NFL Draft experts react to Bills selecting Cole Bishop

Sep 23, 2023; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Utah Utes safety Cole Bishop (8) encourages the fans to
Sep 23, 2023; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Utah Utes safety Cole Bishop (8) encourages the fans to / Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

After adding a wide receiver with their first pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills went in a different direction with their second pick and selected safety Cole Bishop from Utah. The Bills needed some help in the secondary, and Bishop was named Second-Team All-Big 12 last season, so the move makes sense on paper.

What they're saying about the pick

But, how do the experts feel about it? While the selection isn't receiving rave reviews, most outlets appear to agree that Bishop is a solid addition for Buffalo. Here's what some other publications are saying about it.

Bleacher Report

Bleacher Report was high on the move, giving it a grade of A and saying "Bishop can immediately enter the Buffalo Bills' lineup and make an impact. As they transition away from their long-standing safety duo in Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer, the incoming rookie can provide a solution to what previously looked like a transitional phase."

Given the current lack of depth in the secondary in Buffalo, Bishop could potentially come and contribute right away. That's a positive of the pick.

CBS Sports

CBS was also high on the pick, giving it a grade of A-minus. The following rationale was provided:

"Large, intimidating safety with magnificent movement skill. The QB of the defense. Aligns everywhere. Can wear many hats. Excelled as slot defender and vs. TEs in coverage and runs the alley on outside runs as well as any safety in the class. Ball skills and tackling must improve. Short arms. Need filled."

The Sporting News

The Sporting News was a little less complementary of the move, giving it a C grade and claiming that the Bills might have reached a bit for a player who still needs some work. Here's what SN had to say:

"Bishop fills a need with the team moving on from Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer but the Bills reached a bit for his pure speedy coverage skills as Bishop is deficient for now in the run-supporting part of his game."

The Athletic

The Athletic saw merit in the move, giving it a a grade of B-minus while noting Bishop's versatility and explosiveness:

“A big, speedy safety from Utah who made nearly 200 tackles (including 21 1/2 for a loss), Bishop played a lot in the box as a nickel defender as well as back deep at safety for the Utes. A very instinctive player, sometimes too aggressive, Bishop is explosive and still just 21."

USA Today

USA Today gave the pick a B grade, but provided purely positive feedback:

"After undergoing several significant changes this offseason, the Bills' secondary reloads with Bishop. His extensive range and ability to matchup against tight ends in man coverage should prove valuable in the early going."

Overall, the consensus seems to be that the Bengals addressed a major area of need with the selection, so it's a sound one in that regard. Bishop might need some development, but he has a high ceiling -- all the outlets appear to agree on that.