Perfect Picks 2023: Buffalo Bills

With the NFL Draft approaching we will be looking at each team and evaluating where they need to improve. In this particular series we will run a seven round mock using the Pro Football Network Mock Draft Simulator and find the ‘Perfect Picks’ for each franchise.

We will highlight four players that could help each team. This will feature picks 1 and 2, a mid round gem and a late round sleeper. 

Round 1 - Anton Harrison (Offensive Tackle, Oklahoma)

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Protecting the most valuable asset on your team is imperative when challenging for a Super Bowl. The Bills didn’t do a good enough job at the sharp end of the season. Spencer Brown is on his rookie deal, with two remaining years, but his PFF pass-blocking grade of 51.4 leaves room for improvement. While they may not wish to spend such a high draft pick on a tackle, it gives them another chance to find a long-term solution.

Harrison is a two-year starter for Oklahoma, and while the majority of his snaps have come on the left side. He would immediately challenge for the right tackle job. There are certainly areas for improvement which is why Harrison is still on the board here. He needs to improve his anchor, but his length and movement skills will likely make him a high draft pick.

Round 2 - Cedric Tillman (Wide Receiver, Tennessee)

The Bills have one of the league’s best receivers in Stefon Diggs, and after a blazing end to the 2021 season, they thought they had an elite no.2 in Gabriel Davis. Davis didn’t make the predicted jump and enters his contract year with questions to answer. Rather than waiting to see if Davis is deserving of an extension, the Bills would be well advised to look closely at the receiving draft class.

Cedric Tillman may not have the elite traits that would see him go on Day 1, but there is plenty to admire. In fact, had he not suffered an ankle injury that saw him miss four games, then his teammate Jalin Hyatt may not have completely overtook him in terms of draft stock. Tillman could easily learn his craft in year 1 before becoming a solid outside option across from Diggs the year after.

Mid Round Gem - Ronnie Hickman (Safety, Ohio State)

Buffalo have arguably the best safety tandem in the league. Jordan Poyer will hit free agency and likely command a sizeable deal. Even if they do retain Poyer to pair with Micah Hyde, the depth at the position has taken a hit. Damar Hamlin’s horrific cardiac arrest means that football will take a back seat while he recovers. That means the Bills should look for a mid-round pick to help at the position.

Ronnie Hickman is a solid, if not spectacular, prospect at the position. He was used all over the defense at Ohio State, lining up in the box, the slot and as a deep safety. Hickman’s performance took another jump in 2022 with his PFF grade rising to 84.8. In particular, his coverage grade of 88.9 was strong, managing 1 interception and five pass breakups. He has the potential to be a long-term starter in the league.

Late Round Sleeper - DeWayne McBride (Running Back, UAB)

With Devin Singletary set to hit free agency and Nyheim Hines being touted as a potential cap casualty, running back is a position of need for the Bills. Of course, they spent an early selection on James Cook last year, but an able second fiddle would be of significant help.

In Dewayne McBride, they would have a physical power back with excellent contact balance. He was uber-productive at UAB, rushing for 1,702 yards in 2022. That came at an average of 7.3 yards per attempt, with him only failing to exceed 100 yards in a single game. At 5’11 and 215lbs, McBride should have no trouble adapting to the NFL and offer another option in the Bills backfield.

Draft In Full:

Round 1 – Anton Harrison (Offensive Tackle, Oklahoma)

Round 2 – Cedric Tillman (Wide Receiver, Tennessee)

Round 3 – DeMarvion Overshown (Linebacker, Texas)

Round 4 – Ronnie Hickman (Safety, Ohio State)

Round 5 – Jaxson Kirkland (Offensive Line, Washington)

Round 6 – DeWayne McBride (Running Back, UAB)

Mock Draft

Rory-Joe Daniels

Cfb contributor

formerly writing for the inside zone, rory will be breaking down college tape and keeping you up-to-date with all things CFB for the touchdown. an avid bengals fan, you can also find some of rory’s work at