What Would You Have Done?

The draft is done. Our guys are our guys now. I really like the reliability of Dalton Kincaid and O'Cyrus Torrence could be a very good OG for a long time, assuming we don't try the outside zone blocking scheme again (I hope not). He is an ascending raw talent. They are Bills now, so we will all cheer for them madly. Onward!

That said, we all spend so much time plowing through Mock Drafts and playing with Draft Simulators before the draft. But as I said in my recent Post on "2023 Draft Metrics" (, the draft simulators are not very good at predicting when players will be taken. However, now that the draft is done, we have the most accurate draft simulator of all... the actual draft.

So, I thought it would be fun to see what all of you would have done given how the draft fell.

Ground Rules:

Just some ground rules first...

  • Try not to look ahead to see where players were drafted. Try to do it one pick at a time to avoid the temptation to think "I know that I will get PlayerX in round 3, so I am not going to pick PlayerY or PlayerX in round 2". Try to assume what you knew and what you would have done at the time of the draft and at the time of the pick (without looking ahead to what actually happened). I think it will be more realistic this way.
  • Make at least one draft with no trades. Again, this is to make it realistic. Trades are so hard to predict
  • If you do a 2nd or 3rd draft with trades, try to do it with only one trade above round 5. That is more realistic. It is not realistic to do 6 trades with our 1st pick and get 13 picks. However, feel free to do additional trades in rounds 5-7 like Beane did if you want

My Stab at It:

No Trade Scenario:

NOTE: Theoretically Anton Harrison could have been there at pick #27. He would have absolutely been my choice, but Jacksonville took him at #27 after we traded with them. So, if we hadn't traded with them, then they would have likely taken him at #25 and he would have been gone. The only chance that Anton Harrison would have been there for us at #27 is if Jacksonville traded down with someone else. I really think Anton Harrison will be special in the NFL. Either way, I am going to try and be realistic (there is that word again) and go with who would have likely been at pick #27. Bummer. I would have really like Anton.


1.27: Nolan Smith, Rush DE/LB : Edge was not a hard "need", but it was hard to pass him up and there were very few 1st rounders on the board. We will likely not get Von back until Thanksgiving or later. We saw how it impacts the rest of the DL to have a true pass rusher in the group. We need a difference-maker on the DL long-term too. Von won't be around forever.

2.27: Marvin Mims, WR : Needed to shift back to offense. The drop off at WR is big in the 3rd round, especially for elite deep speed positionless WRs. Marvin Mims is that. He is more physical than his size. Played a lot in the slot, but some outside reps against press. Beats press with quickness mostly, but active hands. Didn't see him get hung up in press physically. Made an unbelievable catch behind the defenders back against Texas Tech. Also a couple of great catches against Texas outside of frame. Good quickness and urgency in his routes. He does Punt and Kick Returns too! The fact that he is the brother of Denzel Mims gives me pause though. Denzel has been a bit of head case/Attitude/drop issue with the NYJ. But all people are their own person... at least that is what I am hoping. Marvin did have some drops, but none of them were easy catches.

3.27: Nick Saldiveri, OT/OG/OC : We need someone to push or overtake Spencer Brown and at the very least improve the OT depth. Saldiveri was very good pass pro and balance. Smooth. Good short area quickness. Good fit for zone scheme. Good at anchoring the seal block. 34" arms. Couldn't tell if he would be good enough power against top competition though. But his size indicates he could. Did well in Senior bowl though. He played OT, OG, and OC at the Senior Bowl. His position coach at the Senior Bowl said "He's got the mental bandwidth to be able to handle that, the multiplicity to play a lot of different positions. He's also done a great job of bringing enthusiasm each and every single day". He was a team captain and was noted for his holding teammates accountable. It will be a big leap to go from small school to the NFL though. There is some unknow to him. Erik Turner ( really likes his film

4.27: Zack Kuntz, TE : The Bills have been wanting to run a 2 TE set for a while. Zack Kuntz might be that guy. He is raw, but has a high ceiling. He was a former PSU TE. Extreme athleticism. 4.55 speed, agility, burst, strength. 10" hands. Transferred from PSU to get more playing time. TE room was crowded. He is mostly a receiving TE. He had some great reps at blocking and some not so great blocking reps. He has great ball skills at the catch point. I could have waited a lot later to take Zack. He wasn't taken until late 6th round, but I wanted to make this pick realistic. I had him rated around this pick and I think the Bills really wanted one of these guys. I think he is the best receiving TE left in the draft.

