Buffalo Bills 2023 NFL Draft: Prospects and games to watch in Week 10

Brandon Joseph, Notre Dame (Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports)
Brandon Joseph, Notre Dame (Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports) /
2 of 4
Buffalo Bills
Emil Ekiyor Jr., Alabama (Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports) /

Player #2: Emil Ekiyor Jr., OG Alabama

#6 Alabama @ #10 LSU, 7:00 PM

Emil Ekiyor Jr. is a really solid guard prospect who has well-rounded ability in both pass and run blocking. Ekiyor has also shown that he can be successful in either a gap or zone-running scheme. Ekiyor has the type of versatility that teams will covet and he routinely faces the best competition there is in college football.

Ekiyor is not the most physically imposing interior offensive lineman which may hurt his draft stock a little but he makes up for it with really solid strength and movement skills. Ekiyor won’t test as an elite athlete which also may hurt his stock just a little bit. However, the Bills have never been super enamored with having elite athletes on the offensive line. Ekiyor is by no means not athletic enough but it is one of the things working against him in this draft process.

Where Ekiyor excels is his scheme versatility and football IQ. Ekiyor is capable of playing any style of football in any system. Quick off the snap, Ekiyor is strong with his hands and really good with his hand placement. Although not the strongest Ekiyor is a finisher who can get really physical blocking on runs. Not quite consistently powerful enough to call him a mauler but he certainly has that sort of confidence and mean streak.

Ekiyor is strictly a guard and that is a good thing for the Buffalo Bills who only have Ryan Bates under contract following this season. The Bills have struggled to run the ball this season, a lot of which has to do with guard play there could be an emphasis to add to the position this spring.

While the Buffalo Bills have been drafting offensive linemen recently they all have been at the Tackle position. It seems like the Buffalo Bills are ready to spend some assets to get some long-term solutions at the guard position.

Ekiyor is the type of prospect that fits what the Buffalo Bills are interested in. Ekiyor may not be a dominant run blocker but he is fully capable and well-rounded enough for the Bills to be confident in his contribution in his first season.