NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah joined local and national media from around the league via Zoom to address the 2023 NFL draft just four days before the 2023 NFL Combine kicks off. Now that we are just one day away from the first day of the Combine, here are three things to know from Jeremiah's combine and draft takeaways.
1. Jeremiah's mock drafts reveal a running back or interior offensive lineman as the Bills' first-round pick
Jeremiah's first mock draft of the postseason has the Bills landing RB Bijan Robinson from Texas in the first round with pick No. 27. He believes Robinson is one of the premiere players in this draft class who is worthy of a top-10 selection, but his position could impact his draft day value.
"My philosophy on kind of running backs is I don't mind taking a running back in the first round, as long as your team is ready to win right now. Because if you take into account the guy has four or five, six years of elite production, I don't mind getting him in the first round because you get the extra year on the contract. It's easy to control it," Jeremiah said.
"Everybody says that Bijan Robinson is not only the best running back in this class, he is one of the five best players in this class. He is elite," Jeremiah added.
About a month after he released his first mock draft came his second which predicts IOL O'Cyrus Torrence from Florida to become a Buffalo Bill with their 27th overall pick. Torrence strikes Jeremiah as a plug-and-play type of player and a solid starter.
"Buffalo could use some upgrades in front of Josh Allen. The Bills must continue to protect their most valuable asset by steadily investing in the O-line. Torrence will also help this offense in the ground game." — Jeremiah
2. A possible WR to fit in with Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis
When asked what available wide receivers GM Brandon Beane could pick who could fit in with Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis, Jeremiah thought of Ohio State's Jaxon Smith-Njigba or Zay Flowers from Boston College as two possible options.
Smith-Njigba holds the FBS Bowl Game and OSU single-game record for most receiving yards after he recorded 347 in this year's Rose Bowl, where he was named MVP.
"Smith-Njigba would probably be one that I would think would be a nice complement there. If you are looking for somebody who can do some of that in the middle of the field, he gives you that," Jeremiah said.
As for Flowers, the All-ACC First Team WR finished his career as Boston College's all-time leader in career receptions with 200, career receiving yards (3,056), and career receiving touchdowns (29).
"I love Zay Flowers. I know he is not the biggest guy in the world at a little over 5'9", 182 pounds, but he is a clone of TY Hilton. I pulled this up today. When you look at their numbers, TY Hilton and Zay Flowers, it is -- Flowers is 5'9" 1/2; Hilton is 5'9" 1/2. Flowers 182 pounds; Hilton 183 pounds. Wingspan, 73.5 to 73 1/8. We'll see the testing when they run and all that.
It's one of those deals when you watch, gosh, he reminds me of TY Hilton, and then when you pull the numbers they're like twins. I think he is a great player. I think he is going to go somewhere into the late first into the early second round. We'll see how he runs, but I'm a big fan of his," Jeremiah said.
3. Overall strength of the 2023 draft
Based on the fascinating storylines surrounding some big-name and high-profile players who will be available in the upcoming draft, Jeremiah believes the 2023 draft will be a fun one.
"I think this is a year where, again, you're going to see some players that are 12 or 13 on one team's board, and they might be 53 on another team's board, which is -- there's a lot of variance of opinion," Jeremiah said.
Each position group is unique and special in its own way this year. While the Bills aren't in need of a QB, Jeremiah shares the hype around this group with the handful of name-brand quarterbacks that people are very familiar with. But the same could be said for various players at other positions, too.
"In terms of overall strength of the draft, I think it's a really good corner group. I think it's a good edge rusher group. I think the tight end group is the best I've seen in the last ten years. It's outstanding. Running backs is really solid ... I don't think the wide receiver group is quite what we've seen in the years recently here. Anyway, it's deep at some positions for sure," Jeremiah said.
However, he does add that there is a good group of interior offensive linemen this year which is a position that could potentially be on Beane's radar.
"I think when you are looking at offensive linemen, edge rushers, I think that's not bad. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised with the quality of the depth that's going to still be there in the third and fourth round," Jeremiah said.