Bills Trade Away First-Round Pick in 2023 NFL Mock Draft: Analyst

Following the abrupt end of the Buffalo Bills‘ postseason journey, it was largely believed that the team would focus on selecting either a wide receiver or an offensive lineman in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.

However, following the Bills’ flurry of free agency moves, which has included signing wide receivers Deonte Harty and Trent Sherfield, along with guards Connor McGovern and David Edwards, those priorities may have shifted.

In The Athletic‘s latest mock draft, Bills general manager Brandon Beane is predicted to trade away their first-round pick to the Detroit Lions, giving up the chance to sign Darnell Washington, the towering tight end out of Georgia. In the exchange, the Bills would give up their No. 27 and 137 overall picks, and Detriot would give Buffalo their No. 28, No. 55, 183, and 194 overall picks.


(via @NFL)pic.twitter.com/noQ0kC92W1

— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 5, 2023

The Athletic’s Colton Pouncy wrote, “Surprise, surprise. Folks in Detroit might still be scarred by first-round tight ends, but I’m not. At 6-foot-7, 269 pounds with a 4.64 40, Washington has the tools to be a nightmare in the red zone and a menace as a blocker, which is exactly how Dan Campbell and offensive coordinator Ben Johnson want to use their TEs… The trade value on the Rich Hill chart is almost even, and Detroit still has Nos. 81, No. 137 and No. 152 to fill holes and address depth. The NFC North crown awaits.”

However, one day after this mock draft was published, Dawson Knox’s backup tight end, Tommy Sweeney, signed a deal with the New York Giants. While Buffalo still has Quintin Morris and Zach Davidson on deck, passing over Washington, a top prospect the Bills met with during the NFL Combine earlier this month, would be a tough decision in this scenario.

The Bills Would Draft LB Jack Campbell in the Second Round

GettyLinebacker Jack Campbell of Iowa participates in a drill during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 02, 2023.

In the mock draft, The Athletic’s Joe Buscaglia believes the Bills would give away their first-rounder to select a player to help replace linebacker Tremaine Edmunds and pick Jack Campbell out of Iowa with their No. 48 overall pick.

“With only six picks and needs that don’t have clear options at 27, the Bills’ opportunity to add a second-round pick (No. 55) was too good to pass up,” Buscaglia wrote. “And with two extra sixth-round picks (183 and 194), GM Brandon Beane can package them to move back into the fifth round. In Campbell, the Bills would be getting a potential home run middle linebacker of the present and future. Campbell is a natural fit with the size to be an issue for opponents in coverage. He’s also the type of leader they look for at the position, and Sean McDermott loves players from the Iowa program.”

CBS Sports‘ Chris Trapasso also believes the 6-foot-5, 249-pound linebacker would be a good fit in Orchard Park and predicts the Bills could snatch him up in the first round. Trapasso wrote on March 22, “Campbell has Tremaine Edmunds size and awesome coverage chops. Immediate Edmunds replacement for Buffalo.”

The Bills Have Met With Several Top Prospects at Various Positions

With over a month to go before the 2023 NFL Draft kicks off, it’s hard to say which direction the Bills will lean, as they have cast quite a large net with their prospect meetings. Just because they’ve added two new receivers doesn’t mean they won’t go for another possible playmaker early on, unless, of course, they’re able to trade for Cardinals star DeAndre Hopkins before April 27.

Per SB Nation, the Bills met with five receivers at the NFL Combine, including top prospect Jordan Addison, and held a private workout with Houston alum Nathaniel Dell.

The Buffalo #Bills and #Tulane RB Tyjae Spears met, had lunch, and went through a private workout this afternoon with RB coach Kelly Skipper, per@_RyanFowler_. pic.twitter.com/I07uHxjyds

— MLFootball (@_MLFootball) March 24, 2023

As for running backs, Buffalo met with Bijan Robinson at the Combine and invited Tyjae Spears for a private workout. The team has also met with several cornerback options, defensive ends, linebackers, and more.

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