Buffalo Bills 2023 NFL Draft: Prospects and games to watch in Week 9

A.T. Perry, Wake Forest (Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)
A.T. Perry, Wake Forest (Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports) /
2 of 4
Buffalo Bills
Christopher Smith, Georgia (Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports) /

Player #2: Christopher Smith II, S Georgia

#1 Georgia @ Florida, 3:30PM

With the Jordan Poyer contract expiration looming, the Buffalo Bills have not indicated that he will be back. Even if Poyer does re-sign with the Bills next season, Micah Hyde will be in the last year of his deal, and both players, although still playing at an All-Pro level (Hyde was before his season-ending neck injury), are on the wrong side of 30 and could be close to the end of their careers.

The Bills do have a lot of faith in their backup, Jaquan Johnson, and now starter Damar Hamlin there could be an infusion of youth at the position, considering the current long-term outlook.

On a defense with stars all over, Christopher Smith II is the veteran leader on the backend of the defense. Smith II has elite awareness and IQ, which gives Kirby Smart a player who can line up all over the field. Smith II has the instincts in both the pass and run game, where he can be effective all over the field.

A little undersized at 5’11” and 190lbs, Smith II is a willing tackler. He can get a little wild looking for big hits and occasionally beat by runners because he is overaggressive both tackling and in pursuit, but he is willing to get his nose in the football and make plays. Smith II seems the most similar to Poyer of all the safeties in this draft.

The Buffalo Bills will like Smith II’s IQ, awareness, and likeness to their current All-Pro. However, while Smith II has some weaknesses, he is putting a lot of those to rest this season as one of the prominent leaders of Georgia’s defense.