much to be encouraged by with Gouraige’s potential in the long term.
Noah Henderson, OT (East Carolina)
Henderson — a former walk-on and two-time captain with 26 starts to his name — joins the Bills after manning the right tackle spot for ECU since the 2019 season. Henderson’s best traits are as a run blocker, where he can utilize his size (6’5”, 322 pounds) and frame to push defenders out of frame. Henderson is a prospect with good developmental upside who’ll be looking for opportunities to impress in camp.
Jordan Mims, RB (Fresno State)
The versatile and productive Mims signed with the Bills following a true breakout 2022 college campaign. Last season, Mims had 261 rushes for 1,372 yards with 18 rushing touchdowns; 21 receptions for 126 yards with one touchdown. In five seasons at Fresno State, Mims logged 679 carries for 3,285 yards with 37 rushing touchdowns; adding 91 receptions for 971 yards with eight touchdowns. Mims (6’0”, 200 pounds) is near-universally lauded for his tenacity as a runner, and the sheer toughness he brings to the position. There are those concerned with his lack of true speed, which could limit his effectiveness to third downs as a running back with upside as a receiver.
DJ Dale, DL (Alabama)
Dale played in 39 games as a three-year starter for the Crimson Tide. During his collegiate career, Dale made 73 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, three fumble recoveries, and defended three passes. Some draft experts believe Dale lacks ideal size for an NFL nose tackle (6’1”, 302 pounds), and that he may struggle against larger players. If Dale and the Bills are a fit, his path to the roster is likely as a rotational player along the interior of the defensive line. Leading up to the NFL Draft, Dale was projected to be a mid- to late-round draft prospect. He’s an athletic big man who should do well entering an NFL training regimen while learning the ropes from accomplished veterans in an effort to raise the level of his play as a penetrating defensive lineman.