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NFL Reacts: Bills Mafia grades Buffalo’s 2023 draft, prepared to move on without Edmunds

Josh Allen approves

HORSE RACING: MAY 06 Kentucky Derby Photo by Jeff Moreland/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

A favorite pastime of many once the NFL Draft wraps up is handing out grades for each team’s class of incoming rookies. Buffalo Bills fans are no different. Unfair? Largely, yes — though something of an unavoidable tradition at this point.

Perhaps that’s why so many teams receive overall grades somewhere in the neighborhood of a good-not-great “B” rating. People are excited about the prospects, perhaps nervous to fully buy in yet, and reticent to blast front offices for picking players they’ve studied far more in-depth than anyone else.

Buffalo Bills fans have bought into 2023 NFL Draft class hype

Yes, the majority of Bills Mafia awarded general manager Brandon Beane and the front office at One Bills Drive a “B” for their efforts on draft weekend. Interestingly, 37% of those who voted are all in, dishing out the “A” before anyone has taken the field in a Bills uniform.

Overall, 93% of those fans who voted found the results of Buffalo’s draft class to their liking. There may be a little more hope in those spring footsteps of Bills fans than we were prepared for.

Drafting tight end Dawson Kincaid (Round 1) and offensive guard O’Cyrus Torrence (Round 2) have been praised throughout NFL circles and for good reason. Buffalo managed to get one of the best receiving threats late in the first round, while landing a first-round talent in Cyrus late in the second round. The addition of hyper athletic linebacker Dorian Williams should provide the team with the ability to install new wrinkles on defense. Their other picks represent tons of potential in wide receiver Justin Shorter, offensive guard Nick Broeker, and cornerback Alex Austin.

Bills Mafia prepared for life after Tremaine Edmunds

Tremaine Edmunds isn’t coming back to Orchard Park, NY — at least not any time soon. Reality sometimes stings, but Bills fans were fairly prepared to lose the team’s defensive quarterback of five seasons. Since his departure Brandon Beane has gone on record stating that no linebacker would be able to replace Edmunds, and hinted at the possibility that the team may have preferred moving in a different direction from the type of game Edmunds played as a huge MIKE.

A little less than half of those fans polled (47%) are concerned with how the team plans to move forward without Edmunds. That’s understandable if the team intends to march on with two primary linebackers while expecting the same sort of results minus Edmunds’ unique abilities.

To this point, Beane has said that rookie linebacker Dorian Williams will be given opportunities to acclimate at both inside and outside positions, but it’s quite possible the team will look to utilize more than two linebackers at a time. That, however, could come at the expense of snaps for nickel cornerback Taron Johnson. There’s much to discover with the 2023 version of the Buffalo Bills’ defense — and it can’t begin soon enough!

In the SB Nation national polls, The Philadelphia Eagles were the overwhelming choice as biggest winners from the 2023 NFL Draft.

Unfortunately for the Arizona Cardinals and their fans, more people voted them atop the list of biggest losers from draft weekend than any other team. While 30% is hardly a majority in any formula, it rises to the top in this poll. Close behind them were the Los Angeles Chargers (24%), New England Patriots (24%) and New York Jets (22%).

What do you think about the results here? If you voted in our polls and you care to share, what was the deciding factor for your draft grade of the Buffalo Bills? After learning more about Dorian Williams either through others’ analysis or your own discovery, are you more on board with his selection?

Do you believe the Eagles really had the best draft, or is much of the fuel for that fire due to them selecting Jalen Carter? The Cardinals appear to be a mess, and could be staring at a top pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. There are huge doubts about Kyler Murray, lots of dysfunction in key areas from top to bottom, and a certain prolific wide receiver who seems intent on playing elsewhere to finish his NFL career.

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