5.02: Israel Abanikanda, RB : This was a pick that I could not resist. I think he will be a very good pro and all around RB. Great speed (4.45) and weight and BMI combo (215lbs and 30.0 BMI). Just turned 20 years old, so he has low mileage. Soft hands, but Pitt did not use him much in the pass game. Willing blocker. Damien Harris' contract expires in 2024 and Abanikanda provides some cost-controlled talent at the RB position for 2024 and beyond.

6.27: Brandon Hill, S/Slot CB : I really like Brandon Hill as a future starting Safety or Slot CB. He has the speed (4.43), great agility, good burst, and physicality to be a starting Positionless Safety in 2024. The AFC (and the AFC East specifically) has been flooded with a ton of elite deep speed (Tyreek Hill: 4.34, Jaylen Waddle: 4.37, Garrett Wilson: 4.38. Ja'marr Chase: 4.39, Mecole Hardman: 4.33, Marquez Valdez-Scantling: 4.37). We need to adjust and adapt. We have one of the slowest defensive backfields in the NFL. Elam has speed, but he is the only DB with above average speed for a starting perimeter CB (4.42 is the average).

I really like this draft. We filled a lot of our needs. Unfortunately, I did not get a LB or DT. Drew Sanders was the only LB that I thought would be an upgrade from what we already have. I would rather take a vet LB after the draft than take a LB that is limited and not really an upgrade. At DT, the fall off after Keeanu Benton was significant (in my opinion) and I am not sure there was a future legitimate starter in the remaining prospects. I liked Brodric Martin as a prospect, but he went much higher than I had him rated. I wanted to keep the draft realistic as possible with what I knew at the time of the draft. I also considered Jordan Riley (DT) in the 6th round, but I liked Brandon Hall better and we need a future starting safety with speed. Beane will have to spend some money or high draft picks next year on DT.

Trade Down in the 1st Round Scenario:

This would have been my preference if the draft fell this way and we could not get Anton Harrison. However, trading down when everyone said that this was a poor draft at the top is not a high probability scenario. But who knows. Beane did say he had calls for pick #27 before they traded up. But I think I found a reasonable/realistic (there is that word again) trade partner. I think the best chance would be if teams wanted to get ahead of Philly or Cincy and pick either Nolan Smith or Myles Murphy. Seattle went after an Edge early in the 2nd round and they had lots of picks, so let's use Seattle as the trade partner for this scenario. I used the Rich Hill trade chart for the Pick Value (

Trade Details: Bills Get:

  • Pick #37: Pick Value 162
  • Pick #52: Pick Value 109
  • Pick #108: Pick Value 123
  • Pick #198: Pick Value 4
  • Total Pick Value: 307

Seattle Gets:

  • Pick #27: Pick Value 216
  • Pick #59: Pick Value 91
  • Total Pick Value: 306


2.06: Keeanu Benton, DT : I absolutely love that we got Keeanu Benton. He was one of my favorite 2nd round prospects. He is not a traditional weight for a 1-Tech DT, but he has really great raw grown-man power and good arm length (34"). Very good movement and active athleticism for a big man. He was regularly downfield 10-15 yds trying to make a play. Really like his effort and his heads up play. I think he did better against Ohio St than Mazi Smith did. OSU did neutralize him to an extent, but I liked how he fought to get out of double teams and blocks. He has good pass rush effort and movement for a DT of his size. Former wrestler!

2.20: Marvin Mims, WR : Same as in the 1st draft scenario.

3.27: Nick Saldiveri, OT/OG/OC : Same as in the 1st draft scenario.

4.05: Asim Richards, OT/OG : I am going to use one of the picks that I got from the trade down to double-down on the OL. You can never have too many "big uglies"!!

4.27: Zack Kuntz, TE : Same as in the 1st draft scenario.

5.02: Israel Abanikanda, RB : Same as in the 1st draft scenario.

6.20: Brandon Hill, S/Slot CB : Same as in the 1st draft scenario.

6.27: Bryce Ford-Wheaton, WR : I could not resist taking Bryce Ford-Wheaton for my last pick. Since we got extra picks from the trade down, I felt comfortable taking this flyer. I am still baffled that he was not drafted. His tape was as good as any receiver that was taken from in the mid-2nd round on. Maybe he he has some character issues that we don't know about. I could not find any in my searches, but who knows. However, on the field, his tape and ability is very good. Raw in his route running, but very good. I think the Giants got a steal.

