Grading Buffalo Bills drafting Alex Austin in 2023 NFL Draft

Alex Austin (Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
Alex Austin (Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) /

The 2023 NFL Draft has come to an end for the Buffalo Bills with the selection of Alex Austin with Pick 252 in the seventh round. The focus to this point of the NFL Draft has been on the offensive side of the ball with the Bills drafting four offensive players in their first five picks.

However, the Bills moved to the other side of the ball and selected cornerback Alex Austin out of Oregon State. Austin played in 34 games over four seasons and had 141 total tackles, one sack, 20 passes defended and four interceptions.

This past season was by far his best as he had career highs in tackles (57), passes defended (10), interceptions (2) and even returned one of those interceptions for a touchdown.

Grade for the Buffalo Bills selecting Alex Austin in the 2023 NFL Draft: B-

While the need for cornerbacks isn’t as great as it was this time last year, in a league that passes as much as teams do, it isn’t a bad idea to have great depth at the position. Alex Austin has good upside as he has great size for the position at 6’1″ and 195 pounds but also excellent speed as he was a standout sprinter, according to the scouting report on The Draft Network.

The Bills cornerback position looks pretty well set with Tre’Davious White, Kaiir Elam, Christian Benford, Taron Johnson, and Dane Jackson and Austin will have a tough time moving up as a rookie.

However, the best path for Austin to make the 53-man roster for the Buffalo Bills will be on special teams where he can really utilize that size and speed on coverage teams. He eventually could even be a replacement for Siran Neal, who is a key part of special teams but does have a sizable cap hit.

If he is able to become a key contributor on that part of the team, this will end up being a great pick.

Next. Grade for the Buffalo Bills selection of Justin Shorter. dark