Buffalo Bills: A look back at the 2022 draft class

Buffalo Bills, 2023 NFL Draft (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
Buffalo Bills, 2023 NFL Draft (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images) /
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Buffalo Bills, Kaiir Elam
Kaiir Elam, Buffalo Bills (Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports) /

Round 1: Kaiir Elam, CB

The Bills gave up a fourth-round pick in order to move up two spots to select cornerback Kaiir Elam in round one of the 2022 NFL draft. While Elam was identified by GM Brandon Beane as the last player remaining that the Bills had  first-round grade on, cornerback was also an area of need for them entering the draft.

Interestingly, even with the trade, first-round selection and obvious need on the Bills roster, Buffalo continued their trend of not putting first-round draft picks directly into starting spots. Elam was integrated very slowly into the Bills defensive plans with Dane Jackson and 2022 sixth round pick Christian Benford (more on him in a minute) starting the season opener in Los Angeles against the Rams.

Elam became more involved in the Bills defense as the season progressed, eventually taking over a starting role along with Tre’Davious White who was returning from injury. Moving forward Elam and White project to form a dynamic, high-ceiling cornerback tandem for the Bills.

Interestingly the 2023 draft class is deeper in cornerback prospects than last year’s draft. This may work to the Bills advantage as with Elam and White, along with Jackson and Benford who are both returning as well, they seem to be set at this position for at least the next couple of years.