I was pleased with this draft. The trade down didn't really impact who I wanted to take with my 1st pick. Steve Avila would have been nice, but I absolutely love that we got Keeanu Benton. I still did not get a LB, but like I said in the 1st scenario, I don't think anyone other than Drew Sanders was a good fit or an improvement over what we had (or what we could get in a vet FA). I was tempted to take Drew with the 2nd pick in both drafts, but because of the pick on defense for the 1st pick, I needed to get going on the offense. Offensive talent was quickly being taken off the boards by our 2nd pick.

As a result of this "trade down" draft scenario, I have some log jams at some positions. I have more WRs and RBs than is ideal for the 53. But this is nice problem to have. I still love the players that I picked. Maybe Israel just straight up beats out Damien Harris. If not, maybe we keep 1 less LB and only 2 TEs. Hmmm... I think I could make it work.

Honorary Mention:

Here are some players that I really liked, but the draft didn't fall in a way that it made sense to get them

  • Dalton Kincaid, TE: I have to mention the Bills pick here. I understand this pick now that the Bills have made it. I did not have my eye on him prior to the draft as a Bills 1st round target because I thought the Bills were targeting a Blocking TE to compliment Knox. I did not think of the case where he could just be a reliable Big Slot WR. Had I thought of it, I might have done the same thing. As an inline blocker, he is mostly untested. However, he did a ton of in space blocking and was good at it. As a receiver, he has really great hands and physicality and athleticism at the catch point. OK Speed (4.71? - but that is not confirmed. He did not test), but seems faster and more athletic on tape. But still most of his production was because their offense was created to create for the TE.
  • Anton Harrison, OT: He was my all-around favorite of the draft. In this scenario, Jacksonville would have likely taken him if we stayed at #27. But he was my top target for the end of the 1st round. Athletic and long arms (35"). Good athletic fit for zone. He has the athleticism to wall off, but also really good power to anchor and take on power. Some reports that I read said he does not have great power, but I did not see that on tape. I really like his temperament. He does not give up on reps. He is relentless. He does a good job looking for extra work. Like his ability to shift from one block and pass off to another in pass pro and run blocking. I think he has a quick mind and processor. Good at latching on and holding his block. Uses his long arms to help keep defenders off of him. Does not have a lot of bad weight on him. Saw both zone and man/gap. I didn't not see him against a pure speed rusher, so that is a bit unknown. I think he is an OK lateral athlete, but he may be challenged by elite speed rushers
  • Drew Sanders, LB: As I mentioned above, I think he was the only LB worthy of drafting and I don't think it is close. He plays with just incredible urgency, effort, and physicality.
  • Steve Avila, OG: I was initially worried about his athleticism because last year the Bills seemed to shift to uber athletic, but lighter O-linemen. However, Beane cleared that up and said the scouting staff and Kromer were not in sync last year. This year they were clearly looking for powerful and reasonably athletic O-linemen. Steve is that and then some.
  • O'Cyrus Torrence, OG: Same thing as Avila. He has the tools to succeed in the system that Kromer settled on last year. He is raw, but he has the tools to be very good as long as he is not stretched athletically too much.
  • Charlie Jones, WR: He has the most reliable hands in the draft. He is also physical, an urgent route runner, can beat the press, and come down with contested catches. He is not a burner, but has good enough all-around speed
  • Carter Warren, OT/OG: Scheme versatile: zone and man/gap. Looks athletic on tape, but did not test. Good pass pro. 35.5" arms! I liked how light his feet were, his agility, and how he would spring out of his stance. He seems like he should be slow given his size, but he is not. He has the body type that can play both OT and OG. Only negative was that he was a bit slow to react to stunts. Team Captain
  • Asim Richards, OT/OG: Long arms (34") and nasty blocker. Good short and long speed (5.12). Good burst, but Okay agility. Handled Myles Murphy really well. But was beat by Bryan Bresee on one swim move. Seemed active and aware of the play around him. Good pass off of defenders and multi-tasking. Saw some tight zone and man/gap. I am not sure he would be great at outside zone. really good anchor agaisnt Mykes Murphy. There were some reps where he had a tough time keeping up to speed in a wide set defense, but he hung with it and was able to push them past the pocket with his long arms
  • Sidy Sow, OT/OG: Raw prospect. Has all of the size and strength to succeed, but needs a lot of refinement on technique. Great agility and burst and good speed
  • Marte Mapu, S/Big Nickel/Will LB: jack of all trades with great burst and all-around athleticism. A small school prospect that would need time to adjust and would also need a creative DC to take advantage of his unique skills

Your Turn:

Like I said earlier, the draft is over and we will cheer wildly for our new rookie Bills. I just thought it would be fun to see what all of us at BR would have done.

What is your "realistic" ideal post-draft draft??

Just another great fan opinion shared on the pages of