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

Drew Sanders, Arkansas (Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports)
Drew Sanders, Arkansas (Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports) /
3 of 4
Buffalo Bills
Ivan Pace Jr., Cincinnati (Syndication: The Enquirer) /

Player #3: Ivan Pace Jr, ILB/Edge Cinncinati

East Carolina @ Cinncinati, 8 PM

Ivan Pace Jr has a similar skillset to our previous linebacker Drew Sanders. Pace Jr, another transfer played at Miami (OH) for the first three years of his career until he transferred to Cinncinati this summer.

Pace Jr was already a solid NFL prospect but his performance at Cinncinati has been very impressive shooting him up draft boards. Through nine games Pace has 96 Tackles, 18 TFL, 8 Sacks, 3 PD, and 1 FF. Pace Jr has one of the best spin moves in college football as evidenced by his ability to sack the quarterback, several of which have come from spins.

The Cincinnati pass rusher does a really good job of countering blocks both as a pass rusher and a run-stopping linebacker. With really good quickness and instincts, blockers have trouble getting a hold of Pace Jr.

Pace Jr has a high motor and is always willing to make plays from behind. He is never out of the play and shows the toughness to still fight through blocks and plays that are not particularly close to him. He may be in a tweener position wise but he has the type of motor that you would rarely want to take off the field.

Pace Jr does have some size concerns at the next level 6-0, 240lbs is not exactly the ideal height-weight combination for any of the positions Pace can line up at. A little too short and heavy to play true linebacker, a little too short and light to play EDGE full-time, and not nearly heavy enough to line up on the defensive interior of the line. This is something that Pace Jr could fall down draft boards because even though his skills could demand a day one or two pick.

While the Buffalo Bills may be looking for a linebacker they may not find exactly what they are looking for in this draft. Pace Jr is a part of this new mold of a modern-day linebacker who can do a little bit of everything well with an emphasis on rushing the passer. A player like Pace Jr may not be a perfect fit for the Bills’ defense but he is exactly the type of player that you can get creative with on your defense.