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What playing for the Buffalo Bills would mean to 2023 NFL Draft prospects 


Monday officially wraps up the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. Over 300 of the top prospects gathered at Lucas Oil Stadium to showcase their skills, meet with coaches and general managers of NFL teams, as well as speak to the media about their talents on the field and what they hope the future holds for their NFL careers.

When asked about the Buffalo Bills, prospects commented on playing with star QB Josh Allen, learning from veterans like WR Stefon Diggs, and being a part of the culture that GM Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott have built in Buffalo over the past six years.

Here's a look at what prospects at various positions had to say about what it would mean to become a Buffalo Bill.

Offensive prospects

Jalin Hyatt, WR, Tennessee

Jalin Hyatt Hyatt's explosiveness came out during his third season at Tennessee. The wide receiver broke UT records during the 2022 season with 5 TD receptions in a single game and 15 receiving touchdowns in a single-season. The 2022 Biletnikoff Award Winner attended the same high school as Bills kicker Tyler Bass, Dutch Fork HS in Irmo, SC.

"Josh Allen, he has weapons. He has Stefon Diggs. He has Gabe Davis. If I ever had the chance to go there and be in that slot role or do something for them, for me (we would) wear it out for sure. Seeing what he can do in games, seeing what he can do on film with his throwing ability, I'll open it up for him if that's what he wants me to do. If I got to move safeties for Diggs or Davis, I'll do that for sure, whatever they want me to do. But, Josh Allen, obviously, is one of the best quarterbacks in the league. If I ever experienced that, it would be fun." — Hyatt

Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State

During his time as an Ohio State Buckeye, Jaxon Smith-Njigba led OSU with school-record totals of 95 receptions and 1,606 receiving yards in 2021 and earned the Rose Bowl Game MVP the same year.

"Playing with an elite quarterback like that definitely would be awesome. Especially if I'm lined up next to Stefon Diggs. Just learning from him, I think it would be a big key for me to expand my game and help that team, definitely." — Njigba

Justin Shorter, WR, Florida

As a redshirt junior, Justin Shorter recorded a career-high 577 receiving yards on 29 receptions, two touchdowns, and a season-high 155 reception yards against Tennessee during the 2022 season.

"If I have the opportunity to go out there and learn from (Stefon) Diggs and just be able to go out there and just catch footballs from that quarterback, that would just be a blessing." — Shorter

Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College

Zay Flowers' senior year at Boston College was one for the record books. The All-ACC First Team wide receiver set the BC single-season record for receiving touchdowns (12), tied for the most receptions in a season (78), and recorded the third most receiving yards (1,077) in Eagles history. Flowers grew up less than an hour away from RB Devin Singletary (Deerfield Beach, FL) and James Cook's (Miami, FL) hometowns in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

"I dream of something like that. So just being able to play with those guys, those vets, I'll something from them. Coming into the league, I'd love to have Stefon Diggs as a mentor. So just being able to step in and be with them would be like a dream come true." — Flowers

Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame

In the 2022 season, Notre Dame's Michael Mayer tallied 809 receiving yards on 67 receptions and set a single-season high for Fighting Irish tight ends with nine touchdown catches. Mayer's 71 catches and 840 yards he recorded during his sophomore year marked the most ever by a Notre Dame TE.

"They're a great organization. They've got one of the best quarterbacks in the league right now in Josh Allen. It really goes back to my point in trying to be myself, trying to show these coaches what type of person I am, and does it fit their culture, does it fit their team.

"I've watched him (Dawson Knox) for sure, great player. (He's a) great red zone threat. I think he's a great player, and it would be cool to play with him." — Mayer

Michael Wilson, WR, Stanford

Stanford's Team Captain Michael Wilson earned Stanford's Offensive Player of the Game honors twice during the 2022 season. In his fifth year, Wilson notched four receiving touchdowns, 26 receptions for 418 yards, and 47 rushing yards.

"It would be amazing, anytime you get to play with NFL superstars and guys who play at a high level. Stefon Diggs, I know he is one of the leading faces of what needs to be a complete NFL wide receiver. So, to be able to be in the same locker room with him, learn how he works. It's a copycat league and he's the best receiver in the league. I'd be at his hip trying to do everything he's doing – how does he eat, how does he sleep, what's his pre-practice routine like. So I think being able to learn from a receiver like Stefon Diggs, I would only be able to benefit from that so that would be awesome." — Wilson

Defensive prospects

Jack Campbell, LB, Iowa

Iowa's Jack Campbell, who is a recipient of the Butkus Award as the top linebacker in the nation, has two connections with two members of the Bills roster. The linebacker played with DE A.J. Epenesa at the University of Iowa in 2019 and attended Cedar Falls High School where fellow Cedar Falls, Iowa native G Ike Boettger went.

"Me and Ike (Boettger) have a really good relationship. He's one of those guys that has always been a great mentor to me. He grew up like right down the street from me, and I've known him for a long, long time. And just all the stories he tells from the Bills are good. It'd be a great organization to go to. All 32 teams would be a great organization to go to, but at the same time going there, if I do go there, just to know a face in there. And then AJ, again, just one of the most talented guys, one of the most talented pass rushers I've ever played with. And you've kind of seen that in the last few years on how his game has progressed. But, again, whatever team I go to, I'm gonna be super blessed. But again, if I do end up there, I'm gonna see some familiar faces." — Campbell

Brian Branch, DB, Alabama

After his standout 2022 season for the Crimson Tide, Brian Branch earned a handful of honors including first-team All-American honors at DB from CBS Sports and, second-team All-American by the Association Press, and the AP also named the Alabama junior a second-team All-SEC honoree. P Sam Martin and Branch are from the same hometown of Fayetteville, GA.

"I feel like the Buffalo Bills DB corps is an exceptional group. Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde, I look at those guys too as great safeties. And being able to play in that scheme, I feel like would be able to uplift my game in a way and just make me better playing alongside those guys." — Branch

Antonio Johnson, Safety, Texas A&M

In three seasons at Von Miller's alma mater, Texas A&M, Antonino Johnson finished with 164 total tackles, 14 tackles for loss, two sacks, and one interception in 28 games.

"They got a great program, they got a great scheme over there. They have a lot of good DBS over there … I feel like I could fit it in very well. I feel like that's one of my strengths in the pass games is just being versatile. So, I feel like I could do that in that system." —Johnson

O'Cyrus Torrence, OL, Florida

O'Cyrus Torrence, a former teammate of CB Kaiir Elam at Florida, earned a handful of collegiate honors after his first year as a Gator. In 2022, Torrence was named First Team All-SEC, AP First Team All-America, and was the first offensive guard at Florida to be named a Consensus All-American.

"It'd be a great experience. Josh Allen's a great quarterback. He's one of the most impressive guys to watch and being able to go out there and protect him every Sunday, it would just be fun and just be something I would love doing every week." — Torrence

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