4 takeaways for the Buffalo Bills from the 2022 NFL Draft

Kaiir Elam, Buffalo Bills (Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
Kaiir Elam, Buffalo Bills (Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Buffalo Bills
Kaiir Elam, Florida (Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) /

Buffalo Bills look for traits in their players, not necessarily production

This is a trend that has been shown over the years and was once again solidified in the 2022 NFL Draft. The Buffalo Bills under general manager Brandon Beane tend to focus more on the physical attributes and not so much on production at the college level.

And so far, the team has had a pretty good success rate.

Prior to the 2022 NFL Draft, three names that seem to fall in that category are obviously Josh Allen but also tight end Dawson Knox, who was a third round pick in 2019, and defensive end Greg Rousseau, who was a first round pick in 2021.

Knox coming out of Ole Miss was a tight end who was viewed more as a project because he had a good combination of speed and size that could make him a dynamic tight end. However, he didn’t have a single touchdown reception during his time in college.

Fast forward to this past season, Knox has become a bigger part of this offense and was tied for the league lead in touchdowns.

As for Greg Rousseau, he had one excellent season at the University of Miami in 2019 but missed the 2020 season due to the pandemic. For some teams, this may not be enough of a sample size to draft a player early.

However, the Bills saw a player that was a unique combination of length and speed. He was also viewed as potentially being more of a long-term project but he came in as a rookie and started every game last year.

In the end, general manager Brandon Beane and the organization seems to have confidence that their coaching staff is good enough to develop these players into quality starters so the focus is more on finding players with those traits teams can’t teach, like length, speed and size.

Kaiir Elam would seem to fall into that category this year as he has a player that has good size and length to play cornerback in the NFL. He had an excellent 2020 season but struggled some last year. This wasn’t much of a concern as the team used their first pick on the cornerback and now it is up to the coaching staff to maximize that potential.