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2023 Bills Rookie Report: Week 2 vs. Raiders

Two draft picks look like big hits early in their careers

Las Vegas Raiders v Buffalo Bills Photo by Bryan Bennett/Getty Images

The Buffalo Bills responded to a rough-looking loss against the New York Jets in Week 1 with a massive home opener win — a 38-10 handling of the Las Vegas Raiders. It was more of the same regarding certain rookies making an impact last Sunday. Two rookies, in particular, have the look of potential slam-dunk selections already at this point early in their careers.

Let’s review how the youngsters looked against the Raiders in Week 2.

TE Dalton Kincaid

Kincaid’s usage in Week 2 was quite fascinating as he aligned either in-line or from a tight alignment. He was able to provide chip/check and release help on Raiders star pass rusher Maxx Crosby before releasing into a route. Kincaid isn’t known for his blocking ability, but his willingness to provide any assistance in that realm is encouraging. As the season moves on and Bills right tackle Spencer Brown isn’t tasked with aligning across from elite edge rushers, Kincaid should see more opportunity as a pure route runner. His feel for zone, soft hands, and RAC ability showed up against the Raiders, but it was his chip help and willingness as a blocker that impressed me on Sunday. Kincaid caught five of his six targets for 43 yards.

OG O’Cyrus Torrence

Torrence isn’t a finished product just yet, but he’s already playing like an above-average NFL starter at the guard position. He still struggles with speed — for example, a blitzing linebacker coming full speed that he had to engage with slid by him on a run by James Cook that would be considered a missed assignment on his part. But the movement, power, and ability to work angles for a player of his size provides a huge boost to the Bills’ running game. Less elite defensive lines like Las Vegas has should be taken advantage of in the run game and Torrence did just that as he flattened or wiped out Raiders interior defenders multiple times. There’s still some work to do for the rookie second-round pick out of Florida, but he’s already looking like a big hit for Bills general manager Brandon Beane.

LB Dorian Williams

Williams saw some mop-up duty with the game well in-hand late in the game. He remains active to play special teams. To date, Matt Milano’s playing like the best weakside linebacker in football and Terrel Bernard has performed above expectations in year two. The opportunities will remain limited for Williams, barring an injury, but it’s good to see him getting his chance to contribute on special teams and get some defensive snaps late in games.

WR Justin Shorter

Shorter served his second game on Injured Reserve and must remain there at least another two games as he nurses a hamstring injury. Shorter may garner some attention as an active player on Sundays because of his special teams upside.