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2024 NFL Draft Summer Spotlight: Oklahoma S Billy Bowman

A sleeping giant in Norman, OK

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 10 Kent State at Oklahoma Photo by David Stacy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The summer before the 2024 NFL Draft is undoubtedly one of the best times to shoutout players ready to burst onto the scene as cemented NFL Draft prospects in the coming months. The draft world can be easily lulled into the pull of the successful elite programs and their rising prospects when looking ahead to the next draft. However, there is a safety prospect lurking in the weeds that the Buffalo Bills could very well be interested in as we approach the 2023 college football season.

One blue-blood program that struggled on the field in 2022 has a sleeping giant at a non-premium position who is prepped to turn heads. Oklahoma safety Billy Bowman is a former highly regarded blue-chip prospect who’s getting set to embark on a junior season as a followup to a second-year campaign that had him make 60 tackles and three interceptions in 11 games played.

To dig deeper into what Bowman provides as a prospect, we hit the film to see what there is to work with. Two games watched were versus Oklahoma State and Kansas State in 2022. Check out the scouting profile below for a detailed script of what Bowman brings to the table.

Billy Bowman Scouting Report

There’s not a ton of film on Oklahoma’s defense out there from 2022 — that’s likely because the overall unit was extremely underwhelming with few prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft class. Bowman stands tall amongst the rest as a difference-maker tasked to do a ton on the Oklahoma defensive end by a defensive guru in Brent Venables. Bowman showcases himself as a very high-quality cover man capable of even more. Bowman’s best fit appears to be on top of the defense where he can display his range and ability to track the football to help his team win.


  • Great mix of fluidity and explosiveness at the position, which allows for his high success rates across the defense
  • Versatile piece that drops down into the box, plays the post, and aligns man to man in the slot
  • Instincts are there; quickly realizes where the player he needs to carry is and gets attached
  • Range certainly exists, as he’s able to eliminate space in a hurry
  • Potentially elite matchup coverage defender with mix of athleticism and ability to play through the hands of the receiver
  • Physical with bigger receivers despite smaller stature
  • Thick frame despite overall height concerns


  • Lazy tackling; tries to rip at ball or run ball carriers out of bounds instead of finishing
  • Size concerns; listed at just 5’10”, 195 pounds
  • Length limitations force him to be near-perfect with timing on pass breakups
  • Obvious hunger to pursue disappears when bringing ball carriers to the ground

Why Billy Bowman fits the Bills

Bowman is the rare 5’10” safety who can truly play on the top of a defense. He’s not graced with an excellent size profile, but it’s plenty good enough due to his traits and abilities to excel in coverage at each part of the field. Bowman is versatile, but I think his best fit remains on the back end of the defense holding down a post or split safety role in the NFL. If Bowman improves as an imposing tackler in 2023, you could make more of an argument for the slot. The Bills need true safeties on the back end to build around for the future and Bowman provides that at this stage.

Oklahoma gets a chance to improve off a disastrous season in 2023. A bounce back Oklahoma will allow folks to see just how good Billy Bowman can be, and why he could be such a seamless fit for the Bills in the 2024 NFL Draft.