Buffalo Bills 7-round 2023 mock draft: Playmaker and protection are on the way for Josh Allen

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Brandon Beane needs to hit a home run in 2023 NFL Draft.

While Beane deserves plenty of credit for building the Buffalo Bills’ roster into a legitimate Super Bowl contender, the team’s draft classes have been lacking in terms of immediate production. While starting jobs are limited in Buffalo, the Bills need to do a better job of adding players who can make some sort of impact sooner rather than later. Look no further than the Kansas City Chiefs’ 2022 draft. The Chiefs had multiple rookies play key roles in their Super Bowl championship season.

In 2023, Beane needs to do the same for Buffalo. Using Pro Football Focus’ Mock Draft Simulator, we put on our finest suit to attempt to be the Bills’ general manager in our first mock draft. Here’s how it played out.

Round 1 (27): Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College

Zay Flowers met with Buffalo’s new WRs coach Adam Henry at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine. When looking at Flowers, Henry likely sees a player who can dominate in the slot. Buffalo struggled to find a consistent slot presence in 2022, but Josh Allen has had plenty of success with Cole Beasley in that role from 2019-2021.

Flowers believes he is more than a slot and noted that he watched plenty of Steve Smith and Antonio Brown film to help him craft his game. He could eventually play a bigger role on the outside, but Buffalo uses him as a playmaker out of the slot for Josh Allen as a rookie.

Round 2 (59): Steve Avila, IOL. TCU

Buffalo’s offensive line needs some help on the interior. Rodger Saffold and Ryan Bates both had their struggles in 2022. Saffold is set to hit free agency which creates a starting role for Avila to compete for in the summer. While Avila could start at guard as a rookie, he also has the ability to take over at center whenever Mitch Morse calls it a career.

In his final season at TCU, Avila did not allow a sack in over 500 pass-blocking snaps.

Round 3 (91): Jammie Robinson, S, Florida State

Jordan Poyer isn’t the only safety who is set to hit free agency. Buffalo could also lose Jaquan Johnson and Dean Marlowe at the position. There is also plenty of uncertainty in regards to Damar Hamlin being able to play in 2023.

It wouldn’t be a surprise if Buffalo added a veteran stop-gap to start opposite Micah Hyde at safety and further depth later in free agency, but Jammie Robinson is too good at pass up in Round 3.

Buffalo had a formal visit with Robinson at the NFL Scouting Combine. It’s no surprise that Buffalo interviewed Robinson as he is among the most versatile defensive backs in this year’s draft class. In addition to his versatility, Robinson is an explosive athlete who always seems to be around the ball and is terrific in run defense.

Round 4 (130): Zack Kuntz, TE, Old Dominion

This year’s tight end class is deep. That allows Buffalo to wait on adding at the position until Round 4. At that point, Zack Kuntz is the best player remaining at the position and an athletic freak much like their top tight end, Dawson Knox. To say Kuntz was impressive at the combine would be an understatement.

Last year, Buffalo signed O.J. Howard in the hopes of running two-tight end sets in 2023. Howard did not pan out which left the Bills with Quintin Morris and Tommy Sweeney. Morris could still end up as Buffalo’s No. 2 tight end in 2023, but Kuntz’s athleticism, size (6-feet-7-inches) and traits make him a worthwhile investment as another weapon for Allen in the passing game.

Round 5 (139): Dorian Williams, LB, Tulane

Whether it’s re-signing Tremaine Edmunds or adding a veteran stop-gap, Buffalo isn’t going to leave such an important starting role to a rookie unless someone jumps off the page to them early in this year’s draft. The team can, however, add to their depth at the position and Dorian Williams is a worthwhile investment.

Williams ran a 4.49 40-yard dash at the combine and was referred to as “many teams’ sleeper ‘backer” by Reese’s Senior Bowl Executive Director Jim Nagy due to his athleticism and ability to stay on the field. Williams is a solid tackler and was solid in coverage during his collegiate career.

Williams was a team captain at Tulane and a three-year starter for the Green Wave.

Round 6 (205): Atonio Mafi, G, UCLA

Buffalo ends the draft by double-dipping at offensive line.

Atonio Mafi is a former defensive lineman who flipped over to the offensive line in 2020. He has improved each year as an offensive lineman and received All-Conference recognition this past year. At 6-feet-4-inches tall and 355 pounds, Mafi is known for his power as a blocker.

Buffalo adds Mafi with their final pick and continues developing the former defensive lineman into a serviceable NFL guard.


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