The second season is often viewed as a pivotal one for NFL players as this should be the season they really make an impact after gaining experience as a rookie. That is true for a number of draft picks the Buffalo Bills made in the 2022 NFL Draft. In total, they have six players remaining from that draft and there are a number that are in line to be starters entering training camp.
While many players are expected to have expanding roles, none are guaranteed that spot and will have to prove to the coaching staff leading up to the season they are ready. Let's make some predictions on what the likely roles might be for the draft picks from the 2022 NFL Draft entering the 2023 season.
Predicting roles in 2023 season for the Buffalo Bills 2022 NFL Draft class
The Buffalo Bills would draft Kaiir Elam in the first round with the 23rd overall pick. The fact that he was the first cornerback drafted by the Bills in the first round since Tre'Davious White in 2017, the expectations were certainly high entering his rookie season.
Tre'Davious White started most of his rookie season and has developed into one of the best cornerbacks in the league. Last offseason, Elam seemed to have a clear path to a starting job as White was still recovering from a torn ACL and he was competing with Dane Jackson and Christian Benford to be a starter.
However, the learning curve seemed a little steeper for Kaiir Elam and he would be in a rotation for most of the year, outside of a six week stretch where he started from Week 3 to Week 8 due to injuries at the position.
In the playoffs, Elam would have a bigger role as he played over 60% of the snaps in both games and would get the start against the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Divisional Round. While it was disappointing that he didn't win the starting job right away, it wasn't overly concerning as he was a rookie.
Entering his second season, the expectations should be the full-time starter, and anything less than that should start to raise some concerns.