In terms of a grade, the Bills earned a ‘B-plus’ via analysts Doug Farrar and Mark Schofield. It stacked up well in terms of some of Buffalo’s biggest rivals as well.
First, here’s their breakdown on the picks. There were few things not liked:
Brandon Beane and the Buffalo Bills entered the draft with few needs, given the status of their roster after free agency, but made some smart additions on both sides of the football. They were rumored to be in the mix for a running back in the first round, but they instead drafted cornerback Kaiir Elam, giving them a man coverage cornerback with press ability to put across from Tre’Davious White. They added the running back in the second round in James Cook, a near-perfect fit for the outside zone concepts the Bills rely upon in the running game. He might not be a solid pass protector as a running back, but in Buffalo he will be part of a rotation along with Devin Singletary, Duke Johnson and Zack Moss.
In the third round, Buffalo added linebacker Terrel Bernard out of Baylor, a sub-package linebacker who is ideal for a defense that relied heavily on sub packages in 2021.
Then in the fifth round, Buffalo added their slot receiver, drafting the shifty Khalil Shakir out of Boise State. He could see 120 targets in this offense sooner than you think. For added measure they added Matt “Punt God” Araiza in the sixth round, and while he was ultimately not the first punter taken — that went to Jordan Stout with the Baltimore Ravens — his huge leg might play well in the wind and weather in Buffalo.
By comparison to the rest of the AFC East, the Bills earned the second-best mark via the NFL Wire. In little surprise, the New York Jets took the best one with an ‘A’ mark. However, the Jets did have three first-round picks. Hard to not earn the best grade in this scenario.
But in terms of more realistic comparisons, Buffalo did edge out the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins. Both clocked in at ‘B-minus’ grades.