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Bills 2023 Draft Grades | NFL analysts breakdown Buffalo's six selections

Buffalo Bills first-round pick TE Dalton Kincaid at One Bills Drive, April 28, 2023.
Buffalo Bills first-round pick TE Dalton Kincaid at One Bills Drive, April 28, 2023.

The 2023 NFL Draft cycle is officially in the books and the first reactions are in on how the Bills' class stacks up against the rest of the league.

Buffalo came out of this year's draft with six total selections: TE Dalton Kincaid (1st round), G O'Cyrus Torrence (2nd round), LB Dorian Williams (3rd round), WR Justin Shorter (5th round), G Nick Broeker (7th round) and CB Alex Austin (7th round).

The Bills also acquired multiple late-round picks for 2024 and currently have 10 total selections for next year's draft. Speaking to the media Saturday night after the conclusion of the draft, Bills GM Brandon Beane said he was pleased with the way the board shook out during the draft and felt the team addressed a number of needs.

But how do NFL media outlets and draft analysts feel about Buffalo's draft haul? We've compiled several opinions below with the majority praising the Bills six selections.

Instead of assigning letter grades to each team, Brugler ranked every team's draft class from 1 to 32.

Ranking: Bills' draft class ranked 8th best among all NFL teams and fourth in the AFC.

Brugler's favorite pick: Dalton Kincaid, TE, Utah

"I loved what Buffalo did on Day 2, adding a plug-and-play guard and toolsy linebacker with upside. But I keep returning to the Kincaid pick as one of my favorite fits in the entire draft. Kincaid can be a starting slot receiver for Josh Allen and give the offense an extra dimension it has been searching for the last few seasons. I can easily make an argument that Kincaid is the best pass catcher in this draft, regardless of position." —Brugler

Day 3 pick who could surprise: Nick Broeker, G, Ole Miss

Buffalo's best draft pick: TE Dalton Kincaid

"Maybe you saw this pick late in Round 1 and said, Wait, didn't the Bills just extend Dawson Knox on a four-year deal last September? You're not misremembering. But I still love this selection because of what the Bills can do with Kincaid. Look at him more like a 6-foot-4, 246-pound slot receiver who can create mismatches.

Buffalo moved up from No. 27 to get Kincaid at No. 25 just a couple of picks after the top four receivers were selected in consecutive fashion. So rather than reach, why not take the top tight end in the class to give Josh Allen another target? Kincaid accelerates in a flash, can win down the seam and is a smooth route runner. He was second among FBS tight ends last season in yards (890) and touchdowns (eight). The Bills will flex him out to give Stefon Diggs some support and let him feast against zone looks, where he shows the ability to find open windows." — McShay

The Bills landed two top-50 players that were in Daniel Jeremiah's pre-draft top prospects breakdown. Kincaid checked in as the No. 9 overall prospect (No. 1 TE) and Torrence ranked 41st overall.

For reference, 42 of the first 50 draft picks were in Jeremiah's top 50 list.

Grade: A

PFF gave the Bills an 'Elite' grade for the first two picks of the draft in Kincaid and Torrence, noting that both players were ranked among the best at their positions.

Among the other selections PFF liked, they wrote that fifth-round WR Justin Shorter has big-play potential and will "compete to be on the receiving end of Josh Allen bombs".

For the Bills' seventh-round selections, PFF wrote that Broeker was a reliable pass protector at Ole Miss, while Austin earned a 70.0-plus in coverage and run defense during his final year at Oregon State.

Grade: B

Analysis: "I didn't have a tight end listed among the Bills' pre-draft needs, but we ought to consider their first pick as a player who could fill the void at slot receiver. They traded up two spots to take Dalton Kincaid (25), the best pass-catching tight end in this class. He led all FBS tight ends with 70 catches last season and did a lot of damage out of the slot. This is a team that needed a playmaker to take the load off Stefon Diggs , and Kincaid will help. Josh Allen now has Kincaid and Dawson Knox as his top two tight ends, and he has to be thrilled.

O'Cyrus Torrence (59) is a road-grading guard who should push for early playing time. Off-ball linebacker Dorian Williams (91) ran a 4.49-second 40-yard dash at the combine, and he has some coverage ability. After Tremaine Edmunds left in free agency, Buffalo has a need at inside 'backer, though I'm not sure Williams is the perfect fit. Nick Broeker (230) is a decent guard prospect who is definitely worth a Round 7 flier." — Kiper Jr.

Grade: A

Analysis: "I thought the Bills would move up for a pass-catcher in the first round, and that's what they did to land Kincaid . Torrence was a steal because of the power and nimble feet he'll provide in the run game and Williams should play immediately in Tremaine Edmunds ' old spot.

They picked an outside receiver with downfield ability in Shorter, who could push Gabe Davis . Broeker could have easily been a top-150 selection because of his toughness inside and experience at tackle. Austin has potential as a physical outside corner." — Reuter

Grade: B-

Best Pick: Second-rounder O'Cyrus Torrence has first-round talent, which makes this a heck of a pick. The guard is a nasty, violent player who will amp up a run game that badly needs it.

Grade: B+

Analysis: "The Bills did exactly what I had hoped they'd do in this draft by bolstering their offensive skill player position group with Dalton Kincaid. The former Utah tight end brings high-end movement skills and toughness after the catch, and should be able to give Josh Allen a much-needed boost on passes to the short and intermediate areas. Buffalo got good value in the second round in Florida guard O'Cyrus Torrence, a player I had ranked 18th overall on The Ringer's Big Board. And they addressed their thin linebacker group by grabbing Tulane's Dorian Williams in the third round. He's a rangy, aggressive playmaker at the second level. I'm intrigued by day-three pick of Florida receiver Justin Shorter, who gives Buffalo a developmental player with high-end athletic traits." — Kelly

Grade: B+

Analysis: "I loved what Buffalo accomplished in the first two rounds of the draft. Dalton Kincaid is a very talented tight end who easily could have been chosen in the teens, yet he was available at No. 27. He'll be a great weapon for Josh Allen . After that, the Bills used their second-round choice on O'Cyrus Torrence, who was a potential first-round prospect. Torrence will provide some much-needed protection for Allen.

Despite some mistakes, the Bills came away with a great haul. There's little doubt that they strengthened their roster and gave themselves a better chance to win the Super Bowl this upcoming season." — Walter

Grade: B

Analysis: The Bills got excellent value over the first two rounds, snagging Kincaid on the first night before landing Torrence to beef up their interior on Friday evening. Buffalo wasn't expected to take a tight end after extending Dawson Knox last offseason, but Kincaid gives it another weapon to stretch defenses down the seam. In the latter round, the Bills again focused largely on offense with Shorter and Broeker, who should be depth pieces for the next year or two, with Shorter playing on special teams. Williams is intriguing, as Buffalo is thin at linebacker after watching Tremaine Edmunds leave in free agency.

Topic: Draft pick that will have big impact

Scott Dochterman: "Buffalo found a great weapon in Utah tight end Dalton Kincaid. His 16-catch game against USC during Pac-12 After Dark was a real head-turner last season. He's going to be a difference maker for the Bills come December and January."

The Athletic staff gave also grades on every single pick for the Bills, with the first three picks scoring a 'B' or better grade. Full breakdown on each pick can be found here.

Scroll to see the top photos from Buffalo Bills 2023 draft picks O'Cyrus Torrence and Dorian Williams as they arrive at One Bills Drive.

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